January 8, 2019

USA: 18 Important Signings And Vetoes From Governor Brown’s Before He Left Office That Took Effect January 1, 2019. California Forces Pet Stores to Sell Only Dogs, Cats, Rabbits From Shelters

Los Angeles Magazine
written by Brittany Martin
October 2, 2018

At the end of last week, Jerry Brown had a stack of bills on his desk that had all been approved by the state legislature, and a deadline. By Sunday night, he was required to either sign or veto anything the legislature had given him during the session. Those 183 bills represented his last chance to affirm or reject laws for the state before the end of his term as California’s longest-serving governor.

Here are a few of the major bills that Governor Brown’s pen touched in recent days. Anything signed will take effect on January 1, 2019. Vetoed bills will be returned to the legislature and could be up to Gavin Newsom or John Cox to settle in the next term.

Net Neutrality (SB-822)

With SB-822, Brown signed into California law the strictest Net Neutrality standards in the country. Under the rule, every broadband internet subscriber in the state is entitled to the same content at the same speed, and service providers can’t block or slow your ability to view programming or information from their competitors. Almost before the ink on Brown’s signature could dry, the federal Department of Justice announced it would be filing a lawsuit to block the law’s implementation; not surprising given the administration’s previous roll-back of Obama-era federal Net Neutrality protections.

Ban on Nondisclosure Agreements in Cases of Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Discrimination (SB-820)
Ban on Requiring New Employees to Sign Nondisclosure Agreements (SB-1300)

Two of the four so-called “#MeToo Bills” were signed, limiting employers’ abilities to use legally binding nondisclosure agreements to silence or punish workers who want to publicly report workplace abuses. The other two of the four, however, were vetoed. AB-3080 would have banned the practice of forcing workers into binding, private arbitration of harassment claims. AB-1870 would have extended the deadline to file a harassment or discrimination claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to three years.

Requiring All Publicly-Held Corporations in California to Include Women on their Boards of Directors (SB-826)

With this on the books, California becomes the first state to ever require corporations to include females in leadership. To continue to operate, any publicly-held business will (theoretically) have to prove they have at least one woman on the board by the end of 2019. Brown acknowledged the bill’s “potential flaws that may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation,” but he decided to approve the measure as something of a symbolic act.

Requiring the Release of Body Camera Footage Within 45 Days of a Police Shooting (AB-748)
Allowing Public Access to Police Records in Use-of-Force Cases and Findings of Sexual Assault or Misconfuct (SB-1421)

Brown signed this pair of bills, both of which are aimed at increasing law enforcement transparency. Police unions across the state had vehemently lobbied against both (though the California Police Chiefs Association did back SB-1421), but with the recent shooting of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police fresh in the memory, increasing accountability won out.

Ending the Trial of 14- and 15-Year-Old Criminal Defendants as Adults (SB-1391)
Ending Criminal Prosecution of Children Under Age 12 for Certain Crimes (SB-439)

These two bills, both sponsored by Los Angeles representatives, attempt to reform how the state approaches criminal justice for young people. SB-1391 was strongly opposed by law enforcement and some victims’ rights advocates, and in his signing statement, Brown noted that he had “carefully listened to that opposition” before making his decision. In the end, he wrote that there was a “fundamental principle at stake here: whether we want a society which at least attempts to reform the youngest offenders before consigning them to adult prisons where their likelihood of becoming a lifelong criminal is so much higher.” He also signed the related SB-439, which prohibits prosecutions of crimes other than murder or forcible sexual assault by children under age 12.

Raising of the Minimum Age to Purchase Any Firearm to 21 (SB-1100)
Imposing of Lifetime Gun-Ownership Bans on ‘Dangerous Gun Owners’ (AB-1968) and Individuals Convicted of Domestic Violence (AB-3129)
Requiring that Applicants for Concealed-Carry Weapons Permits Undergo Minimum Training and Live-Fire Testing (AB-2013)
Ban on ‘Bump Stock’ Devices (SB-1346)
Addition of Ammunition and Magazines to Items that Can Be Temporarily Confiscated as Part of a Gun Violence Restraining Order (SB-1200)

California already has some of the tightest gun control laws in the United States, but Governor Brown just added a few more. Sales of handguns were already limited to those 21 and over, so SB-1100 brings “long guns” such as rifles and shotguns under the same standard (with certain exceptions for members of the military, law enforcement officers, and those with valid California hunting licenses). The other big moves here are AB-1968, which institutes a new lifetime ban on gun purchases for anyone involuntarily committed to a metal health facility and determined to be a danger to themselves or others, and AB-3129 which does the same for people convicted of domestic violence. Brown didn’t just sign every gun control bill that landed in his stack, however; he vetoed a measure that would have placed some very specific limitations on gun show sales.

Fast-Track Status for Construction of a New Clippers Basketball Arena (AB-987)

This law, introduced by L.A. assembly member Sydney Kamlager-Dove, puts a nine-month time limit on any lawsuits relating to environmental impact complaints surrounding construction of the new arena complex in Inglewood, something Clippers management argued they need in order to be able to meet the projected 2024 opening date. In exchange, the project is required to make certain efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and promote use of public transportation for getting to games. Brown also signed a second very similar bill giving the same fast-track status to construction of a new stadium for the Oakland A’s baseball team.

Allowing Bars to Push Last Call to 4 a.m. (SB-905)

This bill would have launched a five-year pilot program in nine California cities to study the impacts of allowing for some venues that serve alcohol to have the option to continue serving for two hours later than the current mandatory 2 a.m. cut off. Those nine pilot cities were to include Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Coachella. However, the governor vetoed the project, fearing what he said could turn into two hours of “mayhem.”

Measure to Allow California Taxpayers to Claim Certain Deductions as a Trump Tax Plan Work-Around (SB-539)

This bill, introduced by L.A. state senator (and current candidate for U.S. Senate) Kevin de Leรณn was deemed a “bold idea” by Brown, but was probably always more of a political play than a long-term policy since other states have passed similar measures and the IRS has already announced it will be nullifying them by the end of this year. The concept was to allow taxpayers to claim a charitable deduction on their federal taxes for any California state tax burdens that exceed the $10,000 limit set by the Trump tax plan.
New York Times
written by Christine Hauser
Wednesday January 2, 2019

California this week became the first state in the nation to bar pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits unless they come from animal shelters or rescue groups.

The law targets the controversial breeding facilities known as puppy mills or kitten factories, which often operate with little or no oversight and “house animals in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate food, water, socialization or veterinary care,” according to a fact sheet for the legislation, A.B. 485.

The new rules took effect on Tuesday after Gov. Jerry Brown signed them into law in October 2017, a gap meant to give pet store operators time to prepare their businesses for compliance.

While some cities and counties in California already restricted sales from unlicensed breeding facilities, the law was the first to apply across the state, the fact sheet said. Pet store owners who do not comply face a penalty of $500 per animal.

“Because pet stores are one step removed from the breeding of the animals they sell, store owners rarely know the breeding conditions of their animals,” the fact sheet said.

People may still buy dogs or cats directly from breeders.

The statewide legislation is the first of its kind to take effect in the United States, but other states are following suit with similar regulations that affect pet retail outlets.

Kevin O’Neill, vice president for state affairs of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said in an interview on Wednesday that California’s legislation appeared to be the beginning of a trend, with other statewide measures being drafted or considered in Washington State, New York and New Jersey.

“It did somewhat open up the possibility of moving it from a municipal effort to a statewide effort,” he said. “I think you are going to start seeing more and more states doing it.”

More than 250 cities and local governments across the country have similar measures that curtail mass breeding operations of dogs and cats, the A.S.P.C.A. said. In November, Atlanta became the ninth city in Georgia to prohibit so-called puppy and kitten mills. Instead, pet stores would exclusively offer cats and dogs for adoption, the City Council announced.

In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan signed a law in April that bars pet store operators from selling dogs and cats but allows them to host adoptions. Stores may benefit financially from the adoptions because they can lure potential customers, Mr. O’Neill said.

The law in Maryland, which takes effect in 2020, has not put a damper on business at Charm City Puppies in Columbia, which has sold about 95 dogs in the past month, said Ashley Lawson, an assistant manager. She said on Wednesday that the store sold only animals from federally licensed breeders across the United States.

“Today we are actually low on puppies because of the holiday season,” she said, although the store was selling a Cavalier King Charles spaniel for $2,499 and a Yorkshire terrier for $1,999.

“We are still looking forward to fighting it or overturning it,” she said, referring to the law. “It is all in the beginning stages.”

Some customers do not have the option to adopt, particularly if they are looking for a certain type of dog, she said. “That is why we believe they should be given a choice.”

In California, the law that took effect on Tuesday was written by two State Assembly members, Patrick O’Donnell and Matt Dababneh, both Democrats. The legislation’s fact sheet said the bill was meant to address “extremely minimal” federal standards, such as a requirement that says a cage may be only six inches larger than the animal it houses and may be cleaned just once a week.

There were also financial considerations, with approximately $250 million a year in taxpayer money used to house animals in local shelters, the fact sheet said.

Mike Bober, the president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, a national advocacy group, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that the California legislation was “well intentioned but misguided” and that it could have a negative effect on about two dozen pet stores in the state.

Mr. Bober said it would have made more sense to institute a measure that provided better enforcement of federal law requiring stores to guarantee and post credentials from licensed breeders.

“People argue that a pet sale ban is going to be the magic bullet,” Mr. Bober said. “We think there are ways to do what the supporters of these bans want to do, without jeopardizing consumer protections and putting small businesses out of business.”

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