Panel Rejects Proposal to End Affirmative Action Programs

Times staff writer

Legislation aimed at doing away with affirmative action programs in state-related public employment, public education and the awarding of public contracts has been rejected by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A 4-6 vote, three short of the seven votes required for approval, was cast on the constitutional amendment (ACA 47) by Assemblyman Bernie Richter (R-Chico), who said he plans to reintroduce the proposal next year.

It would have asked the voters to prohibit the state or any of its political subdivisions from using race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin as criteria for granting preferential treatment or discriminating against any individual or group.

Richter claimed that affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to minorities have sown the seeds of racial hatred in society.

But opponents argued that abolishing affirmative action programs would do more harm than good in promoting harmonious race relations.

ASSEMBLY

Floor Action

Sexual Assault: Passed and returned to the Senate for concurrence in amendments on a 52-0 vote a bill (SB 1351) by Sen. Milton Marks (D-San Francisco) providing that asking a person to use a condom or other birth control device does not constitute consent for sexual assault.

* Domestic Violence: Passed and sent to the governor on a 56-0 vote a bill (AB 356) by Assemblywoman Margaret E. Snyder (D-Modesto) to restrict parental visitation rights with children in cases where domestic violence is alleged by a spouse.

* Inmate Movies: Passed and sent to the governor on a 53-0 vote a bill (AB 1685) by Assemblyman Ray Haynes (R-Murrieta) to prohibit sexually explicit or extremely violent movies or videos from being shown to California Youth Authority and local juvenile hall inmates.

Committee Action

* O.J. Simpson Case: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (SB 254) by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp (I-San Francisco) to require the State Bar to recommend rules of conduct to restrict trial attorneys from making public comments that could prejudice potential jurors. This bill was sparked by highly publicized statements by prosecution and defense lawyers in the O.J. Simpson case. A 7-0 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.

* Domestic Violence: The Public Safety Committee approved a bill (SB 1278) by Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) to prohibit anyone subject to a domestic violence restraining order from owning or possessing a firearm while the protective order is in effect under specified circumstances. A 5-0 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.

SENATE

Floor Action

Prison Weightlifting: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 26-8 vote a bill (SB 22X) by Sen. Steve Peace (D-Bonita) to prohibit inmates of state prisons from having access to weightlifting equipment.

Horse Tripping: Passed and sent to the governor on a 29-3 vote a bill (AB 49X) by Assemblyman John Burton (D-San Francisco) to make it a misdemeanor to intentionally trip a horse, a feature of Mexican-style rodeos.

College Fees: Passed and returned to the Assembly for concurrence in Senate amendments on a 21-16 vote a bill (AB 2714) by Assemblywoman Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) to prohibit salary or benefit increases for top University of California and state university administrators in any year in which student fees are raised by more than 10%.

Religious Worship: Passed and returned to the Assembly for concurrence in amendments on a 29-1 vote a bill (AB 3103) by Assemblyman Gil Ferguson (R-Newport Beach) to double the penalty from six months to one year in the county jail for intentionally disrupting a religious worship service.

Gang Clothing: Passed and sent to the governor on a 27-4 vote a bill (SB 1269) by Sen. Phil Wyman (R-Tehachapi) giving school boards the power to require students to wear uniforms on campus and prohibit them from wearing gang-related clothing.

* Juvenile Crimes: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 31-1 vote a bill (SB 23X) by Sen. Bill Leonard (R-Big Bear Lake) to require 16- and 17-year-olds convicted of serious crimes in adult courts to serve their terms in adult prisons.

Committee Action

* Attorney Advertising: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (AB 3659) by Assemblyman Paul Horcher (R-Diamond Bar) to restrict what lawyers can and cannot promise prospective clients in their advertisements. A 7-2 vote sent the bill to the Senate floor.

* Unlicensed Drivers: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (AB 3148) by Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar) to allow law enforcement officers to confiscate motor vehicles of unlicensed drivers who are stopped for traffic offenses. A 7-4 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

* Child Molesters: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (AB 2500) by Assemblywoman Barbara Alby (R-Fair Oaks) to require the Department of Justice to set up a 900 telephone hot line number so parents can find out if registered child molesters are living in their neighborhoods. A 6-1 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.

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