Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

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  • Freshman watch

    For the first time in well over a century, a majority of Assembly members are freshmen. Three new members took the oath of office Monday, pushing the number of freshmen in the 80-member house to 42. It is the first time since the 19th century that more than 40 Assembly members have been in their first term, according to Chief Clerk E. Dotson Wilson. The newcomers could play a role in choosing a successor to Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, who will be termed out at the end of the year.

    – Jeremy B. White

The Buzz: Proposed referendum on transgender students bill moves into new phase

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 - 12:00 am

Transgender measure must

await full signature tally

Activists seeking to repeal a law that aims to protect transgender students will have to wait until next month to learn if their effort qualifies for the statewide ballot.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Wednesday that the attempted referendum of Assembly Bill 1266 will move to a full count of signatures due by Feb. 24. Bowen’s announcement comes after county election officials determined the repeal did not have enough valid signatures to qualify by random sample.

Privacy for All Students, the proponents of the referendum, argue the law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year would make students uncomfortable and infringe on the will of parents. They described their efforts as centering on safety and privacy. The campaign is managed by Frank Schubert, who helped lead the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.

The new law allows transgender students in public schools to join athletic teams and access facilities such as bathrooms that correspond with their gender identities. Authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, it was held up by supporters as a needed protection for students who suffer humiliation and bullying.

– Christopher Cadelago

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