It is time to get bills out of the houses of origin. Consequently, I’ve been on the Senate Floor everyday this week.
On Monday I presented three of my bills, which all passed using the unanimous roll call opportunity by the presiding officer of the day’s Session. They were SB 359 (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-359-municipal-referendum-petitions), SB 535 (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-535-counting-greenhouse-gas-emissions-fires-scoping-plan), and SB 754 (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-754-hoa-elections-acclamation and MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 754 — March 16, 2019 ).
On Tuesday I had two more bills approved by unanimous roll call, SB 496 (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-496-protections-against-financial-abuse-elder-and-dependent-adults and MOORLACH UPDATE — Senate Bills 511, 584, 598, 496 and 640 — April 15, 2019 and MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 496 and SB 598 — March 6, 2019) and SB 184 (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-184-judicial-fairness-act-2019).
I hope to have the same success with SB 598 today (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-bill-598-open-financial-statements-act and MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 598 Moves On — May 16, 2019 and MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 496 and SB 598 — March 6, 2019 ).
Bloomberg Environment picked up the successful vote on SB 535 in the first piece below.
One of the bills we debated on the Senate Floor Wednesday afternoon was SB 206 (Skinner). I was the last Senator to participate in the discussion and I asked a couple of questions about the potential repercussions of the proposal before us. The exchange converted me from a "no" vote to an abstention, as I do not want to jeopardize the athletic careers of California’s college students. The LA Times provides the details in the second piece below.
Wednesday morning we also addressed one of the more controversial bills of 2019, SB 276. I believe that inserting state bureaucrats in the process of obtaining medical exemptions is an invasion of the most important confidential relationship one has, one between you and your doctor.
One of the laments I have about Orange County is that someone was murdered on one of our beaches one evening. Consequently, all of our beaches are now closed at 10 p.m. You barely have darkness and the fire ring is going, everyone is comfortable and a Jeep drives up and tells you to shut it down. What? Punish everyone for one person’s actions? What?
Adding another level of bureaucracy rather than prosecuting perceived abuses is the wrong answer on these and many more levels, so I voted in opposition.
The Associated Press has an incredible photographer in Rich Pedroncelli, who captured me during my Floor speech in opposition of Sen. Pan’s bill, and it is the third piece below.
California Senate Passes Bill to Calculate Wildfire Emissions
By Emily C. Dooley
* California has seen intensifying wildfire seasons in recent years
* State air board would be required to calculate the emissions from wildfires under Senate-passed measure
California officials would have to officially report the amount of emissions spewed by wildfires in the state under a bill that passed unanimously in the state Senate May 20 and now heads to the Assembly.
Sponsored by Sen. John Moorlach (R), SB 535 would require the California Air Resources Board to calculate for the Legislature by May 2020 wildfire and forest fire emissions, including greenhouse gases, short-lived climate pollutants, and six criteria contaminants regulated by federal officials such as particulate matter and ground-level ozone.
In an analysis, Moorlach said the bill is an attempt to “ensure that when there are human-related catastrophic fires, we are measuring the large scale emissions, recognizing them in our high-level planning documents, and appropriately mitigating wildfires and their impact on California in the future.”
A CARB spokeswoman said the agency doesn’t comment on pending legislation.
The agency, tasked with reducing air pollution and fighting climate change, does estimate annual wildfire emissions using a U.S. Forest Service model, state re data and input from other federal agencies.
According to those estimates, fires in 2017 burned 1.34 million acres in California and released 36.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Those numbers have caveats, and estimates can vary widely. The state has said the estimates have an uncertainty factor of between 50 and 200 percent.
One reason is the model relies on outdated information, such as vegetation in an area and number of buildings present. It may also not account for previous fires, drought, or disease.
Last year’s Camp Fire was California’s deadliest and most destructive fire season, but federal and state officials disagreed on the emissions. The U.S. Forest Service estimated the carbon dioxide emissions to be 4.3 million metric tons, while CARB’s preliminary estimates hit 3.63 million metric tons.
California college athletes could sign endorsement deals under bill OKd by state Senate
College athletes in California would be able to sign with agents and profit from endorsement deals under a bill that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday, prompting a potential showdown with the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., which bars such compensation.
Senate Bill 206 by state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) passed the Senate 31-4 and now heads to the Assembly for consideration in the coming months.
Skinner said universities and their coaches are raking in millions of dollars and the NCAA nets billions a year from collegiate sports — while athletes are barred from accepting any compensation beyond tuition, school fees, room and board and small cost-of-living stipends.
Skinner said her bill would treat college athletes the same as those who compete in the Olympics and give collegiate players an opportunity to “earn income from their talent” while retaining their amateur status.
In recent years, the NCAA has been the target of lawsuits, legislation and scrutiny stemming from the financial arrangement they have with athletes and the relatively small amount of money that is fed back into sports scholarships.
“Olympic athletes are also considered amateur, so this does not professionalize our college athletics and may in fact result in encouraging some of our students to stay in school rather than the motivation to go pro early because it’s the only way to earn an income,” Skinner said.
SB 206 would allow student athletes at public and private universities and colleges to earn money from the use of their name, image or likeness in endorsement deals starting in 2023. The bill would not allow the schools to directly pay athletes.
Skinner said the issue is particularly pressing for women athletes, who have fewer professional sports opportunities after college and typically have just one chance to profit from their talent. The bill would bar schools from offering sponsorship deals to high school students as a recruitment tool.
“These men and women put butts in seats of arenas and stadiums all across the country and the universities make millions of dollars selling their jerseys and other paraphernalia … but these athletes benefit not one dime,” state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said. “This is a civil rights issue. This is a fairness issue.”
But the bill has raised questions about how the NCAA would treat California collegiate sports programs if their teams were to violate the body’s rules should SB 206 become law. That has prompted concerns from the California State University system, University of California, USC and Stanford University, which are all opposed to the bill.
Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said the bill could result in California schools being excluded from the NCAA, which he said would hurt the prospects of athletes at those schools even more.
“We have a chess game going on,” Moorlach said. “What does this do for the students we are trying to assist?”
Tougher vaccine rules move forward in California
By DON THOMPSON
State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, calls on lawmakers to reject a measure to toughen the rules for vaccination exemptions Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. The Senate approved the bill, SB 276, by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, that gives state public health officials instead of local doctors the power to decide which children can skip their shots before attending school. The bill now goes to the Assembly. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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