- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers on Wednesday narrowly approved anti-racial-profiling legislation ordering unprecedented data collection on police stops, as they grapple with how to reduce tensions between law enforcement and minority communities.

It was one of dozens of bills considered ahead of a Friday deadline to pass legislation out of one chamber of the Legislature. The Senate also approved an ambitious climate change package that would boost the use of renewable energy to 50 percent in 15 years and slash greenhouse gas emissions.

In the Assembly, AB953 barely advanced to require law enforcement agencies to start reporting in 2018 a racial breakdown of whom they pull over or question. It is one of few surviving police reform bills introduced in the wake of nationwide protests over police killings of minority men.

AB953’s author, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, said she believed police pulled her over because they thought she was out of place in her own neighborhood. Weber is black.

“When do we stop the cycle? When do we say enough is enough in this country?” the San Diego Democrat said.

Her bill calls for police departments, sheriff’s offices and other agencies to write annual reports breaking out the number of stops, the outcomes (such as citations or arrests), and the age and race of those stopped. Law enforcement groups say such data tracking is unnecessary and would distract from keeping communities safe.

Supporters said the data could show that racial discrimination by police isn’t as widespread as believed.

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, was the only lawmaker to speak against the bill, saying “labeling police officers as part of the problem isn’t helpful.”

The bill heads to the Senate after passing 41-23, the minimum needed to advance.

Others bills approved Wednesday include:

- SB788 by Sens. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, banning new offshore oil drilling in the Santa Barbara Channel known as Tranquillon Ridge, after a recent oil spill. It passed the Senate 21-13.

- SB350 by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, requiring California’s public employee pension funds to divest their holdings in coal companies and ban new coal investments. It passed the Senate 22-14.

- SB499 by Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge, requiring school districts to evaluate teachers using multiple measures plus classroom reviews in an effort to overcome union opposition to using student test scores to measure performance. It passed the Senate 21-15.

- AB302 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, requiring schools to provide spaces for students to breastfeed and pump. It passed the Assembly 50-15.

- AB967 and 968 by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, requiring a minimum two-year suspension for college students punished for sexual assault and for their transcripts to reflect those punishments. They passed the Assembly 62-4 and 71-0.

- SB178 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, adding digital information to California privacy laws. It would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing electronic communications, passwords, GPS, photos and other data. It passed the Senate 39-0.

- SB38 by Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge and AB43 by Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, establishing an earned income tax credit for the working poor as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan. The Senate bill passed 35-1 while the Assembly bill passed 57-1.

- SB443 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, to protect property owners from abuses in civil asset forfeitures by government agencies. It passed the Senate 38-1.

- AB1306 by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Inglewood, which would allow certain midwives to practice without the supervision of doctors. It passed the Assembly 61-0.

- SB763 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, to require manufacturers of children’s products to label nursing pillows, changing pads, high chairs and nap mats that contain flame retardant chemicals. It passed the Senate 30-10.

- AB282 by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, which would ban the sale of window blinds and curtains that could strangle children. It passed the Assembly 45-23.

- AB709 by Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, which would extend government open meeting and conflict-of-interest rules to charter school operators. The governor vetoed similar legislation passed last year. It passed the Assembly 42-24.

- SB163 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, authorizing vote-by-mail ballots for all registered voters in Los Angeles County. It passed the Senate 26-11.

___

Associated Press writers Judy Lin, Don Thompson and Juliet Williams also contributed to this report.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide