The Latest: Brown veto lets smoking continue at parks, beach

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on legislative action by California Gov. Jerry Brown (all times local): 5 p.m. Gov. Jerry Brown is vetoing a proposal to ban smoking at all state parks and beaches after having approved numerous anti-tobacco regulations earlier this year. The bill would've...

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on legislative action by California Gov. Jerry Brown (all times local):

5 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown is vetoing a proposal to ban smoking at all state parks and beaches after having approved numerous anti-tobacco regulations earlier this year.

The bill would've fined people up to $250 if they were caught smoking or disposing of tobacco products at state parks and beaches.

The Democratic governor said Wednesday that a more measured and less punitive approach than SB1333 might be warranted.

Supporters aimed to mitigate the harmful effects of nicotine and secondhand smoke. Democratic Sen. Marty Block of San Diego had argued it would also protect the environment from cigarette butts and prevent wildfires.

Brown signed legislation earlier this year to raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, regulate electronic cigarettes and rein in tobacco use in various other ways.


4:30 p.m.

California is joining dozens of other states in outlawing powdered alcohol before it hits the market amid concerns the inconspicuous drug would too easily become a safety hazard.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday that he signed SB819 to ban any "alcohol prepared or sold in a powder or crystalline form."

Lawmakers unanimously approved the bill last month.

Republican Sen. Bob Huff of San Dimas says concerns arise from the ease with which it could be transferred to minors, slipped to someone unknowingly, snorted or added to already-alcoholic drinks.

Legislative analysts say at least 27 other states have banned the substance.

A company that's moving toward manufacturing powdered alcohol disputes that the product is likely to be abused. Palcohol says it is a safe and convenient way for adults to drink.


3:50 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has rejected banning local governments from signing deals with companies to run immigration detention facilities despite growing concerns over private prisons.

Brown on Wednesday announced that he vetoed SB1289. It would have prevented cities and counties from inking contracts with privately run immigration detention centers. It would also have required publicly run facilities to meet federal standards for providing legal counsel and medical care.

California has four privately run immigration detention facilities where advocates say roughly 4,700 people can be held. Another six facilities run by government agencies also hold immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The federal Department of Justice recently announced plans to stop using private prisons. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it's reviewing whether to do the same for immigration detainees.


3:30 p.m.

California is fixing a voter-approved initiative that required registered sex offenders to disclose certain personal information.

Voters in 2012 mandated that convicted sex offenders reveal their email addresses, screen names and other electronic identifiers to law enforcement.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put that requirement on hold immediately after the initiative passed. The court decided in 2014 that it would violate the free-speech rights of about 73,000 offenders who have completed their sentences.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday that he signed SB448 in response to that ruling.

The law will limit the reporting requirements to sex offenders convicted of a felony after Jan. 1, 2017. It will apply only to those who used the internet to track victims, traffic them or collect or distribute obscene material.


3 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to restore the voting rights of convicted felons serving time in county jails.

The bill that Brown announced signing Wednesday also reinstates the voting eligibility of felons on probation or under community supervision beginning next year. It does not affect those in state or federal prisons.

AB2466 stems from California's criminal justice realignment, which led to some people convicted of low-level felonies serving time in county jails.

Republican lawmakers say felons should not be allowed to cast ballots while serving a sentence, with Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel saying it compromises the integrity of elections.

Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego says opponents don't want to allow certain people to vote. She says civic participation can be a critical part of reducing recidivism.


2:30 p.m.

California will require Uber and Lyft to conduct background checks on all drivers and lay off certain criminals beginning in 2017.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday that he signed legislation aiming to protect people who use ride-hailing services.

Beginning Jan. 1, transportation networks cannot employ drivers who are registered sex offenders, violent felons or terrorists. AB1289 will also ban people convicted in the last seven years of assault, domestic violence or driving under the influence.

Companies could be fined up to $5,000 per banned driver.

Uber and Lyft terms and conditions require riders to agree that the companies aren't liable for their safety.

Prosecutors have identified drivers in Los Angeles and San Francisco convicted of murder, sexual assault and other offenses that will make them ineligible under the new law.


2:15 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown won't give state lawmakers greater oversight of California's $64 billion high-speed rail project.

The nonpartisan state legislative analyst recommended the larger role in March, following a surprise shift in the initial direction in the railway.

The Democratic governor announced Wednesday he vetoed AB2847 by Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno.

It would have required rail officials to explain to lawmakers and the public significant changes to their plans including the funding sources and the size, schedule and cost of each segment.

Patterson and others critical of the rail plan say the board that oversees the project has regularly omitted cost estimates.

Public support for the project has waned since voters approved selling nearly $10 billion in bonds for it in 2008, but Brown remains a staunch supporter.