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The Latest: Mayors will get sexual harassment training

September 29, 2016 - 5:40 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Latest on action taken by Gov. Jerry Brown on California legislation (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Mayors, city council members and other local elected officials in California will be required to take two hours of sexual harassment training following scandals involving politicians in San Diego and Sacramento.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1661 on Thursday to require that elected city and county officials take the same online training required for supervisors at California employers with 50 or more workers. It must be completed within six months of their election and repeated every two years.

Bob Filner resigned in 2013 as mayor of San Diego after some 20 women alleged that he groped them or engaged in other inappropriate behaviour.

In Sacramento, a law firm investigating an allegation against Mayor Kevin Johnson suggested he be counselled against hugging or touching people at work.

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4:45 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is approving a reform plan for the troubled California Public Utilities Commission.

The Democratic governor signed five bills Thursday and says he's asking the commission to move forward with other changes that died on the last day of the legislative session.

Some lawmakers accuse the CPUC of being too cozy with the companies it regulates.

The bills Brown signed will require commissioners to disclose private communications with utility officials and hold meetings away from the CPUC's San Francisco headquarters.

Brown challenged the CPUC to implement some of the changes called for in stalled legislation, such as appointing an ethics ombudsman.

He also says his administration will work on a plan to transfer regulatory authority for transportation companies to other state agencies.

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4:05 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is approving legislation that prevents California police from prematurely selling suspected criminals' belongings.

California law already requires that a person be convicted before police can seize cash or property valued under $25,000 that's believed to have been attained illegally.

Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles says police work around that law by partnering with federal agencies to seize assets before convictions, reaping millions of dollars.

The Democratic governor said Thursday that he signed SB443, Mitchell's bill to prohibit law enforcement agencies from profiting off of those partnerships in cases of suspected drug activity.

It also increases the ceiling for other crimes to $40,000.

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3:30 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is taking action on several voting-related bills, including legislation that lays the groundwork for more California counties to conduct elections entirely through mail-in ballots.

Brown announced Thursday that he signed SB450, which allows 18 counties to set up vote centres where people could drop off mail-in ballots in the 10 days before the 2018 election. The rest could move to the system in 2020.

Lawmakers say the current voting system is outdated.

The Democratic governor also approved legislation to let voters designate anyone to turn in their ballots, and to let voters take and share photographs of their ballots on social media starting next year.

Brown vetoed a bill requiring counties to notify voters if their vote-by-mail ballot was not counted, saying counties already publish that online.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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