— At least three proposed Assembly bills seek to update rules for oil and gas drilling within the state. The growth of hydraulic fracturing — a process that releases oil reserves trapped within shale rock beneath central and southern California — has led to calls for more oversight of how wastewater is disposed (AB669) and tougher permitting requirements (AB288). Another measure, AB7, would require disclosure of the chemicals used, public notice before fracking begins and a report by 2016 on statewide use of fracking.
— Those making false 911 calls would face harsher penalties under a measure from Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. The measure, SB333, targets making false emergency calls, known as "swatting." Prank calls have been reported recently in the Los Angeles area regarding intruders in the homes of celebrities.
— Social workers would be required to make their monthly check-in visit at a foster child's home under SB342. The measure from Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would amend a current law that allows those visits to occur outside the home. A related bill, SB343, would ensure foster children have the identifying documents, such as a birth certificate, that are needed for college and job applications.
— It would be a felony for a parolee to remove the monitoring device from their ankle under a measure from Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. Under existing law, removing the device is a parole violation that can result in county jail time, which supporters of SB57 say is not enough of a deterrent.
— Multiple measures seek to prevent child abuse in the wake of reported misconduct in the Los Angeles Unified School District. SB160 by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Long Beach, would create a statewide tracking system for school employees dismissed due to a child abuse investigation. Another measure, SB10 by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, would allow school administrators to suspend or terminate a teacher for sexual misconduct, violence or drug abuse.
— Complicated state labor laws could be updated so employees could negotiate alternative work schedules with their employers under SB607. The measure from Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, would allow for work days of up to 10 hours within a 40-hour workweek.
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