"It was absolutely ridiculous that there was any law enforcement from any agency working on this friendly wagering," Jeffries said. His legislation, which has bipartisan support, would reduce the operation of or participation in sports betting pools from a misdemeanor to an infraction such as a parking ticket.
"If you're doing it for high-dollar big bets, there's a house take and a profit-driven motive, you're still going to be under the reach of the law," Jeffries said.
Assemblyman John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) has a 911 measure that preceded the headlines, but not by much.
In February, the former California Highway Patrol officer proposed stiffer penalties for false 911 calls. A day later, Hayward police arrested 45-year-old John Triplette on suspicion of making, in the previous year, more than 31,000 cellphone calls to various law enforcement dispatchers. Triplette was making small talk, beeps, grunts and "other bodily noises," according to police.
Triplette is now the poster boy for Benoit's measure, which passed the Assembly on Thursday with strong support. The bills by Evans, Smyth and Jeffries must clear the cost-conscious appropriations panel before they can be taken up by the Assembly.
Some may face tough going in the Senate, which last year rejected measures that would worsen prison and jail overcrowding.
Another pending measure would have made it an infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $500, for a school employee not to report serious acts of discrimination or harassment. The "Larry's Law" proposal, by Assemblyman Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park), was prompted by the fatal shooting in February of a gay eighth-grader in an Oxnard classroom.
Last week, Eng deleted the penalty portion of his bill. Now the measure simply calls for the state to spend $125,000 to help five schools deal with hate crimes and student conflict.
"R.J.'s Law," offered by Benoit, would have required drug testing for welfare recipients but was rejected despite a plea before the Assembly Human Services Committee by its namesake, R.J. Feild. The 15-year-old boy from Jurupa, near Riverside -- who was born weighing 2 pounds to a drug-addicted mother and has cerebral palsy -- had suggested the bill.
Last month, Democrats on the committee politely raised concerns about cost, noted that welfare officials can already ask recipients if they are using drugs, and voted no.
"Adam's Law" was better received. It was introduced by Assemblyman Mike Villines (R-Clovis) after a man in his district beat a girlfriend's 1-year-old son so severely that the boy, Adam Carbajal, was left partly paralyzed, unable to speak and prone to seizures.
The measure would create a new felony punishable by 15 years to life in prison for a caretaker who hurts a child under 8 badly enough to cause brain damage or paralysis.
Adam -- now 4, smiling and silent in a wheelchair -- attended an Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing last month on the bill. His mother and grandmother came too.
"We had to convince the judge that that monster deserves more than three years in prison," his grandmother, Maria Garcia, testified about Adam's convicted attacker, Ramon Curiel. Minutes later, the committee passed the bill unanimously.
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California lawmakers have introduced bills this year that would:
Ban posting of children's photos on pornographic websites
(AB 2104 by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita)
Prohibit posting information about children to aid a crime
(AB 534 by Smyth)
Lengthen prison terms for abusers who leave children paralyzed (AB 1987 by Assemblyman Mike Villines, R-Clovis)
Require school officials to report harassment of or by pupils
(AB 2762 by Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-Monterey Park)
Minimize penalties for operating a sports betting pool
(AB 1852 by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore)
Stiffen penalties for false 911 calls
(AB 1976 by Assemblyman John Benoit, R-Palm Desert)
Increase penalties for beehive theft
(AB 2849 by Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa)
Test all welfare recipients for drugs (defeated)
(AB 2389 by Benoit)
Source: California Legislature
More information is available at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/
Bills from the news
Two examples of crime-related proposals inspired by news headlines. More on Page B15.
"Adam's Law," based on a case involving Adam Carbajal, above, would create a felony punishable by 15 years to life imprisonment for a caretaker who hurts a child younger than 8 badly enough to cause brain damage or paralysis.
Margaret Hamblin was one of two bartenders cited for operating a football betting pool with a total prize of $50 at an Elks Lodge in Lake Elsinore. A lawmaker wants to reduce the penalty for friendly wagering from a misdemeanor to an infraction such as a parking ticket
Los Angeles Times