Dems Flip-Flop on Child Trafficking Bill: Saving Face or Genuine Change?

In a stunning turn of events, a handful of California Democrats in the State Assembly had a sudden change of heart about SB 14, a bill to enhance penalties for child human trafficking. Just two days after refusing to vote in favor of advancing the bill, the six Democrats on the Assembly Public Safety Committee succumbed to public pressure and reversed their decision. And boy, was it a spectacle!

The whole drama began when the Democrats on the Public Safety Committee squashed the bill, effectively killing it for the year. But after Governor Gavin Newsom and Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas expressed concerns about the process, state Senator Shannon Grove, the bill’s author, announced that Assembly Republicans would attempt to bring the bill to a floor vote.

However, before Republicans could take action, Assembly Majority Leader Isaac Bryan made a motion to suspend committee hearing notice requirements, allowing the committee to immediately reconvene and reconsider SB 14. No surprise there—the Democrats were trying to save face after facing backlash from the general public.

Assemblyman Heath Flora, a Republican, then made a bold move by attempting to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Unfortunately, procedural rules prevented his motion from working. The first vote went in favor of Bryan’s motion due to the Democrats’ supermajority.

But amidst the chaos, Assemblyman Flora raised his voice and drew attention to the incredible sight of Pride flags still flying on some members’ desks. It’s always amazing how some politicians prioritize symbolism over the safety and well-being of children.

What followed was the shortest committee hearing ever recorded in Sacramento. Asm. Bonta, the wife of California Attorney General Rob Bonta, refused to speak. Asm. Lackey, a Republican, took the opportunity to voice his comments, but to no avail. The chair announced that it would be a vote-only hearing, leaving no room for discussion or input. Democrats Bryan and Bonta abstained from the vote, stormed out of the room, and left the other members to sheepishly support the bill.

SB 14 now faces the Asm. Appropriations Committee after the legislative recess. But let’s be honest, folks—it didn’t need to go back to committee for a procedural vote. The Speaker clearly wanted to impede the bill’s progress and slow down the process. Talk about playing politics at the expense of children’s safety.

What’s even worse is that Assembly Democrats Bryan and Bonta demonstrated a complete lack of connection with the people they represent. Their refusal to support legislation targeting child traffickers shows their disregard for the Californians who elected them. Voters, take notice!

Interestingly enough, the bill passed the Senate floor with a unanimous vote, but that might be because Senate Democrats knew that Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer, known for blocking bills with felony enhancements, would ensure the bill’s demise. This is just another shameless game played by politicians to appear supportive while secretly sabotaging significant legislation.

Now, Senate Democrats are resorting to blaming Qanon and denying the existence of human trafficking. How convenient! They were hoping the bill would vanish in committee, but now they have to own it. Too bad they aren’t happy about it.

The media will have a field day with this during the recess, exposing the Speaker’s deliberate obstruction. And let’s not forget the biased reporting from outlets like Politico, whose journalists seemed eager to defend the Democrats’ nonsensical stance. They claimed the bill would harm trafficking victims and children, which is simply not true. Prosecutors and investigators prioritize protecting victims and never sentence minors to lengthy terms or strikes.

The reality is that SB 14 eliminates the plea bargaining system that allows human trafficking cases to be reduced to probationary sentences. Serious felonies cannot be plead down without valid mitigating circumstances. This legislation is about guaranteeing justice for victims and preventing early release for offenders. But don’t expect the Assembly Democrats to present the facts accurately—they’re too busy pushing their own agenda.

While the militant anti-incarceration crowd will continue their crusade against this bill, there is hope. Assemblymember Liz Ortega voiced regret over her initial vote and pledged to help pass this vital legislation. Fortunately, there are still lawmakers who genuinely care about protecting children and are willing to fight for what’s right.

So, Californians, pay attention to the games being played in your state legislature. The politicians may try to distract you with grandstanding and virtue signaling, but it’s crucial not to lose sight of the real issues at hand. Child human trafficking is a serious problem, and lawmakers who prioritize politics over children’s lives should be held accountable. Let’s demand justice and support those who truly strive to make a difference.

Written by Staff Reports

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