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When Can The Californian Cross The Road, And Other New Laws

Pam Lane / Flickr

Pam Lane / Flickr

It will no longer be illegal to begin crossing the street in California when the orange “Don’t Walk” hand is flashing. That’s under one of 37 bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Monday.

The measure comes with two conditions: The sign must display a numbered countdown and pedestrians must reach the other side of the street before that countdown ends.

Brown also approved a measure that cracks down on the University of California system, after the state auditor accused the Office of the President of interfering with an investigation. UC campuses can no longer confer with the office when answering the auditor’s requests.

And the governor signed off on the final piece of a major overhaul of the state Public Utilities Commission, after it stalled last year. The bill removes much of the commission’s responsibility for overseeing the transportation industry and transfers that authority to other state agencies. It does not reassign oversight of transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft, however.

Brown also vetoed four measures, including one that would have lowered the burden of proof when suing a nursing home for elder abuse or neglect, if a judge finds intentional destruction of evidence. In a veto statement, Brown said judges already “have numerous sanctions at their disposal which they can impose against an offending party.”

Supporters, including consumer attorneys and retiree groups, argue those measures have not prevented destruction of records, allowing nursing homes that have abused their residents to escape without consequence.

But nursing homes, insurers and the California Chamber of Commerce opposed it. Opponents said the bill should allow a judge to decide whether using the lower burden of proof is justified, rather than imposing it automatically.

Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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