PD Editorial: A look at local senators' bills for 2014

California legislators introduced 1,947 bills for the second year of the 2013-14 session, and several hundred bills introduced in 2013 remain active.

As we did last year, we plan to keep track of bills authored by local legislators and report periodically on the progress of and amendments to the most significant measures.

We'll start today with bills by state Sens. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, and Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and follow with a second report on bills by Assembly members representing Sonoma County.

Evans' bills include:

SB 794: Limits prosecutors and defense attorneys to five peremptory challenges during jury selection in criminal cases where the potential penalty is no more than one year in jail. The restrictions would be in effect until Jan. 1, 2017. Passed in Senate. Awaiting committee assignment in Assembly.

SB 1003: Limits satellite betting on out-of-state horse races when live thoroughbred or fair racing is being conducted in California. Referred to Senate Committee on Government Organization.

SB 1017: Establishes an oil and gas severance tax, with revenue earmarked for higher education. Referred to Senate Education and Governance and Finance committees.

SB 1040: Extends an existing state law making it illegal to falsely label a wine as produced with grapes from a specified county to cover electronic communications. Referred to Senate Government Organization Committee.

SB 1095: Eliminates state designation of Highway 12 as a potential freeway between Farmers Lane and Melita Road. Bill also declares state intention to declare as surplus property and transfer to the city of Santa Rosa 55 acres of land acquired for the freeway project. Referred to Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

SB 1381: Requires labeling of foods containing genetically modified agricultural commodities. Awaiting committee assignment in Senate.

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