It's already illegal to record someone without their permission in California; under a bill that got final legislative approval on Wednesday, distributing such a recording could lead to even more legal trouble.
The bill by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Echo Park) would make it illegal to distribute secret recordings involving a healthcare provider. The measure was inspired by the high-profile videos taken by anti-abortion activists that purported to show Planned Parenthood doctors and employees engaged in illegal sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood was not charged with any wrongdoing, and the organization argued the videos were doctored.
The bill, AB 1671, represents a compromise between Planned Parenthood and media organizations, which were wary that the proposed crime could ensnare journalists.
Three more measures intended to address climate change in poor and polluted communities were passed by state lawmakers Wednesday night.
They followed on the heels of major legislation approved last week to set a new target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to increase oversight of state regulators.
One of the bills, AB 1550 from Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Echo Park), would refine guidelines for spending revenues from the state's auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits and would require more money be used to help low-income households.
State lawmakers on Wednesday sent the governor a bill that would allow him to provide up to $250 million in financial guarantees in case the city of Los Angeles goes over budget in its proposal to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) said the authorization is needed to allow the city of Los Angeles to compete to host the Games, which he said are not expected to show a deficit.
“Let's get the Olympics back to California,” De Leon told his Senate colleagues before they voted to approve the bill. The guarantee is required by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee as a prerequisite before any city can be considered for hosting an Olympic Games.
The University of California would conduct a study of the effects of marijuana on motor skills, and new standards would be set for manufacturing medical cannabis products under legislation sent Wednesday by state lawmakers to the governor.
The measure was approved as California prepares to begin issuing licenses to marijuana growers and sellers in 2018 and as voters consider a November ballot measure that would legalize recreational use of pot.
The bill by Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) and others would exempt collectives and cooperatives that manufacture medical cannabis products from some criminal sanctions if they meet state requirements. The manufacturing must use processes without solvents or processes with nonflammable, nontoxic solvents.
Every year at the end of the legislative session, lobbyists and staff members gather on the second floor of the Capitol rotunda and toss pennies off the balcony. If they land a coin in the crown of the statue below, it's supposed to bring good luck.
But some blamed the penny tossing for damage to the statue of Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus. And with another legislative session ending on Wednesday, officials took steps to cut off the ritual before it began.