“Don’t let them down.”
That was the message accompanying California Governor Jerry Brown’s sign-off on a new law Saturday that gives cities more power to build shelters for the homeless.
The law authorizes San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and select other cities struggling with a homelessness (but not Sacramento) to ignore land use plans, convert public buildings and suspend other zoning laws to create temporary housing.
“This extraordinary grant of exception should be used wisely and expeditiously,” Brown wrote in one of the few signing statements he’s issued this year. “The thousands and thousands of men and women living on our streets are looking to the leaders of these communities for decent shelter and a place of dwelling, not abandonment.”
The measure passed the Legislature with the support of those cities and with no registered opposition.
It was one of 40 measures the governor signed on Saturday. He vetoed another 14 bills.
New gun laws
Brown also approved several new laws regulating firearms. Under one measure, people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes will be subject to a 10-year ban on possessing firearms.
Another bill closes an exception to the ban on guns in school zones. School officials can no longer issue written permission for someone to bring their gun.
The UC Firearms Violence Research Center—which lawmakers created last year to fill a research void that’s existed since Congress cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control in the 1990s—will have new access to data about who in the state has been issued a temporary restraining order against possessing a gun.
Earlier this week, Brown also approved a measure that extends restrictions on open-carrying of rifles to unincorporated areas of counties. He also vetoed a bill that would have required gun stores to adopt new security measures.
No asking job applicants about criminal history
Companies with at least five employees will no longer be allowed to include a question on job applications about prior criminal convictions.
Brown signed a law that proponents dubbed “Ban the Box.” It still allows an employer to conduct a criminal background check, but only after they have made a conditional offer for the job.
Business groups opposed the bill, which passed the Legislature with the support of labor unions and civil liberties groups.
With Saturday’s bill signings, Brown has approved 815 new laws this year and vetoed 93. He has until tomorrow, October 15, to act on the remaining 69 measures on his desk.
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