Separate bills authored by California Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, to improve management of sex offenders and to streamline cultivation of industrial hemp have cleared the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, Wilk announced Wednesday.
Senate Bill 1198 will improve the state’s ability to identify and manage high-risk repeat sex offenders by establishing a mandate for sponsoring research that will become the foundation for evidence-based laws.
In addition the California Sex Offender Management Board would be expanded by two members with expertise in juvenile sex offending in order to review and recommend best practices and policies in the management of juveniles who sexually offend.
“Keeping communities safe is the top priority of government. SB 1198 will ensure juvenile offenders are appropriately managed once released back into our communities,” Wilk said. “Including Board members with expertise with juvenile sex offenders will give us the best foundation for protecting families and children from victimization.”
Senate Bill 1409 will update current law to streamline the production and cultivation of industrial hemp in California and allow California farmers to grow and produce non-intoxicating hemp seed, oil, fiber and extract for commercial and industrial uses.
In addition to the economic benefits, industrial hemp is a natural fit for California’s arid climate.
In the Antelope Valley, where alfalfa currently represents the No. 1 agricultural crop, farmers could save five acre-feet of water per acre when switching from alfalfa to hemp.
With water conservation policies here to stay, that savings is important to the farming community as well as the 40 million thirsty people living in California.
“Water allocations to farmers in the Antelope Valley are being cut by 44 percent over the next five years. Industrial hemp, which requires very little water, will breathe new life into our local economy,” Wilk said.
“It can be used in thousands of different products from paper and concrete to biomass,” he said. “Cultivating it here is a great opportunity to bring new investors and mortgage-paying manufacturing jobs to the Antelope Valley.”