California will monitor money in outside accounts
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to keep track of taxpayer dollars managed outside the state treasury.
Brown's office announced Thursday he had signed AB1583 after CalFIRE was discovered handling money in an outside account without permission.
The bill was carried by Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach to implement recommendations of a 2013 state audit.
That review found $9 billion in state funds were kept outside the treasury system. It said that while the state Department of Finance can allow the practice, the money poses a greater risk for mismanagement.
It singled out CalFIRE for using its outside account to skirt budget and equipment-buying rules.
AB1583 requires the state controller to prepare an annual report listing all outside bank accounts and their balances.
MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT
State military removed from sexual assault cases
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill enshrining into law the state military policy to refer sexual assault cases to civilian prosecutors.
The symbolic move comes as federal lawmakers consider whether U.S. military commanders should continue investigating assault cases within their ranks. Brown's office announced signing SB1422 on Thursday.
Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles says the law shows California leading by example on an issue of national concern. Advocates for sexual assault victims have been pushing for the investigation and prosecution of their abusers to be removed from the military chain of command.
SB1422 applies to the California Military Department, which oversees 24,000 people serving in the National Guard, Naval Militia and Military Reserve. The bill also requires the department to report sexual assault statistics every year.
Lawmakers approve bills expanding revenge porn ban
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers approved two bills that would expand a state ban on so-called revenge porn.
The Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved SB1255 by Republican Sen. Anthony Cannella of Ceres. It clarifies that the ban on sharing intimate photos by former lovers without consent includes "selfies," or pictures taken by the victim.
It passed 75-0 and goes to the Senate.
The Senate also passed AB2643 by Democratic Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski of Fremont. It allows victims of such crimes to sue for damages using a pseudonym.
Under current law, it is a misdemeanor to post identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without permission with the intent to cause emotional distress or humiliation. The penalty is up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
AB2643 passed 36-0.
California would delete old immigration language
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers are seeking to remove references in state law to a divisive 20-year-old immigration ballot measure in legislation going to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Nearly 60 percent of voters approved Proposition 187 in 1994. The measure would have banned immigrants who are illegally in the country from accessing most social services.
The courts overturned it and the proposition was never implemented. But the language still remains on the books, two decades after Republican Gov. Pete Wilson pushed for the measure in his re-election campaign.
SB396 by Democratic Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles would remove that outdated language. The measure won bipartisan support in the Senate on Thursday, passing 33-0.
De Leon says having the provisions in state law "only serves to confuse the public."
California permits outdoor dining with dogs
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Fido can feast with you now when you go out to eat.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday announced signing a bill permitting pet dogs at restaurants with outdoor spaces. It does not force restaurants to allow dogs, but rather implements guidelines for how they can accommodate pets.
Some local public health departments have allowed dogs in outdoor dining areas for years, but the state has banned the practice. Local jurisdictions can still ban it if they choose.
The bill requires a separate entrance for outdoor dining areas and says pets are not allowed on chairs, seats or benches. They also must be on a leash or in a pet carrier under control of the owner.
Owners also must clean up after their pets.
The law takes effect next year.
Senate rejects banning microbeads in cosmetics
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Senate refused on an initial vote to ban plastic microbeads in soaps and cosmetics.
Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara argued that the bill would level the playing field among manufacturers, some of whom already are phasing out the exfoliating ingredients.
But AB1699 fell one vote short of the 21 it needed to pass Thursday.
The author, Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, says supporters will try again before the Legislature adjourns for the year next week.
The bill would prohibit the sale of products containing plastic microbeads starting in 2019. A Senate amendment would allow over-the-counter drugs to contain the microbeads until 2020.
Jackson says the microbeads can harm the environment and says there are natural alternatives.
DEAD BODIES-ADJACENT HOMES
Bodies of 2 men found in adjacent California yards
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - Authorities are investigating the deaths of two men in neighboring backyards in Northern California.
Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Doug Pittman says investigators believe the deaths in an unincorporated part of Mill Valley are related and are treating them as a double homicide.
Detectives were looking into the shooting death of the first man late Wednesday when they discovered the body of a second man also shot in an adjacent yard early Thursday morning.
Investigators also found a rifle alongside the second body.
Pittman says some witnesses recall hearing as many as two shots Wednesday afternoon. He says investigators are not looking for any possible suspects.
The names of the victims have not been released.
FATAL HIT AND RUN
Aunt of toddler killed pleads not guilty
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An aunt has pleaded not guilty to her alleged role in the fatal hit-and-run accident of her 2-year-old niece.
Loryresha Gage (cq) entered her plea to felony child endangerment during her arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday.
Prosecutors accuse the 25-year-old Gage of leaving her niece, Mi'Yana Gregory, alone in the middle of a busy crosswalk while trying to get her nephew, who remained on a sidewalk, in the city's South of Market neighborhood late Friday night.
Authorities say when Gage went back to get her nephew, her niece was fatally struck by a white car legally traveling through a green light.
Police are still looking for the driver.
Gage is being held on $50,000 bail. Her attorney, Kevin Mitchell, told reporters that his client should not be facing any charges.
Gage is due back in court on August 28.
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