Senator Steven Bradford Comments on Signing of AB 177
SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 177 into law. This budget trailer bill eliminates 17 criminal and vehicle fees that disproportionately impact poor people of color who cannot afford to pay for the fees. Fees have been used to pay for the cost associated with the carceral system and are separate from fines that are imposed for violating the law. AB 177 incorporated a majority of the changes that were present in a previous version of SB 586 (Bradford, 2021). Senator Steven Bradford issued this statement in response to the signing:
“With the signing of AB 177, we are closer to a justice system that recognizes the burden criminal fees put on the poor and the barriers that fees have on rehabilitation, and rectifies that problem by eliminating these criminal fees. I commend Governor Newsom for his support of this community and legislative effort, Senator Nancy Skinner for her fierce budget leadership this year, and LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell for leading the charge on this criminal justice issue two years ago. I am honored to work with these champions for criminal justice change. However, while we are moving the dial toward justice here, our work on elimination of fees is not done. There are around 50 more criminal fees to repeal, including a $300 civil assessment fee for not appearing in court or not paying fines. I look forward to connecting with the Newsom Administration and my colleagues to eliminate all criminal fees as part of criminal justice reform.”
The Debt Free Justice Coalition have collectively worked on the elimination of criminal fees since 2018. Click here to read their statement.
Senator Bradford is Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, and represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.