Randy Pench/ rpench@sacbee.com
A special Mass for the newly-elected Pope Francis in Sacramento, Calif. on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

A national clash over religious objections to health care coverage has arrived in California with an administrative challenge assailing mandatory inclusion of abortions.

A letter from the California Catholic Conference to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services takes aim at a California Department of Managed Health Care directive instructing seven major insurance companies that voluntary abortions qualify as basic health care and therefore must be included in coverage.

“Exclusions and limitations are also incompatible with both the California Reproductive Privacy Act and multiple California judicial decisions that have unambiguously established under the California Constitution that every pregnant woman has the fundamental right to choose to either bear a child or to have a legal abortion,” the state’s August letter says.

According to the Catholic bishops, California unfairly targeted religious colleges like Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. A group representing Catholic hospitals released a letter praising the bishops’ salvo and arguing California’s order was discriminatory.

Cos Aelenei/ Sony Pictures Classics
Francis Ford Coppola on the set of “Youth Without Youth” in 2006.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Francis Ford Coppola and Dr. Dre walk into a museum...for their induction into the California Hall of Fame, not just the set-up to this corny joke.

The basketball great, Oscar-winning filmmaker and rap icon are among the eighth class of inductees to the Hall, an exhibit at the California Museum that celebrates “legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit.” Beloved literary figure Joan Didion, music mogul Jimmy Iovine, civil rights advocate Charlotta Bass, environmental scientist Stephen Schneider, community organizer Fred Ross, Sr., and social entrepreneurship pioneer Mimi Silbert round out this year’s honorees.

The inductees and their representatives will receive the Spirit of California award from Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown during tonight’s induction ceremony, 7 p.m. at the California Museum on O Street. The event will be streamed on the museum’s website.

VIDEO: As the state’s three systems of public higher education converge, California needs to revisit its master plan, Dan Walters says.

Jeff Chiu/ The Associated Press
A student at walks under collegiate pennants in the college and career center at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco.

As the state’s three systems of public higher education converge, California needs to revisit its master plan, Dan says.

Have a question you’d like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

GFC33V886.4Staff Photographer
Brian Nguyen/ bnguyen@sacbee.com
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner in August touts AB 1014, a response to the May shootings near UC Santa Barbara. The governor signed it Tuesday.
Rich Pedroncelli/ AP
Gov. Jerry Brown, second from left, discusses a bill while meeting with advisers at his Capitol office in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

Gov. Jerry Brown took mixed action on several gun control bills Tuesday, approving a measure allowing temporary restraining orders to block gun use but vetoing legislation that would have required Californians to register homemade guns.

Assembly Bill 1014, by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, was the Legislature’s central response to the lethal shooting in May near the University of California, Santa Barbara. It will allow family members of someone who is displaying signs of mental instability to request a court order temporarily barring gun use and purchase.

Families of people killed in Isla Vista had lobbied for the bill at the Capitol, and Skinner cheered Brown’s action Tuesday.

“Family members are often the first to spot the warning signs when someone is in crisis,” she said in a prepared statement. “AB 1014 strengthens our mental health and gun control laws by providing an effective tool which family members and law enforcement can use to help prevent shootings before they occur.”

Damian Dovarganes/ The Associated Press
Gov. Jerry Brown holds up a bill after signing it into law on Sept. 18 in front of TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

Rejecting major parts of an ethics package in a year tainted by scandal, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have required more campaign finance disclosure and reduced the value of gifts lobbyists can give state officials.

In a message accompanying one of three ethics-related vetoes, Brown criticized legislation he said would needlessly make existing regulations more complex.

“Proper disclosure, as already provided by law, should be sufficient to guard against undue influence,” he wrote.

Senate Bill 1443, by Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, would have reduced to $200 from $440 the value of gifts an official can receive from a single source each year. It also would have prohibited officeholders from accepting free tickets to concerts, sporting events and theme parks.

The Associated Press
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill making California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags from grocery stores.

Time to invest in a reusable shopping bag.

Concluding the long odyssey of one of the most contentious bills of 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation phasing out the single-use plastic bags that grocery stores and other retailers use to package products at the checkout line. Brown’s assent hands a sweeping victory to environmentalists and vindicates the scores of cities and counties that have already banned bags.

“This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown wrote in a signing message. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

Minutes after Brown announced signing the bill, an industry group called the American Progressive Bag Alliance vowed to begin collecting signatures in an effort to overturn the law via a referendum on the 2016 ballot. They filed a request for title and summary later in the day.

Brian Baer/ The Sacramento Bee
Dick Dickerson serves lunch to city employees in Redding, Calif. on Friday Sept. 30, 2005. Dickerson, a Redding assemblyman in 2001, angered Republican Party leadership by breaking ranks and voting to end a bitter budget impasse after Democrats promised millions for his Redding district.

Former Assemblyman Richard “Dick” Dickerson, a former Redding mayor, died Tuesday, the Redding Record Searchlight reported.

According to the newspaper:

Dickerson died today, his wife, Betty Dickerson confirmed this afternoon. He was 77.

Retired Republican lawmaker Maurice Johannessen, who recommended Dickerson to former Gov. Pete Wilson, for an appointment on the board of supervisors in 1993, said his friend's death followed medical problems. Dickerson, who had been in frail health for most of this year, had returned to the hospital last week.

Hector Amezcua/ hamezcua@sacbee.com
State Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, the author of SB 924 and SB 926, during session in March 2013.

For the second year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Tuesday to give victims more time to seek civil damages against third parties in childhood sex abuse cases – typically private or public employers of the alleged perpetrators.

The Democratic governor, though, signed separate legislation increasing the criminal statute of limitations against perpetrators in such cases.

State Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, the author of both measures, has said the civil damages bill, Senate Bill 924, responded to Brown’s lengthy veto of last year’s Senate Bill 131. Supporters said that allowing childhood victims to seek damages up to the age of 40, instead of the current 26 years old, would correct laws adopted in 1990, 1998 and 2002.

“Changing the law allows more adult survivors of childhood sex abuse to gain a measure of justice by pursing civil damages against their assailants,’’ Beall said in a statement after the Legislature sent the bill to Brown last month. The Catholic Church and nonprofit organizations led opposition to the measure, contending that it “pays lip service to the interests of victims of abuse” while exempting state employees from its provisions. The measure passed the Legislature largely along party lines.

Tuesday, September 30 2014
Jerry Brown signs 'Revenge Porn 2.0 Act'
Rich Pedroncelli/ The Associated Press
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a bill while meeting with advisers at his Capitol office on Monday in Sacramento. Brown announced action on several bills Tuesday, including his signing of the second version of a “revenge porn” ban, before the midnight deadline.

One year after signing California’s ban on so-called “revenge porn,” Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation expanding on the bill to include “selfies,” his office announced Tuesday.

Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to post private, graphic pictures or footage of someone online with the intention of humiliating them.

Senate Bill 1255, by Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, expands the prohibition to include sexually explicit images that are meant to be private, regardless who created the image.

Cannella’s office called the bill the “Revenge Porn 2.0 Act.”

Tuesday, September 30 2014
Jerry Brown vetoes seafood labeling bill
Bruce Smith/ The Associated Press
Fishmonger Erik Espinoza shovels ice onto fresh fish at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have criminalized the selling of mislabeled seafood, handing another loss to lawmakers who pursued several high-profile efforts this year to give Californians more information about what they eat and drink.

“Much of what the bill seeks to accomplish is good,” Brown wrote in his veto message for Senate Bill 1138. “Requiring seafood producers and wholesalers to identify whether fish and shellfish are wild caught or farm raised, domestic or imported – these are reasonable and helpful facts for purchases to know.”

“Requiring more precise, species-specific labeling of seafood, however, is not as easily achieved,” he added.

Brown expressed concerns that the legislation – authored by state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, to combat widespread fraud in California’s seafood supply chain – would “create uncertainties and complexities that may not be easily resolved” by requiring businesses to identify fish by its “common name.”

The Associated Press
Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated that he will sign a bill making California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags from grocery stores.

Facing a deadline to take action before midnight tonight, Gov. Jerry Brown has been on a tear of bill signings in recent days. Over the weekend, he approved high-profile legislation that would set an “affirmative consent” standard for sexual activity on college campuses; eliminate sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine; and hold businesses liable when subcontractors violate wage, workplace safety or workers’ compensation rules, a priority for organized labor this session.

Several major bills remain on Brown’s desk on this final day, however – most notably a statewide ban on plastic grocery bags. The proposal generated controversy all year long and only passed through the Legislature after some intense political maneuvering, but Brown has said that he will “probably” sign it.

Less certain are the fates of a number of firearms bills, including one requiring toy guns to be brightly colored and another that would allow the family members of someone displaying signs of violence to petition for the temporary removal of their weapon. Brown has been on both sides of gun control legislation in the past.

VIDEO: Dan Walters reflects on Brown’s “canoe theory” of politics.

GCT33MOK1.2Senior Photographer
Paul Kitagaki Jr./ pkitagaki@sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown meets with the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board on May 15, 2014.

By paddling a little on the left and a little on the right, Gov. Jerry Brown steers down the political middle, Dan says.

Have a question you’d like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

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