June 18, 2008 |
Last week's column on California legislation that would allow drugstores to share people's prescription-drug records with mass-mailers clearly struck a chord with readers. And I'm glad to say it resonated with lawmakers as well. The bill -- SB 1096, written by state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) -- was approved by the Senate on May 29. But it hit a brick wall Tuesday when it failed to garner a single vote of support in the Assembly Health Committee.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2008 |
A state senator hopes to revive a controversial bill that would increase media access to disciplinary hearings and records involving Los Angeles Police Department officers. The legislation, according to Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), was encouraged by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and has already generated sharp criticism from the union that represents LAPD officers.
June 4, 2008 |
The top U.S. commodity regulator said Tuesday that it would require investors and index funds to disclose more information about their holdings in agricultural markets after farmers and lawmakers alleged that speculators had inflated food prices. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in an e-mailed statement, also said it would grant fewer exemptions to speculative-position limits related to agricultural index trading and would provide more detail on trader holdings starting next month.
May 8, 2008 |
The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to share more information with the Federal Reserve about the health of investment banks after a run on Bear Stearns Cos. put the firm on the brink of filing for bankruptcy. The SEC and the Fed are preparing a "memorandum of understanding" for communicating with each other, Erik Sirri, head of the SEC's trading and markets division, said in Senate testimony Wednesday. The effort reflects the fact that the central bank is lending money to investment banks for the first time since the Great Depression, he said.
May 4, 2008 |
Consumer advocates are pressing the Treasury Department to develop labels for alcoholic drink packaging to let people know how much alcohol is in each serving of liquor. The groups want the department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade bureau to expand the information included in proposed drink labels. They want labels that reveal the amount of alcohol per serving, the definition of a standard drink and the U.S. dietary guidelines on drinking. "I think people have no idea how much alcohol is in a standard drink," said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.
May 3, 2008 |
Gov. David Paterson said he revealed his past marital affairs once he took office in part because he had heard that a rogue group of state police was investigating politicians. Paterson said that he had no proof but that "over 10" lawmakers from both parties statewide told him about traffic stops and leaks by police to news organizations about brushes with the law. Paterson took office March 17, replacing Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned amid a prostitution scandal. Both are Democrats.
April 27, 2008 |
Help wanted: public servants willing to disclose major sources of income, business interests, real estate holdings and the names of their adult relatives. Sayonara and good luck with that, said some 150 elected and appointed Oregon officeholders who walked away from their public service gigs this month rather than disclose personal data. Many said they were particularly disturbed by the new requirement -- apparently unique to Oregon -- that they name so many family members.
March 21, 2008 |
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi and Singapore agreed Wednesday to adopt rules for greater disclosure and to ensure the funds' investments are for economic, not "geopolitical," purposes. Paulson and officials from the two countries said there was a "common interest in an open and stable international financial system," according to a joint statement after talks in Washington. A set of "best practices will create strong incentive among SWFs and investment-recipient countries to hold themselves to high standards," the statement said.
February 26, 2008 |
Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said he will open to the public army files on massacres and torture by soldiers during the country's 36-year civil war. Almost 250,000 people were killed or disappeared during the 1960-96 conflict between leftist guerrillas and the government. The army committed more than 80% of the slayings, according to a United Nations-backed truth commission. The commission, which compiled thousands of interviews with victims after the 1996 peace accords, identified no officials, in part because the army files were not open to the public.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2008 |
Three-quarters of California's elected district attorneys refused to disclose how they choose defendants to face the death penalty, according to a report slated for presentation at a public hearing in Los Angeles today. In a report to the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, which is examining how the death penalty is applied in California, Pepperdine law school professors Harry M.