Legislature

Brown Ends 2015 With a Whimper: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Landmark bills protecting digital privacy, greening energy use in the state, reining in health insurance abuses and expanding voter registration were among the good proposals signed by Gov. Jerry Brown as the 2015 legislative year drew to a close. Yet, in a year Californians called for bold, progressive action on gas prices, toxics regulation and ratepayer protection against back room dealings with regulated utilities, centrist saddling and tepid reforms dull the shine of those wins for the public. 

Big Oil Gives CA Energy Commission and Californians The Finger

Governor Brown appointed the California Energy Commission (CEC) Petroleum Market Advisory (PMAC) to look into potential market manipulation by oil refiners in the state.
 
That's going to be hard to do now that the trade association for oil refiners, the Western States Petroleum Association, is telling the CEC and PMAC it won't participate in any discussions about supply disruptions or gas price spikes. In other words, FU.
 

Big Privacy Victory As Gov. Brown Signs CalECPA

Californians won a major privacy victory today that catches protections up with modern technology.  Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 178, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), into law.

It will require that law enforcement get a warrant before poking around in our digital records.  If the cops want to search your desk for letters and files, they need a warrant.  But who relies on paper files and letters these days?

Toxics Agency a Little Less Toxic Due to Legislation

After years of criticism over lax oversight of polluters, the Legislature and governor have finally taken action and given more enforcement power to the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The legislation is a good move forward, but more could be done. 
 

No Vote, No Pay

There’s no more basic job description for being a lawmaker than evaluating and voting on bills. But an analysis released this week by Jim Miller at the Sacramento Bee says everyone in California’s Legislature doesn’t have the same work ethic.

Will De León Hold Top Regulator Accountable For Cleanup of Boeing's Toxic Site?

When Barbara Lee came up for confirmation as Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control in July, 50 groups begged the California Senate Rules Committee and Senate pro Tem Kevin de León to put off a vote until Lee, who had been in office six months, took action to punish serial hazardous waste polluters, deny them permits, and force them to clean up communities under toxic assault.

The Rules Committee confirmed her anyway, but she got fair warning.

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