May 11, 2010 > Chelsea's law clears Assembly Public Safety Committee
Chelsea's law clears Assembly Public Safety Committee
Submitted By Ericka Perryman
California is one step closer to enacting legal reforms to further protect children from violent sexual predators as Chelsea's Law (Assembly Bill 1844) recently passed through the Assembly Public Safety Committee. The committee passed the bill authored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher on a bipartisan vote of four in support and three abstaining.
"This is a meaningful first step in the right direction. We applaud the four members of the committee who made a clear statement that they value the safety of children," said Chelsea's father Brent King, who testified at the committee hearing. "Today is the first hurdle in the process to better protect children from violent sexual predators," Fletcher stated. "The broad, bipartisan support we received from the committee is further proof that public safety and the protection of California's children is not a partisan issue. Public safety is the very reason government exists."
In the week leading up to the Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing, San Diegans Brent and Kelly King traveled with Assemblyman Fletcher to the State Capitol to meet personally with legislators to discuss Chelsea's Law. They were joined by nearly 200 supporters at the Sacramento Sunflower Ovation who carried sunflowers and messages of support to individual legislator offices. Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez added his support to Chelsea's Law along with 32 other legislators, representing a broad spectrum of Democrats, Republicans, and an Independent.
Chelsea's Law is focused on three main areas. The first is a one strike sentencing provision for violent sexual predators, which does not currently exist in statute. In addition, Chelsea's Law calls for lifetime parole and GPS monitoring, and the creation of "safe zones" which, upon release from prison, will prohibit sex offenders from visiting places where children congregate.
Chelsea King's life was taken by a previously convicted violent sexual predator who served only five years in state prison for an attack on a 13-year-old child in 1999. Once paroled from prison, he incurred seven parole violations, which had he been correctly monitored, would have returned him to prison prior to Chelsea's death. "People in the Capitol are hearing the message loud and clear from 81,000 changemakers and many other concerned citizens," Fletcher stated. "Californians will not sit idly by while their children are put in jeopardy by a broken system."