Political News

The Latest: California lawmakers act to ease crime penalties

Posted September 12

— The Latest on action taken by California's Legislature (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Democrats who control California's Legislature are continuing their efforts to ease criminal penalties, including voting to end a punishment critics call a relic from the nation's failed war on drugs.

The Assembly on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill that would eliminate allowing judges to impose an additional three-year sentence on repeat drug offenders.

Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, who co-authored SB180, says officials should concentrate instead on prevention and rehabilitation.

The Assembly also approved a bill allowing juvenile offenders to ask a judge to seal records of crimes committed before turning 17, sending it to the Senate. Supporters of SB312 say more than 2,000 youthful offenders are currently barred by a 2000 ballot initiative from sealing the records of crimes they committed after they turned 14.

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10 a.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers plan to spend $30 million helping young immigrants with legal services and college financial aid.

The Tuesday announcement comes in response to President Donald Trump's decision to end a program that gives temporary protection from deportation to people brought to the country illegally as children or by parents who overstayed visas.

The plan includes $20 million to provide legal services for participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It also includes $10 million in college financial aid.

The Trump administration says the DACA program will be phased out over the next six months if Congress doesn't make it permanent.

More than 200,000 of the 800,000 program participants live in California.

A legislative committee will hear the spending plan Tuesday.

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