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PD Editorial: More bills proposed by local legislators

Published: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 2:26 p.m.

With the goal of better understanding what our local legislators are up to in Sacramento, we are tracking the bills they introduced this year.

On Monday, we summarized some of the bills introduced in the state Senate. Today we do the same with bills by Assembly members Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata; Mark Levine, D-San Rafael; and Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.

We plan to update readers from time to time on how these measures are amended, who would benefit from them and whether they advance. We're likely to offer support for some and to oppose some, too.

Chesbro's bills include:

• AB 497: Reduces the frequency of state Fish and Game Commission meetings and eliminates a requirement that no more than three meetings per year take place in Sacramento.

• AB 582: Requires state health officials to recognize custom rehabilitation technology services as a separate benefit under Medi-Cal.

• AB 881: Raises the oil spill and prevention fee from $0.65 to $0.80, indexes it to inflation and allocates $0.03 per barrel to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

A number of Chesbro's bills address technical issues or appear to be spot bills — meaning their real intent won't be clear until they're amended.

Levine's bills include:

• AB 158: Prohibits large retailers from providing single-use, carryout bags to customers after Jan. 1, 2015, extending the requirement to smaller stores a year later. The bill allows imposition of civil penalties for violators. A statewide policy makes more sense than a patchwork of local rules, but is a bag ban really necessary?

• AB 288: Requires advance notice from oil and gas drillers for hydraulic fracturing — fracking — projects and written authorization from state Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources.

• AB 386: Allows California State Univeristy students to enroll in online classes offered at any CSU campus.

• AB 746: Bans smoking in multi-family dwellings.

• AB 1092: Mandates one electric charging station per four off-street parking spaces in new construction projects. We don't see that many electric cars.

• AB 1163: Adds the state finance director and two independent members with financial expertise to the California Public Employee Retirement System board. This change, which also requires voter approval, makes sense for taxpayers.

Yamada's bills include:

• AB 152: Establishes an employment assistance program for self-employed people modeled on the program for unemployed workers.

• AB 252: Makes it illegal to present oneself as a social worker without proper credentials. Is this a common occurrence?

• AB 394: Authorizes the Alzheimer's research fund check-off on state income tax forms through 2020.

• AB 602: Requires the state peace officer training commission to establish training procedures for dealing with mentally or developmentally disabled adults living in state mental hospitals or developmental centers. The bill also adds local law enforcement agencies to list of those who must be notified of suspected abuse at mental hospitals or development centers.

For details including the text, status, votes and analyses of state legislation, go to leginfo.ca.gov.

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