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ACTION ALERT: Protect Cashless Bail

Once again, and with only 3 legislative days left, cashless bail is under attack at the state capitol. We need your help. 

SB 174 is yet another attempt to punish poor people by requiring cash bail for pretrial release, and is likely to get a hearing in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee today at 1:00pm. 

SB 174 was originally introduced and passed in the Senate as a technical cleanup proposal, but this week a subcommittee added substantive language to require judges to impose cash bail for 12 additional offenses (3 felonies and 9 misdemeanors). SB 174 will force poor people to remain in jail, while those with resources – charged with the exact same offenses – can purchase their release.  

If SB 174 passes, poor people will be forced to remain incarcerated while others similarly charged can go free, taxpayer dollars will be wasted, bail bond companies will see increased profits, and racial disparities in the state’s criminal legal systems will worsen.  

Please call or email the committee members in the list below and ask they vote NO on SB 174. You can find our script and talking points below.  

Chairman James Burchett 404.656.5105 [email protected] 
Vice Chairman  Bert Reeves 770.427.1605 [email protected]  
Secretary  Micah Gravley 404.656.0152 [email protected]  
Member Mandi Ballinger 404.656.5105 [email protected]   
Member Josh McLaurin 404.656.0202 [email protected]   
Member William Boddie 404.656.0287 [email protected] 
Member Dar’shun Kendrick 404.656.0109 [email protected]   
Member Zulma Lopez 404.656.0298 [email protected] 
Member Charlice Byrd 404.656.0213 [email protected] 
Member Sharon Cooper 404.656.5069 [email protected]   
Member Chuck Efstration 404.656.5125 [email protected] 
Member Martin Momtahan 404.656.0178 [email protected]   
Member Steven Sainz 404.656.0178 [email protected] 
Member Ed Setzler 404.656.5143 [email protected]   
Member Tyler Paul Smith 404.657.1803 [email protected] 

“Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] [MENTION IF YOU ARE A CONSTITUENT]. I’m calling with a message for [NAME OF COMMITTEE MEMBER]. I’m calling to demand that the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee vote NO on Senate Bill 174, which will force burdensome costs on local governments, punish poor people, and not keep us any safer. Bail is not about financial resources. Instead, it is about whether a person who has been accused but not convicted will pose a risk to the public if released and whether he or she will return to court. SB 174 furthers wealth-based detention by treating people who are similarly charged differently based on their access to financial resources. SB 174 allows privileged people to purchase their freedom even though studies have proven cash bail does not increase public safety. Please vote NO on this harmful and discriminatory piece of legislation. Thank you.”  

Other Talking Points:  

  • SB 174 will force burdensome costs on cities and counties, which should not be forced to spend potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars jailing people unnecessarily.  
  • SB 174 criminalizes poverty because many poor people will be forced to stay in jail simply because they cannot pay for release, while others with money who are similarly charged walk free.  
  • SB 174 perpetuates profiteering because the bail bond industry will enjoy increased profits when judges are forced to impose financial conditions on additional offenses. 
  • SB 174 compromises public safety because people who can return to their jobs, families, and communities are less likely to be rearrested. 
  • SB 174 denies the presumption of innocence because bail only impacts people who have not been convicted of a crime and therefore should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. 
  • SB 174 will have racially-biased implementation because cash bail disproportionately punishes Black and Brown people – communities that disproportionately have less access to wealth. 
  • SB 174 violates the constitution because it is unconstitutional to jail people solely because they cannot afford to purchase freedom.