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  • Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com

    Assembly Bill 465 would give youth sports programs the authority to require criminal background checks on volunteer coaches.

  • RON NEHRING, former California Republican Party chairman

The Buzz: Bill may lead to background checks for California parents volunteering as youth coaches

Published: Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Parents signing their kids up for community sports leagues like soccer may want to consider this: Not all volunteer coaches undergo criminal background checks.

California law requires school districts to order background checks for all sports coaches, but it's quiet on the matter of community sports coaches, who are mostly parent volunteers.

Large youth sports organizations such as Little League and the American Youth Soccer Organization require coaches to undergo background checks, but many of the smaller community programs do not.

Assembly Bill 465 by Democrat Susan Bonilla of Concord and Republican Brian Maienschein of San Diego would give youth sports programs the express authority to require criminal background checks on volunteer coaches and be notified by the Department of Justice of any subsequent arrests.

The bill passed its final vote Thursday and is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's consideration.

The California Public Defenders Association opposes the bill, saying it would lead to decreased parent involvement, particularly from individuals who don't want neighbors to know about remote or minor criminal offenses.

– Melody Gutierrez

AT THE CAPITOL

A week after Assembly members returned from summer recess, the state Senate reconvenes in Sacramento today, and members have plenty to keep them busy. The Senate Appropriations Committee stands poised to churn through more than 150 bills, including a proposal to raise the state's minimum wage, before its Aug. 30 deadline.

– Jeremy B. White

WORTH REPEATING

"Never been elected to anything? Don't have a political infrastructure? You can buy one – or at least, that's what you've been told."

RON NEHRING, former California Republican Party chairman, writing on the FlashReport blog about the factors feeding the GOP's apparent bias for wealthy, self-funding candidates

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