California’s political news this summer understandably has focused on the now-concluded gubernatorial recall election, but that sideshow has led to insufficient attention on some of the major bills that have moved ahead. This session, more than 800 bills are on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, which is a smaller number than usual.

The Legislature has passed its usual mishmash of nanny state meddling, environmental virtue signaling and union-backed priorities, but it also passed a surprising number of sensible bills. In the latter category, Newsom has a chance to approve a package of police-accountability measures that could bring California in line with the best practices in other states.For instance, California is one of only four states that doesn’t have a process for decertifying abusive and misbehaving police officers. When officers have engaged in misconduct, they might get fired — but then they often get a new job at another law-enforcement department.

Senate Bill 2 “grants new powers to the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to investigate and determine peace officer fitness and to decertify officers who engage in “serious misconduct,” as the Senate analysis explains.The governor also is considering Senate Bill 16, which subjects more police disciplinary records to disclosure under the California Public Records Act. Police agencies often resist disclosure, but this bill mandates that “all records maintained by local and state governmental agencies are open to public inspection unless specifically exempt.” We urge him to sign both of those bills.Senate Bill 98 makes “it clear that reporters may access areas shut off by police for a command post or similar during a protest, march, rally, etc.” This also deserves a signature, as does Assembly Bill 48 limiting police use of “rubber” bullets at protests.In the land-use area, Senate Bills 9 and 10 address the state’s housing crisis by granting property owners more latitude to build additional units. SB 9 provides homeowners with the “by right” approval to subdivide their lot and build a duplex. SB 10 allows localities to rezone parcels along transit lines for multi-family developments.

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We see these bills as an advancement for property rights, and appreciate that they rein in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and promote housing construction through deregulation rather than subsidies. The governor should sign both bills, although he is facing pushback from cities and slow-growthers.

The rest of the news is mostly bad. Assembly Bill 701 would limit warehouses from applying productivity quotas to their workers, but it will result in shipping delays, higher prices and could chase away badly needed blue-collar jobs. Senate Bill 62, which forbids piece-rate compensation in the garment industry, will likewise harm employment opportunities by incentivizing “wage theft” lawsuits.

Assembly Bill 1084 “requires a retail department store with 500 or more employees that sells childcare items or toys to maintain a gender neutral section or area.” Stores are perfectly capable of coming up with their own merchandising arrangements, and parents are well suited to help their kids sort through any gender-related choices.Unfortunately, the Legislature didn’t spend sufficient time grappling with …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News


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