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Deadline Looms as Governor Signs Hundreds of Bills

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One of the bills the Governor has signed gives immunity to teenagers who call 9-1-1 if an underage friend needs help after drinking. Assembly Democrat Anthony Portantino wrote that bill. He says it doesn't encourage underage drinking.  

"If you happen to have had a beer that night, we still want you to make the right phone call. We don't want you to be thinking about getting in trouble, we want you to be thinking about the safety of your compatriot."

Another bill signed by the Governor will establish a "Blue Alert" system much like the current Amber Alert, which would be issued if a police officer is injured or killed on the job.

Governor Schwarzenegger also signed a bill eliminating the legal requirement that California investigate the causes of homosexuality.

Will Schuck is chief of staff for the bill's author, Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal. Schuck says the original bill was passed 60 years ago in response to the rape and murder of a 6 year old girl in Los Angeles. He says parts of the bill were based on a misunderstanding that presumed child rapists and homosexuals are both sexually deviant.  But he says some elements of that legislation made sense, for instance it increased penalties for sex crimes.

"What was good about the legislature's response to the death of that child remains, and what was ridiculous and offensive is being taken out."

The Governor also signed a bill that allows the families of murdered children to seal the autopsy records. These bills take effect on January first.

The governor also vetoed a bill that would have forced the state's election's watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission to post online gifts to lawmakers. In a veto message, the Governor said it would be costly and useless, since the Secretary of State already posts that information online.
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