Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law a measure allowing Californians to break into vehicles to rescue animals if they appear to be in danger from excessive heat.
The bill by Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and others was introduced after a series of incidents in which dogs died after being left in closed cars on hot days.
"We're very excited about the lives this new law will save," Steinorth said in a statement Saturday on Facebook. "Thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness of this serious issue and showed their support."
The state’s campaign finance watchdog agency will investigate allegations that the California Democratic Party improperly funneled contributions from the oil and energy industry to the 2014 reelection campaign of Gov. Jerry Brown, officials said Friday.
The group Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint with the state Fair Political Practices Commission alleging that hundreds of thousands of dollars were given by energy companies to the state party, which shortly afterward made large donations to Brown’s campaign.
“It was a laundry machine for dirty energy contributions to the Brown administration, a slush fund of sorts, hiding big oil, utility and other dirty energy dollars in close proximity to officials’ actions,” said Jamie Court, president of the group Brown’s Dirty Hands, which made the allegations in a report.
Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) will travel to Colombia on Sunday night with U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry to be present at the signing of a peace agreement between the country's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC.
"This is an incredible, historic moment for peace,” Farr said in a statement. “The transition after decades of violence won’t be easy, but Colombians are ready for a new era of peace and prosperity."
Farr was a Peace Corps volunteer in Medellin, Colombia, from 1964 to 1966. He credits the experience with getting him involved in public service and for his work on Colombia.
Continuing the state’s campaign against tobacco use, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday banned smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes within 250 feet of any Little League baseball game or other youth sports event.
Brown signed the bill by Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician, who said tobacco products have no place near children.
“Youth sports is about developing good and healthy habits and smoking is the exact opposite of that,” Pan said.
Women living in the Golden State soon will be able to pick up an entire year's worth of birth control pills at one time under a bill the governor signed Friday.
The new law will allow pharmacists to dispense a 12-month supply of hormonal birth control pills. It also will require healthcare plans to cover the year-at-a-time prescription. The law goes into effect Jan. 1.
State law previously barred pharmacists from dispensing more than three months' supply at once.
This year, a major proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown to deal with California's spiraling housing affordability problem went down in flames.
We hosted a lively Twitter chat Friday morning to explain why Brown's measure failed and why it's so hard to find a political solution to the state's housing problems. You can check out my Twitter feed @dillonliam or the #housingchat hashtag for the full discussion. Here are some of the best parts:
The California Police Chiefs Assn. has decided to oppose Proposition 63, arguing the gun control measure that will be on California's ballot “fails to meet the appropriate balance between public safety and individual gun rights.”
Ventura Police Chief Ken Corney, who is president of the association, wrote that his group supported legislation enacted this year that requires background checks for those buying ammunition. But Corney said Proposition 63 reverses some exemptions that allow law enforcement to continue purchasing ammunition freely for on-duty purposes. He also objected on the grounds that the initiative, which was spearheaded by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, creates “a duplicative database” that will be an expensive and less effective way to monitor ammunition purchases.
“Essentially, Proposition 63 complicates current law with one that is costlier and seriously flawed,” Corney wrote.
High-profile cases have spurred several bills now before Gov. Jerry Brown that would increase repercussions for defendants in sex crimes. Supporters of the bills have said California needs to remain tough on sex offenders and railed against a justice system they said blames victims for sexual assault, fails to keep women safe and is biased toward the LGBT community.
But a growing number of lawyers and advocates worry the tough-on-crime strategies will unfairly affect communities of color in California.
Opponents of the legislation say they are not against holding sex offenders accountable. They are against proposals that continue to stack the deck against poor and minority defendants in a criminal justice system where laws are often unequally applied.