Lawmakers approved the settlement Thursday with a 30-1 vote in the Senate and a 62-0 vote in the Assembly. "I can't emphasize enough that we've got to be much more prudent in terms of how we provide oversight for released prisoners in the state of California," Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Granite Bay, said.
Jaycee Dugard, who is 30, resurfaced last August with two daughters. She says Phillip Garrido is their father.
Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have pleaded not guilty to charges that they kidnapped and raped the young woman.
Dugard, her mother and daughters filed claims in February saying state officials with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation failed to do their jobs. Parole agents began supervising Garrido in 1999 but failed to discover Dugard.
They claimed psychological, physical and emotional damages. Attorneys for the Dugards did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
They have been living in an undisclosed location for the past year. Dugard has given few interviews, but has talked to NBC News and People magazine. "Jaycee and her children, now 13 and 16, are now living in seclusion and will need many years of therapy, education and health care," said Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Sylmar.
The $20 million will come from the state's hard-hit general fund, which pays for most state operations. It comes while the state faces a $19 billion deficit as it enters the new fiscal year without a budget.
The settlement made up the bulk of the money approved in AB1714, which settles three other claims for a combined $1.49 million.
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Yuba City, said it was wise for the state to pay the claim quickly rather than fight a court battle that he said "exacerbates the grievous loss of the victims and the lifelong condemnation and pain of their families."
Below is a Dateline special on the case.