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Measure Would OK ‘Battered Woman Syndrome’ as Evidence

Times Staff Writer

A Southern California assemblyman has introduced controversial legislation that would allow evidence of “battered woman syndrome” to be used as a defense in criminal trials of women accused of killing their spouses or live-in lovers.

“AB 785 is a simple bill that will help a lot of people,” said Assemblyman Jerry Eaves (D-Rialto), sponsor of the measure. “It doesn’t excuse criminal behavior, it merely allows a jury to consider all of the relevant evidence.”

Eaves had a similar bill last year that failed to reach the governor’s desk. He said the governors of Ohio and Maryland recently commuted the sentences of women convicted of killing their longtime abusive mates.

ASSEMBLY

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Committee Action

* Oil: The Natural Resources Committee approved a bill (AB 10) by Assemblyman Dan Hauser (D-Arcata) to prohibit oil and gas extraction leases in state-owned tidelands off Humboldt and Mendicino counties. A 9-4 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.

Bill Introductions

* Recycling: AB 750 by Assemblyman Burt Margolin (D-Los Angeles) would add empty liquor, wine and drinking water containers to the state’s recycling program to help curb highway litter. The program provides minimum redemption payments of 2 1/2 cents for each beer or soft drink container recycled.

* Credit: AB 804 by Assemblyman Charles Quackenbush (R-Saratoga) would require credit reporting services to provide consumers with a written notice of their rights to inspect their files and protest whenever new negative credit information is entered against them.

* Cigarette Lighters: AB 757 by Assemblywoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles) would require the state fire marshal to develop regulations to make cigarette lighters significantly more difficult to operate by children under 5.

SENATE

Bill Introductions

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* Unicameral Legislature: SB 458 by Sen. Lucy Killea (D-San Diego) would establish a California Constitutional Revision Committee to study and report on, among other things, the feasibility of creating a unicameral or one-house Legislature. Nebraska is the only state with a unicameral Legislature.

* School Taxes: SCA 13 by Sen. Leroy Greene (D-Carmichael) would authorize school districts to impose a special tax with majority vote approval to finance construction or reconstruction of school facilities.

* Disabled: SB 491 by Sen. Dan McCorquodale (D-San Jose) would require movie theaters and other amusement facilities to post public notices at the box office and in advertisements if any portion of their facilities are inaccessible to people with physical disabilities.

Miscellany

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* Oops! Sen. Don Rogers (R-Bakersfield) apparently believed he was on firm ground the other day during floor debate on a gun control bill when, to make a rhetorical point, he challenged any member of the Senate to name “three cities in Iraq, other than Baghdad.” Sen. Wadie Deddeh (D-Bonita), a native of Iraq, jumped to his feet, grabbed his mike and rattled off the names of nearly a dozen Iraqi cities. Laughter erupted. Undaunted, Rogers pressed on.


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