Governor includes an initial $6 million in budget proposal

SACRAMENTO—At a press conference in the State Capitol today, Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia was joined by Assemblymembers Nicole Parra and Cindy Montañez and Senator Dennis Hollingsworth in support of her bill, AB 784, which would appropriate funds for Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Teams throughout the state.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger included $6 million in his proposed 2006 budget to create regional SAFE Teams. This funding would allow local law enforcement agencies to investigate, closely monitor and prosecute habitual sexual offenders released into local communities. Garcia’s bill is being held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“We want to send a strong message today,” said Garcia. “Our children’s safety is not a political issue. We are here as both Republicans and Democrats to support legislation that would help law enforcement do its job.”

“The second message is to urge our leadership in the Assembly to move AB 784 from the committee to the Floor for a vote. We need to make our streets safer.”

“The Governor has put sexual predators on notice—they need to know we intend to knock on their door, will be checking their computers and personal belongings and tracking their actions. As a parent, I want my kids to feel safe and this goes a long way toward that goal.”

Garcia continued, “SAFE teams are extremely effective in communities where they have operated. By sharing information and resources, team members from the Department of Justice, local police agencies, sheriffs, and parole and probation departments have stopped repeat offenders from claiming new victims. I’m urging my fellow legislators to join our effort to take this program statewide.”