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SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly today approved AB 885 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, passing a milestone measure to limit trial misconduct by prosecutors. The bill would allow judges to inform a jury when a district attorney has been found to have intentionally withheld significant evidence. The bill’s next step is to go to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
“I recently met 40-year-old Obie Anthony, who has spent nearly half his life in prison because prosecutors hid evidence that would have pointed to his innocence,” said Assemblymember Ammiano. “A court has now completely exonerated him, but that exoneration has come 20 years too late. We need this bill to stop the few prosecutors whose zeal for convictions lead them to cut corners on justice. We can’t wait decades to free the innocent while the true perpetrators run free. ”
SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly today gave approval on concurrence votes to two bills by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, sending the legislation to Gov. Jerry Brown. The bills would provide for more complete disclosure in political campaign advertisements and enable funding for important publicly supported housing programs.
The campaign disclosure bill, AB 510, will require campaign commercial advertisements, as described in the Political Reform Act, to include a statement stating “persons portraying members of an occupation in this advertisement are compensated spokespersons not necessarily employed in those occupations.” This would apply when actors portray doctors, teachers or other professionals in an ad as a way of lending credibility to a position.
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s Modern Family Act, AB 2344, passed the California Assembly today, 57-2 on a concurrence vote. The action makes the bill eligible for signature by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Ammiano’s bill would help to reduce unnecessary legal actions involving families who use assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as surrogacy or in vitro fertilization. It would primarily, but not exclusively, benefit LGBT couples who have families through ART.
SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s AB 2087 was approved on a unanimous concurrence vote in the California Assembly today. The bill would rein in the ability of the appointed Community College Board of Governors to wrest control of California community colleges from properly elected public trustees.
Under a vague section of California code, the appointed Community Colleges Board of Governors has taken over faltering community colleges and effectively deposed the elected trustees of those colleges. Most recently, they have done this with City College of San Francisco, an academically lauded and financially stable institution.
Ammiano backs SB 1262
SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Public Safety Committee today approved, with bipartisan backing, a bill to regulate medical marijuana in California. The committee, chaired by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, sent SB 1262 by Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) to Appropriations Committee.
“We will be working assiduously on this,” Ammiano said. “We want to get this to a floor vote.”
Bills aid voters, homeless youth and families using reproductive technology
SACRAMENTO – Committees of the California Senate today passed three key pieces of legislation by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. None of the bills – AB 510, AB 2001 and AB 2344 – faced opposition in their hearings in Senate Elections and Senate Judiciary committees.
The first bill, AB 510, will improve election advertising integrity. It would require that electoral campaign committees producing that feature paid spokespeople portrayed as professionals should either include a disclaimer that the spokespeople are paid actors, or maintain records verifying that the people in the commercial are of the occupation suggested by their appearance in the advertisement.
Agreement garners support from business groups and progressive organizations
SACRAMENTO – The Assembly today passed, by a 56-8 bipartisan vote, a bill by Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) to close a longstanding loophole related to Proposition 13. The bill, AB 2372, represents a significant step in rectifying tax inequities that were created after voters passed Proposition 13.
“We’ve been trying to fix this for years,” Ammiano said. “This loophole has allowed some very large companies to buy and sell property without that property being reassessed. Even businesses acknowledge that is not in the spirit of Proposition 13. What’s more important is that it isn’t fair to the individual property owners or the people of California who are deprived of rightful revenue.”
SACRAMENTO – The Assembly today passed AB 2533, the Patients’ Bill of Rights, which would protect patients’ ability to get necessary medical care in a timely fashion at affordable costs.
“It doesn’t help to have insurance if it doesn’t get you the care you need when you need it,” said Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, the bill’s author. “As health networks seek to reduce costs, they sometimes shrink the size of their network. If people can’t get the needed care within their networks, they should be able to get it out-of-network without having to pay more.”
Package includes bills on medical marijuana, Prop. 13 reform
SACRAMENTO – Five bills by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano were released from suspense and passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee today, clearing the way for votes by the full Assembly next week.
The bills sent on by the Appropriations include major legislation on regulation of medical marijuana, reform of property tax rules, operations of prison Security Housing Units (SHU), services for homeless youth and insurance coverage of out-of-network services.
Asm. Bocanegra becomes joint author, bill gets Chamber support
SACRAMENTO – Historically conflicting advocates came together Tuesday to support AB 2372, Ammiano’s bill to close a commercial property tax loophole, leading the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee to move the bill onto the Appropriations Committee.
The supportive presence of organizations like the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Business Properties Association side-by-side with the California Tax Reform Association led one Republican committee member to refer to hell freezing over and pigs flying. In addition, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association withdrew its opposition to the bill.