A week after U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced a review of Obama-era guidelines on campus sexual assault, the California Legislature voted to enshrine the former president's rules into state law.
A measure by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) is off to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk after being approved by the state Senate on Thursday. The bill, SB 169, would codify in state law existing Title IX regulations, which require schools to treat students equally, regardless of sex.
The federal law is best known for mandating that boys and girls get equal opportunities to participate in sports, but it has also guided schools on how to clamp down on sexual assault and harassment.
A measure allowing Californians to select a third, nonbinary gender option on their driver's licenses and birth certificates is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.
The bill, Senate Bill 179 by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), cleared the state Senate on Thursday without debate. Atkins and other backers of the measure have characterized it as an expansion of rights for transgender, intersex and other people who do not identify as male or female.
“Many of us have an ID that matches our gender presentation, and so showing it is hassle-free,” Atkins said in a statement. “But for Californians who have an ID that does not match their gender presentation, showing it at airports, in shops or to law enforcement can be extremely stressful and lead to harassment or a delay in completing a transaction. It doesn’t need to be this way.”
Lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to new rules for how "small cell" high-speed cellular equipment will be installed in communities across California, even as local government officials warned the move will strip them of making choices tailored to their communities.
The state Senate vote on SB 649 marked the end of a tumultuous few months of lobbying by the telecommunications industry and city and county officials, with relative little common ground found even as the bill was amended a half-dozen times.
If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill would downsize the role played by city and county officials in setting limits on where the equipment for new 5G cellular service would be placed. Local governments would have less power to block the installation of the devices, which supporters claim would help ensure more communities are connected faster. They also argued that SB 649 would provide a boost to the state's economy.
California lawmakers on Thursday approved legislation that would give the state Justice Department control over all gang databases shared by law enforcement, repositories holding the personal information of thousands of people suspected of gang membership across the state.
The legislation by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) was introduced in response to a 2016 audit that found the state’s largest shared gang database had no structured oversight, and was filled with unsubstantiated entries and names that should have been purged.
The bill moved out of the Assembly with a 41-29 vote and is headed to the governor for final approval.
After falling short of votes earlier in the week, a bill that would expand the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors won the two-thirds majority vote needed for passage in the state Senate on Thursday. The proposal, which would increase the board's members from five to seven, would be put on the June 2018 ballot for voter approval should it pass the Assembly.
Acknowledging the measure faces a tough sell, Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) said he will take it up in that chamber in January so he has time to muster the needed votes.
“Today was a huge step in the right direction for the people of L.A. County and all Californians,” Mendoza said. "The LA. County Board of Supervisors has remained the same since 1850, when the population was just 3,000. It is time we give L.A. County’s 10 million residents a fair and representational government."
The troubled Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility would be closed down in a decade under new legislation, but that’s not fast enough for some activists.
The facility sprung a leak in October 2015, releasing more than 100,000 tons of methane into the air and forcing thousands of people to evacuate their nearby homes. It was later reopened, but recent problems required Southern California Gas Co. to shut down a third of the storage wells.
The proposal to require Aliso Canyon to shut down no later than 2028 was inserted into budget legislation, Assembly Bill 127, in the final days of the legislative session. It echoes a timeline laid out by the California Energy Commission, part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, in July.
California companies would be prohibited from selling marijuana edibles made in the shape of a person, animal, insect or fruit under a measure given final legislative approval Thursday and sent to the governor for consideration.
“We are trying to protect children,” said Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), who authored AB 350.
Lawmakers said marijuana edibles have been made in the past to look like gummy bears or miniature pineapples. In April, some middle school students in San Diego got sick after a classmate sold them marijuana-laced gummy bears.
Rohrabacher, a Republican from Costa Mesa, told the Chronicle he believes a supporter of former presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders prompted the violence by arranging for Civil War reenactors to protect a Robert E. Lee statue at the center of the dispute between white supremacist protesters and counter-protesters.
A group of California Republicans on Thursday filed papers to launch an initiative drive aimed at repealing a gas tax and vehicle fee increases and require future tax hikes be approved by voters.
The tax and fee increases signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will raise $5.2 billion annually for road and bridge repairs and expanded mass transit. The hikes — raising the gas tax from 18 cents to 30 cents per gallon — start Nov. 1.