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Joe Simitian

driver talking on cellphone

Hefty Fines For Drivers Who Violate Hands-Free Cellphone Law

In an effort to persuade drivers not to break the law, a bill passed by the state legislature, and awaiting the governor’s signature, would raise the penalty from $20 to $309 for a first offense.



Bay Area Education Advocates Ask Governor To Keep Data System

A California lawmaker and prominent business group are calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to restore funding to develop statewide data systems to track student and teacher performance.


High Speed Rail Image (

Phil Matier: California High Speed Rail Authority Chooses Speed Over Savings

A proposal to launch bullet trains through the Bay Area on retooled Caltrain tracks, instead of a brand new rail system, has been scrapped by the California High Speed Rail Authority.


driver talking on cellphone

Calif. Senate Approves Higher Fines For Breaking Hands-Free Law

The California state Senate has approved a bill that would increase fines for texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving.

CBS San Francisco–04/25/2011


Peninsula Lawmakers Want Caltrain Integrated With High-Speed Rail

Three lawmakers urged the California High-Speed Rail Authority to integrate the planned train system more closely with Caltrain along the Peninsula.

KPIX 5–04/18/2011

driver talking on cellphone

Bill Would Toughen California’s Hands-Free Driving Law

There’s a new effort to put some teeth in California’s ban on using cellphones while driving, making a second offense an even stiffer moving violation.



California Legislature Approves Renewable Energy Rules

California lawmakers have approved a bill that would create the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the nation.

KPIX 5–03/30/2011

Wind generators (AP)

California Senate Approves Rules For Renewable Energy

The state Senate has approved a law setting rules for how utilities can meet the state’s ambitious goal to draw a third of their power from alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal within 10 years.

CBS San Francisco–02/24/2011

Solar Panels (AP)

California Lawmakers Promote Clean Energy Standards

The California Legislature’s Democratic leaders on Wednesday promised quick passage of measures they said will position the state as the national leader in developing clean energy alternatives and green jobs.

CBS San Francisco–02/02/2011


Bay Area Lawmaker Seeks More Privacy Protections For Consumers

California consumers could soon be afforded more privacy protection. Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has authored a bill that would strengthen notification requirements.