Set aside were some of the most controversial parts of the legislation, such as allowing sick and elderly inmates to finish their sentences at home or in community hospitals, where they would be monitored by GPS tracking devices, according to Shannon Murphy, a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Baldwin Vista (Los Angeles County).
The bill also put aside plans for creating a sentencing commission to revamp the state's rules on punishment and parole, an idea backed by many Senate Democrats including President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. The bill, in its original form, passed the Senate by a 21-19 vote last week.
The original package, negotiated in part by Bass, stalled in the Assembly late last week despite Democrats' strong majority in the lower house of the Legislature.
The revised bill eliminates changes to some crimes - such as writing bad checks and receiving stolen property - so that they are always charged as misdemeanors. The bill was revised to reset the grand theft threshold to $950, higher than the current $400, which was set in 1982, but significantly lower than the $2,500 that the Senate approved last week.
What's left in the bill are changes to the state's parole system so that some low- and moderate-risk offenders would not be subject to parole revocation; allowing certain felons who violate probation to serve time in county jails; and allowing the early release of inmates who complete certain rehabilitation programs such as earning GEDs.This is, to say the least, very disappointing. We will follow up with a more thorough analysis later in the day. For now, we'll just point out two things: