Politics & Government

The Buzz: California officials gear up for new felony-question law

A new California law reflects existing state policy, but officials are still working out the implications of the measure, which delays when state and local public employers can ask job applicants about their criminal histories.

Officials at the Department of Human Resources started meeting weeks ago to discuss the impact of Assembly Bill 218 on the 150 or so entities under gubernatorial authority. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill Thursday.

“We really have tried to get ahead of this,” CalHR spokeswoman Pat McConahay said last week.

AB 218 requires state and local government employers to hold off asking job applicants whether they have a conviction record until after their minimum qualifications for the position are established. It takes effect July 1, 2014.

It still permits upfront inquiries for jobs within a criminal-justice agency and other positions that require a background check.

Government employers can ask anyone whether they have a criminal conviction record after minimum qualifications have been established.

CalHR will launch statewide training on recruiting, interviewing and checking references, McConahay said.

Jon Ortiz


Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has finished with this year’s pile of bills, the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance has released some fun facts about how he stacks up among California’s governors. Brown has signed 13,299 bills thus far, the most of any governor, and has vetoed 869 more. He doesn’t hold the record for most chaptered bills or most vetoes in any one year, however. Those honors belong to Ronald Reagan, who signed 1,821 bills in 1971, and George Deukmejian, who vetoed 436 measures in 1990.

Micaela Massimino


“Republicans chose the wedge of Proposition 187, and we are paying the price for that decades later.” Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet, talking to the Los Angeles Times about the debate over immigration laws.