Gov. Newsom to Ban Arresting Prostitutes for Loitering

California lawmakers have sent a bill to Governor Gavin Newsom that would prohibit law enforcement from being able to arrest prostitutes on loitering charges.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Writers of the bill claim that arrests of prostitutes from loitering “disproportionately target transgender, Black and Latino women.”
  • Introduced by Democratic Senator Scott Wiener, the bill would also allow those already charged with these convictions to ask the court to dismiss their case.
  • While the bill passed both legislative chambers last fall, it has taken nearly nine months to finally make it to Newsom’s desk.
  • Among the bill’s supporters are recently recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin in San Francisco.
CRITICS OF THE BILL:

“The bill seems to be perfect if you want sex trafficking to even increase in California,” said Greg Burt, spokesman for the California Family Council.

BACKGROUND:
  • During the past nine months, concerns about crime and homelessness in the state of California have increased, about which Newsom said more needed to be done.
  • Critics of the bill claim this move will only do more to hurt the problems the state is facing: “This bill is really going to affect poor neighborhoods – it’s not going to affect neighborhoods where these legislators live,” Burt said.