Assemblyman Phil Ting reacts to narrow passage of body cam bill
BILLS TO BROWN
The mad rush to pass bills before the end of session may have ended on Friday, but the uncertainty surrounding some of their fates remains.
Here are a handful of the subjects Gov. Jerry Brown must decide on by the end of the month:
Closing time — Under SB 905, bars in seven California cities, including Sacramento, would be able to extend their last call to 4 a.m. Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat who introduced the bill, said he thinks he will succeed in getting Brown’s signature. “He has views on alcohol and fun and all that,” Wiener said of Brown. “I think we can convince him. We’ve been working with his staff, and the burden’s on us to make the case.”
Beach butts — SB 835 and SB 836 would ban smoking at California state parks and beaches. Brown vetoed this idea last year, writing in his veto message, “If people can’t smoke even on a deserted beach, where can they? There must be some limits to the coercive power of government.”
Women on boards — SB 826 was a top priority for the California Legislative Women’s Caucus this year. After narrowly clearing the Assembly with the minimum 41 votes required, it got the approval of the Senate more easily. The measure requires corporate boards to include at least one woman by the end of 2019 and as many as three by the end of 2021, depending on a company’s size. The Secretary of State could fine companies as much as $300,000 if they fail to comply.
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democrat from Santa Barbara who introduced the measure, said it is long overdue. On the Senate floor last week, Jackson said, “Now is the time when we have to step forward and say, ‘We are not going to ask anymore. We are tired of being nice. We are tired of being polite. We are going to require this because it’s going to benefit the economy.’”
Body cams — AB 748 cleared the Assembly with the bare minimum 41 required votes in the waning hours of session. Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said his bill would provide greater transparency by requiring law enforcement agencies to disclose body camera footage within 45 days, unless they can offer a strong reason to withhold the footage for an additional month. No word on whether Brown is on board.
“Well, obviously it’s a very close vote,” Ting said shortly after it passed. “It’s clear that body camera technology is being more and more widespread throughout law enforcement. It only makes sense that there’s a statewide policy to really govern that.”
Wildfires and PG&E — SB 901 is perhaps the most significant item on Brown’s desk. The wildfire proposal introduced by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, would establish new standards for fire prevention and forest management. Advocates for utility ratepayers have called the Legislature’s plan a “bailout in sheep’s clothing.”
TWEET OF THE DAY
Assemblyman Evan Low (@Evan_Low), abandoning his effort to make gay conversion therapy a fraudulent business practice — “It is my obligation as a Legislator to make this difficult decision in the interest of finding common ground. The path towards full equality is a long journey, but a journey best traveled together. Will you join me?”
INFLUENCER OF THE DAY
“Gavin Newsom is right in calling for continuing the conversation on how we get to a single-payer system. There isn’t a Democrat in California that opposes Health Care for All. The stumbling block is how to pay for it. John Cox would have you believe that the system that has led to skyrocketing costs and premiums; lack of coverage for most; excluding people with pre-existing conditions; etc., would cover us all if only we left it alone. He also believes that the legislature would be better if we had 12,000 more politicians. Ooookay.”
— Roger Salazar, President, Alza Strategies
The Bee’s Editorial Board thinks President Donald Trump is worsening already complex and divisive California water policies.
The Ed Board also argues Sacramento Sheriff Jones hates transparency and oversight.
Erika Smith says California Democrats have better things to do than boycott In-N-Out.
Elizabeth Steelman, senior labor compliance specialist with the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, thinks lawmakers should do more to help California workers and enforce law labors.