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Lead Ammunition Ban, TRUST Act Pass Senate


One of the most controversial came in the Senate, where a proposed ban on lead hunting ammunition drew fierce words from Republican Senator Jim Nielsen.

“You wanna go against the law-abiding hunters of the state of California, and eliminate hunting in this state, at least diminish it one further step, vote yes,” Nielsen said.

The Senate did so with a 23 to 15 vote.

Senators also passed the TRUST Act, which prohibits local law enforcement agencies from turning undocumented immigrants who commit minor offenses over to federal authorities. Senator Kevin de Leon said it’s an important step toward making immigrants feel welcome. He said they are not feeling like a part of the community now.

“In immigrant communities across the state of California, they’re losing faith and they’re losing trust in law enforcement,” he said. “And this is not a good sign.”

A bill that would modify electric rates also provoked a lengthy discussion in the Senate. Supporters said it would bring the rate system up to date, while critics maintain it would undermine efforts to increase green energy. The measure ultimately passed.

In the Assembly members approved a measure giving local governments a new method for funding redevelopment. They also signed off on an agreement with Nevada to oversee the development around Lake Tahoe.

But hotly debated bill that would allow the California Coastal Commission to levy fines may be dead for the year. The measure had managed to stay alive throughout the legislative process, twice advancing to the next step with just one vote to spare.

Its luck appears to have run out today as the Assembly took its final vote on the measure. Democratic Assemblywoman Toni Atkins authored the bill and in her closing statement implored her colleagues to approve it.

“I would ask for your aye vote and, please, stay with me on this,” she said. “It’s important for Californians who support 1,100 miles of California coast land.”

Despite her plea, the measure fell six votes short of advancing to the governor. Atkins asked for reconsideration and will bring the bill back one more time this week.

Meanwhile Governor Jerry Brown signed a raft of legislation including a bill that closes a loophole in California rape law. It is now illegal for anyone to impersonate someone else in order to coerce a person into having sex.  He also signed a bill that makes “swatting” a crime. That involves making a false 911 call about a celebrity’s home.

Brown vetoed a bill that calls for fining drivers who don’t pull over for emergency vehicles.   

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