Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Must Reads: Governor Signs Bill Allowing Undocumented Workers to Get Driver’s Licenses; Brown Also Okays Legislation that Relaxes Drug Laws

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will allow undocumented workers in California obtain driver’s licenses, reversing his previous opposition to it, the SacBee$ reports. Brown said he changed his mind about the bill because of Congressional foot-dragging over immigration reform. The driver’s license legislation is viewed as a key victory for immigration reform advocates.

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2. Brown also signed a bill that promises to ease the War on Drugs in California and reduce the number of people imprisoned for drug offenses in the state. The LA Times$ reports that the legislation will make it tougher for prosecutors to convict defendants of drug “transporting” offenses, which carry longer prison sentences. Under the new law, prosecutors must prove that the defendants intended to transport drugs for sale rather than just for personal use.

3. BART unions have reduced their wage demands, and are now requesting 3.75 percent annual raises for the first two years and a 4 percent raise the third year, the Chron reports. BART management said it plans to revise its proposal as well.

4. Friends and family of a Connecticut woman are at a loss to explain why she tried to ram through a White House barricade yesterday and led police on a high-speed chase before being shot to death by officers, the Washington Post reports.

5. And Brown signed a new law that would prohibit the state government from seizing journalists’ notes without warning — as the Obama administration has done, the Chron reports.

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