Wrap-up: Key bills for 2013Loading
    VETOED -- Death benefits: AB 1373 Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez
    What it would do: Extend the statute of limitations for survivors of public safety officers to file a workers’ compensation claim for death benefits.
    Analysis: Sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters, the bill would extend the time limits for survivors’ claims for injuries in the line of duty from 240 weeks to 480 weeks in cases involving cancer, tuberculosis or blood-borne infectious diseases. Opponents have objected to the potential costs of the bill, which are unknown. Brown vetoed a broader version of the bill last year.
    Randall Benton | rbenton@sacbee.com
  • RB Gangs Meth
    VETOED -- Drugs: SB 649 Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco
    What it would do: Give local prosecutors discretion when deciding how to charge crimes stemming from simple possession of drugs for personal use.
    Analysis: Under the bill, possession of cocaine, heroin and other specified drugs, which currently are felonies, would join methamphetamine, Ecstasy or hashish as “wobblers” -- misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances. Supporters say it reduces recidivism by eliminating some employment barriers that stem from a felony record. The California District Attorneys Association opposes the bill, saying reducing sentences for addictive drugs helps no one.
    Randall Benton | Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
    SIGNED -- Prevailing wage: SB 7 Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento
    What it would do: Withhold funds from charter cities that do not pay “prevailing wages” for local public works projects.
    Analysis: Opponents are making this bill about local control, keying on the fact that Brown’s education initiatives have focused on that mantra. However, proponents of the bill say paying prevailing wages increases middle-class jobs and ensures high-quality public works projects, which is something the governor can also get behind.
    Florence Low | Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
  • GCSE candidates to face 'functional skills' tests
    SIGNED -- School testing: AB 484 Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord
    What it would do: Suspend K-12 standardized testing requirements for the school year currently under way and the public posting of that data for potentially two years.
    Analysis: Gov. Jerry Brown's office offered strong support of Bonilla's bill prior to it passing the Legislature. Those in favor of suspending the testing argue that the next two years should serve as a transition to new curriculum standards and computer-based assessments without the interruption of old tests. However, the state’s move could potentially put schools out of compliance with No Child Left Behind, causing the Obama administration to threaten to withhold federal funds.
    Rui Vieira | Associated Press
  • RB SB 118 DMV Office
    SIGNED -- Driver’s licenses: AB 60 Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville
    What it would do: Allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses that would include special markings indicating proof of citizenship was not given to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
    Analysis: Brown said he would sign the bill, noting that “because Congress has been so slow, I think they need a good push, and that's what I think this driver's license bill does. also indicated he would ill sign. California would become the 13th state to offer licenses to all undocumented immigrants. Opponents say lawmakers are awarding too many rights of citizens to those here illegally.
    Randall Benton | Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
  • VETOED -- Detachable magazines: SB 374 Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento
    What it would do: Ban the future sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines capable of rapid shooting. Require a person who has lawfully possessed an assault weapon in the past 13 years to register it with the Department of Justice.
    Analysis: Brown has not indicated how he will approach legislation to tighten California’s gun laws, which are already considered some of the toughest in the nation. Among the 14 gun bills on his desk, SB 374 is one of the broadest.
    California Dept. of Justice
  • California Church Abuse
    VETOED -- Sex abuse claims: SB 131 Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose
    What it would do: Extend the statute of limitations for some sex abuse victims.
    Analysis: The bill opens a yearlong window for sex abuse victims who were excluded from a 2003 law extending that extended the statute of limitations. Some paint the bill as an attack on the Catholic Church, while the church’s political arm calls it a trial lawyer money grab. Brown, a former Catholic seminarian, has not commented on the measure.
    Damian Dovarganes | AP
    SIGNED -- Lead ammunition: AB 711 Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood
    What it would do: Ban the use of lead ammunition in hunting by no later than 2019 and requires the Fish and Game Commission to certify acceptable non-lead bullets.
    Analysis: Proponents say the use of lead ammunition possess a significant health risk to humans and animals when it is discharged on state lands or near waterways. Gun lobbyists have portrayed the ban as an attack on hunting, saying there could be a non-lead ammunition shortage that would make bullets hard to find and expensive. However, similar concerns following a 2008 ban on lead ammunition in eight counties as a means of protecting California Condor did not materialize.
    VETOED -- Oakland gun control: AB 180 Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda
    What it would do: Allow Oakland to enact stricter gun control measures than are currently on the books in California.
    Analysis: Gun lobbyist Craig DeLuz called this the most troubling gun bill being considered by Brown due to its potential for each county to seek various gun-related provisions for their residents. Proponents say Oakland’s gun violence warrants action. Oakland has led the state with 131 homicides and over 4,000 gun-related crimes last year.
    SIGNED --Abortion: AB 154 Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego
    What it would do: Expand the types of medical providers that can offer abortions.
    Analysis: Under the bill, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants would be allowed to perform the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy. Democrats argued that the bill addresses the shortage of abortion providers, which forces women to drive for hours for the procedure. Republicans argued that the bill lowers the standards of care and puts women at risk.
    VETOED -- Biosimilars: SB 598 Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo What it would do: Require pharmacists to notify prescribing doctors when they substitute a “biosimilar” drug after they become available in the United States. Analysis: Biosimilars are complex medications that are not identical to the brand-name drugs they replace. Used in treating cancer and other illnesses, drug companies and some labor groups argue regulation is needed to ensure consumer protection. Health plans, generic drug manufacturers and the state Board of Pharmacy say the bill sets barriers to providing affordable replacements.
    Sandy Huffaker | File, 2004
  • Lawyer Working Illegally
    SIGNED -- Bar admission: AB 1024 Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego
    What it would do: Allow undocumented immigrants to practice law in California after passing the State Bar exam.
    Analysis: The late session gut-and-amend bill flew through both houses. The bill is in response to a California Supreme Court case in which an undocumented immigrant named Sergio Garcia, who was brought into the country as a child, passed the State Bar exam and is fighting for a license to practice law in California. The court indicated its hands may be tied on the matter unless the Legislature takes action.
    Jeff Chiu | The Associated Press
  • 4W1BUZZ
    SIGNED -- Criminal records: AB 218 Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento
    What it would do: Delay when state and local agencies can ask a job seeker whether they have a criminal history until after the initial application establishing minimum qualifications.
    Analysis: Dickinson said his bill will reduce unnecessary barriers to government employment for the one in four adults in California who have an arrest or conviction on their record. Opponents argue that by not initially screening for criminal histories, agencies will be wasting time on an applicant who will be rejected once their conviction is disclosed.
    Autumn Payne | The Bee
    SIGNED -- Minimum wage: AB 10 Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville
    What it will do: Raise the state minimum wage from $8 to $9 an hour on July 1, 2014, and to $10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2016.
    Analysis: Brown made his intention on this bill clear, saying he plans to sign it even before legislators gave their final approval. Amendments removed provisions that would have indexed future increases to inflation, softening -- but not eliminating -- the opposition of business groups. Proponents have argued that raising the minimum wage will help Californians provide for their families while increasing economic activity. The California Chamber of Commerce called the bill a “job killer” that could jeopardize recovery by forcing employers to spend more or hire fewer workers.
  • VETOED -- Gun ban list: SB 755 Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis
    What it would do: Expands the list of crimes that result in a 10-year ban on owning a firearm to include driving under the influence and public intoxication when there are two convictions in three years.
    Analysis: Researchers say the bill addresses a statistic worth noting, that more than 35 percent of prison and jail inmates convicted of violent crimes say they were intoxicated at the time of their crime. Under SB 755, the clock resets to zero if there are subsequent convictions for substance abuse. The California Public Defenders Association opposes the bill, saying there is no nexus between a vehicle code violation and the need for a firearm ban.
    U.S. Department of Justice.
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