Two California Assembly public safety bills - Democratic and Republican - die in the committee today

Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) speaks on the Kate Tibbitts Act of 2022
at the California State Capitol. | 

Two public-safety bills sponsored by Sacramento-area California Assembly members failed to advance out of committee today. The bills were sponsored by Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove ) and Kevin Kiley (R - Rocklin) sought closer monitoring of parolees and allow cooperation with federal authorities. 

Cooper's bill Assembly Bill 1827– the Kate Tibbitts Act of 2022, failed on a 2-5 vote today in the Public Safety Committee. The bill would have required high-risk parolees to meet the stipulations of their parole agreement and enhance the ability of parole agents to locate high-risk parolees who are transient by requiring them to wear a location-monitoring device. 

After the bill failed to advance, Cooper, a former Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff, expressed disappointment. He noted many of the parolees were unhoused, and there was no realistic way to track their whereabouts. See Cooper's news conference video below. 

"I am very disappointed," Cooper said after the committee vote. "My heart goes out to the family of Kate Tibbitts. Sadly, five of the members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee think that it's okay to not hold high-risk parolees accountable." 

Cooper sponsored the legislation after the murder of Sacramento resident Kate Tibbits. On September 3, 2021, 61-year-Tibbitts and her two dogs were murdered, and her Land Park home was set on fire by a suspect who is characterized as a high-risk parolee. 

Kiley's legislation, Assembly Bill 1708, also failed to leave the Public Safety Committee on a 2-5 vote and sought to repeal the Sanctuary State law in California that took away the ability of local law enforcement to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the release of an undocumented immigrant from jail. 

The bill was in reaction to a February murder of four people at a Sacramento church in the Arden Arcade neighborhood by an undocumented man. The man killed his three daughters and a chaperone before turning the gun on himself.

"The recent mass murder at a church just miles from the Capitol may not have happened if it weren't for the Sanctuary State, yet today the Legislature chose to keep the disastrous law in place," Kiley said. "If this unspeakable crime isn't a wake-up call to our politicians, I don't know what will be."

Days before the February 28 incident, the gunman was arrested for resisting and assaulting a police officer and driving under the influence. The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) asked to be notified about his release from jail, but this never occurred due to prohibitions under California's Sanctuary State law. 

Cooper and Kiley have separately sponsored numerous bills seeking changes to law enforcement. In addition, both Assembly members are running for other offices. 

Cooper is running for Sacramento Sheriff, and Kiley is running in the June primary for the newly drawn 3rd California Congressional District against fellow Republican and current Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Democrats Dr. Kermit Jones and David Peterson.

Cooper is expected to defeat Sacramento County Undersheriff Jim Barnes in the June primary, and the 3rd California Congressional District is considered a Republican stronghold. 

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