A deal has been struck on a controversial bill sponsored by Planned Parenthood to create new penalties for distributing illegal recordings in the wake of high-profile secret videos circulated by anti-abortion activists.
The bill, by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Echo Park), had sought to create a new crime for distributing video or audio recordings involving a healthcare professional that were taken without a person's consent. In California, it is already illegal to make such recordings without all parties' authorization.
Planned Parenthood argued that adding additional punishment for circulating those recordings was necessary following the controversial videos taped by David Daleiden and other anti-abortion activists that purported to show Planned Parenthood employees illegally trafficking in fetal tissue. The healthcare provider, which has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing, says the videos were manipulated.
Ballots cast by California voters could be turned in at elections offices by anyone, including campaign workers or political party officials, under a bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.
Assembly Bill 1921 removes the language in existing state law that limits help in submitting a vote by mail ballot to close family members. The bill's author, Assemblywoman Lorena S. Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has said those limitations are an obstacle to getting ballots back in a timely fashion for voters in need of help.
In a legislative committee hearing in June, opponents noted that AB 1921 has no maximum number of ballots a single person can turn in and could therefore open the door to vote tampering during large-scale ballot gathering efforts.
The state Assembly on Tuesday sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would enhance penalties for sex buyers, one of at least two dozen bills this legislative session that have sought to curb the trade of forced sex and labor.
AB 1708, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), would enhance penalties for sex trafficking near schools and impose minimum fines and mandatory minimum county jail terms for people convicted of purchasing commercial sex.
It also would recast the crime of prostitution so that the statute differentiates between people receiving compensation for sex from sellers and buyers of sex.
Smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes would be banned on campuses of the California State University and California Community Colleges systems beginning in 2018 under legislation approved Tuesday by the state Assembly.
“We need to promote a safe and healthy environment for the campus staff, students and faculty,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), who introduced the measure. “This bill helps address the harmful health effects that come with smoking and secondhand smoke on our college campuses.”
The bill is one of many anti-tobacco measures the governor is considering this year.
California families on welfare would receive a $50 monthly diaper voucher for young children under a bill sent to the governor Tuesday.
The bill would provide a benefit to families in CalWORKs, the state’s welfare program, that could be used only to purchase diapers. Starting in 2020, families in the program would receive the diaper benefit each month for each child younger than 2.
The California Assembly passed the bill 54-12. It requires the governor’s approval to become law.
State Sen.Ed Hernandez's attempt to push through a drug pricing transparency bill sputtered this year, but the West Covina Democrat still wants his colleagues to weigh in on the latest controversy in the cost of prescription drugs: the surging price of EpiPens.
Hernandezis introducing a resolution that excoriates the anti-allergy device's manufacturer, Mylan, joining a chorus of federal lawmakers who have accused the company of price-gouging.
The price of the emergency injection devices meant to treat severe allergic reactions climbed to more than $600 for a two-pack — a more than 500% increase since the drug was acquired by Mylan. Following a firestorm about the price hike, the company has since announced will offer coupons to offset the high cost and that it will sell a cheaper, generic version of the drug.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation outlawing the use of bullhooks to handle and control elephants in California even as many animal handlers have stopped using the devices.
The measure by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) got a boost after similar measures were adopted in the cities of Los Angeles and Oakland, and after Feld Entertainment announced an end to traveling elephants in the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circuses.
More than 70 Hollywood celebrities including Woody Harrelson, Kim Basinger and Hilary Swank sent Brown a letter urging him to end what they called inhumane treatment of animals.