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The New Year hasn’t even started and yet state lawmakers already are introducing bills for 2015. You’ll recall the California Legislature convened for a day earlier this month, when lawmakers were sworn in for the 2015-16 session. Starting then, legislators may introduce bills for the coming year. Here’s a look at some of the proposals by San Diego-area lawmakers.
Holiday Pay: Assembly Bill 67 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D) would require employers to pay their workers double if they work on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Reinstatement from the military: AB 64 by Chavez would require that civil service employees reinstated at their jobs after an active tour in the military be given the same shift and number of hours worked as they had immediately prior to going on active duty.
Veterans’ organizations: Senate Bill 2 by Sen. Joel Anderson (R) would require that an existing law that exempts the property of a veterans charity from taxes, include properties used as fraternal lodges or social clubs.
Drones: AB 14 by Assemblywoman Marie Waldron (R) would establish a task force to develop regulations for unmanned aircraft.
Video games: AB 16 by Waldron would establish a tax credit for the video game industry. The specifics of the credit are still being developed by the assemblywoman.
Stolen nude photos: AB 32 by Waldron would make it a crime, punishable by up to a $10,000 fine, to copy or distribute a digital photograph of a person’s “intimate body part.”
Joel Mendenhall: Assembly Concurrent Resolution 4 by Waldron would name a portion of State Highway Route 76 in San Diego County the Joel Mendenhall Memorial Highway in honor of a 30-year-old rancher who was killed in heavy machinery accident.
• New Senate Leader Kevin de Leon continues to lay off Senate employees, this time staffers on a panel that questioned one of his bills. (L.A. Times)
• After all that rain, the drought has gotten a little less dire. (L.A. Times)
• Only 14 death sentences were given out in California this year. (SF Chronicle)
• Watch for these things when Gov. Jerry Brown releases his budget proposal next month. (Sacramento Bee)
• California advocates for legalizing marijuana are targeting the 2016 ballot for an initiative. (OC Register)
• An in-depth look at how former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ended up cutting the sentence of a teenager who murdered a San Diego boy. The pardoned teen was the son of Schwarzenegger ally, former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. (L.A. Times)
• Heavy rains cause the governor to declare a state of emergency in a handful of counties. (L.A Times)
• Meet the new Senate chaplain. (Sacramento Bee)
• The governor announced pardons for Christmas. (L.A. Times)
Prediction: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s holiday pay bill will be a big talker in the coming year. Just watch.