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California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday signed a bill aimed at cracking down on hate crimes and protecting minority communities in the Golden State.
In a statement from the governor’s office, AB 2282 by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda creates equal penalties for burning crosses and using swastikas and nooses. Currently, burning a cross carries a lighter penalty than the other two offenses.
Under AB 2282, individuals who use any of these three symbols will be subject to the “strongest of these criminal penalties,” the governor’s office said.
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“In this incredibly polarized America with hate crimes on the rise, we shouldn’t differentiate between symbols of racism. Hate is hate,” Newsom said in a video address.
Those who carry any of these symbols face up to three years in prison and or $15,000 fines.
“We all have to call out this ugliness wherever we see it and make sure hatemongers know their evil has no place … in California,” Newsom said.
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The Democratic governor on Sunday signed another bill – AB 1664 – aimed at bolstering security for nonprofit organizations that are targets of hate-motivated violence. AB 1664 extends the State Nonprofits Security Grant Program which was set to expire in 2025.