Times Staff Writer

Governor Signed a bill (SB 563) by Sen. Paul B. Carpenter (D-Cypress) to keep the maximum interest rate for department store charge accounts at 19.2% until Jan. 1, 1988, instead of letting it drop back to 18% next Jan. 1.

Assembly Committee Action:

Cheese: The Assembly Agriculture Committee approved a bill (SB 859) by Sen. Art Torres (D-South Pasadena) to require stricter state inspection of fresh soft cheese plants using pasteurization equipment and tougher penalties for contamination of products. It was sparked by the recent Jalisco cheese case. An 8-0 vote sent the bill to the Health Committee.

Food Stamps: The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved a bill (SB 383) by Sen. Edward R. Royce (R-Anaheim) to increase penalties for people who illegally buy or sell food stamps on the black market. A 5-0 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.

Off-Track Betting: The Assembly Governmental Organization Committee rejected a bill (SB 590) by Sen. Ken Maddy (R-Fresno) to allow establishment of up to three off-track horse race betting parlors in Southern, Central and Northern California. It failed by a 7-3 vote with 9 favorable votes required for approval.

Corporal Punishment: The Assembly Education Committee approved a bill (AB 1617) by Assemblyman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) to restrict the use of corporal punishment in the public schools by requiring school districts to obtain the approval of the state Board of Education to adopt such a discipline policy. Under existing law, teachers are allowed to use corporal punishment on students if parents give them permission to do so. A 7-2 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.

Senate Floor Action: Kosher: Approved and sent to the Assembly on a 33-0 vote a bill (AB 887) by Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) aimed at assuring that fresh meat and poultry advertised as kosher is kosher. It would require people who sell such products to keep records for one year and make them available to the Department of Food and Agriculture upon request.

Committee Action: Drunk Driving: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill (AB 331) by Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sepulveda) to require a minimum 48-hour jail sentence for a first-offense drunk driving conviction if the motorist refused to take a sobriety test. An 8-0 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

Exit Polls: The Senate Elections Committee approved a bill (AB 948) by Assemblyman Louis J. Papan (D-Millbrae) to prohibit talking to a voter within 300 feet instead of 100 feet of a polling place to discourage exit polls that project voting trends in political races. A 4-3 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

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