Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday endorsed a proposed state law named after slain Poway teenager Chelsea King that would strengthen penalties for sex offenders and those convicted of sex crimes against children.
"Chelsea's Law," calls for mandatory life sentences for forcible violent sex crimes against children, tightens sex offense parole guidelines and requires the life-long tracking of certain sex offenders.
Assembly Bill 1844 was passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesdsay morning. It was authored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego.
"Public safety is my number one priority, and I share Assemblymember Fletcher's goal of making our communities safer and protecting our kids from sexual predators," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
"It is our job to make sure that we have the right laws in place that will keep our children safe, and I applaud the Assembly Public Safety Committee for passing this important legislation today," he said. "I look forward to working with Assemblyman Fletcher and the rest of the legislature to make 'Chelsea's Law' a reality and create harsher penalties for those that prey on children."
King, a cross-country runner, was out for an after-school run near Lake Hodges Feb. 25 when she was raped and killed by convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III.
Gardner pleaded guilty last week to killing King and also admitted killing 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who vanished while walking to Escondido High School in February 2009.