Open carry ban jumps hurdle; salary freeze stalls

Two bills authored by state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D- La Cañada Flintridge) met with mixed results this week in Sacramento.

Assembly Bill 144, which would make it illegal to display unloaded handguns in public places such as grocery stores and coffee shops — currently allowable under state law — moved one step closer to the governor’s desk on Tuesday.

But another Portantino bill that would freeze salaries and prevent bonus pay for the state’s highest paid workers during the current fiscal crisis was shelved on Wednesday by the Assembly’s Appropriations Commission.

This is the seventh time throughout the past several years that a version of Portantino’s salary freeze bill, which targets public employees whose salaries exceed $150,000, has been withheld from a vote by a Democratic committee chair.

“It is unacceptable to be giving raises and bonuses when we are still struggling with a budget deficit in the billions and one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation,” Portantino said in a statement.

The open carry bill, meanwhile, passed a vote of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee by a margin of 5-2, clearing the way for consideration by the Appropriations Committee. That decision split along party lines, with the five yes votes coming from Democrats and two Republicans objecting.

Assembly Bill 144 is supported by the California Police Chiefs Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California. Los Angeles city officials are considering a similar local ordinance.

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World