By Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

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

4:45 p.m.

Lawmakers are advancing a proposal to restructure the board that oversees lawyer accreditations in California following a critical audit.

The California Assembly passed AB2878 on a 75-0 vote Thursday after amending it to appease legislators seeking strict reforms at the California State Bar.

The proposal from Democratic Assemblyman Mark Stone of Scotts Valley would reduce the number of professional lawyers on the bar’s governing board, giving non-attorneys majority control.

It also establishes a commission to study the possibility of removing the bar’s ability to self-regulate attorneys.

State Auditor Elaine Howle last year faulted the bar for overpaying executives, mishandling financial reports and lacking transparency.

The bill moves to the Senate.


3:05 p.m.

California lawmakers are moving one step closer to repealing sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

The California Assembly voted 68-0 Thursday to pass AB1561 to the state Senate.

The proposal by Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens would exempt tampons, pads, menstrual cups and menstrual sponges from the state’s 7.5 percent sales tax.

Supporters say the tax unfairly burdens women who have little choice but to purchase the products.

At least six other states are considering similar legislation.

Feminine hygiene products are already excluded from sales taxes in five other states.

Canada decided last year to scrap tampon taxes. In March, the European Union gave the United Kingdom and other member nations the go-ahead to do the same.


2:20 p.m.

The California Senate is advancing a bill that would end a practice of extending jail and prison sentences for repeat drug offenders.

The Senate’s 22-14 vote on Thursday follows Sen. Holly Mitchell’s decision to scale back the measure after it failed more than a month ago on the Senate floor.

The Los Angeles Democrat says her bill would help address the disproportionate incarceration of minority offenders.

Law enforcement officials strongly opposed the bill, saying it would make it harder to crack down on drug dealers.

Mitchell’s bill would scale back a 1985 law allowing so-called sentence enhancements for drug defendants with prior drug convictions. Mitchell agreed not to apply the bill to certain crimes, including those involving children.

The legislation now goes to the Assembly.


1:55 p.m.

California lawmakers are moving to spell out the government’s ability to copyright public property after a trademark dispute over site names in Yosemite National Park.

The Assembly voted 58-1 Thursday in favor AB2880 by Democratic Assemblyman Mark Stone of Scotts Valley. It would allow state and local governments to own intellectual property including names, research and documents.

A legislative analysis says California already supports government trademarks, but does not explicitly allow them.

It would allow copyrighted work to be blocked from release under public records laws if releasing it would hurt the government’s or someone else’s interest in the trademark.

The Sunlight Foundation says in a report that it would penalize disseminating or otherwise using the information.

State Auditor Elaine Howle made the recommendations in the bill in 2000.


12:15 p.m.

California police could review body-camera footage before they write reports or give statements under a proposal advancing in the Legislature.

The California Assembly voted 56-3 Thursday to approve AB1940 by a former cop-turned-lawmaker.

Democratic Assemblyman Jim Cooper of Elk Grove says his proposal would help officers recall on-duty incidents.

The bill would require police agencies to create and publish body-worn camera policies. Officers would be allowed to review footage before writing or speaking on the record about what’s in their videos.

The American Civil Liberties Union of California opposes the bill, saying review would undermine fair determinations of alleged police misconduct.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California sponsored Cooper’s bill and two others that attempt to limit public access to police videos. All three are advancing to the Senate.


11:50 a.m.

The California Legislature is sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill to sell health insurance through the Covered California exchange to people who can’t prove they’re legally in the country.

The Senate approved SB10 on a 27-8 vote on Thursday, which would ask the federal government for permission to sell it.

People who can’t prove legal presence would not be eligible for subsidies that are available to legal residents.

Immigrants can already buy health coverage from a broker or an insurer without regard to immigration status. But Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens says selling policies through Covered California will help families with mixed immigration status.

Critics say lawmakers should focus on problems affecting American citizens.

Brown spokesman Gareth Lacey declined to comment.

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