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.
State lawmakers rejected a plan on Monday to place limits on individual campaign donations for city and county offices, races where in some California communities there are no restrictions on the size of a legal donation.
Assembly Bill 2523 was supported by a simple majority of senators, but had been recently amended to require a supermajority vote to actually pass.
The bill would have set the maximum campaign donation in a local campaign at a level equal to those for Assembly and Senate races, currently $4,200. It would have allowed local communities to set lower limits if desired.
Though it was approved by the state Senate earlier this year, legislation that would have prevented ratepayers from being charged for natural gas lost during leaks fell far short and stalled in the Assembly on Monday.
The issue gained new attention in the wake of the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, which lasted four months and forced thousands of people to relocate because of foul air. Although an executive order from Gov. Jerry Brown helped protect ratepayers from covering the cost, there are other, smaller leaks for which they're still charged.
“If your gas bill is $50 a month, some small part of that is paying for gas you never got," said Timothy O'Connor, an attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund.
A bill sent to the governor Monday would prevent California employers from paying women less than male colleagues based on prior salary.
The state strengthened its protections against gender-based wage discrimination last year. The bill the state Assembly sent the governor Monday, AB 1676, would add prior salary to the list of reasons women can’t be paid less than men.
Nationally, a woman on average makes roughly 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2014.