California Republican Assembly member Joe Patterson called out Democratic lawmakers for playing “partisan politics” after Democrats shot down a Republican bill that would increase sentences for sex crimes. Just a day later, they passed a bill from the Democrats to increase criminal penalties for theft and property damage of valuable property.
“I’m more concerned about protecting the safety of Californians, but it seems some lawmakers are more interested in partisan politics.” Patterson, R-Granite Bay (Placer County) told Fox News Digital.
On March 15, the California Democrats killed Assembly law 229 by Patterson to classify domestic violence, human trafficking and other sex crimes as a violent crime in the state. Under current California law, human trafficking is defined as a “non-serious” and a “non-violent” crime.
Assembly Bill 229, titled Violent Felonies, was shot down by the majority of Democrats, with six Democrats voting against Patterson’s bill and the two Republicans voting in favor.
The California State Capitol Building in Sacramento, California, in July 2021. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Reggie Jones-Sawyer, chair of the assembly’s public safety committee, a Democrat, did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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A day after they voted against Patterson’s bill, the committee deliberated Assembly Act 484 by D-Woodland Hills (Los Angeles County) Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel to impose increased sentences on people convicted of taking, damaging or destroying property worth more than $275,000.
Assembly Bill 484, titled Sentencing Enhancements: Property Loss, received bipartisan support with five Democrats and two Republicans voting in favor of Gabriel’s bill.
“I don’t really understand why the Democrats in the Capitol don’t feel that domestic violence and human trafficking should be a violent crime, but damaging property deserves harsher punishments.” Patterson told Fox News Digital. “Their priorities are inconsistent at best.”
Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer of California’s 59th Assembly District speaks at the Election Night Los Angeles County Democratic Party drive-in watch party in the LA Zoo parking lot on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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Some lawmakers agreed with Patterson.
“It feels like a very slippery slope here when we talk about improvements,” Assemblywoman Liz Ortega, D-Hayward, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We can’t say yes to some and no to others.”
On March 15, Democratic legislators advanced Assembly law 467 And Assembly law 304making it easier for lawmakers to amend domestic violence restraining orders and provide resources to people convicted of domestic violence crimes.
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The advancement of the two bills, Assembly Bill 467 and 304, reinforced Republicans’ arguments that Democratic lawmakers were hypocritical in their collective effort to overturn Patterson’s domestic violence and sex crimes bill.
Sarah Rumpf is a writer on Fox News Digital’s breaking news team. You can reach her on Twitter at @rumpfsarahc