A state lawmaker has revived legislation that would require law enforcement agencies across California to disclose all of their surveillance equipment and enact public policies for their use of the technology.
The bill by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) also would require officers to fill out a report every two years on how they have used the tools. Police departments would have to seek approval from their city council on their public surveillance policies. Sheriff’s departments and district attorney’s offices would not, but the proposal would not stop county boards of supervisors from requesting their disclosure.
Similar laws drafted by Hill in previous years already exist for automatic license-plate readers and devices that simulate cellphone towers, known as Stingrays. But a Los Angeles Times review of records from 20 of the state’s largest police and sheriff’s departments, plus the Alameda County district attorney’s office, found some agencies had been slow to follow or have ignored the law.
State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) filed a lawsuit Thursday against the California Senate, seeking to overturn a forced leave of absence and challenging an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed three former female aides.
“This Kafkaesque process is the Senate’s response to the #MeToo movement,” the lawsuit says. “It is an unconstitutional sleight-of-hand where attacks on one Senator are used to hide other more serious allegations and offenders from public view.”
The lawsuit, which is joined by Mendoza constituent Roger Bagne, seeks an injunction to “lift Senator Mendoza’s unconstitutional suspension,” requiring the Senate to return Mendoza to his “full rights and priveleges [sic]” as a senator. Mendoza also seeks a declaration from the court that the Senate’s “secretive investigation and failure to advise Senator Mendoza of the allegations against him violates his right to due process.”
The state’s ethics watchdog panel was divided Thursday in approving a proposal to retroactively provide extra pay to its members for work done on official state business.
The five members of the state Fair Political Practices Commission normally meet once a month and have been getting $100 for one day of preparing for meetings, and $100 for the day of the meetings, with the cap being $200.
However, the panel voted 3-2 to also provide members with $12.50 per hour — $100 divided by eight hours — for work done at other times on commission business, such as serving on a new subcommittee on governance issues. The panel made the pay retroactive to March 2017.
California minors with special needs or severe disabilities who rely on marijuana for medical purposes would be allowed to use the drug at their school under legislation introduced this week by state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).
The measure would allowa parent or guardian to administer the drug in the form of oil, capsules, tinctures, liquids or topical creams on school campuses where the practice has been approved by the county board of education, Hill said.
Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are currently prohibited by law from taking medical cannabis on school campuses, so parents have to take their children off campus to administer the medicine.
I oppose any increase of the federal gas tax. California’s middle class families are burdened enough by reckless taxes that strain the resources of families and small businesses. https://t.co/DCcjCJ5HI8
Vulnerable California Republican Rep. Mimi Walters broke with President Trump on Thursday over his desire to raise the national gas tax to pay for infrastructure.
She responded on Twitter to a Washington Post article reporting that Trump is pitching a 25-cent increase in the gas tax. The current 18.4 cents per gallon national gas tax hasn’t been increased since 1993.
The topic has particular weight in California where several California representatives, including Walters of Irvine, are helping bankroll an effort to put a proposition repealing the state’s new fuel taxes and new vehicle fees on the 2018 ballot.
Democratic Assemblymen David Chiu of San Francisco, Richard Bloom of Santa Monica and Rob Bonta of Alameda want to make it harder to evict tenants and extend timelines before evictions could occur.
“We’re in the midst of the worst tenant crisis in our state’s history,” said Chiu, chairman of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee. “Tenants are facing unprecedented hardships and constantly under the threat of eviction.”