The author of failed legislation to open up some police misconduct records to public disclosure said he might force the issue on the statewide ballot in 2018.
The bill from state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) died in a Senate committee last month amid strong lobbying from law enforcement groups. Leno, who will be forced from office later this year due to term limits, told KQED News that he's considering the ballot box as an alternative.
"It’s quite possible it cannot be done legislatively, that the power of the law enforcement lobby is so intense that it’s not going to move successfully through the Legislature,” Leno told the public radio station. “The only way we may have to change these secrecy laws would be to go to the ballot.”
The other 37 of California's 39 House Democrats participated in the sit-in, some sitting for hours on the House floor with dozens of their colleagues who held control of the chamber to demand a vote on gun legislation before they leave at the end of the week. Sen. Barbara Boxer and several other senators made appearances as well.
Sanchez of Orange was returning from a trade trip abroad and will be back in Washington on Thursday, her staff said.
Leaders of the Legislature on Wednesday chided Congress for inaction on gun control in the wake of a series of mass shootings including this month’s terrorist attack on an Orlando, Fla., nightclub that killed 49 people.
At a rally on the Capitol steps, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) and others contrasted Congress with the Legislature, saying state lawmakers hope to send Gov. Jerry Brown a package of more than a dozen gun-control bills by the end of this month.
“We all know that Congress may not have the courage to do something about it, but we do,” De León told the crowd of 100 activists from the Moms Demand Action/Everytown for Gun Safety coalition. “We will act with the appropriate level of urgency in response to the scourge of gun violence on our streets, in our schools, our places of worship and other gathering places.”
In response to the high-profile case of a Stanford student sentenced to six months in jail after his rape conviction, state Democratic lawmakers are introducing two competing bills to mandate prison sentences in such cases.
“We need to send the message that sexually assaulting vulnerable victims who are intoxicated or unconscious is a serious crime,” said Assemblyman Bill Dodd (D-Napa). “Letting a rapist off with probation and little jail time re-victimizes the victim, dissuades other victims from coming forward and sends the message that sexual assault is no big deal."
Dodd is one of a trio of Northern California legislators behind one bill along with Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell). The bill would prohibit probation or suspended sentences in cases where the victim was unconscious or too intoxicated to give consent.
Democrats in the Legislature continued their effort Wednesday to force a November ballot showdown over how lawmakers pass bills and how the public sees their proceedings.
The fight centers on an effort requiring all legislation to be in print for at least 72 hours before a final vote. Several years of failure on similar proposals in Sacramento sparked an effort by an influential Republican donor to launch a Nov. 8 ballot initiative campaign.
Now, even though lawmakers are trying to rush in with a solution themselves, the GOP heavyweights aren't backing down.
Dozens of faith-based colleges in California are objecting to legislation they say would infringe on religious freedom by allowing lawsuits from gay and transgender students who feel discriminated against because their sexual orientation conflicts with church tenets.
The dispute is a new slant on a debate that is roiling other parts of the country where states have sought to adopt so-called “religious freedom” laws, which allow businesses to decline service to same-sex couples if such service would violate their religious beliefs, or restrict the use of restrooms by transgender residents to facilities designated for the gender of their birth.
California election officials continued to count ballots on Tuesday, with the latest tally showing a slight narrowing in the Democratic presidential race and most of the uncounted votes cast as provisional ballots.
In all, more than 7.8 million ballots have been counted from the statewide primary that's now two weeks in the rear-view mirror. A report published late Tuesday by Secretary of State Alex Padilla showed more than 784,000 ballots still had to be reviewed.
Tuesday's vote count showed a slight narrowing of the lead for Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders. One week ago, Clinton was besting Sanders by 476,271 votes. As of Tuesday afternoon, that lead had shrunk by more than 29,000 votes to 446,987 votes.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will have to look at whether its suicide prevention programs are meeting female veterans' needs under a California-led bill that passed the House on Tuesday afternoon.
The House OKd the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) by a voice vote. The measure had already passed the Senate and now heads to President Obama.
The VA already has to review its suicide prevention and mental health programs annually under the Clay Hunt SAV Act. The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act requires the VA to produce separate data and statistics on female veterans.