California Capitol

By Melody Gutierrez
Published: August 28, 2016
Updated:   August 28, 2016 – 8:37pm

SACRAMENTO — The fate of hundreds of bills will be decided by Wednesday, when state lawmakers wrap up their two-year session.

There are already nearly 200 bills on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, including legislation to eliminate the statute of limitation on rape prosecutions, limit the use of solitary confinement at juvenile detention facilities, and eliminate sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products.

Lawmakers will decide how many more bills will make it to the governor’s desk among the more than 300 bills remaining to be heard in the Senate and Assembly this week. Among those is a bill aimed at increasing voter participation in elections by transforming how people vote.

SB450 by Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, would require county registrars to mail ballots to all voters, who could then return them by mail or drop them off at several locations in their county. Currently, voters can request mail ballots. The legislation also would give voters the option of casting votes in person on election day or in the 10 days leading up to it. The bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

“Our current broken system is simply failing us and is not leading to the type of representation and engagement and vibrancy we all hope for from a modern democracy such as ours,” Allen said.

While the fates of many bills have yet to be decided, Brown has already signed some of the session’s biggest bills, including SB32 to extend the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets to 2030, and SB1279, which cuts off state funding to any port that ships coal into or out of California.

In July, Brown signed six gun control bills, which, among other things, will make it harder to buy ammunition in the state and make it illegal to own a magazine clip that holds more than 10 rounds. In April, Brown signed a bill that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 over the course of six years.

“We have passed historic laws on climate change, gun safety and minimum wage, but we have unfinished business,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco.

Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto a bill that reaches his desk on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at some of the other bills this session.

On the governor’s desk:

•AB1995 Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara — Allows homeless students enrolled at a California Community Colleges campus to take showers at the school for their personal hygiene needs.

“I was once homeless while attending community college, so I personally know what it feels like to be desperate for a shower before attending classes,” Williams said.

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