California's motorcyclists could soon have clear rules on lane splitting after the state on Friday became the first in the nation to formally legalize the practice.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) that defines the practice and authorizes the California Highway Patrol to establish rules for motorcyclists on how to do it safely.
Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), a retired state highway patrol sergeant who co-wrote the bill, called the new law a "groundbreaking step."
An effort led by Gov. Jerry Brown to streamline housing production for developments that include units for low-income residents appears to be finished for the year, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said.
"Currently, there are no further negotiations on housing," spokesman Kevin Liao said Thursday.
Rendon's comments, which were first reported by the Sacramento Bee, likely provide the death knell to the governor's effort to tackle the state's spiraling housing costs by making it easier to build. Brown's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A controversial bill that would decriminalize prostitution for minors squeezed out of the California Assembly on Thursday and is now headed back to the Senate for a final vote.
SB 1322, authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), would make the crimes of solicitation and loitering with intent to commit prostitution misdemeanors inapplicable to children younger than 18. It also would allow law enforcement to take sexually exploited children into temporary custody if leaving them unattended would pose an immediate threat to their health or safety.
Sen. Barbara Boxer on Thursday visited the Salton Sea and tried to put pressure on state and federal agencies to use more of their resources on saving it.
"This is a crisis waiting to happen, and it is the time for firm leadership by every single stakeholder," she told reporters after touring a restoration project at Red Hill Marina, according to a transcript.
The Salton Sea was created in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a silt-laden canal and poured into a basin near Brawley known as the Salton Sink. It grew into a 360-square-mile lake straddling Riverside and Imperial counties, but it has been shrinking, causing record-high salinity levels and animal die-offs.
Cigarette smoking would be banned within 250 feet of all youth sports events in California under legislation approved Thursday by the state Assembly.
Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who is a pediatrician, cited the health risk of secondhand smoke to young people when he introduced the bill. It was proposed by an eighth-grade class at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School in Elk Grove.
“Youth sports is about developing good and healthy habits and smoking is the exact opposite of that,” Pan said after the vote on the bill, which is going back to the Senate for a final vote on amendments. The ban, which includes the use of electronic cigarettes, would go into effect next year.
Legislators in the Assembly approved Thursday a measure to extend overtime pay protections for domestic workers such as nannies and housekeepers.
A 2013 law first required overtime pay for domestic employees who work at least nine hours in one day and 45 hours per week. That law was set to expire at the end of the year.
SB 1015 by state Sen. Connie Levya (D-Chino) would remove that sunset date, making the overtime requirement permanent. The protections would apply to more than 300,000 people working as housekeepers, nannies and caretakers in the state.
The California Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to end the time limit for prosecuting rape and other felony sex crimes, paving the way for the legislation to reach the governor before the session ends.
The Assembly approved the bill 70-0. SB 813 now goes to the state Senate, which passed an earlier version of the legislation 33-0 in June.
If the governor signs the bill, crimes including rape and continuous sexual child abuse would no longer have a statute of limitations and could be prosecuted at any time.