LA Times, By Anthony York, October 2, 2011, 11:17 p.m.
The circumcision bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, aims to ‘protect parental rights and liberties.’ The governor has until Oct. 9 to decide on the many bills on his desk.
Reporting from Sacramento — Local governments will be unable to ban male circumcision under a new state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The bill, by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), was drafted in response to a proposed San Francisco ballot measure that would have prohibited any foreskin cutting that was not deemed medically necessary in that city. That proposed ordinance was struck from the ballot by a Superior Court judge in June, amid protests from doctors and religious groups. A similar measure was proposed in Santa Monica but was later pulled back by proponents.
Gatto said his measure, signed Sunday, would “protect parental rights and liberties.”
The bill was one of 44 measures approved by Brown, who has hundreds more on his desk that must be approved or vetoed by Oct. 9. Brown also vetoed four bills Sunday.
Among the laws Brown signed was one that creates new penalties for the sale of synthetic cannabis products, which have been sold in convenience stores, tobacco shops and other outlets around the state. By some accounts, the products have effects similar to marijuana.
The penalties for selling synthetic cannabis now outweigh those for selling small quantities of marijuana. Under the law signed by Brown, anyone selling the synthetic product may be fined $1,000 and face up to six months in jail. Sales of less than 28 ounces of marijuana carry no jail time and a maximum fine of $100.
Organized labor scored a victory Sunday with Brown’s signature on a measure to prohibit local officials from imposing bans on union labor agreements for publicly funded construction projects. The measure by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), emerged on the final days of the legislative session and passed through both legislative houses without a single Republican in support.
Opponents of the measure said it would mandate that cities and counties agree to labor contracts on all local building projects, but Brown dismissed those concerns in a signing message Sunday.
“Contrary to what the opponents claim, this bill does not require any local government to adopt” a labor agreement, Brown wrote. “In fact, this bill preserves the right of all sides to debate what obviously is a hotly contested issue. Seems fair to me — even democratic.”
Many significant pieces of legislation are still awaiting Brown’s signature or veto before next Sunday. Among them are a measure that would create up to 100,000 dues-paying union members from the ranks of home child-care workers and another measure that would prohibit ballot initiatives from appearing on primary ballots.