Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 09/14/2011 09:57:14 PM PDT

Sacramento lawmakers from the Inland Empire have a number of bills recently signed into law, or sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature or veto.

The bills moved through the state Legislature at a time of significant budgetary shortfall, unemployment and ongoing divisiveness over immigration, business regulations and taxes. Together, they have colored the political environment in Sacramento, for better and for worse, experts say.

“The top issue is the ongoing and seemingly never-ending fiscal crisis for the state,” said Doug Johnson, a fellow at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College. “When the housing crisis started, that put California into a serious fiscal shortfall, and every year the Legislature has taken small steps but has really postponed any real change in the hope that the problem would go away.”

Dan Schnur, the director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, said lawmakers are under tremendous pressure to do something to look like they’re helping the economy.

“It’s in that type of environment that you often see business and labor coming together on job-creation measures,” Schnur said. “There are still going to be hundreds of bills where the two sides won’t ever agree, but a bad economy does create a situation where at least some common ground can happen.”
Among the bills approved or awaiting Brown’s potential approval by Oct. 9.

Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Chino

Signed:

A.B. 169 makes education funding more accessible to at-risk youths by clarifying that County Offices of Education are eligible for state and federal education funding.

A.B. 483 ensures that supportive housing units are available for chronically homeless individuals and youths aging out of the foster-care system.

A.B. 840 assists agricultural employers in increasing the supply of farmworker housing by clarifying existing law related to zoning requirements.

Pending Brown’s signature:

A.B. 665 would create higher penalties against peeping toms. Law enforcement would be able to lock up repeat offenders for up to one year in jail, impose a fine of up to $2,000, or both. The bill also requires a higher penalty for any violation where the victim is a minor.

A.B. 706 clarifies the current membership of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority by making it clear that City Council members can serve on the board.

Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills

Signed:

A.B. 571 updates the corporations code, which was developed in the 1970s. The bill allows businesses to use a more streamlined approach to dealing with dividends and distributions of shares. A.B. 571 would give businesses the right to determine the distribution of shares through formulas best fitting their financial model.

Pending Brown’s signature

A.B. 135 would create a requirement for one member of the state’s Air Resources Board to be an owner within the past five years of a small business. This bill has a sunset date of Jan. 1, 2017.

A.B. 258 would create an exemption from the state vaccination requirement for very ill dogs whose life would be endangered by the vaccine. The exemption determination would have to be made on an annual basis by a licensed veterinarian for reasons they can verify and document.

Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga

Signed:

A.B. 398 allows the state fire marshal to accept Department of Defense training as equivalent training for firefighters.

A.B. 1091 seeks to clarify existing law surrounding the provisions requiring a licensed contractor to notify the Contractor’s State License Board of any changes to the listed qualifier for a business.

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