- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on action by the California Legislature (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

People caught paying for sex would have to spend at least 24 hours behind bars under a measure advancing in the California Legislature.

The bill approved in a unanimous vote on Tuesday is one of several attempts by lawmakers to crackdown on prostitution.

On top of the jail time for so-called “johns,” AB1708 would require a fine of $250 to $1,000. The fine would be $1,000 to $10,000 for people who solicit sex from minors.



The measure was approved without discussion, but Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego has said the Legislature should go after people who contribute to demand for prostitution.

The Senate also approved AB1762, which would allow sex trafficking victims to ask courts to wipe out convictions for nonviolent offenses committed while they were being trafficked.

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6:30 p.m.

California voters likely won’t get the chance to decide whether to continue observing daylight saving time.

The state Senate fell four votes short Tuesday of placing the question on the ballot.

Republican Sen. Ted Gaines of El Dorado Hills can try to revive AB385 before lawmakers adjourn next week. He says daylight saving time causes health problems and an increase in accidents, and voters should get a chance to end it.

Be he couldn’t convince his colleagues who say that putting California four hours behind the East Coast would cause problems for business, or simply that they like the extra hour of summer daylight.

California has observed daylight saving time since voters approved Proposition 12 in 1949. It currently covers a majority of the year, from mid-March to early November.

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5:40 p.m.

Lawmakers are advancing two Democratic proposals to build on California’s 2015 equal-pay law, already considered the nation’s toughest.

Members of the Assembly voted 56-12 on Tuesday to pass SB1063 by Sen. Isadore Hall of Compton. It would expand requirements for fair pay beyond gender, to also protect against racial discrimination.

Senators, meanwhile, unanimously approved a bill by Assemblywoman Campos of San Jose to ban employers from basing compensation solely on a worker’s wage or salary history.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill from Campos last year that would have kept employers from asking about prior pay in any situation. Brown said that would have broadly prohibited employers from obtaining relevant information.

Both bills must get final approval from the opposite chamber before they could go to the governor’s desk.

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4:50 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown will decide whether to expand the state’s ban on texting while driving to include other cellphone apps, including “Pokemon Go.”

The proposal by Democratic Assemblyman Bill Quirk of Hayward prohibits using a hand-held device in a way that distracts from driving, including catching Pikachu or checking Instagram notifications.

The Assembly voted 45-16 to approve the Senate’s amendments on AB1785 and send it to the governor.

Quirk calls the bill an update to the state’s existing law on texting to reflect technology’s progress and curb distracted driving injuries and deaths. Drivers could still use devices that are mounted or voice-operated and hands-free.

Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach says the bill language is overly broad and calls the measure unworkable in real life.

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4:00 p.m.

California lawmakers are sending a measure to Gov. Jerry Brown to remove the state sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products.

AB1561 would abolish the so-called “tampon tax,” making tampons, pads, menstrual cups and menstrual sponges exempt from the state’s 7.5 percent sales tax. At least eight states have already approved such exemptions.

The Assembly approved the bill unanimously Tuesday after the Senate previously did so. If Gov. Jerry Brown approves, the changes would take effect in 2017.

Supporters of the measure say feminine hygiene products are a necessity, not a luxury item, and that a tax unfairly burdens women who have no choice but to purchase them.

Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens calls it a step forward for gender equity.

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2:45 p.m.

The California Senate is advancing a bill to collect more detailed data about Asian-Americans after it was changed to drop provisions opposed by some Asians.

The Senate’s unanimous approval on Tuesday sends the measure back to the Assembly.

State health agencies generally lump Asians and Pacific Islanders of diverse ethnic backgrounds into one group when collecting demographic data.

AB1726 would require that the Department of Public Health break the data down for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and other Asian ethnicities.

Supporters say the measure will help identify health problems that affect specific ethnic groups.

The measure originally would have required the same data collection at state universities. But some Chinese groups were vigorously opposed out of concern it would lead to affirmative action.

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2:30 p.m.

California lawmakers have approved a bill targeting LGBT discrimination at the state’s religious colleges and universities.

The weaker version of SB1146 would require schools to inform current and prospective students, employees and faculty about any exemption they hold from rules against discrimination contained in the federal Title IX program or California’s Higher Education Act.

A list of state schools with exemptions would be made public on the Student Aid Commission’s website.

The bill was heavily amended to eliminate portions that religious institutions opposed. Many religious schools were concerned the original bill could hinder their ability to accept low-income students who receive Cal Grant funding from the state and could open them to civil rights lawsuits.

The Assembly approved the measure 42-23 Tuesday. It goes to the Senate to approve amendments.

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12 p.m.

California is moving closer to extending an ambitious climate change law, winning critical approval from business-minded Democrats in the Assembly who previously opposed it.

In 2006, California set a goal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, when the initial effort would end.

A bill approved Tuesday would set a new goal to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Some lawmakers say the law would strengthen California’s role as a leader for other states and nations to take action in combating climate change. Opponents say doubling down on emissions reductions could raise gas prices or hurt the state’s economy.

Extending California’s greenhouse-gas reduction plan is critical to the legacy of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

The Assembly voted 42-29 to send SB32 to the Senate.

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11 a.m.

The California Senate is backing legislation prohibiting trademark claims at state parks following a dispute that led to renamed landmarks in Yosemite National Park.

Senators unanimously approved AB2249 on Tuesday, sending it back to the Assembly.

The bill would prohibit concessionaires from claiming ownership of a name associated with a California state park. It would not affect federal landmarks, including those in Yosemite.

The Yosemite dispute erupted early this year when a recreation company called Delaware North lost its $2 billion contract to run the Ahwahnee Hotel and other park ventures. Yosemite temporarily renamed the Ahwahnee Hotel as the Majestic Yosemite Hotel.

Delaware North says the new concessionaire should have to pay $51 million for several landmark names and other intellectual property. Officials value them at $3.5 million.

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