San Francisco Sen. Mark Leno on new laws, budget troubles and more

Mark Leno, California Senate 3rd District (D-San Francisco).
Mark Leno, California Senate 3rd District (D-San Francisco).
The San Francisco Sentinel

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We've reported this past week on two bills that Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) wrote and got passed and signed by the governor. He had 11 go through this year. Sen. Leno spoke with KPCC’s Steve Julian about which of his bills was the most personal and meaningful.

Of Leno's 11 bills to get passed, one reduces possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction. Another allows severely incapacitated inmates to be paroled. A third ensures kids have free drinking water in their cafeterias.

Here is the complete list from Leno's website:

The Governor signed the following bills authored by Senator Leno:

SB 76 (Inmate Jail Credits) – Authored by the Senate Public Safety Committee, SB 76 restores sentence credits from day-for-day to one day for every two days for qualifying inmates serving county jail time who are not ultimately sentenced to state prison.

SB 543 (Youth Access to Mental Health Services) – Permits young people between the ages of 12 and 17 to consent to mental health treatment or counseling if the attending professional believes the youth is mature enough to participate in the services.

SB 654 (Foster Youth) – Expands access to critical independent living skills education for foster youth placed with non-related legal guardians.

SB 1080 and SB 1115 (Weapons) – Authored by the Senate Public Safety Committee, SB 1080 and 1115 are companion measures that implement a recommendation of the Law Revision Commission to make it easier for law enforcement, prosecutors, defense counsel, courts, gun owners, gun control advocates and the public to understand, follow and enforce existing laws governing deadly weapons.

SB 1163 (Health Insurance Rate Increases) – Requires health plans and insurers to provide detailed actuarial information regarding premium increases, requires regulators to review the actuarial basis for those increases and post the information electronically, and increases from 30 to 60 days the advance notice provided to a consumer prior to any rate increase.

SB 1254 (Contracting Licensing Board Reform) – Assists the Contractors State Licensing Board in reducing a key component of California’s underground economy by allowing the Board to issue Stop Work orders to unlawful contractors while providing additional peace officer positions for enforcement activities.

SB 1317 (Truancy) – Provides school districts and law enforcement officials with additional tools to help California’s most chronically truant children return to school.

SB 1399 (Medical Parole) – Creates a medical parole process to alleviate the burden on taxpayers of providing expensive medical care and around-the-clock armed guards for inmates who are permanently medically incapacitated and no longer pose a threat to public safety.

SB 1413 (Drinking Water in Schools) – Requires school districts to provide fresh, free drinking water to students during meal times in food service areas by July 1, 2011.

SB 1449 (Marijuana Infraction) – Corrects the misclassification of possession of under an ounce of marijuana as a misdemeanor by renaming the offense to be consistent with other infraction-level penalties already provided under existing law.

The Governor vetoed the following bills authored by Senator Leno:

SB 733 (Trauma Recovery Centers) – Allows the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to administer $2 million annually from the Restitution Fund for grants to improve access to timely, integrated health treatment for California’s victims of violent crime.

SB 906 (Civil Marriage Religious Freedom Act) – Reaffirms the separation of church and state and clarifies under state law that no member of clergy will be required to perform a civil marriage that is contrary to his or her faith.

SB 1329 (Residential Care Facility Foreclosures) – Increases protections for seniors living in residential care facilities for the elderly by providing more effective state oversight should any of the 8,000 facilities fall into financial distress.

SB 1433 (Air Pollution Penalty Adjustments) – Makes modest adjustments to air pollution penalties, indexing them with the rate of inflation to preserve their deterrent effect.

SB 1472 (Work Share) – Helps improve participation in California’s Work Share program, which provides employers an alternative to layoffs by offering partial unemployment benefits to employees whose wages and hours have been reduced.