January 30, 1999
Jan. 30th: Republican Scott Baugh says he will introduce a bill in the Assembly to amend the 3-Strikes law
Stating "It is going to take a Republican to fix this," Scott Baugh, Republican Assemblyman from Huntington Beach, told about 10 members from FACTS Saturday morning (January 30th) that he was going to introduce a bill into the California Assembly to amend the Three Strikes law.
Although Baugh said he would not be putting forward a bill as broad as SB79 (the current bill already introduced in the Senate by Senator Hayden), he did say that he wants to address many of the injustices third strikers are experiencing for the minor felonies such as possession of a controlled substance, petty theft with a prior, and selective "wobbler" crimes (those that can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor).
Many of the FACTS members talked about the other felonies which also should be included in his bill and he said his office would have to do a thorough analysis of what he thinks needs to be addressed and what can also get passed. He also stated that he would make sure his bill was retroactive to people who have already been sentenced.
Baugh expressed that his interest in changing the 3-Strikes law was based on his own experiences with an overzealous prosecutor in Orange County and a brother who is a methamphetamine addict. He said that he recognized how easy it is for people to acquire felony convictions-especially if they are addicted to drugs. And it was this point that he was going to have to try to stress to the other legislators to get the bill passed.
Baugh will be introducing the bill before the deadline ends on Feb. 28th, but expects to have to tinker with it in subsequent months as he learns more about the "real facts" of the people convicted under different categories of felonies. In addition, he expects there will be a lot of tinkering with the bill as he tries to negotiate with other members of the Assembly and then Senate in order to get the bill passed.
In the Assembly, Baugh said that he hopes to get about 10 Republicans to vote for the bill and then he would need 44 Democrats (which would leave room for some moderate Democrats to back off). Baugh declined to tell us who the Republicans might be.
Baugh also said he expected an article to appear in the Orange County Register soon regarding his announcement for such a bill as he was recently interviewed by them on the topic.