With the goal of better understanding what our local legislators are up to in Sacramento, we are tracking the bills they introduced this year.
On Monday, we summarized some of the bills introduced in the state Senate. Today we do the same with bills by Assembly members Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata; Mark Levine, D-San Rafael; and Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.
We plan to update readers from time to time on how these measures are amended, who would benefit from them and whether they advance. We're likely to offer support for some and to oppose some, too.
Chesbro's bills include:
; AB 497: Reduces the frequency of state Fish and Game Commission meetings and eliminates a requirement that no more than three meetings per year take place in Sacramento.
; AB 582: Requires state health officials to recognize custom rehabilitation technology services as a separate benefit under Medi-Cal.
; AB 881: Raises the oil spill and prevention fee from $0.65 to $0.80, indexes it to inflation and allocates $0.03 per barrel to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.
A number of Chesbro's bills address technical issues or appear to be spot bills — meaning their real intent won't be clear until they're amended.
Levine's bills include:
; AB 158: Prohibits large retailers from providing single-use, carryout bags to customers after Jan. 1, 2015, extending the requirement to smaller stores a year later. The bill allows imposition of civil penalties for violators. A statewide policy makes more sense than a patchwork of local rules, but is a bag ban really necessary?