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Gallegly, Beilenson Crime-Bill Backers

Ventura County’s two congressmen--Republican Elton Gallegly and Democrat Anthony C. Beilenson--both voted for President Clinton’s anti-crime bill that includes a nationwide ban on assault weapons.

Gallegly of Simi Valley said he joined only three other Republican congressmen from California in supporting President Clinton’s crime bill on Sunday after Democrats agreed to stiffer penalties for some crimes and to trim $3.3 billion from what it would cost to implement the proposed changes in law. But the bill left intact the ban on assault weapons, despite fierce opposition from gun lobbying groups.

“The bottom line is that this is a much better bill than the one we had last week,” Gallegly said in a statement. “It’s tougher on crime and doesn’t spend nearly as much on social programs that may or may not have any impact on the violence and lawlessness Americans are living with every day.”

Meanwhile, Beilenson of Woodland Hills said that California and its local governments for the first time would be reimbursed for some of the costs of imprisoning undocumented immigrants who commit crimes, under a provision that is based on an amendment that he had authored.

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“The acceptance of this provision is a significant victory for those of us who believe the federal government must face up to its responsibility for the costs of illegal aliens,” Beilenson said in a written statement.

Beilenson represents a district that includes Thousand Oaks and portions of the San Fernando Valley.


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