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Assembly OKs Bill on Pants, Gender-Based Fees

Times Staff Writer

Legislation to prohibit merchants from charging more money for goods or services based solely on a person’s sex--and also bar employers from preventing women employees from wearing slacks to work--has been approved by the Assembly.

A 45-29 vote sent the bill (SB 1288) by Sen. Charles M. Calderon (D-Whittier) back to the Senate for concurrence in Assembly amendments.

Proponents say the law is needed because women often are charged more than men for such things as clothes, new cars, haircuts, laundry and dry cleaning.

“This is a no-brainer,” Assemblywoman Jackie Speier (D-Burlingame) told her colleagues. “If you vote no on this bill, there’s no reason for you to go back to your district and seek women’s support.”

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But an opponent, Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland (R-Granada Hills) replied that businesses can’t tolerate lowered profits. “Think about it,” Boland said. “You’re voting to raise some prices, not lower them.”

GOVERNOR

Bills Signed

* Sex Offenses: SB 2005 by Sen. Tim Leslie (R-Carnelian Bay) would permanently revoke the credentials of a teacher who is convicted of a sex or drug offense.

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* Horse Tripping: AB 49X by Assemblyman John Burton (D-San Francisco) would make it a misdemeanor to intentionally trip a horse, a feature of Mexican-style rodeos.

ASSEMBLY

Floor Action

* O.J. Simpson Case: Passed and sent to the governor on a 56-0 vote a bill (AB 501) by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) to prohibit witnesses in high-profile crime cases from selling their stories to tabloid newspapers or television shows before or during the trial. This bill was inspired by the O.J. Simpson case.

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* Attorney Advertising: Passed and sent to the governor on a 54-4 vote a bill (AB 3659) by Assemblyman Paul Horcher (R-Diamond Bar) to impose restrictions on what lawyers can and cannot promise prospective clients in their television advertisements.

* Sex Offenders: Passed and sent to the governor on 66-7 vote a bill (AB 2500) by Assemblywoman Barbara Alby (R-Fair Oaks) to require the Department of Justice to operate a 900 telephone number to allow the public to call and inquire if a named individual is listed as having been been convicted of a specified sex offense.

* Charitable Contributions: Passed and sent to the governor on a 47-28 vote a bill (AB 3443) by Assemblyman Tom Connolly (D-Lemon Grove) to require people hired by a charitable organization to raise money to return at least 50% of the donations received to the sponsoring group.

* Absentee Voters: Passed and sent to the governor on a 45-27 vote a bill (AB 2446) by Assemblywoman Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey) to permit any registered voter to apply for permanent absentee voter status.

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* Domestic Violence: Passed and returned to the Senate for concurrence in Assembly amendments on a 47-21 vote 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 court order is in effect.

SENATE

Floor Action

* Sikh Knives: Passed and sent to the governor on a 30-0 vote a bill (SB 89) by Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) to allow Sikh students to wear knives called kirpans to school in observance of the practices of their religion.

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* Experimental Medical Treatment: Passed and sent to the governor on 21-13 vote a bill (SB 1816) by Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) to require health insurers to pay for experimental medical treatment of people suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

* Tobacco Sales: Passed and sent to the governor on 27-2 vote a bill (SB 1927) by Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) to require the state to develop a program to crack down on the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.

* Ticket Brokers: Passed and returned to the Assembly for concurrence in Senate amendments on a 23-10 vote a bill (AB 2513) by Assemblywoman Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey) to increase penalties for ticket brokers who fail to deliver tickets to customers at previously agreed upon prices for events such as the Rose Bowl football game and rock concerts.

* Arson Fires: Passed and returned to the Assembly for concurrence in Senate amendments on a 39-0 vote a bill AB 2336) by Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar) to set up a statewide computer system within the Department of Justice to track and arrest arsonists.

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