The John Oliver Effect May Have Another Success Thanks To California’s Decision On Civil Forfeiture

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The John Oliver Effect is apparently very real when it comes to certain legislative decisions, at least when it comes to raising awareness around those issues. His antics inspired a bill on net neutrality in Washington state, was cited in a ruling by a ninth circuit judge in reference to his report on U.S. territories, and he even made a mockery of the New York Yankees expensive seating arrangements. That last one isn’t really a major issue, but it’s funny to look back and see how he extends out past just his little zone on HBO.

The latest to feel the effect is a piece of legislation that was recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in California. The bill, SB 443, reforms already existing rules regarding civil forfeiture and attempts to set a precedent for federal law to follow. The bill puts forth the following checks:

Require a criminal conviction before agencies can receive equitable-sharing payments from the federal government on forfeited real estate, vehicles, boats and cash valued at under $40,000. This will mostly close the equitable-sharing loophole.

Raise the threshold to forfeit seized cash under state law, from $25,000 to $40,000.

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