Morrell: Majority Party Refuses to Pass "Kate's Law" Resolution Before Leaving Sacramento

Attempts to reach out for bipartisan support ignored
Thursday, September 17, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Last week, the state legislature adjourned for the year without taking any action to address sanctuary city policies that facilitate the illegal harboring of convicted criminals. In particular, Democrats failed to advance Senate Joint Resolution 17 by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), which would urge Congress to pass “Kate’s Law.”

“SJR 17 should be supportable across party lines. One of our primary responsibilities as elected officials is keeping our communities safe. We swear an oath to uphold our laws and the Constitution to protect the citizens of our state. But legislative Democrats, in the name of procedure, chose to shelve debate on the dangers posed by sanctuary city policies,” said Morrell.

In late August, Morrell was informed by the Democrat chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee that a hearing would not be held to consider SJR 17. Since that time, he reached across party lines for co-authors, but none joined on. Despite assurances by the chair, the Public Safety Committee did, in fact, meet on September 10. However, the committee did not set SJR 17 for hearing, which is likely the first step in stalling the issue indefinitely.

By contrast, showing “where there’s a will there’s a way,” the Senate Judiciary Committee made time to hear a resolution regarding drones that was introduced on the same day as SJR 17. The Senate was able to pass the resolution to the Assembly before the September 11 legislative deadline.

SJR 17 would urge Congress to pass legislation creating a mandatory prison sentence of five years for returning to the United States after having been deported and previously convicted of a felony in the United States. Such a proposal has been discussed as “Kate’s Law” in response to the recent tragedy involving 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle who was killed on July 1 while visiting San Francisco with her family. The alleged gunman is a seven-time convicted felon and has been deported five times.