Advocates for California's sweeping climate change law scored a major victory Tuesday when the Assembly approved a measure to extend the state's goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But they're not breathing easy just yet.
Deep in the bill language of SB 32 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) is a sentence that links its fate to another climate bill yet to be approved by the Assembly:
"This act shall become operative only if Assembly Bill 197 of the 2015–16 Regular Session is enacted and becomes effective on or before January 1, 2017."
One of the most controversial bills of the year, a measure to extend California's target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is being debated on the Assembly floor on Tuesday morning.
The legislation, Senate Bill 32, would require slashing emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The current target is hitting 1990 levels by 2020, a goal the state is on track to meet.
"When it’s all said and done, this is a simple bill, but an extremely significant one," said Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), who introduced the bill on the floor. "It represents a new chapter of the state’s climate policy.”
The voting experience in California could change dramatically under legislation awaiting a vote in the Assembly as soon as Tuesday.
SB 450, already approved by the Senate, seeks to move millions more Californians to casting a ballot by mail, and subsequently would allow counties to eliminate neighborhood polling places.
In their place would be a smaller number of "vote centers," one-stop shopping for everything from late voter registration to some in-person voting booths. Unlike neighborhood polling places, a county resident could choose whichever of these election offices is most convenient.
A California bill that would bar employers from asking job candidates to disclose juvenile crimes has cleared the Senate floor and is headed back to the Assembly for a final vote.
AB 1843, authored by Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley), would prohibit companies from requiring job candidates to reveal any information about involvement in the juvenile justice system that did not result in a conviction. It also would bar employers from using the information as a condition of employment.
The bill narrowly moved out of the Senate with a 21-14 vote.
The proposal would roll out new rules for overtime in 2019, lowering the current 10-hour-day threshold for overtime by half an hour each year until it reaches the standard eight-hour day by 2022. It also would phase in a 40-hour standard workweek for the first time.
In the continuing fallout from the city of Bell's financial scandal, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring city councils and county boards of supervisors to publicly announce pay and benefit increases for government executives before they are approved by a vote.
Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) introduced the bill as a follow-up to other reform measures taken after criminal charges were filed against council members and others for improperly enriching themselves with money in Bell.
“There is a public interest in ensuring that decisions made by legislative bodies of local agencies regarding local agency executive compensation are open and transparent,” Bates said in a letter to colleagues. “Local agency executives, such as agency CEOs and city managers, are offered fringe benefits including health care coverage and pensions in amounts that can have a significant long-term impact on the budget and that deserve particular scrutiny by the public.”