News

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Liam Dillon, Los Angeles Times

A group of state lawmakers announced legislation Thursday to fight a proposed November ballot measure that would allow three national paint companies to hand California taxpayers the bill for cleaning up hazardous lead paint in homes.

The six bills, introduced by Democratic members of the Assembly from across the state, would add legal protections for homeowners with lead paint in their residences, increase the number of lead paint inspectors and make it easier to sue the companies, among other proposals.

"For too long, paint companies have been able to dodge responsibility for their actions," said Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Alameda at a Thursday news conference.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

Lawmakers in Sacramento are proposing to preempt a plan by paint manufacturers to ask taxpayers to pay for hazardous lead-based paint removal from older homes in California through a voter-approved $2 billion bond.

Legislation announced Thursday includes a bill that — if the companies’ initiative passes in November — would add a fee to all paint sales in California, with the money going to a fund for residents to clean up any paint containing lead in their homes. The fee would not repeal the taxpayer-funded bond but would eliminate the need to use its proceeds for the cleanup.

The paint-makers are circulating the initiative to counter a state appeals court ruling in November that found three companies — ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams — responsible for cleanup costs because they had marketed lead-based paint for decades while knowing it was dangerous to children.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jamie Drake, The Enterprise

Chances are, if you like to fish or hunt, you’re carrying around a fair amount of lead in your ammo or tackle box. But that might change over the next few years.

Former President Barack Obama and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service already tried to outlaw lead for ammo and fishing tackle. On his last day in office, President Obama proposed a basically symbolic ban to be implemented by 2022 on all federal lands. President Donald Trump’s administration quashed that directive almost immediately. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reversed the ban on his first full day in office.

Still, the winds are a-changing.

Already lead shot for waterfowl hunting has been banned in the United States for more than 20 years. But the scope might be widening.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Billy Kobin, Sacramento Bee

A California lawmaker wants to ban most lead fishing weights, arguing they are harmful to wildlife.

Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, introduced Assembly Bill 2787 on Feb. 16. The bill would outlaw the manufacture, sale and purchase of lead fishing weights that are under 50 grams.

"There's no question about the toxicity of lead," Quirk said. "Weights of these sizes can be and are ingested by wildlife. These weights are also the most likely to result in human exposure from, for example, an angler clamping a (lead) weight onto the line with his or her teeth."

Opponents from the fishing industry, however, say studies that illustrate the impact of lead weights on animals in California are lacking and that a ban would financially cripple anglers and fishing guides.

Six states along with Canada have some form of a ban on lead fishing weights.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Koby Leibowitz, KRON 4

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday proposed 10 new gun control bills to the state’s nation-leading gun restrictions in the wake of the latest mass shooting in Florida.

The proposals to be considered later this spring include expanding the definition of assault rifles; expanding gun violence restraining orders; letting individuals block themselves from buying guns; and cracking down on homemade “ghost guns.”

Recent shootings including the Feb. 14 slayings of 17 people at a Florida high school show California can do more to restrict gun violence, Democratic Assembly members said.

“While I am proud to say that California is home to some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, you know there is still work to be done,” said Assemblyman Bill Quirk of Hayward.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Don Thompson, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday proposed 10 new gun control bills to the state's nation-leading gun restrictions in the wake of the latest mass shooting in Florida.

The proposals to be considered later this spring include expanding the definition of assault rifles; expanding gun violence restraining orders; letting individuals block themselves from buying guns; and cracking down on homemade "ghost guns."

Recent shootings including the Feb. 14 slayings of 17 people at a Florida high school show California can do more to restrict gun violence, Democratic Assembly members said.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Damon Arthur, Record Searchlight

Walk down the fishing tackle aisle of most sporting goods stores and you are likely to see shelves stocked with lead fishing weights of many shapes and sizes.

While lead weights have been popular for decades among anglers, that could become a thing of the past.

A bill, AB 2787, was introduced into the California Legislature recently that would outlaw making, selling or owning most lead weights used for fishing.

The bill’s author, Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, said lead in fishing gear needs to be banned because it is toxic to wildlife.

“Small lead fishing weights, like split shots, are killing California wildlife,” Quirk said in a news release posted on his website.