California Legislature OKs plan aimed at in-person learning
The school just reopened Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Haven Daily)SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California lawmakers on Thursday approved a $6.6 billion plan aimed at pressuring school districts to return students to the classroom before the end of the school year. Districts that resume in-person learning after that date won’t get any of that money. Frustrated parents and politicians have been clamoring for schools to return students to the classroom for months. To get the money, districts governed by the first set of rules must offer in-person learning through at least second grade by the end of March.
Federal judge says California can enforce net neutrality law
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2020, file photo, state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, speaks at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. On Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, a federal judge ruled California could enforce a 2018 net neutrality law. Jerry Brown signed the bill in 2018, making California the first state to pass a net neutrality law. But in a separate lawsuit, the telecom industry asked a federal judge to keep blocking the law. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez denied their request, allowing California to begin enforcing the law. The law seeks to ban internet providers from slowing down customers' data streams based on the content they are viewing.
California lawmakers propose ban on fracking by 2027
FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2015, file photo, pumpjacks are seen operating in Bakersfield, Calif. Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the state Legislature to ban fracking by 2024. The bill would also ban all fracking in California, along with other forms of oil extraction such as cyclic steaming, by Jan. 1, 2027. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribuSACRAMENTO, Calif. – New legislation would ban all fracking in California by 2027, taking aim at the powerful oil and gas industry in the state already planning to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. AdTwo state senators answered that call Wednesday, announcing a measure that would halt new fracking permits or renewals by Jan. 1 and ban the practice altogether by 2027.
California measure aims to pay off 80% of most unpaid rent
But housing advocates worry the plan gives landlords too much power to decide what happens to their tenants' debt. In October, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia estimated that California renters had compiled $1.7 billion in unpaid rent. California estimating as many as 1.1 million households were behind on their rent in December, facing an estimated $3.6 billion in debt. The state would pay for the program by using $2.6 billion in federal rent relief money from the most recent coronavirus rescue package. The federal money can only be spent on households whose income is 80% or less of the area median income.
California bill would ban intersex surgery for young kids
A similar bill failed to pass last year after facing opposition from the California Medical Association. It would ban specific types of surgeries on infants born with intersex characteristics. There are no state or federal laws regulating intersex surgeries in the U.S., according to InterACT, a national intersex advocacy group. The California Legislature passed a nonbinding resolution in 2018 that urged doctors to defer intersex surgeries on children “until the child is able to participate in decision making." But since then, two major children's hospitals — Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago and Boston Children's Hospital — announced they would stop performing some surgeries on intersex children who were too young to give meaningful consent.
California will house transgender inmates by gender identity
Gavin Newsom signed a law that requires the state to house transgender prisoners based on their gender identity. The law Newsom signed Saturday says officers must ask inmates privately during the intake process if they identify as transgender, nonbinary or intersex. Rhode Island, New York City and Massachusetts have also housed inmates based on their gender identity. The law also requires officers to address transgender inmates based on the pronouns of their choice. And it requires officers to search inmates based on the search policy of their gender identity.