ICYMI: SFGATE – “Newsom had concerns about this prostitution law. He signed it anyway.”

Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) and Senate Minority Caucus Chair Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach) co-authored an opinion editorial published in SFGate on Senate Bill 357 (Wiener, 2021), a controversial law that empowers sex traffickers and hinders law enforcement from cracking down on human trafficking operations. Click here to read the op-ed.

In 2022, when Governor Newsom signed SB 357 into law, he made an unusual move by stating in his signing letter, “My Administration will monitor crime and prosecution trends for any possible unintended consequences and will act to mitigate any such impacts.” In a recent letter to Governor Newsom, California Senate Republicans formally requested an explanation as to how the Newsom Administration is fulfilling its commitment to monitor these “unintended consequences.” Click here to read the letter. Governor Newsom has yet to respond.

“Since this measure became law, it has opened up the floodgates for pimps and barred law enforcement from helping victims of sex trafficking,” said Senate Minority Leader Jones. “California Senate Republicans warned our Democrat colleagues two years ago about these harmful consequences. Repealing the law is necessary, but at a bare minimum, Californians deserve to hear how their governor is fulfilling his promise to mitigate these dangerous consequences.”  

“It is not enough for Governor Newsom to declare that his administration will monitor the unintended consequences of this law. The governor must take immediate action to keep our communities and families safe," said Senate Minority Caucus Chair Janet Nguyen. “Sex traffickers are empowered by this law and victims of sex trafficking are further placed in vulnerable situations without the eyes and ears of law enforcement to assist them.”

Earlier this year, California Senate Republicans offered an amendment to repeal SB 357 entirely. Senate Democrats defeated the amendment on a party-line vote and refused to even discuss it. Between the amendment and Governor Newsom’s refusal to respond to the letter, it’s becoming clear that Democrat leadership is avoiding the issue entirely.

Below is an excerpt from the letter to Governor Newsom:

… While we encourage a full repeal of this disastrous law by the Legislature, we are also formally requesting an explanation as to how your administration is, in fact, fulfilling the commitment to monitor “unintended consequences” of this bill. Additionally, we request you make public any information collected during that monitoring. …”