Prompted by devastating fires in Santa Barbara and the Oakland hills, a Senate committee has approved a pair of bills to require new shake-shingle roofs to be treated with fire retardants.
Treated shingles would be required on new buildings as well as remodeling projects in which more than 50% of the roof is replaced, starting in 1995.
By 6-1 and 5-1 votes, the Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved a bill (AB 2131) by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria) and another (SB 1321) by Sen. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles), respectively. Both measures next go to the Appropriations Committee for more screening.
* Proposition 13--Passed and sent to the governor on a 66-0 vote a bill (AB 851) by Assemblyman Johan Klehs (D-Castro Valley) to prohibit retroactive property tax increases and give the Legislature time to find an alternative to Proposition 13 if the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates the 1978 property tax-cutting initiative.
* AIDS Needle Project: The Health Committee approved a bill (AB 2525) by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) to authorize a needle and syringe exchange pilot project in San Francisco to try to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus. A 12-1 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.
* King Beating: The Public Safety Committee approved a bill (AB 2340) by Assemblywoman Marguerite Archie-Hudson (D-Los Angeles) to require any law enforcement officer who witnesses the use of unnecessary force by a fellow officer to report the incident to superiors. The measure stems from the Rodney G. King beating by law enforcement officers in Los Angeles last year. A 6-0 vote sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.
* Water Bonds: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 32-2 vote a bill (SB 1380) by Sen. Ruben Ayala (D-Chino) that would place a $350-million bond issue to finance water pollution control and reclamation programs on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
* Balanced Budget: Passed and sent to the Assembly on a 30-2 vote a constitutional amendment (SCA 35) by Sen. Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) to require the Legislature to adopt a balanced state budget.
* Student Firearms: The Education Committee approved a bill (AB 678) by Assemblywoman Paula Boland (R-Granada Hills) to require school officials to expel students found in possession of a firearm on campus. A 6-0 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.
* Credit Life Insurance: The Insurance, Claims and Corporations Committee approved a bill (AB 2107) by Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly (D-Sacramento) to give the state insurance commissioner additional powers to oversee credit life and disability insurance rates. A 6-1 vote sent the bill to the Appropriations Committee.
* Murder Victims: The Judiciary Committee approved a bill (SB 1301) by Sen. Edward Royce (R-Anaheim) to permit at the penalty phase of murder trials testimony showing the impact of the murder on the family and friends of the victim. A 7-2 vote sent the bill to Senate floor.
* Sexual Harassment: SB 1930 by Sen. Gary Hart (D-Santa Barbara) would make sexual harassment an offense for which a student could be suspended or expelled from school.