Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

New Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, seen in December, received the traditional hazing Thursday when he introduced a bill on the floor for the first time. His bill deals with rabies vaccinations for puppies.

The Buzz: First-term California lawmaker gets hazed over 'Cujo's Law'

Published: Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

It's a tradition in the Assembly to haze new members the first time they introduce a bill on the floor. Lawmakers ask embarrassing questions, stage fake debates and play parliamentary games only a government geek could enjoy.

And that's what happened Thursday when Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, presented Assembly Bill 272. It concerns vaccinating puppies for rabies – only slightly more controversial than a beloved mother and her delicious apple pie.

"Are you rabid about this issue?" asked Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.

"Yes, I am," Gomez replied.

"Would you be willing to amend your bill to include the title 'Cujo's Law?' " asked Assemblyman Luis Alejo, refering to a Stephen King novel.

"I would," Gomez replied.

Then Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez said the bill should be sent back to print to reflect the new title. He urged lawmakers to vote the bill down. More than half did.

Laughs all around.

But the bill is not dead. It goes back to the Assembly Rules Committee, said Pérez spokesman Steve Maviglio, where "Cujo's Law" will be removed. Then it will be sent back for another vote.

That, Maviglio said, "if they spend a lot of time on it, will take about two minutes."

– Laurel Rosenhall

BILL WATCH

A day after Congress rejected bills restricting gun ownership, California lawmakers increased funds for a program that confiscates weapons from people who are prohibited from owning them because of mental illness or violent criminal pasts. The Assembly voted 57-10 to approve Senate Bill 140, which devotes $24 million to the state Department of Justice for its Armed Prohibited Persons Program.

– Laurel Rosenhall

WORTH REPEATING

"As a new generation of women picks up the mantle of progress, (Kamala Harris) will always be among the first to stand up and step forward."

NANCY PELOSI, writing about the California attorney general in Time magazine's annual list of "the 100 most influential people in the world"

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