Voter Referendum Drive Launched to Block Ending of California’s Cash-Bail System

Gov. Jerry Brown signs into law a bill reforming California's bail system on Aug. 28, 2018, in an image released by his press office.

Gov. Jerry Brown signs into law a bill reforming California's bail system on Aug. 28, 2018, in an image released by his press office.

One day after Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark legislation overhauling the state’s money bail system, the California bail industry is fighting back.

A coalition of bail industry associations, crime victims groups and other opponents have launched a voter referendum drive in an attempt to block the implementation of the new law. They have roughly three months to collect and submit an estimated 366,000 signatures to qualify the measure.

If they are successful, the law would be put on hold and weighed on the November 2020 ballot. The law, which will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2019, is expected to dismantle a bail-bond industry that includes bounty hunters, surety companies and about 3,200 registered bail agents.

The legislation virtually eliminates the payment of money as a condition of release and replaces the money bail system with one that grants judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated without possibility of release in a practice known as “preventive detention.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.