23 Bills Signed!
Western Center had another landmark year in Sacramento with 23 of our sponsored and co-sponsored bills on behalf of low-income Californians signed into law. Victories included the elimination of the predatory commercial bail industry, proactive measures to dismantle segregation and end housing discrimination, and defending Medi-Cal expansion against back door federal cuts. View the full list of signed bills.
Juvenile Justice Reform –
Western Center co-sponsored SB 190 discharges $90 million in juvenile fees
According to WCLP advocate Jess Bartholow, “In passing SB 190, California became a national leader in ending regressive and racially discriminatory juvenile fees.” Lupita Carballo notes the harm of juvenile fees: “My older brother has been in and out of the system since he was ten years old. My mother is a single mom and paid thousands of dollars in fees. I could tell how it worried her. She would leave the house for work at 4 am and come home at 6 or 7 at night. She would just look so sad and tired. I’m glad this will help other families.” Read our press release here.
Western Center and other civil rights lawyers successfully settled a suit accusing the Los Angeles Superior Court of improperly suspending driving privileges for tens of thousands of poor people because they can’t afford to pay their traffic fines. “Courts were required by law to look at a person’s ability to pay a fine before ordering the suspension of a driver’s license,” said Antionette Dozier, Western Center senior attorney. “In Los Angeles, they didn’t follow the law.” Watch a news report on this settlement.