Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed several pieces of legislation this month aimed at fixing or improving access to mental health services in California, while vetoing one bill that promised to reimburse student loans for mental health professionals working in "shortage areas."

Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign bills passed by the Legislature last month.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A court efficiency bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday will allow attorneys to produce much shorter discovery outlines for issues in dispute and gives additional time for judges to rule on new trial motions.

The bill, AB 2230, is a rare meeting of the minds between the Consumer Attorneys of California and the California Defense Counsel, sponsors of the bill.

Typically, a motion in a discovery dispute can be a laborious process for all parties involved because it requires filing separate statements under the California Rules of Court.

“So much detail is required in these separate statements that they often amount to anywhere from fifty pages to entire reams of paper. This process is often tedious and ultimately has no benefit for judges,” the Consumer Attorneys of California said in a statement.

The bill will allow for a party to file a concise outline of a discovery request instead of a separate statement.

Friday, August 31, 2018

California officials want to make sure the Secretary of State’s office is helping local elections officials prepare for possible cyber attacks.  California Assembly Bill 3075, which was signed into law on Aug. 28, creates the Office of Elections Cybersecurity within the Secretary of State’s office.

The new office will work with state and local elections officials to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber incidents that could interfere with the security or integrity of elections in the state. The office will also monitor and counteract false or misleading information related to the electoral process to suppress voter participation or cause confusion.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Legislation designed to help prevent student suicide is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for signing.

Assembly Bill 2639, which was introduced by Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, and Assembly Education Committee chairman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, passed through both the Assembly and state Senate with unanimous votes with the Senate voting on Monday.

“The issue of youth mental health and suicide hits very close to home for me,” Berman wrote in a statement. “Palo Alto, my own hometown, has experienced two youth suicide clusters in the last 10 years. As suicide rates continue to rise among youth and young adults, we can and must do more to prevent these tragedies.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The annual court efficiencies bill is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

Each year, the Consumer Attorneys of California and the California Defense Counsel sponsor a bill designed to improve how courts operate. This year’s version, AB 2230, passed the full Assembly by a 78-1 vote on Monday.

It contains two main provisions.

First, it would allow one side to file a concise outline of a discovery request, instead of filing a separate statement as currently required under California Rules of Court. This provision will affect motions to compel further responses regarding documents and matters of fact relating to admissibility of documents.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SACRAMENTO — The California Assembly has passed a bill creating a program that sets a 75-percent recycling target for scrap tires within the state.

The bill, Assembly Bill 2908, directs the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to develop an incentive system to make payments to entities that purchase waste tire material to use in making products for end-users.

Friday, August 24, 2018

With less than three months to the midterm elections, American voters remain vulnerable to the same type of information warfare that Russia used to interfere with the 2016 presidential race. Election officials say voting systems are better protected against hackers than they were two years ago, but intelligence experts say the federal government hasn't tackled the threat of foreign-created disinformation on social media.

The risk endures after Russian nationals used hundreds of fake social media accounts to stoke political discord in the U.S. in 2016, according to an indictment earlier this year by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.