Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved several key bills authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). Yee’s legislation on youth sentencing reform, pipeline safety, school curriculum, corporate tax accountability, online voter registration, and open government will receive a full vote of the Senate next week.
SB 9 – would bring California in line with the rest of the world by ending life without parole (LWOP) sentences for kids. Under SB 9, courts could review cases of juveniles sentenced to life without parole after 10 years, potentially allowing some individuals to receive a new minimum sentence of 25 years to life. The bill would require the offender to be working towards rehabilitation in order to submit a petition for consideration of the new sentence.
SB 216 – would require PG&E and other gas utility companies to install automatic and remotely-controlled shutoff valves throughout California’s pipelines. The gas pipeline that exploded in September 2010 in San Bruno was only equipped with manual shutoff valves and without a technician in the vicinity, the inferno continued for hours, killing 8 people and destroying 38 homes.
SB 302 – would ensure California textbooks are not affected by the extreme right-wing curriculum changes made in Texas back in May 2010 by requiring a review of all social studies textbooks used in the state since the affected changes.
SB 364 – would hold corporations accountable for job creation promises in exchange for tax breaks. SB 364 would require all future tax breaks related to job creation to have clear goals and performance measures. If a corporation failed to meet those promises, the state could recoup the tax credit.
SB 397 – would allow citizens throughout California to register to vote online.
SCA 7 – would ensure public entities follow requirements to post agendas and to disclose any actions taken. If approved by two-thirds of the Legislature, SCA 7 would go before voters during the next statewide ballot. SCA 7 comes after years in which fundamentally important provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act – the state’s main open government law – have been suspended or threatened during state fiscal crisis.
Several other Yee-authored bills also await votes by the full Senate or action in the Assembly.
ADAM J. KEIGWIN | ?
Adam J. Keigwin
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