The #MeToo movement has now made its mark on California law, with Gov. Jerry Brown signing a number of bills Sunday that were introduced following an outpouring of attention to sexual harassment and misconduct.
Among the bills approved by Brown was a measure to prohibit settlement agreements that prevent the disclosure of facts related to sexual assault, sexual harassment or workplace discrimination.
The measure, Senate Bill 820 by state Sen. Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino Hills), was inspired by reports that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein used nondisclosure agreements and settlements to resolve harassment complaints. The settlements inhibited accusers from speaking publicly about their encounters with Weinstein.
For the third year in a row, Gov. Jerry Brown rejected bills that would have restricted smoking at state beaches and parks, writing in his veto message Saturday that the “third time is not always a charm.”
Citing the danger of sparking wildfires, the risk to public health and the problem of litter, Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) introduced twin bills that would have banned smoking tobacco and marijuana and the use of electronic cigarettes at parks and beaches, but allowed parks officials to designate smoking areas.
Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) had a narrower bill that would have banned smoking near picnic areas in state parks, hoping that a more limited restriction would avoid the governor’s veto pen.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Saturday that opens the door for state legislators to live outside their districts while keeping a residence in the area they represent.
The new law follows the 2014 resignation of Democratic state Sen. Roderick Wright in response to his conviction for felony perjury and voting fraud.
Prosecutors said that Wright acted to make it appear that he lived in a rental complex he owned in Inglewood in order to run for the Senate seat in 2008, but that his true residence, or “domicile” under the state elections code, was actually a Baldwin Hills house outside the district.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure Saturday that would have allowed some California taxpayers to dodge the effects of the Trump administration’s federal tax overhaul.
“This measure started as a bold idea but because of adverse changes in the federal tax law, it now confuses an already complicated scheme and could invite intervention by the Internal Revenue Service,” Brown wrote in a veto message for Senate Bill 539.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) to allow taxpayers to claim a charitable deduction for state tax payments above the $10,000 limit set in the tax cuts passed by Congress last year. But the IRS announced last month that it believed such plans, which other states have passed, were tax dodges, and is working to pass a rule that would nullify them by the end of the year.
The bill from De León, who is running for U.S. Senate against fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, would have allowed California residents to circumvent the new $10,000 deduction limit through a 75% tax credit to an existing state program that funds college tuition scholarships.
Most cosmetics tested on animals will soon be illegal in California, under a new law signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The ban, authored by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and will apply only to cosmetics tested on animals after that date. It allows exceptions when a federal authority, such as the Food and Drug Administration, requires animal testing.
The measure passed easily in the Legislature last month after late amendments reduced its scope, removing most opposition. Prior to those amendments, some opponents had worried the ban would hurt business in China, which requires animal testing for health reasons. The amended law allows manufacturers to test products on animals to meet foreign regulations, as long as those tests are not used to confirm a product’s safety in California.
Voicing concern about exposing minors to marijuana, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday vetoed a measure that would have allowed parents to bring medical cannabis to school campuses for their children in districts that sign off on the practice.
Gov. Jerry Brown has rejected a bill that would have allowed Los Angeles, San Francisco and seven other cities to extend alcohol service at bars and restaurants from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.
“California’s laws regulating late night drinking have been on the books since 1913,” Brown wrote in his veto message of Senate Bill 905. “I believe we have enough mischief from midnight to 2 without adding two more hours of mayhem.”
As more divorcing couples fight over who gets to keep their pets, a new law will allow judges to treat those conflicts more like child custody battles.
In the past, courts have generally assigned pets to spouses based on who paid for or adopted them. Under a law signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown, courts would be allowed to make custody decisions based on who walks a dog, takes a cat to the vet or grooms a horse. Courts will also be authorized to order one spouse to provide food, shelter and medical care for a pet before a final ruling.
“There is nothing in statute that states a pet must be treated any differently than any other type of property we own,” said Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), the bill’s author. “However, as a proud parent of a rescued dog, I know that owners view their pets as more than just property. They become a part of our family, and their well-being should be a consideration during divorce proceedings.”
A Los Angeles-area landlord is telling tenants that the company will cancel a new rent increase if a California rent control ballot measure fails in November, according to a letter obtained by a tenants activist.
The letter informs tenants of an apartment complex that their rents are increasing and cites Proposition 10, an initiative that would allow cities and counties to expand rent control, as the cause.
“What this means is that although your don’t want higher rent and we did not plan on charging you higher rent, we may lose our ability to raise rents in the future as this becomes another government control on rents,” the Aug. 24 letter said. “Therefore, in preparation for the passage of this ballot initiative we must pass along a rent increase today.”
A new campaign ad by Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox attacks Democratic rival Gavin Newsom for a litany of California’s ills, including higher rents, gas prices and the rising cost of other day-to-day basic expenses.
“Politicians like Gavin Newsom talk about change, but they’ve done nothing. Sky-high gas and food prices, homelessness,” the narrator of the 30-second ad says. “Gavin Newsom, it happened on your watch.”
The ad begins airing statewide Friday on cable and digital platforms at a cost of $2 million for the first week, Cox campaign spokesman Matt Shupe said.