Assemblyman Tom Ammiano vows to keep working on legislation designed to limit law enforcement from reporting illegal immigrants after the governor vetoed such a bill over the weekend.
Assembly Bill 1081 would have stopped local law enforcement officials from detaining people for immigration holds unless the reason they were arrested or convicted was for a serious or violent felony. Read More
The Friday deadline for the state Legislature to pass a pension-reform measure is fast approaching, and the aptly named “special” committee on public pensions has allotted a whole two hearings on the matter next week. Read More
California lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on a law that would prohibit public agencies from disabling cellphone service without probable cause and a court order. This bill is a much-needed free speech protection that was born out of a dark day at BART. Read More
He may be just a rookie, but when it comes to firing off new bills, Rich Gordon doesn’t miss very often. With 15 of 19 bills signed by the governor, Gordon, the first-year Democratic assemblyman from Menlo Park, had the highest percentage of bills signed into law of anyone in the Assembly. Read More
If we Californians ever get around to truly reforming our dysfunctional government, one change should be replacing the two-house Legislature with a unicameral body.
Why? Because at best, the current system is outdated, wasteful and duplicative, and at worst engenders deceptive, anti-democratic gamesmanship. Read More
California Assembly members rushed to break up a fight between Warren Furutani, D-Gardena, and Don Wagner, R-Irvine, before real punches were thrown. The two assemblymen jawed angrily into each other’s faces until Furutani appeared to shove Wagner. The dispute was triggered when Wagner labeled a Democratic budget proposal a “shakedown” worthy of HBO’s “The Sopranos” and then offered to “apologize to any Italian-Americans who are not in the Mafia.” Read More
When I lived in Iowa, I was an average citizen with a question for the Governor’s Office for an article I was writing for a small newsletter. I called the Capitol number and was transferred to an aide, who responded with something to this effect: “Why don’t you come and ask the governor yourself?” When I got to the appointment, the governor gave me a half-hour of his time. Read More
State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, introduced a bill targeting school bullying. AB 9,known as “Seth’s Law,” requires schools to update anti-harassment and -discrimination policies and actively educate staff and students on the harmful effects of bullying. The law is named for Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old gay student who committed suicide in September. Read More
The most heart-wrenching issues I’ve written about have involved the state’s dependency court and foster-care system. Officials have the power to remove children from their homes and to place them in the care of strangers, yet the system that exercises these vast powers is veiled in secrecy and therefore off-limits to serious news coverage and oversight. Read More