Bera wants 'conversation' on strengthening gun laws
Democratic Rep.-elect Ami Bera has weighed in on calls for stricter gun control laws in the wake of Friday's mass shooting, saying he hopes the rampage in Newtown, Conn., serves as a "wake-up call that gives us the courage to engage in the conversation" about the politically sensitive issue.
"We've had multiple tragedies here. We have to have the conversation. We have to have the courage to have the conversation," the Elk Grove Democrat told The Bee's editorial board Monday.
Bera called Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's plans to revive a federal assault weapon ban a "good first step," but said that as a doctor he also hopes to take a close look at what can be done to improve mental health services to identify and help individuals who could become violent before they can do harm.
The congressman-elect, who defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Dan Lungren in one of the country's most competitive races, said he wasn't worried about potential backlash from pro-gun constituents.
"I also represent a district where parents don't want to be afraid of dropping their kids off at school," he said. "I think we want our children to grow up in an environment where they feel safe and secure."
California's minimum wage of $8 per hour has been frozen for five years, and a battle is likely next year over whether it should be increased and tied to the consumer price index. Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, introduced Assembly Bill 10 that would increase the wage to $8.25 in 2014, with two 50-cent boosts in subsequent years, and then automatic adjustment to inflation in 2017.
"The reality is people are going to do these activities in their cars, whether you like it or not, and you can't legislate human behavior 100 percent."
JEFF MILLER, former Republican assemblyman from Corona and author of a new law that allows voice-operated texting while driving, to the San Francisco Chronicle, about efforts to ban all texting while driving