Bill That Would Allow Ferrets as Pets to Go Before Assembly
An Assembly committee has approved a bill permitting ferrets to be kept as pets in California, which is one of only four states that prohibits the slinky, playful relative of a weasel.
A 7-2 vote sent the legislation (AB 2497) by Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith (R-Poway) from the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee to the Assembly floor.
California has banned ferrets as pets since the 1930s. The state Department of Health Services opposed the measure, arguing that ferrets are dangerous to children and can escape from their owners and threaten wildlife.
Animal rights groups also opposed the measure, saying it could lead to another overpopulated pet group.
Goldsmith replied that the ferret issue is “symbolic of the state’s regulate-until-you-drop mentality.”
* Jazz Institute: Passed and sent to the governor on a 42-25 vote a bill (AB 554) by Assemblyman Willard H. Murray Jr. (D-Paramount) allowing the creation of an Institute for the Preservation of Jazz at Cal State Long Beach that would be financed with private funds.
* Elected Officials: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (AB 2508) by Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar) that would hold elected officials personally liable for civil judgments levied because of their personal conduct in office instead of having taxpayers pick up the tab. A 11-0 vote sent the bill to the Assembly floor.
* Video Games: AB 3827 by Assemblyman Richard L. Mountjoy (R-Arcadia) would make the sellers of video games that depict violent death or injury of living persons liable for injuries caused by a minor who is inspired to do violent crimes as a result of such games.
* Tax Credits: AB 3494 by Assemblyman Jack O’Connell (D-Carpinteria) would give a state tax credit to individuals and businesses that donate computers, high technology equipment, classroom supplies, playground equipment, metal detectors or cash to public kindergarten through high schools.
* Earthquake Relief: Passed and returned to the Assembly for concurrence in amendments a bill (AB 2290) by Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar) allowing Northridge earthquake victims to deduct 100% of their uninsured property losses that exceed 10% of their gross income on their state tax returns.
* Sex Offenders: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 34-0 vote a bill (SB 25X) by Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) prohibiting parents who have been convicted of crimes that require them to register as sex offenders from having custody of or unsupervised visits with their children.
* South Africa: The Public Employment and Retirement Committee approved a bill (AB 2448) by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) lifting the ban on investment of state pension funds in businesses that operate in South Africa. A 4-0 vote sent the bill to the Senate floor.