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Loni Hancock

March 6, 2013 | By Paige St. John
After a violent parole violator allegedly raped and killed his grandmother shortly after being released from jail, two California lawmakers asked San Joaquin County officials to explain their policies behind such early releases. Sidney Jerome DeAvila was arrested Feb. 26, charged with killing his 76-year-old grandmother and leaving her body in a backyard wheelbarrow. Law enforcement records show he was on state parole and required to wear a GPS monitor because of 2011 conviction for molesting children.
April 9, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO -- Just days after hoax 911 calls were made involving the homes of Justin Timberlake,  Rihanna and Sean Combs, state lawmakers acted Tuesday to advance a bill creating heavy financial penalties for those making false calls known as "swatting. " On Friday, the LAPD responded to calls of shots being fired at Timberlake's Hollywood Hills home but found no evidence to back the report, indicating he is a victim of a prank call. On Tuesday, the state Senate Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to approve a bill by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance)
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?
A quarter-century after he charmed Woodstock with the anti-Establishment "Fixin' to Die Rag," Country Joe McDonald may be changing his tune from notes to votes. McDonald, once the lead singer for Country Joe and the Fish, is considering a run for the Berkeley City Council. "One, two, three, who are we voting for? That definitely will be my campaign slogan," he said. He joked that he was partly motivated by "the idea of having my own parking space," but said he's taking a possible race seriously.
July 13, 2005 | Mike Boehm, Times Staff Writer
Vying for scraps of state revenue, the arts fought the environment in Sacramento and the environment won. A bill written by state Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) had aimed to boost the cash-starved California Arts Council, the agency that makes state government grants to the arts, by an estimated $1.5 million a year. The idea: Give the arts council all the income from vanity license plates emblazoned with a special design that arts-loving motorists can purchase for an extra fee.
October 7, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO -- California lawmakers have scheduled a hearing Wednesday into the state's use of solitary confinement in its prisons, legislative action that was promised to encourage inmates to end their 60-day inmate hunger strike this summer over those practices. "The hunger strike made us look at these conditions, but they have been problematic for years,” Assembly Public Safety Chairman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said in a statement accompanying announcement of the hearing date.
September 17, 2013 | By Anthony York
Just after 9 on Monday night, Gov. Jerry Brown's legislative secretary Gareth Elliot picked up the phone and called a Hollywood studio executive. Elliot wasn't pitching a new movie. He was calling to tell Scott Budnick, an executive producer of "The Hangover" film franchise, that the governor had signed a bill giving juvenile offenders serving long sentences the right to parole after 15 years -- a measure that Budnick had been pushing in the Capitol halls in the final week of the legislative session.
October 8, 2011 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown raised the ire of bicyclists, Chinese-food chefs, Republicans and some pet lovers Friday as he announced action on dozens of proposed laws. Brown outlawed the sale of shark fins, despite protests from some Chinese American leaders who saw the move as an assault on Asian culture; vetoed a controversial bid to restrict how motorists pass bicyclists; and decided not to require microchip tracking of some dogs and cats. Among the 57 bills he approved were several intended to increase the safety of natural gas pipelines and one that requires all ballot initiatives to be decided in November general elections, which typically draw greater numbers of liberal voters than June primaries.
September 10, 2013 | By Howard Blume
California lawmakers pushed ahead Tuesday with a new state testing plan despite a threat by the Obama administration to withhold federal education funds unless substantial changes were made. The state Senate approved the overhaul on a 25-7 vote, with Democrats overwhelmingly in support. AB 484 would end the paper-and-pencil testing system used since 1999. In its place would be computerized tests based on new Common Core learning goals approved by 45 states. With the new test entering a trial period, there would be no student or school scores released for 2014.
January 24, 2006 | Dan Morain, Times Staff Writer
After taking a major role in defeating Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot initiatives last year, California nurses Monday proposed one that would strictly limit spending on political campaigns. The measure would ban corporate donations to candidates and to ballot-measure fights, and create a system of public financing for those running for office. Candidates who rejected the financing could accept only relatively small contributions -- $500 for legislative races, $1,000 for statewide offices.
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