Senate advances tougher penalties for some sex offenders

Senate advances tougher penalties for some sex offenders
An inmate housing unit is seen near completion at the Madera County Jail in Madera earlier this year. Legislation approved Tuesday would increase jail sentences for some sex offenders.
(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Paroled sex offenders who remove their state-issued GPS ankle bracelets would face tougher penalties under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate.

The measure by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) was one of dozens of bills approved as lawmakers face a Friday deadline for moving legislation out of the house in which it originated.


Offenders who remove the electronic tracking devices would face six months in jail for the first violation, a year in jail for a second incident and potential return to state prison for a third offense. “This bill imposes a strong deterrent,” Lieu told colleagues before they unanimously approved SB 57.

The Times documented a 65% increase in warrants for paroled sex offenders accused of evading electronic monitoring since California made such violations a jail instead of prison offense.


The Senate also approved a bill that would set a minimum 90-day jail sentence for adults who solicit minors for paid sex.

Other measures approved by the Senate on Tuesday and sent to the Assembly:

-- Require county coroners to report overdose deaths to the state medical board so it can better determine whether doctors are overprescribing drugs.

-- Exempt billboards at high-speed rail stations from state outdoor advertising laws to generate revenue for the multibillion-dollar project.


-- Increases limit on Cal Grant financial aid for poorest university students from about $1,500 annually to $5,000 to reflect growing cost of attending college.

The Assembly also approved several bills including one that would allow nurse practitioners, certified nurse  midwives and physician assistants to perform abortions by aspiration techniques, in addition to medication, in the first trimester of a pregnancy.


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