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Proof of Insurance Through Smartphones OK Under New Law

California drivers will have the option to present proof of  insurance in electronic form under a bill signed September 7 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bill — AB 1708 by Asssemblyman Mike Gatto, a Los Angeles Democrat — allows auto insurers to issue  proof of insurance  in electronic form, if  a policy holder requests it.    Read more »



History Suggests Lawmakers Voting “No” on Workers Compensation Bill Made the Right Call

John Burton, former Senate President Pro Tempore and now head of the California Democratic Party, is fond of saying “you can never get in trouble voting ‘no’ on a big bill.”

In the final hours of the legislative session the Senate and Assembly approved – on lop-sided votes – a 160-page measure that its supporter’s claim will increase benefits by some $860 million for injured workers and reduce expenses in the costly and cumbersome state workers compensation system by $1 billion.    Read more »



Facebook Becomes a Bigger Drag on the State Budget

On September 4, Facebook shares closed at $17.73. After-hours trading did bring the share price back to $18.05, however.

When the social media giant went public in May, the opening price was $38.00.

Facebook’s steady erosion in share price has a direct impact on the state budget.

Projections by Gov. Jerry Brown’s Department of Finance upon which the current budget is premised say in November Facebook stock will trade at $35.    Read more »



The Assembly Plays Legislative Bingo

The last days of the Assembly session are filled with mischief and the passage of numerous bills with little or no debate.

Listeners and viewers of the proceedings in the lower house during those final hours might have been struck by a largish number of seeming non sequiturs punctuating the speeches made by Assembly members.    Read more »



Brown Approves California’s First Off-Reservation Indian Casinos

In a major decision that could create far-reaching changes for Indian gaming in California, Gov. Jerry Brown agreed August 31 with federal authorities to allow two tribes to build large casinos on sites outside their reservations.

“While I am reluctant to allow the expansion of gaming on land currently ineligible for it, I concur in your determination,” Brown wrote federal officials who had previously approved the tribes’ proposed gambling facilities.    Read more »



San Francisco Might Soon Have a “John Burton Highway”

Although as an Assembly member and senator he routinely opposed legislation naming parts of the state transportation system after lawmakers, dead peace officers or famous Californians, state Democratic Party Chair John Burton is likely to have a sliver of asphalt bearing his name.

A unanimous vote by the Senate sent SCR 93 to Gov.    Read more »



Landmark Bill Banning Sexual Orientation Change Therapy for Minors On Governor’s Desk

Psychologists and psychiatrists would be banned from using therapies on minors to change their sexual orientation under legislation sent to Gov. Jerry Brown by lawmakers on August 30.

The landmark measure would prohibit “reparative therapy” from being practiced on persons under the age of 18.

“Few things are more offensive than child abuse and, frankly, that’s what these types of psychological treatments are,” said Sen.    Read more »



Brown to Decide on Allowing Off-Reservation Tribal Casinos

Gov. Jerry Brown will decide August 31 whether two California Indian tribes can open two sprawling casinos not located on their lands.

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians in Mariposa County and the Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians in Butte County would be the first California tribes allowed to operate casinos not located on their tribal lands.    Read more »



A Statue of Ronald Reagan for California’s Capitol?

Among the measures lawmakers will be landing on Gov. Jerry Brown’s already well-piled desk is allowing a statue of President – and former California Governor – Ronald Reagan to be placed in the “new” section of the state Capitol.

in 2011, Vandals Tipped this Reagan Statue in Newport Beach to the Left

The statue’s design, placement and upkeep would be paid for by the Ronald Reagan Centennial Capitol Foundation, created last year to help celebrate the actor-turned-politician’s 100th birthday.    Read more »



Space the Final Frontier — For Limited Civil Liability

A bill backed by the nascent commercial space industry would give those companies protection from lawsuits if they warn passengers that space flight is inherently dangerous.

Supporters, like Virgin Galactic and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, say that reasonable liability protections will help grow their industry.

“The human spaceflight industry and the jobs it creates require sensible regulation governing liability,” write Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company in support.    Read more »