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Bills await governor's signature

Rep. Sherman urges markets to finalize contract with workers

September 11, 2011|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com

It was a busy week at the state capitol as lawmakers scrambled to get bills to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk before recessing on Friday until January.

One bill written by Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) that increases protection for public safety workers recently got Brown’s signature.

The measure adds security officers and custody assistants to the state penal code for battery, allowing prosecutors to seek stiffer penalties if someone attacks them.

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“I am pleased the governor recognized the need to deter any threats against these law enforcement personnel and to increase fines and jail time for perpetrators,” Liu said in a statement.

In Los Angeles County, security officers carry firearms and perform a range of duties, including detecting and preventing acts which could cause personal injury or damage property, Liu said. For example, they operate metal detectors in court houses and patrol some community college campuses.

Security officers also maintain alarm systems and electronic surveillance equipment, as well as respond to burglar alarms, she said.

Criminals convicted of battery in California can be punished with up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

A bill that prohibits cities and counties from enacting bans on male circumcision also is on its way to Brown’s desk.

The legislation, written by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), passed the state Assembly unanimously on Tuesday. The Senate unanimously passed the measure on Aug. 30.

Gatto wrote the bill in response to an effort to ban circumcision of males under 18 in San Francisco.

For Jews and Muslims, circumcision is a sacred rite. A measure banning circumcision was to have been placed on the November ballot in San Francisco. However, the initiative was dismissed in July by a judge who found the ban violates an existing California law that preempts cities from regulating medical procedures.

“To enact an outright ban on an expression of personal, medical, and religious freedom is an affront to me and a majority of Californians,” Gatto said in a statement.”Such municipal measures are an improper, frivolous use of the initiative process, and would result in a confusing patchwork of regulations across the state that would leave many Californians feeling unwelcome in certain cities.”

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) has introduced similar legislation at the federal level.

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