Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday’s Briefing: Lawmakers OK Bill for Free Community College; Legislation Would Ban Smoking on Calif. Beaches

Plus, the legislature approves bill that would give parents 12 weeks of leave at small businesses.

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 10:23 AM

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 Stories you shouldn’t miss for Sept. 14, 2017:

1. The first year at California community colleges would be free for full-time students under a bill passed by both houses of the state legislature, reports Melanie Mason of the LA Times$. However, it’s unclear whether Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the legislation, because his finance department opposes it due to its costs.

2. It would be illegal to smoke tobacco or cannabis at California parks and beaches under legislation now on the governor’s desk, reports Patrick McGreevy of the LA Times$. The smoking ban, which would also apply to e-cigarettes, would be enforced at 280 state parks and 300 miles of state beaches.

3. Employees of small businesses would be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity or paternity leave, under legislation approved by the state Senate and Assembly, reports Taryn Luna of the Sacramento Bee$. If signed by Brown, the law would apply to companies with 20 to 49 employees. Larger companies already must provide such leave.

4. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area now has the highest median household income in the nation, although income inequality, especially along racial lines, remains severe in the region, reports Trisha Thadani of the San Francisco Chronicle$, citing new Census data. The median household income in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area, which comprises Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and San Francisco counties, was $96,677 in 2016 compared with $88,518 in 2015. But the median income for Black households was $46,571 in 2016 and for Hispanic and Latino households it was $70,290.

5. Oakland homeowners gain the largest profit in the nation when they sell their houses, reports Riley McDermid of the San Francisco Business Times$, citing a new report from real estate firm Zillow. Oakland homeowners, on average, sell their houses for 78 percent higher than what they paid. Experts attributed the huge profits to the area’s housing shortage.

6. In a surprise move, the Richmond City Council selected Ada Recinos, a 26-year-old advancement manager with Prospera Community Development, to be a new member of the council, replacing Gayle McLaughlin, who resigned to run for lieutenant governor, reports Sarah Tan for the East Bay Times$. Marilyn Langlois, who was backed by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, was expected to get the position.

7. A judge dismissed charges against ex-Oakland cop Brian Bunton who was accused of conspiracy to obstruct justice and misdemeanor engaging in prostitution in the sex abuse case involving the young woman who went by the name Celeste Guap, reports Angela Ruggiero of the East Bay Times$. Alameda County Judge Jon Rolefson ruled that there was insufficient evidence in the case.

8. East Bay MUD officials said Alameda Point customers can bathe with tap water but still cannot drink it, because of contamination, reports Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle.

9. And President Trump confirmed today that he reached a tentative deal with Democratic Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on legislation that would protect Dreamers from deportation but would not include funds for a Mexican border wall, Politico reports. Trump insisted that the border wall will move forward in separate legislation, but conservatives nonetheless denounced the immigration deal.

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