California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a landmark bill to overhaul the state’s money-bail system, replacing it with one that grants judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated ahead of trial.
The two-year effort fulfills a pledge made by Brown last year when he stalled negotiations over the ambitious legislation, saying he would continue to work with lawmakers and the state’s top Supreme Court justice on the right approach to change the system. The new law puts California at the forefront of a national push to stop courts from imposing a heavy financial burden on defendants before they have faced a jury.
“Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” he said in a statement.
California lawmakers crafting state wildfire prevention policy clashed late Monday night over key details in a lengthy proposal, deep disagreements that threaten to stymie action in the Legislature for 2018.
Much of the discussion during the joint conference committee hearing focused on what has consistently been the sticking point for both lawmakers and stakeholders: how much to ease the financial impact to the state’s electric utilities for fires involving their equipment. Some continued to suggest that investor-owned utility companies could be at risk of bankruptcy if no action is taken.
“The conversation up here has to be focused on making sure that event doesn’t happen,” said state Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), a co-chairman of the committee.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed a bill that would have prevented politicians from paying family members an amount greater than fair-market value for goods and services.
The bill by Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga) sought to ban politicians from making excessive payments to parents, children and siblings working on their campaigns.
"This proposed new authority for the Fair Political Practices Commission concerns me," Brown wrote in his veto message.
A controversial proposal to allow state legislative leaders to accept bigger campaign checks for their favored candidates was sidelined by lawmakers for the year on Monday after it failed to garner sufficient support in the state Senate.
The measure by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) would have allowed Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and Assembly to form caucus committees to accept campaign contributions of up to $36,000 from individual sources for state races.
Legislators are now limited to accepting contributions of no more than $4,400 from each source. Mullin’s bill would have also required monthly disclosure of campaign contributions.
San Francisco would be able to establish hygienic sites for people to use injectable drugs while supervised by healthcare workers under a bill approved Monday by the Legislature.
The measure, Assembly Bill 186 by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), would let San Francisco pilot a “safe injection site” program, which would include access to sterilized needles and referrals to drug treatment programs.
Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) said San Francisco Mayor London Breed has offered to make the city a “guinea pig” for the program.
California lawmakers on Monday approved a trio of bills that would reduce the number of people with access to firearms, including lifetime bans on owning guns for people convicted of domestic violence and individuals placed on involuntary psychiatric holds twice in a year by the courts.
The three bills now head to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.
Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) proposed a lifetime gun ban on those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, which extends the current 10-year prohibition in state law.
California lawmakers on Monday made another attempt to blunt Trump administration policies by passing a bill aimed at combating housing segregation.
Assembly Bill 686 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would put into state law Obama-era rules requiring local governments to advance policies to desegregate housing in their communities. This month, Ben Carson, Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced he was moving forward with plans to roll back rules requiring cities and counties to flight patterns of housing segregation.
“We wanted to make sure that fair housing still exists in California even though it’s been threatened by the Trump administration and Congress,” Santiago said.
When federal regulators voted late last year to roll back net neutrality protections, state Democratic leaders pledged to wage a fight with the Trump administration to preserve fair and open access to the internet in California.
The FBI and Capitol Police want to talk with Rep. Maxine Waters’ 2018 Republican opponent about a fake letter he posted to Twitter that falsely indicated the congresswoman wants to resettle tens of thousands of refugees in her Los Angeles district.
Environmentalists are mounting a last-minute bid in the final week of the California legislative session to revive a stalled effort to require more review for a project to pump more groundwater from the Mojave Desert.
A 2017 measure by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) that sought to impede the project has languished in a state Senate committee. Now, the effort has a new shot at life through an 11th-hour bill by state Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside).