her life to a registered sex offender in Florida this year -- would
make wearing an ankle bracelet, which would be tracked by a Global
Positioning Satellite, mandatory for registered offenders. All future
sex offenders, as well as those currently on probation, would be
required to strap the tracking systems on for life. The initiative
would also extend sentences for sex crimes, including child
pornography, and prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet
of a school or playground.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Los Angeles County
Supervisor Mike Antonovich have come out in support of the Jessica's
Steve Whitmore, Sheriff Baca's spokesperson, said the GPS system
will add an important safeguard to a monitoring system already in
"These people are under constant surveillance, they must be
reporting in to parole officers." Whitmore said. "This safeguard
ensures that you know where they are at all times."
If a convicted offender attempted to remove the device, alarms
would be raised at a monitoring center, Whitmore said.
California Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley), who is
co-sponsoring the initiative, estimated the expense of the proposed
law to be anywhere from $10 million to more than $100 million.
The campaign to get the measure on the ballot itself will cost
around $1.5 million, he said.
Earlier this month, Schwarzenegger vetoed a measure that would
have created a sex offender management board intended to help
determine how to track and place sex offenders after they are
released from prison.
"We were supportive of that board and committee, but it actually
did not put more sex offenders away," said California State
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley). "To me it was a form
At the event Thursday at the Burbank Hilton, Schwarzenegger put
the first signature on a petition to get the Jessica's Law initiative
on the June 2006 ballot. A total of 373,816 valid signatures are
needed. The initiative might not make the deadline for the June
ballot, and would then be placed in the November 2006 ballot, George
"We expect to have all the signatures we need by January 2006," he
said. "There will still be a small window of opportunity for the
legislature to do the right thing and pass Jessica's Law."
A Jessica's Law bill has been stuck in the Public Safety Committee
in the State Assembly since August, he said.
Frommer, however, disagreed, calling the legislation in question a
'gut and amend' bill.
"That was done a week before the end of the legislative session,
six months after the deadline for bills like that," Frommer said. "We
have a governor that can't get his act together and couldn't get it
in on time and he blames the legislature for not bending the rules to
Although Frommer said he was not opposed to the idea behind the
bill, he disagreed with the way the governor has gone about it.
"I think it's sad that the governor is using the death of this
poor girl to rescue his political fortunes," Frommer said. "I think
he's reached a real low this week."