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.
California lawmakers have passed a bill that aims to protect young, vulnerable victims at the center of human trafficking cases in court.
AB 1276 moved out of the Assembly floor on Thursday with a 59-0 vote. It is now headed to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
The legislation by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would allow minors ages 15 or younger to testify through closed-circuit televisions outside the courtroom, where they can share their painful and often traumatic experiences away from the presence of the jury and the defendant.
Former eight-term Bay Area Rep. Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey Jr. was once a Republican.
Now he is a Democrat. The Korean War veteran — who once made a trip to Pyongyang, North Korea, with a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea to reconcile with his old adversaries — is now penning fundraising emails for Democrats trying to win the U.S. Senate.
McCloskey made his pitch to donors on a MoveOn email list Wednesday, saying that his family has been "active Republicans in California since 1860 and the election of Abraham Lincoln."
A long-delayed bill that would legalize Internet poker in California is being amended to address concerns by a group of Native American casino operators who had opposed the measure, setting the stage for a possible vote in the state Assembly on Monday.
One change to the bill by Assemblyman Adam Gray would create a five-year disqualification period for those who were providing I-poker games to U.S. citizens while it was against federal law to do so.
A group of Native American tribes that operate casinos had opposed the bill when it allowed so-called “bad actors” easier access to state I-poker licenses. The amendment appears to address what those opponents had asked for.
The plan, highlighted by an increase of 17 cents per gallon in the gas tax, comes from Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) and Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) in an attempt to unify the disparate proposals the pair had previously introduced in their respective houses.
The combined plan is more than double Gov. Jerry Brown's $3.6-billion proposal, which calls for a 6-cent gas tax hike.