Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs bills nixing California’s exit exam, encouraging test animal adoption

Animals used for medical research, high school students who didn’t pass a key test and high school cheerleaders stand to benefit from bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Wednesday.

Research institutions that receive public funding, mostly universities, will need to set up programs to find homes for the dogs and cats they experiment on thanks to Assembly Bill 147, which trotted briskly to Brown’s desk.

Another bill earning Brown’s signature continues California’s move away from the exit exam high school seniors have been required to pass in order to graduate. Senate Bill 172 suspends the exam for the next three academic years and, because it is retroactive to 2004, allows students who met all other graduation requirements to get their diplomas. Earlier this year Brown signed legislation granting a reprieve to students after a planned test date was canceled.

In another cheerleading-related victory for former practitioner Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Brown signed Assembly Bill 949, which makes competition cheer an interscholastic sport. Brown signed a Gonzalez bill giving labor protections to cheerleaders for professional sports teams.

Brown also vetoed legislation that would have required local law enforcement agencies to hold open meetings debating whether to acquire surplus military equipment from the federal government, arguing in his veto message that Assembly Bill 36 “fails to strike the proper balance” between openness and public safety.

“Transparency is important between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Brown write, “but it must be tempered by security considerations before revealing law enforcement equipment shortages in a public hearing.”

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert