Earlier this week, we highlighted just a few of the bills that we think Gov. Jerry Brown ought to remove from the stack on his desk and drop into the trash. Much drivel remains, but there are prizes, as well.
Below are six worthy of his signature:
1. The EpiPen bill, as Senate Bill 1266 by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar has become to be known, would require public schools to stock easy-to-use, single-use epinephrine autoinjectors and train staff how to use them in the case of an emergency. This is the medicine that can counter the sometimes fatal anaphylactic shock that comes from food or bee allergies.
Its passage through both houses of the Legislature wasn’t easy, with the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers dogging it every step of the way. But this legislation could save lives, a claim few bills can make.
2. Senate Bill 1019 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would would require clear and simple labels on furniture disclosing whether it contains toxic flame retardants. That’s information consumers should have.
3. Comedian Robin Williams’ death underlined the importance of suicide prevention, the subject of Assembly Bill 2198 by Marc Levine, D-San Rafael. It would require psychologists, marriage and family counselors and social workers in California to take a one-time, six-hour course on suicide prevention as part of their 36-hour continuing education requirement to renew their professional licenses.
Psychologists, marriage and family counselors, and social workers are opposed to the bill because they don’t like being told what to do. But this is a modest request to dedicate just a few hours of their thousands of hours in training to this important topic.
4. The use of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, has exploded in recent years. The Drone Privacy Protection Act, Assembly Bill 1327 by Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, would set out clear rules for when government can use drones and, more importantly, when it can’t.
The bill would allow agencies to use drones to conduct their routine business, such as for the parks service to look for illegal pot grows. But it would prohibit police from using drones to spy on people without a warrant. Though some law enforcement groups oppose the bill, it received bipartisan support.
5. Senate Bill 1253 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg would make small but meaningful improvements to the state’s initiative process. Among the additions: a 30-day public review period after a title and summary request, public hearings and the posting of the top donors for both sides of every initiative.
6. The horror of the Isla Vista shooting may have faded, but the need for smart controls on firearms has not. That’s why Assembly Bill 1014 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, makes sense. Under this bill, California would be the first state to allow family and law enforcement the right to obtain a temporary restraining order on someone who seems like a clear threat from having a firearm.