The Mixer: Sactown’s Sack of Bills, Bills, Bills

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Summer’s in the air, so let’s take a trip… to Sacramento!

Yes, people go to Sacramento in the Summer. Although, technically, we took the trip by phone. Which is what most people prefer when it comes to Sacramento.

We got together with Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee and Patrick McGreevy from the Los Angeles Times.

Today was the deadline to pass bills out of their houses of origin in the Legislature. Meaning, those bills had to pass the same chamber they were introduced in, in order to live another day.

The Senate cleared their file yesterday, and the Assembly wrapped up today.

A whole gamut of bills made it through, including:

– The Senate also approved a package of seven gun control bills, including background checks for people who buy ammunition, introduced in response to the massacre atSandy HookElementary School inNewtown,Conn.

– The Assembly approved legislation that would make it easier for immigrants in the country illegally to obtain California driver’s licenses. Any chance the governor will sign off on this one? Our panel was unsure.

– The Senate passed its version of a school funding formula. Unlike Governor Jerry Brown’s plan, it does not include extra money for districts with a majority of low-income and non-English speaking students.

– Assembly passed a bill to increase the minimum wage over the next three years – but this got a lot of opposition from Republicans and business leaders…

– An Assembly bill would limit when schools can suspend students for “willful defiance” – this was a big issue here in Los   Angeles

– Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg won bipartisan support for a bill that would streamline California’s environmental laws – something he says is 40 years overdue…

– The state Senate approved legislation that would strip tax-exempt status from nonprofit groups including the Boy Scouts of America that deny participation of people based on sexual orientation or religion…

-Assembly also OK’d a Snoopy license plates bill to support museums across the state.

Bills that failed included leagislation that would regulate medical marijuana, a bill that would place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and legislation that would’ve banned plastic shopping bags at large stores by 2015.

That last piece of legislation was sponsored by State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles). Peter and Dan believe this was a smackdown to Padilla by other Latino lawmakers because they feel like the bill would’ve put plastics workers out of work.