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Senate Appropriations Unanimously Passes SAFE Act

By   /  May 17, 2024  /  No Comments

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To protect communities from sexually violent predators Jones’s measure has strong bipartisan support

Sacramento, CA – the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones’s (R-San Diego) bipartisan Senate Bill 1074, the “Sexually Violent Predator Accountability, Fairness, and Enforcement Act” (SAFE Act). Click here for SB 1074 the factsheet and here for more information about the bill and the Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) issue.

“The SAFE Act is designed to protect our neighborhoods and families from dangerous sexually violent predators, perpetrators of some of the most horrendous and violent sex crimes,” said Leader Jones. “We are thankful that the Senate Appropriations Committee understands the need to protect our communities while also reducing wasteful spending by the state contractor, Liberty Healthcare, which oversees the release of dangerous sexually violent predators. This measure is the first step towards fixing this broken and alarming predator release program.”

The SAFE Act aims to prevent the Newsom Administration from secretly dumping SVPs into family-friendly neighborhoods with no regard for public safety. Specifically, SB 1074 would:

  1. Make public safety the highest criterion of any potential placement of an SVP, a factor that is shockingly not currently required when releasing SVPs; and
  2. Require the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to take ownership in the placement process by approving any placements BEFORE the vendor can sign any leases for placement locations. This will help prevent the DSH vendor (Liberty Healthcare) from wasting tax dollars on premature leases for SVPs.

Sexually violent predators are persons convicted of at least one sexually violent offense and diagnosed with a mental disorder that predisposes them to be a danger to others with a high likelihood to re-offend. When a court orders their conditional release, DSH allows their vendor, Liberty Healthcare, the freedom to house SVPs in unsuspecting communities across California. A new report indicates that housing a single SVP costs taxpayers over $456,000 annually.

The SAFE Act passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 7-0 vote with amendments that have “technical and clarifying changes to codify DSH’s existing practices.” The measure now heads to the Senate Floor for consideration by the entire body.

The SAFE Act is coauthored by Senators Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson), Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), Roger W. Niello (R-Fair Oaks), Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), and Assemblymembers Juan Alanis (R-Modesto), Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), Joe Patterson (R-Rocklin), and Marie Waldron (R-Valley Center).

The SAFE Act is the third bipartisan SVP bill Leader Jones has authored in the last three years. The measure is similar to Leader Jones’s bipartisan SB 832 from last year, and the bipartisan SB 841 from two years ago. Hundreds of Californians have signed the petition to support SB 1074. For more information on the SVP issue, please click here.

Leader Jones has been a trailblazer in fighting SVP placements in San Diego County for years. Last year, Leader Jones secured an audit of Liberty Healthcare, the state contractor responsible for overseeing placements of SVPs. The audit results are expected to be released in Fall 2024.

Senator Brian W. Jones represents the 40th Senate District which includes the Cities of Escondido, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, San Diego City communities of Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, Scripps Ranch, Sorrento Valley, and University City, along with the San Diego County unincorporated communities of 4S Ranch, Alpine, Bonsall, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Pine Valley, Rainbow, Ramona, and Valley Center.

Senator Brian Jones | State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814

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