Governor Jerry Brown is giving his pen a workout today, signing or vetoing 76 bills.
One of the bills has been linked to the Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations. The bill ends the statutes of limitation when it comes to rape cases. California will have no time limits on when prosecutors can charge someone with rape. The bill was a response to the dozens of women who’ve accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them, some of whom testified during the legislative process. Brown signed the measure without comment, and it had the support of law enforcement, but civil liberties groups opposed it—saying that statutes of limitations are an important protection against false accusations.
Brown signed Elk Grove Assemblyman Jim Cooper's bill to toughen requirements for ride-sharing drivers. The bill basically requires Uber and Lyft and other drivers for these ride-hailing companies to undergo background checks. Companies have to check if they’re registered sex offenders or convicted of violent crimes—those who are can’t be drivers.
Brown vetoed a different bill that would have given taxis more control over their prices. They have a lot more regulation than Uber and Lyft, and they’re losing business to them. The bill would have let taxis drop their prices, and frozen the fees from local governments—Brown said he’s against the state taking control of local affairs.
You'll soon be able to sip a beer at your barber thanks to a bill Brown signed today. It's become common practice for salons and barbershops to offer customers an adult beverage while they sit in the chair, this bill makes it legal for customers to have a drink without these places getting licensed by Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Brown vetoed the second smoking-related bill this week. Monday he nixed a measure that would have banned smoking at public colleges and universities, and today he rejected a ban that would have applied to state parks and beaches. The state already raised the smoking age to 21 this year and added other restrictions.
One other bill that got the ax from Brown today – it would have required all bartenders and alcohol servers to go through a training and certification program on the risks of overserving. It would have been like driver’s ed for people who serve alcohol. Brown said he’d rather have a state agency look at what it needs to do to beef up training.