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$1.6-Million Anti-Gang Bill Clears Legislature

September 10, 1993|Jerry Gillam | Times Staff Writer

The Senate has voted final legislative approval of a bill to give $1.6 million to a Los Angeles-based program to help stop youths from joining gangs.

The pilot program, called Hope in Youth, will also use local and private funds to develop alternatives to gang life by such means as counseling parents and children to create a better home environment and family unity.

Assemblyman Terry B. Friedman (D-Brentwood), who handled the bill on the floor of the lower house, said Los Angeles has become "the gang capital of America and probably the world."

An estimated 800 gangs are believed to operate in Los Angeles County, with more than 110,000 active members. Last year, more than 900 people died because of gang violence, according to law enforcement estimates.

The Senate sent the measure (SB 503) by Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) to the governor's desk on a 27-5 vote.


* Signed into law a bill (AB 1323) by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier (D-Burlingame) to allow purchasers of dating and weight loss contracts to exercise their right to cancel within three business days without penalties.

* Signed into law a bill (SB 73) by Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) to make it a crime to own or operate a so-called chop shop for the sale of stolen automobile parts.

* Vetoed a bill (AB 744) by Assemblyman Joe Baca (D-San Bernardino) that would have required high school government and civics classes to offer students 18 and older an opportunity to register to vote.


Floor Action

* Liquor Licenses: Passed and sent to the governor on a 45-30 vote a bill (AB 159) by Friedman to prohibit the issuance or renewal of alcoholic beverage licenses for clubs that discriminate on the basis of a person's color, race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, or age.

* Hate Violence: Passed and sent to the governor on a 42-27 vote a bill (AB 1299) by Assemblywoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) to permit a student to be expelled or suspended from public school for participation in an act of hate violence.

* Accidental Poisonings: Passed and sent to the governor on a 47-27 vote a bill (AB 1550) by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria) to require bittering agents to be included in antifreeze and windshield washer fluids to prevent accidental poisonings of children and animals.

* Unemployment Insurance: Passed on a 42-31 vote and returned to the Senate for concurrence in amendments a bill (SB 150) by Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti (D-Van Nuys) to increase the maximum unemployment insurance benefit from $230 to $245 per week, effective next Jan. 1.

* Drive-by Shootings: Passed on a 68-0 vote and returned to the Senate for concurrence in amendments a bill (SB 310) by Sen. Ruben Ayala (D-Chino) to add drive-by shootings that result in murder to the list of crimes punishable by execution.

* School Employees: Passed on a 74-0 vote and returned to the Senate for concurrence in amendments a bill (SB 1130) by Roberti to increase prison penalties for people convicted of assaulting school employees performing their official duties.

* Cesar Chavez Holiday: Passed on a 42-23 vote and returned to the Senate for concurrence in amendments a bill (SB 1253) by Torres to designate March 31 as a state holiday in honor of the late Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers.

* Equal Rights: Gave final passage, on a 50-19 vote, to a resolution (AJR 1) by Speier asking the President and Congress to propose a constitutional amendment guaranteeing that all men and women have equal rights, also known as the ERA.


Floor Action

* Libraries: Passed and sent to the governor on a 25-1 vote a bill (SB 170) by Sen. William Craven (R-Oceanside) to create a state tax refund checkoff system for voluntary contributions to help upgrade school libraries.

* Olympic Training: Passed on a 21-8 vote and returned to the Assembly for concurrence in amendments a bill (AB 1647) by Assemblyman Jim Costa (D-Hanford) to allow taxpayers to contribute to the Olympic Training Fund from their state personal income tax refunds.

(Readers who wish to communicate with state legislators regarding Assembly and Senate bills can write to them at the State Capitol, Sacramento, Calif. 95814.)

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