Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

This week, California became the first state to abolish cash bail — a major setback for the largely unregulated bail bond industry, which is only legal in the U.S. and Philippines.

The big picture: If a criminal defendant can't afford their bail, they are left with two choices — go to jail while awaiting trial, or find a bondsman to front the money for an additional fee. The $2 billion bail bondsman industry in the U.S. makes its money off the poor, who are already disadvantaged by the justice system.

Activists groups, along with state and local governments, have been taking steps to reform the bail system and bail bond industry. The latest:

  • California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law this week ending the use of cash bail in the state entirely.
  • A Federal court ruled in July that there is no constitutional right to cash bail, allowing the state of New Jersey to continue a new program which prioritizes non-monetary forms of bail instead.
  • Google and Facebook stopped allowing bail bonds services to advertise on their platforms.
  • The total amount of money paid in premiums to insurance companies nationwide for writing bail bonds dropped 3.8% in 2017 after five years of increase, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) sent a letter to 22 insurance agencies earlier this month asking about their involvement in underwriting bail bonds in order to shed more light on how the business operates.
  • Maryland implemented changes to its bail system last year, asking judges to give the least demanding release conditions.
  • In Mississippi, several cities have lost lawsuits brought by the The MacArthur Justice Center and Southern Poverty Law Center, forcing them to make changes to their bail system. In Corinth, defendants now have more time to pay their bail and can pay in installments, according to the AP.
  • In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been looking into problems with the bail bond industry and this month proposed new regulations to improve it.

The other side: These reforms have also led to unintended consequences and have been met with skepticism from some justice reform advocates.

  • In Maryland, the number of people being held on cash bail decreased, but the number of defendants jailed without bond rose by 14.5%, the Washington Post reported.
  • Advocates in California have similar concerns — that the new law could lead to more people being sent to jail without bond before being convicted of a crime.

What to watch: The pushback from the lucrative bail bond industry, which is already seeking to overturn California's new law, according to the LA Times.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Cuomo's former chief counsel joins calls for him to resign after damning report

Photo: Spencer Platt/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) former chief counsel joined top Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday in calling for him to resign after an independent investigation concluded the governor sexually harassed multiple women in violation of federal and state law.

The latest: Alphonso David, who is now president of the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, called the report authored by investigators "devastating" and echoed others' comments in decrying Cuomo's "pattern of sexual harassment."

Cuomo accuser speaks out, calls denials "dangerous," "victim blaming"

Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

A former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who accused him of sexual harassment, spoke out against his earlier denial of inappropriate behavior, telling CBS News that the lawmaker's comments were "dangerous" and "victim blaming."

Driving the news: At a press conference earlier Tuesday, Cuomo specifically addressed the allegations made by his ex-aide, Charlotte Bennett, admitting he "did ask her questions I don't normally ask people," but he flatly denied other details of her allegations.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Law enforcement confirms officer was killed in Metro station attack at Pentagon

Law enforcement officers patrolling the Pentagon's transit station on August 3. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Pentagon Force Protection Agency Chief Woodrow Kusse said an officer was attacked at a transit station outside the Pentagon on Tuesday morning, gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and law enforcement and multiple people were injured.

The latest: "PFPAOficial mourns the tragic loss of a Pentagon Officer killed during this morning's incident at the Pentagon," the Pentagon Force Protection Agency tweeted Tuesday evening. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Officer's family.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!