By Associated Press - Tuesday, September 8, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The latest developments in the California Legislature, which is considering hundreds of bills ahead of a Friday deadline for passage (all times local):

5:21 p.m.

Medical conditions that primarily affect women could not be labeled pre-existing conditions in calculating workers’ compensation awards under a bill moving through the Legislature.

Democratic Sen. Marty Block of San Diego says AB305 is the latest in a series of bills intended to remove gender bias in the workplace.

He says women should not be penalized and receive less pay than men because the calculations take into account pre-conditions like pregnancy and menopause that are part of being female.

The bill also requires that breast cancer be treated similarly to prostate cancer.

Senators approved the measure on a 24-15 vote Tuesday, sending it back to the Assembly for final action.


4:55 p.m.

California lawmakers are moving to inform and protect consumers if their new Internet-connected televisions can record their conversations.

AB1116 would block use of the television’s voice recognition feature unless consumers are prominently informed during the initial setup or installation.

The bill also blocks companies from using the recordings for advertising if they are collected for the purpose of improving the connected television’s voice recognition feature.

Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco says televisions are becoming even more technologically sophisticated than people realize.

The measure was approved by the Senate on a 39-0 vote Tuesday. It returns to the Assembly for final action.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says the bill by Democratic state Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Glendale would be the first such legislation in the nation.


4:15 p.m.

Ex-prisoners who were wrongfully convicted would be eligible for larger restitution payments from the state under a bill gaining the Assembly’s endorsement.

Members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve SB635, which seeks to increase compensation awarded to individuals who have been exonerated for the crimes for which they were imprisoned. It would be the first increase in 15 years.

The bill by Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of Gerber would raise the compensation rate from $100 for each day served to $140. It would also count time jailed prior to a conviction toward eligibility.

Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Oakland says the modest increase would help address what he says is perhaps the greatest nightmare in the American criminal justice system.

The legislation returns to the Senate for a final vote.


4:01 p.m.

State lawmakers are requiring more reporting and setting tougher penalties for college students who are disciplined for sexual assault.

AB967 would require at least two years’ suspension for students found responsible for rape and forcible sex acts.

It would also require annual reporting on sexual assault, dating violence and stalking complaints, investigations, and the outcome of those investigations.

Sen. Connie Leyva, a Chino Democrat, says the data is needed to address the ongoing problem of campus sexual assault.

The bill applies to community colleges, state-run four-year institutions and other universities that accept state funds.

It follows legislation last year requiring all colleges receiving public funds to adopt a so-called affirmative consent standard for investigating assault allegations.

The bill was approved, 37-1. It returns to the Assembly for a final vote.


3:53 p.m.

State senators have confirmed Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointment of a former adviser to lead California’s troubled utilities commission.

Senators said Tuesday that they are satisfied that Michael Picker is moving the Public Utilities Commission in the right direction after he replaced Michael Peevey as commission chairman.

Democratic senators praised Picker for improving transparency and accountability, refocusing the commission on public safety, and bringing other reforms.

Picker was an adviser to the Democratic governor on renewable energy. He also was a former board member of a California utility.

His appointment was approved on a 31-8 vote.

Peevey is being investigated for emails that show the possibility of back-channel dealings with Pacific Gas & Electric Co., California’s largest power utility.

Senators also confirmed the appointment of commission member Liane Randolph, 26-12.


3:20 p.m.

The California Assembly has approved a bill that would prohibit adults who have not been vaccinated against certain diseases from working or volunteering at day care centers.

The Assembly voted 50-10 on Tuesday to send SB792 back to the Senate for final approval.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Tony Mendoza of Artesia would require day care centers and homes to maintain immunization records proving their workers and volunteers have been vaccinated for the flu, pertussis and the measles.

Day care workers who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons would be exempt.

Democratic Assemblyman Ian Calderon of Whittier says immunizations are needed to maintain community immunity now that California has enacted one of the nation’s strictest vaccination laws for schoolchildren.

California day care workers are already screened for tuberculosis.


2:10 p.m.

California lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill to ban naming schools, parks, buildings and other public property after Confederate leaders.

Tuesday’s debate split Republican senators before SB539 was approved on a 31-2 vote.

Sen. Bob Huff of San Dimas says removing the names would help heal festering wounds from the war, similar to removing the Confederate flag in southern states.

Other Republicans say the bill revises history by deleting mention of controversial figures.

The bill would bar state and local properties from using the names of elected Confederate leaders or senior military officers. Those currently named after Confederate officials would need to be renamed by 2017.

Two Southern California schools are named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, while California’s Jefferson Davis Highway commemorates the Confederacy’s president.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide