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Legislature Churns Through Hundreds of Bills

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Several bills are on their way to Governor Jerry Brown's desk.
One would allow sheriffs to release inmates early if they are so ill they pose no threat to public safety.
Another bill that passed its final legislative hurdle would give domestic workers in private households overtime pay, meals and rest periods.
First in the nation legislation that would ban children and teenagers from therapy efforts to reverse homosexuality is also heading to the governor's desk.
A bill that gives some of the money that was found hidden in Parks department accounts back to parks slated to close passed the Senate. It also places a two year moratorium on closures. It faces one more vote before it could move to the Governor.

A bill that reduces the emphasis on standardized test scores in evaluating schools has passed the California Assembly and now moves to the Senate.

California currently produces an Academic Performance Index, or API, to rank each school statewide. It's based entirely on testing.

The bill calls for standardized test scores to make up no more than 60-percent of API for high schools, and 40-percent for primary and middle schools. It would also emphasize science and social studies.

Democratic Assembly member Ricardo Lara says it's time for schools to have a more holistic approach to education.

LARA: "We have to look at the student's entire academic record the entire student experience to be able to assess if they are prepared or not, so I think this bill moves us in the right direction"

Republicans opposed the bill, saying it would de-emphasize testing and core academic instruction too much.

The bill targets the same issues as a more detailed bill pushed last year. That was vetoed by the Governor.

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