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Legislators send in their bills

February 25, 2011

Local representatives turned in a lot of paperwork leading up to the Feb. 18 deadline for California lawmakers to submit legislation for the 2011-12 session.

The four lawmakers who represent all or parts of Glendale, Burbank and La Cañada Flintridge submitted a combined 93 pieces of legislation. The bills range from the ceremonial — a measure to again make April 24 California Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide — to proposals for overhauling state government in the face of a projected $25.4-billion budget deficit.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) submitted 29 pieces of legislation. The most high-profile so far is the proposed “open carry” ban to stop public displays of unloaded weapons. The legislation was drafted in reaction to demonstrations in recent years in which licensed gun owners gathered to show off their unloaded weapons in protest of restrictive gun possession laws.

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Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) submitted 24 measures, six of which would reform the state’s initiative process in various ways. Gatto has said California’s proposition process is out of control and has resulted in flawed laws and unwise state spending requirements.

State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) submitted 20 bills, most regarding education or social-service support for vulnerable people, including foster children and homeless families.

Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) also submitted 20 bills, including one calling for state agencies to review all regulations passed before 1990 to find and eliminate outdated regulations.

Schiff talks political climate change abroad

When Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) looks at the wave of unrest sweeping through the Middle East and north Africa, he said he sees a new chapter dawning for democracy around the world and a blow to Muslim extremism.

“We may be witnessing something analogous to what we saw with the fall of the Soviet Union,” Schiff said.

He noted the uprisings have reverberated as far away as in China, where officials are dealing with the nascent “Jasmine Revolution” inspired by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

Schiff also said the rapid changes may sow doubts in the Arab world about the fierce anti-Western stance of extreme Muslim organizations.

“The narrative Al Qaeda has could be seriously undercut by people in the Arab world rising up to demand better in their own nations, and achieving it,” he said.

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