Thousands of Californians will be allowed to take their names off the state’s registry of sex offenders as a result of action Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown signed legislation that will end lifetime listings for lower-level offenders judged to be at little risk of committing new crimes. Offenders can file petitions to be removed from the registry beginning in 2021.
The measure was introduced at the request of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey and other law enforcement officials who said the registry, which has grown to more than 105,000 names, is less useful to detectives investigating new sex crimes because it is so bulky.
California officials could be barred from transferring the title for federal government land to a private owner under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, prompted by fears that President Trump may shift away from previous efforts at preservation.
The new law, which takes effect in January, will insist that the state government get the first right of refusal to buy any land discarded or sold by federal officials.
"This legislation gives the state a viable way to help prevent the unthinkable sell-off of our public treasures, such as national parks, national monuments and national historic sites," said state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), the bill's author.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection.
The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive.
Modern medicine allows those with HIV to live longer lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), authors of the bill.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday vetoed two bills that would have banned smoking at California parks and beaches, calling them too coercive and saying potential fines are too high.
The measures, which also would have banned smoking marijuana and the use of electronic cigarettes, were proposed by legislators to protect public health from second-hand smoking and to prevent wildfires and reduce litter.
Brown, who vetoed a similar bill last year, said the $100 fine proposed could reach $485 when court assessments are added, an amount he called excessive.
Outraged by the shooting Sunday that killed 58 people in Las Vegas, California Treasurer John Chiang called Friday for state pension officials to investigate whether they have investments in retailers or manufacturers of assault rifles and devices that give the weapons rapid-fire ability.
Chiang, a candidate for governor, asked the board members at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System in a letter to go beyond their 2015 action that prohibited investments in firms that make semi-automatic rifles and ammunition that are banned in California.
“I respectfully call upon this board to refrain from allocating even a penny of our $213 billion in investable assets to the benefit of wholesale or retail sellers of these banned weapons,” wrote Chiang, a member of the board. “Neither taxpayer funds nor the pension contribution of any public school educator — such as the three California teachers slain in Las Vegas — should be invested in the purveyors of banned military style assault weapons.”
President Trump's top immigration chief on Friday blasted California’s new "sanctuary state" law, saying it would “undermine public safety,” keep federal officers from performing their jobs and result in more arrests.
In a statement, Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said his agency "would have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites."
Sen. Kamala Harris will donate the $5,000 in contributions that she received from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to charity.
In light of news reported Thursday by the New York Times outlining decades of alleged sexual harassment by Weinstein, some Democrats are giving away donations they received from the Hollywood mogul. Those who have not have been criticized by the Republican National Committee.
"If Democrats and the [Democratic National Committee] truly stand up for women like they say they do, then returning the dirty money should be a no-brainer," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Friday threatened legal action against the Trump administration over its decision to limit an Obama-era rule that requires employers to provide for contraceptives in their health plans.
The Trump decision would give an exemption to employers who object to the rule based on religious or moral grounds.
In a conference call with representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, Becerra told reporters that the federal action unlawfully discriminates against women.
Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed a new law that will allow California prosecutors to consolidate more child sexual assault cases from different counties into a single trial, as long as all district attorneys involved agree.
Law enforcement officials say some child sexual assault prosecutions, such as those involving sex trafficking, are time-consuming and difficult to coordinate. They can span multiple jurisdictions as traffickers move victims across the state and country.
But until this week, state law allowed prosecutors to combine certain child sex assault cases only if a victim was between 13 and 10 years old. With the addition of the new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, they will be able to combine such child sex assault, domestic violence and trafficking prosecutions for all children under 14.