News

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

No more changing your playlist or checking the directions on your smartphone while driving.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed Assembly Bill 1785, significantly expanding California’s restrictions on the use of mobile phones behind the wheel. The measure forbids drivers from “holding and operating” their devices for any reason, though it does include an exception for functions that require only “the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger,” as long as the phone is mounted on the windshield or dashboard of the car.

Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, introduced the bill to “prevent distracted driving.” State safety officials said in June that the number of crashes and injuries related to phone use appears to be on the rise.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The California State Assembly passed a resolution Monday declaring August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.

The resolution — officially called HR 59 — marks the first time any state has set aside a month in recognition of the Islamic faith. The bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Bill Quirk, D–Hayward, and which was passed unanimously, applies only to this August, but Quirk’s Chief of Staff Tomasa Dueñas said the assembly member hopes that the body renews the resolution in the future.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The California State Assembly voted Monday to pass a resolution that officially recognizes August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.

The resolution comes at a time of increased anti-Muslim rhetoric, according to a recent civil rights report compiled by the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

HR-59, introduced by California Assemblymember Bill Quirk in June after Quirk was approached by a community activist on the issue, was officially passed Aug. 1 with bipartisan support.

Friday, September 11, 2015

SACRAMENTO -- Legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients cleared a major hurdle Wednesday when the state Assembly narrowly passed the measure on a 43-34 vote after an emotionally wrenching debate that left many legislators in tears.

Friday, July 24, 2015

One recent Saturday, a man walked into the UFCW Union Hall in Hayward for a "record clearance clinic." He had eight felonies on his rap sheet for crack possession and was seeking legal assistance to get them reduced to misdemeanors.

The stakes are high. As long as he has a felony record, he is automatically disqualified from many jobs regardless of his skills. He is banned from public housing. Many private landlords will refuse to rent to him. If he wants to go to college, he can't get a student loan. The list goes on and on.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — California may become the first state to explicitly allow motorcycles to weave between stalled cars in traffic.

The Assembly on Thursday approved legislation permitting lane-splitting.

Bikers who navigate congested roads by driving through the middle of lanes are in a legal gray area in California, though law enforcement has permitted the practice. Other states explicitly ban lane-splitting.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Motorcycle lane-splitting — the rush-hour time saver for bikers that enrages many drivers — may be poised for formal legalization.

California would be the first state to sanction the traffic-evading tactic, already widespread on traffic-choked freeways of Los Angeles.

The state Assembly is expected to approve the legislation as soon as Thursday, and supporters believe it will clear the Senate as well.