News Stories

August 2, 2018

by Kacey Gardner

Think about your everyday digital footprint: You pull up Facebook to see what your friends are up to and read the news, use your credit card to buy groceries and Google a stray thought.

All of your purchases, interactions and web searches rely on an exchange of information between you and the company providing the service. And it’s not always clear what personal details are collected, where that information goes and how it’s used.

June 28, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — California has passed a digital privacy law granting consumers more control over and insight into the spread of their personal information online, creating one of the most significant regulations overseeing the data-collection practices of technology companies in the United States.

The bill raced through the State Legislature without opposition on Thursday and was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, just hours before a deadline to pull from the November ballot an initiative seeking even tougher oversight over technology companies.

June 22, 2018

LAWMAKERS IN CALIFORNIA have introduced a sweeping privacy bill to the state legislature that would give Californians unprecedented control over their data and rein in the power of their Silicon Valley neighbors.

June 1, 2018

Although he declared an end to California’s historic five-year drought last year, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed two new laws that will require cities and water districts across the state to set permanent water conservation rules, even in non-drought years.

“In preparation for the next drought and our changing environment, we must use our precious resources wisely,” Brown said in a statement. “We have efficiency goals for energy and cars – and now we have them for water.”

May 31, 2018

California lawmakers moved Wednesday to create a state-backed bank to handle the billions of dollars flowing from the newly legal recreational marijuana market.

The world's largest legal recreational marijuana economy, created under a law that took effect this year, is projected to grow to $7 billion.

The bill approved by a bipartisan 29-6 state Senate vote is designed to help pot entrepreneurs who usually deal in cash because most banks won't accept money from a product that remains illegal under federal law.

SB930 now goes to the Assembly for consideration.

May 30, 2018

The state Senate passed a bill this week to create a state charter for banks to serve California cannabis businesses, which would allow licensed merchants to write checks to pay taxes, fees and vendors — rather than use large amounts of cash, as they currently do.

SB930, by state Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, now heads to the Assembly.

Because marijuana is classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug, federally insured financial institutions cannot process cannabis-related transactions without the risk of facing money laundering charges.

May 26, 2018

By S. Burr Eckstut and Ingrid Rechtin

California has taken a conservative step on the path to greater regulation of blockchain technology or legal recognition of blockchain-secured data.  On May 18, an amended bill was referred to the State Assembly Appropriations Committee for review that would provide for the establishment of a blockchain working group to evaluate “the potential uses, risks, and benefits of the use of blockchain technology by state government and California-based businesses.”  The amended bill also provides a legal definition of “blockchain.”[1]

May 22, 2018

by Antoinette Siu

Consider these two scenarios: A family spends Saturday afternoon at the local shopping center, buying a new washing machine, summer sandals, children’s books and dog food. With every purchase, the state takes its cut, courtesy of California’s 7.25 percent sales tax.

Then consider a mid-sized advertising firm across town. It contracts with an accountant, a software developer, a lawyer and a cleaning service. Every time the company pays for these services, the state of California collects absolutely nothing.

May 22, 2018

By Jeff Powers

Democratic Senator and former Speaker of the Assembly, Bob Hertzberg, isn’t slowing down.

May 18, 2018

By Bettina Boxall

California cities and towns may find themselves on a water budget in the next decade under a pair of bills approved Thursday by the legislature.

The measures follow Gov. Jerry Brown's call to make water conservation a permanent way of life in a state long accustomed to jewel-green lawns and suburban tracts studded with swimming pools.

More than a year of legislative negotiations reflected the enduring conflicts over state and local control.

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