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Busy Week for Santa Monica Legislators Sees Passage of 12 Bills


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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 5, 2017 -- A total of 12 bills authored by Santa Monica’s State legislators -- Sen. Ben Allen and Assemblyman Richard Bloom -- passed their respective houses last week by the Friday deadline.

These bills tackle various subjects, including the environment, housing, education and even marijuana.

The Friday deadline was for bills to pass the house where they originated so they can move on to the other chamber. Those that did not pass could resurface next year.

Among those passing on the final week was Allen’s Senate Bill 50 that is part of a legislative package aimed at opposing President Donald Trump’s actions earlier this year that could lead to federal lands going private.

SB 50 would establish “a policy of the state to discourage [transfer] of federal public lands in California from the federal government.”

Allen’s Bill SB 162 takes on the new issue of legitimate marijuana sales, made legal last year through ballot approval.

It would prohibit those who sell the drug, either for medical or recreational purposes, from using “branded merchandise” for marketing.

Branded merchandise refers to clothing, hats and other products with a logo or business name on them.

Other bills proposed by Allen that received Senate approval last week included SB 436 that would establish a program to encourage recruiting and retaining qualified K-12 teachers in STEM fields and the environmental literacy-focused SB 424 ("Santa Monica Senator’s Environmental Literacy Bill Passes Key Committee," April 21, 2017).

SB 705, Allen's legislation to ban containers made of expanded polystyrene (commonly and incorrectly known as Styrofoam) failed to pass last week ("Santa Monica Senator’s Bill Would Ban Many Plastic Food Containers," April 17, 2017).

The vote was 19 opposed and 15 in favor.

Among the bills passed in the Assembly proposed by Bloom were AB 1521 and AB 1568, both of which deal with a situation that he and others call a “housing crisis” ("Assembly Passes Two of Santa Monica Legislator’s Housing Bills," June 2, 2017).

Also passed was AB 544, which could allow “low-emission and energy-efficient” vehicles to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes even if there is only one person in the car for up to six years past the current September 2019 deadline.

AB 1594 would require a study to identify primary sources and types of ocean plastic pollution. And AB 1617 demands the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which Bloom says is inadequately funded, to work with others to identify new sources of revenue.

Bloom’s bill AB 663, which would grant extra protections for low-and moderate-income housing near the coast did not pass, failing on a 37-33 vote.


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