The Latest: Assembly moves to speed up taxpayer charity | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: Assembly moves to speed up taxpayer charity

Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, calls on lawmakers to reject a measure that would prevent California police from prematurely selling belongings seized from suspected criminals, in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. By a bipartisan vote, the Assembly approved the bill, SB443 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and sent to the Senate. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
August 15, 2016 - 6:12 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Latest on action in the California Legislature (all times local):

6 p.m.

California lawmakers are advancing legislation to get taxpayers' donations into the hands of charities more quickly following a critical report by The Associated Press.

Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys wrote SB1476 after an AP investigation found at least one-tenth of all charitable donations made on tax returns went unspent last year.

AP's review found nearly $10 million in 29 funds was awaiting delivery to or distribution by state agencies and another $278,000 had reverted to state coffers.

Hertzberg says taxpayers have donated about $100 million through the check-off system since 1982.

His bill would continuously appropriate the aid and retire a fund if taxpayers provide less than $250,000 in one year.

The Assembly unanimously approved the bill Monday, sending it to the Senate.

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5:40 p.m.

Californians who break into hot vehicles to rescue distressed dogs would be protected from lawsuits under legislation advancing in the California Legislature.

The Senate unanimously approved AB797 Monday.

The bill by Republican Assemblyman Marc Steinorth of Rancho Cucamonga says bystanders are not liable for property damage or trespassing claims if they rescue an animal from a locked vehicle. They could only break in if they've called authorities and believe the animal is in imminent danger.

They must turn the animal over to responding law-enforcement or animal control officers. Steinorth says good Samaritans shouldn't fear a lawsuit.

The California Federation of Dog Clubs opposes the legislation. The organization says a rescuer could risk being bitten or may inadvertently allow a dog to escape.

The bill returns to the Assembly.

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5:20 p.m.

Police departments would be prohibited from releasing recordings of an officer's death or serious injury under legislation advancing in the California Legislature.

The bill approved in the Senate in a 23-6 vote on Monday would allow footage to be released only with the permission of an officer's family or a judge.

Democratic Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego says the children of a slain officer shouldn't have to see footage of his death on the internet.

Critics from both political parties say it's not in the public interest to give surviving relatives a veto over the release of footage. They also say it will cause confusion if relatives disagree.

AB2611 by Assemblyman Evan Low of Campbell returns to the Assembly, which previously approved it but must agree to Senate changes.

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5:10 p.m.

The California Senate is backing an effort to combat age discrimination in Hollywood.

Democratic senators approved AB1687 in a 25-12 party-line vote on Monday.

The bill would allow actors, actresses and directors to ask that their ages and birthdates be removed from websites that provide employment services. It was requested by the Screen Actors Guild.

Proponents say that making it harder for casting directors to know an actor's age will make them less likely to discriminate. The bill says the websites shall remove such information within five days, but does not include sanctions for failing to do so.

Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine says the state can use existing anti-discrimination laws to protect actors.

Democratic Assemblyman Ian Calderon of Whittier wrote the measure, which now returns to the Assembly.

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4:15 p.m.

Lawmakers are advancing legislation to prevent 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 and reap millions of dollars.

SB443 would prohibit law enforcement agencies from profiting off of those partnerships in cases of suspected drug activity. It would increase the ceiling for other crimes to $40,000.

The Assembly sent SB443 back to the Senate on a 66-8 vote Monday.

The Assembly denied it in September, but lawmakers since won support from police after adding the drug-case restriction and exempting dead or evasive suspects.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the Assembly previously rejected the asset forfeiture bill, not the Senate.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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