CalWatchdog Morning Read – August 12

  • CalWatchdogLogoLegislature blocks bill punishing Fentanyl kingpins…
  • … but allows secret talks at the coastal commission to continue
  • Audit slams CalGang database
  • Report ties Brown’s decisions to utility companies’ contributions
  • Pot tax bill dies

Good morning. TGIF. The Legislature headed home for the weekend after secretive, yet productive, Appropriations hearings, where the two committees decided the fate of hundreds of bills.

One bill in particular would have imposed mandatory sentences on large-scale dealers of Fentanyl, a powerful opioid responsible for a rash of deaths and overdoses over the last few years.

Calwatchdog has more.

In other news: 

  • “A stalled bill to prohibit behind-the-scenes communications at the California Coastal Commission survived in the Legislature Thursday, but lawmakers weakened it with amendments that would allow the controversial practice to continue for developers and elected officials,” writes the Los Angeles Times.
  • “Among the explosive findings included in a new audit of the state gang database, CalGang. Auditors say they found 42 individuals in CalGang who were supposedly younger than one year of age at the time of entry — 28 of whom were entered for ‘admitting to being gang members.’ The audit confirms many of the fears that Weber and others have long expressed about the CalGang system: that it cannot ensure individuals’ rights to privacy, that people can be entered in the database without proper substantiation and that people are kept in the database long after their names should have been purged,” reports the Voice of San Diego
  • “A Santa Monica consumer group is criticizing Gov. Jerry Brown for his ties to utilities and other companies reliant on fossil fuels, linking almost $10 million in contributions from 26 oil, gas and power companies to decisions by Brown administration officials that directly benefited the donors,” reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • “A bill to put an excise tax on medical marijuana in California was killed Thursday by a Senate panel after advocates for cannabis users said it would put a financial burden on patients,” writes the Los Angeles Times

Assembly:

  • Gone ’til Monday. 

Senate:

  • Gone ’til Monday.

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced.

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