Andy Alfaro / Bee file, 2008

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin is proposing that 17-year-olds be allowed to vote in a primary if they will turn 18 by the next general election. His father, Assemblyman Gene Mullin, pushed the same idea in the 2000s.

The Buzz: California lawmaker reintroduces his father's proposal on 17-year-old voters

Published: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Here's a first-term California legislator who's following in his father's footsteps in more ways than one.

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, has proposed amending the state constitution to let 17-year-olds vote in a primary if they turn 18 by the day of the next general election.

"Most young people's first contact with politics is in their mandatory high school civics class," Mullin said in a statement. "This is the perfect time to get them engaged."

While Mullin says the goal for his first bill is to increase voter participation, the issue is also personal.

His father, former Assemblyman Gene Mullin, attempted to pass the same bill several times in the 2000s.

The elder Mullin's efforts fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to put the change in front of voters. This time, Democrats have a supermajority in both chambers.

Twenty states already allow such voters to participate in their primaries or caucuses.

Mullin's measure is one of several proposals that aim to boost the youth vote, which tends to break for Democrats.

Democratic colleagues in the Senate have introduced bills to allow teens to preregister at age 15 and to require polling places on the state's college and university campuses.

– Torey Van Oot

BILL WATCH

California drivers would be banned from texting with hands-free mobile devices under legislation proposed Tuesday. State law now prohibits drivers from texting with hand-held devices, but not those that operate on voice commands. Assembly Bill 313, by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, would delete the existing exception for voice-controlled texting devices.

– Jim Sanders

WORTH REPEATING

"Enough with the public nudity. Please. We have our standards."

NANCY PELOSI, House minority leader, talking to the Huffington Post about her support for San Francisco's recent ban on birthday suits in public

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