Tag Archives: Governor Jerry Brown

Calif. Legislature Passes Bill to Raise Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco Products to 21

The California Senate voted Thursday to approve a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products in the state from 18 to 21.

Having also passed in the California State Assembly a week prior, the bill will now be sent to Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. According to The Daily Californian, Deborah Hoffman, a spokesman for Gov. Brown, declined to comment on whether he intends to sign the bill and thus enact it into law.

The bill contains an exemption for active-duty military members, but bill opponent Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) claims that the exemption includes a loophole wherein some veterans under age 21 could lose their right to purchase tobacco products upon returning home from war.

[RELATED: Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Banning Adults Under 21 from Using, Buying Tobacco Products]

Bill sponsor Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) claimed that the fact that the tobacco industry lobbied against the bill to block 18, 19, and 20 year-old Californians from smoking shows that it intends “to market and sell this poison to our kids.

A majority of Republicans opposed the bill, citing freedom of choice.

I don’t smoke. I don’t encourage my children to,” Assemblyman Donald Wagner (R-Irvine) told KQED-TV. “But they’re adults, and it’s our job to treat our citizens as adults, not to nanny them.

This will save the medical system in the outgoing years millions of dollars. It will save thousands of lives,” said Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg).

CNN is reporting that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted on March 1 to raise the California city’s smoking age to 21.

[RELATED: Scientist Exposes ‘Sham’ Methodology Linking E-Cigarettes To Smoking]

The bill passed alongside a package of anti-tobacco proposals, including one bill which would regulate electronic cigarettes in a manner similar to traditional tobacco products, complete with bans on their use in certain public places. The Los Angeles Times notes that Senate leader Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) characterized the package of anti-tobacco bills as “the most expansive tobacco control legislative package in over a decade.

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Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Digital Privacy Bill Blocking Warrantless Spying

Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law on Thursday that strengthen Californians’ digital privacy protections.

Senate Bill 178, the California Electronic Privacy Act (CalEPCA), prevents state-level investigators from obtaining a suspect’s digital communications without first securing a warrant. The law also mandates that California law enforcement agencies procure a warrant before compelling tech companies, many of which are headquartered in the state, to turn over metadata and other records.

The technology-focused publication Wired, which characterized the California Electronic Privacy Act as “the nation’s best digital privacy law,” quoted ACLU of California technology and civil liberties policy director Nicole Ozer as saying, “This is a landmark win for digital privacy and all Californians. We hope this is a model for the rest of the nation in protecting our digital privacy rights. This is really a comprehensive update for the modern digital age.

[RELATED: California Governor Signs Assisted Suicide Bill Into Law]

Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Dave Maass wrote, “CalECPA protects Californians by requiring a warrant for digital records, including emails and texts, as well as a user’s geographical location. These protections apply not only to your devices, but to online services that store your data. Only two other states have so far offered these protections: Maine and Utah.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center, “The law also stipulates that law enforcement gather no more information than is necessary to achieve the objective of the search, and imposes other conditions on the use of the search warrant or wiretap order and the information obtained, including retention and disclosure requirements. Information obtained in violation of these provisions would be inadmissible in criminal, civil, or administrative proceedings.

Gov. Brown also signed a second bill, Senate Bill 741, which prohibits local governments in the state from acquiring stingray technology unless a bill passes through the locality in question’s legislature and requires that members of the public be given an opportunity to comment in advance of the vote. Tenth Amendment Center communications director
Mike Maharrey explained, “Cell site simulators, known as ‘stingrays,’ spoof cell phone towers. Any device within range is essentially tricked into connecting to the stingray instead of the tower, allowing law enforcement to sweep up communications content, as well as locate and track the person in possession of a specific phone or other electronic device.” He added, “Since local police generally receive these devices directly from the FBI, or through grant money provided to them by the FBI, passage of SB741 allows local communities to interpose themselves in this process and block the FBI’s programs from coming to fruition.

Under Senate Bill 741, county sheriffs can purchase stingray technology without legislative approval, but must make a public announcement if they do. The bill requires that law enforcement “maintain a usage and privacy policy in order to ensure that the collection, use, maintenance, sharing, and dissemination of information and data gathered through the use of cellular communications interception technology is consistent with respect for an individual’s privacy and civil liberties.

California Governor Signs Assisted Suicide Bill Into Law

SACRAMENTO, October 5, 2015– On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a controversial bill into law that allows physicians to prescribe lethal doses of life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients. The law is highly controversial. Proponents of such legislation often refer to it as “Right to Die”, or “Death with Dignity“. Meanwhile, opponents of assisted suicide say it is nothing more than legalized murder.

“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown said. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

Last legislative session, proponents of the practice in Tennessee failed to pass an assisted suicide bill. Terminally ill attorney John Jay Hooker who has only been given months to live spearheaded the effort. Meanwhile, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont already have assisted suicide laws on the books. After two decades of debate, California became the fifth state to allow the practice.

Last year, the legislation was stopped by California lawmakers despite the heavily publicized story of Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill 29-year-old Californian who advocated for the legislation. Maynard left California and went to Oregon in order to have an assisted suicide. In a video recorded days before Maynard was prescribed the life-ending drugs, she told California lawmakers that the terminally ill should not have to “leave their home and community for peace of mind, to escape suffering and to plan for a gentle death.”

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CA Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bitcoin Legalization Bill

In recent years, digital cryptocurrencies have emerged as a popular financial instrument and alternative to cash. Users appreciate them for their anonymity and independence from the moody whims of central bankers. Despite operating in a legal gray area due to the fact that previous laws and regulations couldn’t have envisioned the peer-to-peer technology behind many digital currencies, their use is widespread. Mainstream companies like Dish Network, Overstock.com, and TigerDirect allow customers to purchase products in bitcoin. Apple recently gave the nod to developers who want to create apps that accept bitcoin payments, and Yahoo, Bloomberg, and Google Finance have added tickers tracking its price movements.

However, despite mainstream acceptance of digital currencies, a California law dating back decades technically banned their use. In May of 2013, the California Department of Financial Institutions sent a cease-and-desist order to the Bitcoin Foundation, a conflict that Sacramento Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson sought to resolve with AB 129, a bill that repeals a section of California’s corporate code banning private companies from issuing private currencies into circulation. On Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law, thus formally legalizing the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Also at issue were proprietary payment methods like Amazon Coins and Starbucks Stars. Under the legal environment that existed prior to this rule change, such customer loyalty programs could have also been found in violation of the state’s outdated corporate code. California Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of AB 129 provides clarity on the use of digital currencies and represents the first time a US state has legally recognized bitcoin. Assemblyman Roger Dickinson told the Los Angeles Times that his bill was aimed at recognizing something that was already taking place.

The bill passed amid a weekend signing spree which included the repeal of a regulation requiring restaurant workers to wear gloves when handling ready-to-eat food items and modifications to truancy laws in an effort to cut back on the jailing of students for skipping school.