Capitol Alert

It’s judgment day for ‘fake news’ bills in California Legislature

In this Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, photo, a fake news story is positioned near ads from major global corporations.
In this Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, photo, a fake news story is positioned near ads from major global corporations. AP

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“Fake news” has dominated national attention as social media sites struggle to block access to fabricated articles and politicos from Sacramento to Washington use the term to describe unfavorable reports.

This year California lawmakers are attempting to crack down on the proliferation of Internet falsehoods and teach students to better assess digital resources. Many of the media literacy bills will be heard in committees for the first time Wednesday.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, introduced a bill earlier this year that would direct a state curriculum board to develop resources to teach students how to judge news stories they can trust. AB 155 is scheduled to come up for a vote in the Assembly Education committee at 1:30 p.m. in Room 126 today.

A similar bill from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, will be heard in the Senate Education committee at 9 a.m. in room 4203, along with Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s SB 203. The Santa Barbara Democrat wants to develop a state advisory committee of teachers, administrators, researchers and parents to develop public school strategies to teach students digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy.

Assembly Bill 1104 from Assemblyman Ed Chau, D-Arcadia, prohibits anyone from knowingly making a false statement to influence a vote or committing an act of cyberfraud against a candidate for public office. A hearing for the bill, which is opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of California, was postponed earlier this week.

WORTH REPEATING: “It’s not the poor man that runs. He has no money to run. It’s just an excuse to say that.”

- Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, opposing bill to eliminate money bail in California

VIDEOS OF THE DAY: See the cute puppies lobbying at the Capitol. Speaking of dogs, Duane Chapman spoke about bail.

DRUG PRICING: Sen. Ed Hernandez’s drug pricing transparency bill heads to his own committee, Senate Health, for its first hearing today. The Azusa Democrat pulled the plug on similar legislation last year after amendments in weakened his bill. Senate Bill 17 aims to rein in rising drug prices by requiring companies to give notice before increasing costs for medications. It also calls on health plans to offer more detailed accounting of the money spent on prescription drugs. The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. in room 4203 of the state Capitol.

BROWN BEAT: Nearly two weeks after working together to pass a sweeping road funding deal, Gov. Jerry Brown will give opening remarks at the League of California Cities lobby day at the Sacramento Convention Center this morning. Following Brown’s talk at 10 a.m., the association of city officials will receive budget, legislative and policy updates related to land use, marijuana regulation and other topics. At 4 p.m. the group gathers for a panel discussion on affordable housing, followed by a legislative reception.

MUST READ: An expert performed autopsy on Oroville spillway collapse

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna