MOORLACH UPDATE — Propositions 47 and 57 — December 8, 2016

The Proposition 47/57 Conference went very well this morning. The two panels were extremely informative and thought provoking. The Sacramento Bee mentioned it in their AM Alert and it is the first piece below (with a cute typo). Thank you to all who were able to attend. We hope to have the video up on the Senate website next month.

The Associated Press called me to discuss another new bill that was introduced on the topic of immigration. It was printed in a number of newspapers, including the OC Register, and is the second piece below. I used my observation from yesterday’s UPDATE (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Thirteen! — December 6, 2016 december 6, 2016 john moorlach).

Union Watch provides our announcement about "There Ought NOT Be A Law" in the third piece below. It has also appeared in California Political Review. And
CalWatch does the same in the fourth piece below.

BONUS: I will be on the Studio SoCal show tomorrow evening on PBS SoCal. Please set your DVR. Here are the details:

  • Fri, Dec 9 @ 7:00 PM | Employee’s Rights Vs. Taxpayers
  • Mon, Dec 12 @ 5:30 PM | Employee’s Rights Vs. Taxpayers
  • Wed, Dec 14 @ 5:30 PM | Employee’s Rights Vs. Taxpayers

AM Alert: Are criminal justice changes making California safer?



It has been a momentous decade for California crime-and-punishment.

Once defined by tough sentencing laws and other strict policies that stuffed prisons to the point the feds intervened, the state has been moving steadily in the opposite direction. Many of those changes have emanated from the voters.

They eased third-strike penalties in 2012 by passing Proposition 36, and the number of inmates incarcerated for a third offense has plummeted. In 2014, they agreed to downgrade drug possession and lower-level crimes like theft from felonies to misdemeanors in authorizing Proposition 47. This year, they chose to legalize recreational marijuana via Proposition 64 and to clear the way for more offenders to win parole through Proposition 57, vindicating Gov. Jerry Brown and his quest to back off the kind of rigid sentencing he once supported.

So, has it worked? There’s been mixed evidence so far about the effects of Proposition 47 on public safety and state spending, and law enforcement critics have warned of curtailed DNA collection and difficulty in changing the behavior of repeat offenders. It’s too early to know about Proposition 57, which like Proposition 47 was assailed by prosecutors and some victim’s advocates.

Policy experts and lawmakers will gather today to discuss what we’ve learned so far. Expected participants include Senators Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, and John Moorlach, D-Costa Mesa, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Scott Kernan, various Orange County law enforcement officials and representatives of the Legislative Analyst’s Office and the Public Policy Institute of California. From 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the University of California, Irvine.


State bill aims to ban police from notifying feds about immigrants


SACRAMENTO – The leader of the California Senate wants to bar police from sharing information with federal deportation agents about immigrants being released from custody to protect them from President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to boost deportations.

The bill introduced by Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon would prevent law enforcement from heeding requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be notified when immigrants are being released from local jails. It would also ban federal agents from interviewing inmates for deportation purposes and prohibit immigration enforcement in public schools, hospitals and courthouses.

“I cannot wait and allow federal ICE agents to use state and local dollars, data, personnel, and facilities to help deport the very families who contribute so much to our economy and community,” de Leon said in a statement on Wednesday.

Since Trump’s election, Democratic lawmakers have proposed a series of bills aimed at protecting California’s more than 10 million foreign-born residents.

De Leon’s bill goes to the heart of ICE’s latest effort to get local police to help them take immigrants into custody from jails for deportation.

Immigration agents last year began asking police to notify them when immigrant inmates were slated for release so they could pick them up. The move came after many jurisdictions – including California – started refusing to honor agents’ requests to detain inmates for deportation.

It also came amid an uproar following last year’s shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco allegedly by a man who had been repeatedly deported and was released by local law enforcement even though immigration agents wanted him for deportation.

California law bans police from detaining immigrants for ICE in some cases, but many jurisdictions refuse to detain anyone for deportation, citing community and legal concerns.

Under de Leon’s bill, police could continue to share information about people’s criminal convictions with ICE. Authorities could also transfer immigrants to ICE provided the agency has a judicial warrant.

State Sen. John Moorlach, a Republican from Costa Mesa, questioned whether the bill could affect revenues to local agencies that house immigrants for federal agents. He said he’d like de Leon to form a team to work with, not against, the federal government on immigration. “Collaboration would be a better approach from a leadership standpoint than just trying to poke a stick in the new president’s eye,” he said.

An ICE spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on pending legislation.

There Ought NOT to be a Law


As James Madison warned us, “It will be of little avail to the people if the laws are so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” And yet the California Legislature is intent on passing more bills, barely understood or complied with by the public.

While there is plenty of room to improve public policy by clarifying statutes and codes through legislation, the Legislature still has to pass a law to remove bad or outdated laws and regulations from the books. This year, Senator John Moorlach is partnering with Senators Andy Vidak, Ted Gaines, Jeff Stone and Jim Nielsen in proposing the reduction or elimination of old, unnecessary, outdated, obtrusive policies that hinder our lives, liberty and prosperity. The “There Ought NOT Be A Law” project is different than similar projects in the past. The goal of this project is not to add any more laws to the books, but to simplify and streamline state law as much as possible. It could be as simple as deleting a problematic word or phrase in a particular code section or as complex as eliminating entire statutes and regulatory structures.


The following process hopefully will result in a bill that passes both houses of the legislature and is signed into law by the Governor.

  1. Any proposal submitted should be clear and consistent with Senator Moorlach and his policy platform. See past legislation introduced HERE. Any proposal should be about good public policy and refrain from personal attacks.
  2. While we have some staff resources to process legislation and draft the final proposal into proper legislative parlance, most of the legwork for proposing the policy change and justifying its passage will need to come from the source of the proposal, the “sponsor”, as it were. If the sponsoring organization is limited in its ability to advocate for specific legislation, but is willing to provide material for general policy changes towards the desired end, we can work with other likeminded groups to advance the policy change with any support that the sponsor can offer.
  3. In order to provide a foundation for the reduction or elimination of a law, we will need the sponsor to provide background material as to justify the proposal. This includes, and is not limited to: research, legal briefs, audits, white papers, best practices from other states, model legislation, statistics, stakeholder input, testimonials, etc.
  4. Beyond having good and pertinent information as to the need for the bill, it will be necessary to build a coalition of supporters who can help shape the legislation and shepherd it through the process. The sponsors will need to assist in recruiting other supporters and collaborators and prepare written and spoken testimony in committee hearings. This could be an opportunity for crowdsourcing experts who do not usually weigh in on the legislative process. It will also be useful to have persuasive pieces and editorials published in the media in furtherance of the policy goal.Legislative deadlines are spread throughout the year, but the most important deadlines are those to have Legislative Counsel draft the bill (January 20th) and introduce the bill (February 17th). In order to pick our chosen bill proposal(s) and accommodate those deadlines, we need any submissions to be made by January 1, 2017. We will announce the chosen submissions by January 15th and work with the selected sponsors to draft the legislation and prepare it for formal introduction.
  5. Legislative deadlines are spread throughout the year, but the most important deadlines are those to have Legislative Counsel draft the bill (late January) and introduce the bill (late February). In order to pick our chosen bill proposal(s) and accommodate those deadlines, we need any submissions to be made by January 1, 2017. We will announce the chosen submissions by January 15th and work with the selected sponsors to draft the legislation and prepare it for formal introduction.

How To Participate:

The application to submit a proposal can be completed HERE. Submissions will be taken until January 1, 2017.

About the Author: John M. W. Moorlach is a Republican California State Senator representing 37th Senate district, which includes portions of Orange County, since March 22, 2015. Moorlach has the distinction of having predicted the largest municipal bond portfolio loss and bankruptcy in U.S. history while campaigning for the office of Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector against incumbent Democrat Robert Citron in 1994. Citron resigned later that year. In 1995 Moorlach was appointed to fill the vacancy, was elected by the voters in 1996 to complete the unexpired term, and re-elected in 1998 and 2002, serving nearly twelve years. In 2006, he opted not to run for re-election as Treasurer-Tax Collector and instead ran for Orange County Supervisor, winning 70% of the vote. He is recognized as a leading expert on municipal bankruptcies.

Lawmakers seek citizens’ help for legislative ideas

Matt Fleming

Two state lawmakers are looking to include constituents in the policy-making process in similar, and yet very different, ways.

While Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, is holding a contest for constituents to pitch their best ideas for a “There Ought to be a Law” contest, Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, aims to do the exact opposite.

Moorlach, partnering with four other Republican senators, is pushing a “There Ought NOT Be A Law” program. Unlike Garcia’s program, the Republican contest is not to write a new law, but to instead simplify and streamline existing state law.

“It could be as simple as deleting a problematic word or phrase in a particular code section or as complex as eliminating entire statutes and regulatory structures,” according to the description.

For Garcia, this is the third iteration of the program. Last session, a group of fifth graders at Bell Gardens Elementary School came up with the idea for Assembly Bill 146, which requires the State Board of Education to consider adding to the curriculum the a mass deportation in the 1930s of citizens of Mexican descent.

The year prior, a two Bell Gardens residents pitched AB 1596, which required that completed mail-in applications be returned straight to county registrars, instead of parties or middlemen. Both of Garcia’s bills became law.

Submit ideas to Moorlach here.

Submit ideas to Garcia here.


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