452 posts

Gov. Jerry Brown ushered in a new era of transparency in California law enforcement on Sunday, signing two new laws that for the first time give the public access to internal police investigations and video footage of shootings by police officers and other serious incidents.

The measures begin to undo decades of laws and court decisions that had made California the nation’s most secretive state for police records.

“With Governor Brown’s signature, California is finally joining other states in granting access to the investigatory records on officer conduct that the public truly has a right to know,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), the author of one of the measures, Senate Bill 1421, in a statement.


Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday restored net neutrality rules in California that were repealed under the Trump administration, setting up a legal battle with the federal government over whether states can prevent companies from blocking access to the internet.


Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Sunday that limits who can be prosecuted for felony murder to those who commit or intend to commit a killing.

An old Sacramento adage uses baseball imagery to explain the power of California’s chief executive at the end of the legislative process: “The governor bats last.”

Volunteer Rachele Huennekens during a demonstration at Safer Inside, a model of a safe injection site in San Francisco.
Volunteer Rachele Huennekens during a demonstration at Safer Inside, a model of a safe injection site in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Citing fears of “enabling illegal drug use,” Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure on Sunday that would have allowed San Francisco to establish sites where people could inject illegal drugs in a supervised, hygienic environment.

Under Assembly Bill 186 by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), the city would have been allowed to start a pilot program for “safe injection sites” that backers said could help address the opioid crisis.

Proponents say such sites help prevent fatal overdoses by offering access to clean needles, trained supervisors and referral to treatment programs. There are about 100 secure injection facilities around the world, according to a legislative analysis.

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson speaks in support of a California bill aimed at protecting workers from forced arbitration
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson speaks in support of a California bill aimed at protecting workers from forced arbitration (AP Photo/Sophia Bollag, File)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday vetoed a pair of #MeToo-inspired bills that would have made it easier to take sexual harassment complaints to court.

One measure, Assembly Bill 3080, sought to end the practice of employers requiring workers to use private arbitration instead of the courts to air out sexual harassment complaints.

Arbitration is one of several ways businesses can opt to settle disputes outside of the courts. The practice has come under scrutiny in the #MeToo era as a way to shield complaints of improper workplace behavior from public view and protect harassers from accountability.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a bill to help hundreds of thousands of Californians convicted of marijuana crimes have felonies reduced to misdemeanors and lower-level offenses removed from their record.

The measure builds on the 2016 voter approval of Proposition 64, which legalized the growing and sale of marijuana and allowed residents to possess up to an ounce of cannabis or six home-grown plants for recreational use.

The ballot measure allows those with past convictions to petition the courts to expunge misdemeanors and reduce felony charges.

  • California Legislature
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer (Los Angeles Times)

A potential new arena for the Clippers and a ballpark for the Oakland A’s received a boost Sunday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills that aim to speed construction for both facilities.

The bills attempt to limit to nine months any litigation against the projects under the state’s primary environmental law governing development, potentially saving the facilities from facing years tied up in court.

The Clippers want to build a new arena in Inglewood and are aiming for construction to be completed by 2024, when the team’s lease at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles expires.

  • State government
  • California Legislature
(Manoocher Deghati / Agence France-Presse)

Gov. Jerry Brown broke ranks with Democrats and abortion rights advocates Sunday by refusing to require student health centers at California’s public universities to provide abortion medication by 2022.

Brown, who vetoed a bill requiring the health centers to provide abortion pills during the first 10 weeks of a pregnancy, said those services are already available to University of California and California State University students.

“According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance,” the governor wrote in his veto of Senate Bill 320.