This is the last year of Governor Brown's four terms. While he thinks his legacy might be leaving California with a budget surplus and whatever "climate change" regulations he is proud of, his real legacy is the epic failure in keeping Californians safe.
His abysmal public safety record began with AB 109 in 2011. Sure, prison realignment made our state prisons less crowded, but these recidivists were released into our communities, and there may be a direct correlation with a rise in crime in our state and the passage of AB 109. Unfortunately, the state decides how/when research on the effects of such laws, and unsurprisingly no money has been set aside to study the effects of AB 109. But, if asked, Brown and legislative Democrats would claim AB 109 was and continues to be a success because prison populations decreased and have remained below pre-AB 109 levels. Yet, county jails are packed and recidivism rates remain high. Curious.
Then, after sending career criminals back into our communities, Governor Brown promoted Prop 47 in 2014. Prop 47, referred to by supporters as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” which made some “non-serious, non-violent” crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. Felonies like forgery, Grand Theft, fraud, and most drug use and possession. Prop 47 also allowed for approximately 1 million Californians to change past felonies charges on their criminal records.
Again in 2016, Californians were duped again in passing Prop 57, otherwise known as the “Californians for Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act”, which allows 25,000 “non-violent” felons to petition for early release while redefining “non-violent” to include rape, lewd acts against a child, and human trafficking. Most glaring is the sad fact that violent crime has increased across our state, with double digit increases in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to FBI crime tracking. ◼ Read more on this from the SacBee HERE.
Finally, Governor Brown’s public safety legacy is rounded out with the passage of the Sanctuary State bill. Now, not only do our state and local law enforcement agencies have limited communication abilities with federal law enforcement, especially pertaining to very dangerous and violent illegal immigrant felons, but the state is at risk of losing federal funding as well. Governor Brown will claim a different legacy than where California truly has come these past eight years.
Allison Olson, CFRW Advocate
Hope For California
Special to the Capitol Update
By: Senator Mike Morrell (R, Riverside)
In meeting with various groups throughout the state, I am often asked if there is still hope for California. I have had my doubts with all of the challenges and problems we face, but I am confident that the answer is “yes.”
It is said that “as California goes, so goes the nation.” With almost 40 million people and as the world’s sixth largest economy, our state is too important to lose.
As citizens committed to limiting government’s power, we are drawing a line in the sand and setting a course to take it back.
I have four reasons to believe that there is hope for California.
First, 40 years of one-party rule by Senate Democrats in Sacramento has reached a tipping point. They have overstepped their bounds and voters are becoming more aware of the negative effects. They have recklessly pursued an agenda of progressive/socialistic policies that expand the bureaucratic state and affect us economically, politically, and spiritually.
On their watch, education rankings have dropped to 44th in the country. California has at least 34 percent of the entire nation’s welfare caseload. We have the highest state sales tax and now among the highest gas and car taxes.
For over a decade, surveys of 500 CEOs around America have rated California the worst place to do business. During the same period, we have seen a net loss of one million residents.
Perhaps most egregious is what is happening to public safety. Laws created by the governor and Democratic legislators to release at least 40,000 convicted felons into our neighborhoods have put our loved ones in harm’s way. Now a judge has ruled that another 10,000 sex offenders should be eligible for early parole.
Their policies have failed us.
Secondly, while many of my friends across the aisle refuse to face reality, others see the writing on the wall. That is why their default is to argue through politically correct speech. They know they have lost the debate so their go-to plan is to blame and accuse, making them weak. Therefore, we can win.
We as Republicans have practical and substantive answers. We believe in limiting government’s power, letting Americans keep more of their money to invest in their families, churches, and charities. We recognize that citizens rank above the state and that politicians and bureaucrats work for us. They are public servants, not masters.
Next, and more importantly, we have seen throughout history that America’s morality and religion are indispensable supports for our nation’s peace and prosperity, a point made by Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th-century author of Democracy in America.
I have seen his observation ring true in recent months as I have spoken to many business groups as well as nearly 600 pastors, whose influence reaches over two million people. They are serious about taking back our state – I have not seen this kind of engagement before now and it is encouraging.
We are seeing a revival of the rich spiritual heritage of our state, which is my fourth reason to believe there is hope for California. Consider the planting of 21 missions, a ministry begun by Father Junipero Serra. Furthermore, World Vision, Focus on the Family, Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Pentecostal movement were all started here, and in our very own San Bernardino Mountains, a young Billy Graham made a world-changing decision to preach the Gospel.
For these and other reasons, though we live in difficult times, I do not believe Providence has written California off.
However, as the Declaration of Independence reminds us, we are governed by consent – a government of, by, and for the people. It is our responsibility to plant the flag and regain our state.
Only when those who have a vested interest in preserving our religious, political, and economic freedom, such as people of faith and business owners, take a stand will we make headway in this cause.
In 1941, the University of Rochester awarded Winston Churchill with an honorary degree. He delivered acceptance remarks broadcast from London. He spoke on the realities facing the world in the lead up to the entrance of the United States into World War II:
“We are sure that the character of human society will be shaped by the resolves we take and the deeds we do. We need not bewail the fact that we have been called upon to face such solemn responsibilities. We may be proud, and even rejoice amid our tribulations, that we have been born at this cardinal time for so great an age and so splendid an opportunity of service here below.”
Though the circumstances are different, Churchill’s words are a fitting description of our time and age. With your help – and the resolve of millions of other Californians – I have faith that we will rise to meet the challenges we confront.
State Senator Mike Morrell represents the 23rd Senate District in the California State Legislature, which includes portions of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties.
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Disclaimer: The Capitol Update is an activity of the CFRW Advocate's Office. The update is for information only. CFRW official positions on legislation are stated immediately preceding the stated legislation or immediately following the stated legislation in this report.