State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said local law enforcement in California should continue to investigate and prosecute shootings by police officers when appropriate, contrary to an initial proposal from a Sacramento lawmaker.
“I think any time you can keep things as local as possible it's always the best way to do it,” Becerra said Tuesday.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) had originally wanted to expand Becerra’s authority to criminally investigate police-involved shootings. McCarty modeled his legislation after similar laws in Connecticut and Wisconsin that require agencies other than the department that employs an officer involved in a shooting to handle the investigation. McCarty had said the bill was a way to help promote public trust after a rash of controversial police shootings in California and across the country. That legislation passed the Assembly last month without Becerra weighing in.
A state bill that would change the way courts assign bail for defendants before trial cleared its final policy committee hurdle on Tuesday with amendments meant to ease concerns over its cost and impact on victims.
In approving the measure, members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee said disadvantaged communities with a high police presence can't wait any longer for lawmakers to fix a broken bail system that harms the poor. But they urged its co-authors to address the financial and logistical burden it could impose on counties.
Senate Bill 10 was approved by the committee by a 4-2 vote and now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), chair of that committee, voted in favor of moving the legislation out of the Public Safety Committee.
His mother’s reaction has been particularly poignant, especially watching her get emotional at seeing the U.S. Capitol, Gomez said. His parents came to the country illegally from Mexico before he was born and since have become U.S. citizens.
A bill that would have made it harder to punish California police officers accused of lying is done for the year.
Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) pulled his Assembly Bill 1298 from Tuesday morning's Senate Public Safety Committee agenda and will no longer pursue it this year, his office said. The legislation would have required police departments that wanted to discipline officers for lying to have unequivocal proof that an officer had lied. Currently, departments must show that it's more likely than not that an officer has lied before punishing them.
Santiago and the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the bill's principal supporter, argued that determing that an officer has lied is tantamount to ending their career, so a higher burden of proof should be used. But police chiefs, sheriffs and civil liberties organizations contended it was already too difficult to punish officers.
The state attorney general's office on Monday released a title and summary for a proposed initiative to repeal a gas tax increase. Proponents of the ballot measure say the state-drafted title and summary are misleading and they will go to court to have them changed.
The way language on measures is written can affect whether voters sign the petitions.
Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), the leading proponent of the initiative, said he will go to court to have the title and summary changed.
After weeks of back-and-forth between environmentalists and business interests, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders introduced a proposal Monday to reauthorize California's cap and trade program, the centerpiece of the state's efforts to battle climate change.
The plan consists of two separate bills: AB 398, which would extend the life of the program until 2030 and modify how the cap-and-trade market operates, and AB 617, which aims to address concerns about air quality in communities by increasing monitoring and imposing stricter penalties on polluters.
The proposal would make several significant changes to how the current system operates, including giving the California Air Resources Board the authority to set a ceiling on the price of carbon — which determines how expensive emissions permits are — as a way to guard against price spikes at the pump. It would also decrease the amount of offsets, in which businesses pay for environmental projects in California and throughout the country to ease the cost of complying with the program, and require that half of such projects take place in California, a mandate that doesn’t currently exist.