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Capitol Round-Up: Equal Pay Law, Drone Penalties

Alan Cordova / Flickr
 

Alan Cordova / Flickr

California could soon have the nation’s strongest equal pay law. 

The state Senate on Monday unanimously approved the Fair Pay Act, which would ensure that women and men are paid equally for work that is substantially similar.

Shortly before the vote, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, told her colleagues the measure is long overdue.

"Here we are today with a chance to make history," said Jackson, who authored the legislation. "This bill will be the template for other states to follow. This bill will say we are no longer going to differentiate in what we pay people based upon their gender.”

It now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who has said he will sign the bill.

The Senate has also sent the Assembly a bill that would establish penalties for drone operators who interfere with emergencies, including wildfires. It would fine operators up to $5,000.

Drones have delayed emergency response near wildfires this summer.

Jackson told her colleagues in the Senate Monday it’s time to act.

"Unless and until we start putting some parameters and expectations on drones and those who fly them, we are going to find ourselves at increasing risk," she says.

Meanwhile, the Assembly passed a measure that would ban schools and public properties from being named after leaders of the Confederacy.

That bill returns to the Senate for a final vote.