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BUSINESS
September 12, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - A bill that would boost California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 won approval by the state Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he would sign it. The measure would raise the current $8 minimum wage to $9 an hour next July 1 and to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016. The 25% increase would be the first minimum-wage hike in California in five years and would put extra money in the pockets of an estimated 2.4 million Californians. "This is the time to raise the minimum wage to provide relief for hard-working families," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville)
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BUSINESS
April 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - It's the season at the California Capitol for flowering dogwoods, blooming azaleas and the state Chamber of Commerce's annual "job killer" list. Never short of targets, the 13,000-member chamber this year is eyeing 26 bills that it contends would harm the job-creation climate and the ongoing economic recovery if passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor. Most of the proposals deal with the workplace, including minimum wage hikes and paid sick days; taxes and legal and regulatory matters.
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NATIONAL
March 30, 2014 | By Richard Simon
Its official name is the Safe Carry Protection Act. Critics call it the "guns everywhere bill. " Legislation awaiting the governor's signature in Georgia would allow guns in bars, churches, airports and schools. It has drawn national attention because of its sweep. The National Rifle Assn. called the bill's passage a "historic victory for the 2nd Amendment. " Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was wounded in a 2011 shooting, called it the most extreme gun bill in the nation.
SPORTS
April 10, 2014 | By Teddy Greenstein and Dan Wiederer
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Craig and Kevin Stadler ("Walrus" and "Smallrus") became the first father-son combo to play in the same Masters, but perhaps they're not the first family of this week's festivities. Check out the Haas household. Bill Haas overcome a first-hole bogey Thursday to shoot a four-under-par 68, good for the first-round lead. Father Jay Haas played in 22 Masters, making 19 cuts. Uncle Jerry Haas participated in 1985. An uncle from his mother's side, Dillard Pruitt, teed it up here in 1992 and '93. Oh, and great-uncle Bob Goalby won the 1968 event, avoiding a playoff after Argentina's Roberto De Vicenzo signed for the wrong Sunday score.
NATIONAL
February 20, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON -- Say a gay couple in Phoenix walks into a bakery to order their wedding cake. The baker refuses to take their order because of his deeply held religious beliefs. Under a measure that passed the Arizona Legislature this week, the baker would have greater protection to invoke religion to shield himself from a discrimination lawsuit. The bill, approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday and the GOP-led House on Thursday, would bolster a business owner's right to refuse service to gays and others if the owner believes doing so violates the practice and observance of his or her religion.
BUSINESS
September 30, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California consumers soon will be paying for a new state mattress recycling program, funded by a fee on bedding purchases. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill by Sens. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), SB 254, aimed at taking an estimated 2 million used mattresses and box springs a year off city streets, vacant lots and rural lands. The bill backed is both by mattress manufacturers and retailers as well as  environmentalists. Quiz: How much do you know about mortgages?
OPINION
January 11, 2013
Several weeks ago, state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) proposed a sweeping set of protections for the homeless that have sparked almost as much controversy as the homeless themselves. The Homeless Person's Bill of Rights and Fairness Act, as AB 5 is titled, would guarantee the homeless the right to live in public much as other people do in their homes. They could sit, sleep, move about and engage in "life-sustaining activities that must be carried out in public spaces because of homelessness," such as eating, urinating and collecting trash to recycle.
OPINION
December 15, 2009 | By Jonathan Estrin and Marshall Croddy
Watching the often vitriolic debates in Congress these days can be disturbing. But disagreement and debate are part of our national DNA. Consider the Bill of Rights, which was as controversial when it was first debated as parts of it still are today. FOR THE RECORD: Rights: An Op-Ed article Monday on the Bill of Rights said it was ratified 118 years ago. It was ratified 218 years ago. — The founders of our country, united in the revolution, were divided over the issue of including a bill of rights in the Constitution of 1787.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Republican state Senators on Monday blocked a bill that would require more disclosure of those who contribute money through nonprofit groups to affect California elections, the first legislative setback for Democrats since they lost their supermajority two weeks ago. With all Republicans either voting against the bill or withholding a vote, the tally was 26 to 4, one vote short of the two-thirds majority to approve SB 27 as an urgency...
NEWS
July 22, 2013 | By Daniel Rothberg
Probably nothing causes members of Congress more unease than having to talk about death. It's only been four years since healthcare reform became more about whether President Obama wanted to throw mama from a train via “death panels” than, well, how best to reform a broken healthcare system. Still, there are several representatives from both parties who want to discuss it. Since 2009, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) has been pushing a bill that would require Medicare coverage for an optional end-of-life consultation between a patient and a doctor every five years (more often if the patient's health declines)
SPORTS
April 10, 2014 | By Dan Wiederer
AUGUSTA, Ga. - By the time Bubba Watson tapped in for a textbook par on the final hole of his opening round at the Masters, he had that familiar feeling. Watson felt both a surge of energy and a sense of ease at Augusta National, a satisfaction in the patience and precision that paved his way to a three-under-par 69 Thursday. A solid day's work. Three-way tie for second place. One shot off the lead set by Bill Haas. Two years ago, Watson left these grounds with a green jacket, triumphing in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen with a swashbuckling, crowd-pleasing approach.
SPORTS
April 10, 2014 | By Teddy Greenstein and Dan Wiederer
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Bill Haas is playing his fifth Masters, but he knows Augusta National almost as well as most members. Great-uncle Bob Goalby won the 1968 Masters and often tells Bill: “You're a better player than the scores you shoot.” Bill first played the course in high school. And he often accompanied his father, Jay Haas, who played in 22 Masters. “I wasn't interested in the Masters,” Bill said. “I was interested in my dad's score at the Masters, if that makes sense.” Bill's first-round score garnered plenty of interest, given that he was the clubhouse leader after firing a 4-under 68. Defending champion Adam Scott was one back, as were Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson, and several players were at 2-under.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | Tony Perry
Putting the brakes on a controversial bill to ban killer whale shows at SeaWorld San Diego, an Assembly committee Tuesday called for additional study that could take at least 18 months. Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, one of the bill's sponsors, said she was disappointed by the move but pleased at the idea of more study -- although it remained unclear how the study would be conducted. John Reilly, president of SeaWorld San Diego, said he doubted a compromise is possible with people backing the bill.
OPINION
April 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The lives of captive killer whales are nothing like those of their wild counterparts. Instead of roaming for miles every day in close-knit family groups, captive whales perform for audiences in tanks that, though roomier than those of early marine parks, are far too small for such large ocean predators. In the wild, killer whales have not been known to kill humans or one another. The same cannot be said for the whales in amusement parks around the world, even though they represent only about a tenth of a percent of the numbers in the wild.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - The recent hacking of customer data from Target Corp. computers is roiling the California Legislature. Last week, two members of the Assembly touted a bill to strengthen consumer safeguards and limit the type of information collected and retained by retailers. The measure, AB 1710, may trigger one of the year's biggest disputes over business-related legislation. "It'll be a big fight, a tough fight," said Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Assn.
SPORTS
April 4, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Bill Bedgood, a former head coach at Alemany and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, has been hired as the new basketball coach at Saugus. Bedgood last coached at Notre Dame in 2012.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- A bill unveiled Tuesday would guarantee at least three paid sick days a year for California workers. "It's time to have this discussion, to seriously engage on the rights of everybody to take a day off when they're sick or be able to take their child to the doctor," said the measure's author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) in an interview Tuesday. Gonzalez said her proposal, which was introduced late last week and announced on Tuesday, aims to provide economic stability to workers who would otherwise risk losing their job due to illness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2013 | By Marisa Gerber
For many people living in the United States illegally, news Tuesday of a sweeping immigration overhaul bill elicited feelings of relief and guarded optimism. For Maria Galvan, 43, it meant she might be able to finally stop working odd jobs, like the one at a curtain factory. Maybe she can even open her own hair salon, a dream she had all but abandoned. And maybe, with some time, she can train herself not to slam on the brakes every time she sees a policeman. “It makes me happy to know we're being heard,” said Galvan, who crossed into the country illegally through Tijuana 13 years ago. “If this happens, it will be such a relief.” For Galvan- - and most of the 11 million others in the country without authorization- - the newly unveiled bill paves a 13-year-path toward citizenship and creates a new probationary legal status that would let people work and drive in the country without the fear of deportation.
OPINION
April 2, 2014
Re "Georgia bill would go far in expanding gun rights," March 31 It is sad and appalling that legislation passed after high-profile shootings has resulted in an easing of gun rules instead of the sensible gun laws that we had anticipated, such as closing the gun show loophole. According to Jerry Henry of GeorgiaCarry.org, we are not going to "stop crime by disarming good people. " Americans today have more than 300 million firearms. By Henry's measure we should be the safest country in the world; however, in 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings.
SPORTS
April 1, 2014
Bill Plaschke, a staple of The Times Sports section since joining the paper in 1987, has taken first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors annual contest for column writing among papers with circulations of more than 175,000. Plaschke, a columnist since 1996, has now won the prestigious national columnist award five times and has been a frequent top-10 finisher in multiple writing categories. The contest honors the best work in sports journalism both in print and on the web. The final column-writing results were announced Tuesday.
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