Bill Would Set Majority Vote for School Parcel Tax Hikes

Times Staff Writer

Local school district parcel taxes could be increased by a simple majority vote of the electorate instead of a two-thirds vote under legislation approved by the Senate.

A 23-10 vote sent the bill (SB 1) by Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara), the chairman of the Education Committee, to the Assembly.

Last year, 82% of local ballot measures designed to increase school funding were approved by a majority of the voters, Hart said, but only 29% of those met the two-thirds vote requirement.

ASSEMBLY

Floor Action

* Park Fees: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 61-2 vote a bill (AB 1128) by Assemblyman Dominic L. Cortese (D-San Jose) to require the state Department of Parks and Recreation to submit all proposed fee increases and new fees to legislative committees for review before implementation.

* Domestic Violence: Passed and sent to the Senate on a 61-1 vote a bill (AB 890) by Assemblywoman Barbara Friedman (D-Los Angeles) requiring doctors to take courses so they can recognize signs of domestic violence involving women patients.

Committee Action

* Sales Tax: The Ways and Means Committee approved a bill (AB 161) by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) to extend indefinitely a temporary half-cent sales tax increase scheduled to expire June 30. An 11-4 vote sent the bill to the Assembly floor.

* Pickups: The Ways and Means Committee approved a bill (AB 153) by Assemblyman Curtis Tucker Jr. (D-Inglewood) prohibiting people from riding in the beds of open pickup trucks unless they are secured with a restraint system. An 11-5 vote sent the bill to the Assembly floor.

SENATE

Floor Action

* Grandparents: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 34-0 vote a bill (SB 306) by Sen. Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) allowing grandparents to join in child custody court proceedings and be granted visitation rights.

Committee Action

* Ammunition Magazines: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (SB 1128) by Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti (D-Van Nuys) limiting firearm ammunition magazines to 15 rounds or less. A 6-4 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

* Replica Guns: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (SB 292) by Roberti banning replicas of guns from elementary and secondary schools. An 8-0 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

* BB Guns: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (SB 647) by Sen. Tim Leslie (R-Carnelian Bay) prohibiting BB guns and pellet guns in elementary and secondary schools without the written permission of the school principal. A 7-0 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

* Teen-Age Drivers: The Judiciary Committee rejected a bill (SB 689) by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp (I-San Francisco) prohibiting anyone under the age of 21 from driving a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his blood and requiring suspension of the violator's driver's license. A 4-0 vote was cast for the bill, but six votes were required for approval. Reconsideration was granted.

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