Phil Matier: Topics Up For Debate Before California Lawmakers Leave for Recess
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—California lawmakers will be on recess in a matter of days which means that there will be a flurry of activity the next few days in Sacramento.
There are about 400 bills to pour through over next four days of the session—that’s about 100 a day and that tells says just how much attention is being paid to some.
While there has always been talk about reforming the process, there is a fundamental reason why it can’t be done. There are all these lawmakers up there and they have to do something. So what they do is propose bills and end up passing them because the thinking is: “I’m going to vote for yours and in return, you’ll vote for mine.” And so they always ends up with this landslide at the end; it just happens.
So just what are the big topics this time around? Well, we have some legislation to try to fast track the arena for the Kings in Sacramento and try to get the Warriors off the ground—and over the water—in San Francisco.
Minimum wage—there’s a bill to raise it from $8 to $8.25 and subsequently raise it until it reaches $10 an hour
Hunters may lose their right to use lead ammo—apparently it’s bad for the environment after it goes into the ground.
For unauthorized Immigrants, there’s a new bill to get them drivers licenses.
The tax-exempt status of the Boy Scouts is being challenged because of their policy toward gays.
And of course, one of the big questions being asked is what to do with California’s bursting prison population.
While the Gov. Brown wants to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on new prison construction and possibly sending them out of the state, Darrell Steinberg, the president of the state senate, says “no” to that. He wants more community-based programs. This could end up being the real big one happening behind the scenes as they come to a showdown. If they can’t come to a compromise, then things are really going to start to fly.
And then of course, there is the bill naming the eastern span of the Oakland Bay Bridge after former San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown Jr. This is one of those stories that everyone has an opinion on but have no say because it’s all being decided in Sacramento—it’s state bridge.
All I can say is that I don’t care what they do in state capital; the person who will end up naming the bridge is KCBS’ morning traffic anchor, Kim Wonderley. It’s just the same way that Candlestick Park is still Candlestick Park no matter whose name they put on it because that’s the way we do it.
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