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Assembly Approves Bill to Ban ‘English Only’ Work Sites

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Employers would be barred from requiring employees to speak only English unless there was an overriding business necessity under legislation approved by the Assembly.

A 44-25 vote sent the measure (SB 834) by Sen. Milton Marks (D-San Francisco) back to the Senate for concurrence in Assembly amendments, which would send it to Gov. Pete Wilson’s desk.

The bill would permit employees to converse in native languages during work breaks, lunch hours and while doing jobs in which speaking English is not essential to the work.

ASSEMBLY

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Floor Action

* Death Penalty: Defeated on a 28-40 vote a bill (AB 2246) by Assemblyman John Burton (D-San Francisco) to permit executions in San Quentin’s gas chamber to be televised. A similar measure was defeated earlier. No one has been executed in California since 1967.

* Abortions: Passed and returned to the Senate for concurrence in amendments on a 42-23 vote a resolution (SJR 27) by Sen. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) calling on Congress to overturn a U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibits health clinics receiving federal funds from informing pregnant women that abortion is an available option.

* Environment: Passed and returned to the Senate for concurrence in amendments on a 46-28 vote a bill (SB 1021) by Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) to require the governor to submit an environmental report to the Legislature each year.

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* Schools: Rejected on a 47-3 vote a bill (AB 880) by Assemblywoman Delaine Eastin (D-Union City) to place before the voters a $2.1-billion bond issue for K-12 school construction and rehabilitation. A two-thirds majority--54 votes--was required for passage. Reconsideration was requested.

SENATE

Floor Action

* College Tuition: Passed and returned to the Assembly for concurrence in amendments on a 22-7 vote a bill (AB 1472) by Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) to establish a state trust fund for prepayment of tuition for students who will attend public higher educational institutions.

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* Soviet Republics: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 37-0 vote a resolution (SJR 29) by Sen. Edward Royce (R-Anaheim) calling on the United States to recognize the independence of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Armenia and other republics as free and independent states.

Committee Action

* Firearms: The Appropriations Committee approved a bill (AB 618) by Assemblyman Rusty Areias (D-Los Banos) to require most handgun purchasers to take a gun safety course before purchasing the weapons. A 7-4 vote sent the bill to the Senate floor.


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