SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latest on action in the California Legislature (all times local):
The California Assembly has killed a bill that would require middle and high schools to start school at 8:30 a.m. or later after fierce debate.
Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria and other supporters say later school start times will improve students’ energy levels and performance.
But detractors say such a mandatory statewide requirement would restrict communities’ ability to set start times that are best for them. They say a mandatory later start time could put a burden on parents and cause problems for extracurricular activities before and after school.
The proposal would’ve given school districts several years to implement the later start times.
SB328 by Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino was 15 votes short in Thursday’s vote. The Assembly can reconsider it on Friday.
California lawmakers voted to add school sexual assault response guidelines to state law after a Trump administration official said it would roll back the rules at the federal level.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week announced she would change guidance given to schools under the Obama administration that she says is unfair to those accused of sexual assault.
The Obama-era rules, issued in 2011, require schools to find the accused student responsible in sexual assault investigations if more than half of evidence points to their guilt. They also require that trained employees handle the cases.
The California bill, SB169, adds the rules to state law to pre-empt DeVos’ decision to walk them back.
The California Legislature has moved one step closer to requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the California ballot.
After clearing the Assembly on Thursday, the measure needs final approval from the Senate before going to Gov. Jerry Brown. If he signs it, California would be the only state to pass such a measure after a flurry of bills introduced in nearly 30 states earlier this year failed to gain traction. President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns during the 2016 campaign prompted the efforts.
Tax returns show income sources, charitable donations and other financial information. Major presidential candidates typically release them.
California’s bill would make candidates share five years of returns to get on the ballot. The returns would be made public online.
In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill.
Californians may soon be able to choose the third gender option when applying for a driver’s license or other state-issued identification card.
Legislation passed Thursday by the Senate now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown.
If he signs it, the options of ‘female,’ ‘male,’ and ‘non-binary’ will be available on state-issued IDs. The Department of Motor Vehicles can’t require someone to show documentation proving their gender choice. The bill also makes it easier for people to change their names and gender identity on other official documents such as birth certificates.
Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria says a driver’s license is such an essential part of everyday life that everyone should be allowed to ensure it matches their gender identity. He says the legislation could affect as many as 250,000 Californians.
Oregon recently added a gender-neutral option to state IDs.
A bill to phase out fossil fuels from California’s energy grid is struggling in the state Assembly.
Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden of Pasadena said Thursday the bill lacks support and won’t come up for a vote in the Utilities and Energy Committee that he leads. His statement comes as lawmakers press toward the last day of the legislative year on Friday.
The measure would require that California get 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, up from 50 percent currently required. It also would direct utilities to me up with plans to get the remaining 40 percent from carbon-free sources.
SB100 was written by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon. The Los Angeles Democrat is pressuring the Assembly to approve the bill.
California lawmakers have backed legislation to prohibit the sale of marijuana edibles shaped like a person, animal, insect or fruit.
The bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday is an attempt to prevent pot-infused sweets from appealing to children.
Brown vetoed similar legislation earlier this week that sought to define standards for packaging that would not appeal to children. The governor says his administration is working on regulations to packaging and labeling marijuana edibles.
California voters legalized marijuana for adult use last year and the state is preparing to begin sales at state-licensed stores next year.
Critics of AB350 say kids are attracted to sweets regardless of the shape.
The measure was written by Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield.
California lawmakers say children shouldn’t be denied a healthy meal at school if their parents fail to pay their lunch bills.
A bill to ban the practice of so-called “lunch shaming” is heading to Gov. Jerry Brown after passing the Senate on Thursday. That means students can’t be publicly shamed or given a different meal than other students if their parents fail to pay. It also requires local education authorities to help families sign up for free- and reduced-lunch programs if they can’t pay.
Backers of the bill say children shouldn’t be used as debt-collection instruments.
Several states are pursuing efforts to stop lunch shaming kids. The U.S. Agriculture Department now requires districts to adopt policies to inform parents about meal debts, but it’s not banning any practices.
California lawmakers have approved a bill requiring pet stores to sell dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters or rescue operations.
It now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown.
It bans pet stores from selling animals bred in so-called “puppy mills” and other mass-breeding operations. Instead, stores must work with public animal control agencies, shelters or rescue groups.
The stores must keep records for up to one year showing where they get the dogs, cats and rabbits they sell.
No Assembly members spoke against the bill. Supporters say it ensures only animals bred healthily and humanely are sold.
Pet stores that violate the new law would face a $500 fine.
More than 30 California counties and cities already require pet stores to sell rescue animals.