Assembly bills get on track

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2$70 million. “With automobile and train traffic increasing exponentially, we need to make the building of grade separation structures a higher priority in our transportation budget,” said Bermudez. AB 1935 – approved on a 60-0 vote – would increase the frequency of railroad inspections from every 180 days to every 120 days. It also would require the Public Utilities Commission to adhere to stricter reporting requirements, including the collection of “near miss data” and compiling a list of root causes of all train accidents in its annual report to the Legislature. “Frequent inspections of railroad operations and equipment will help officials identify and eliminate safety dangers, Bermudez said. Editor’s note: It’s Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of Whittier-area politics and city government. There are only three days left until Tuesday’s election, but state Senate candidates Assemblymen Rudy Bermudez and Ron Calderon both took time out this week to get some bills through. Bermudez touted the Assembly’s passage of two of his bills dealing with railroads. AB 1785 – approved on a 52-0 vote – would increase the amount required to be budgeted for allocation to grade separation projects over railroads from $15 million to Calderon also had success getting his anti-graffiti bill passed on a 67-6 vote. AB 2923 would punish vandals convicted of graffiti crimes by allowing a judge to revoke their driver licenses for a maximum of three years, or until the vandals pay the full amount of damages, plus any fines. In addition, those convicted under AB 2923 would not be allowed to register a vehicle in California, or to renew a driver license until all fees are paid. “My district had witnessed exponential growth in the number of graffiti markings over a 3-year period,” Calderon said. In one city, officials recorded more than 5,000 graffiti markings in 2003 but saw that number grow to more than 50,000 markings by 2005, he said. “Residents are sick and tired of seeing their cities replete with graffiti, and I intend to make these vandals pay.” MORE LEGISLATION: State Sen. Martha Escutia’s legislation to increase fines for air polluters was approved by the Senate on a 21-13 vote this week. SB 1205 increases the caps on penalties for violations of air pollution laws and gives local air districts the ability to seek stiffer penalties from serious air polluters. “With passage of the Children’s Breathing Rights Act by the Senate, our children are a step closer to being protected against air-polluting industries located near their homes and schools,” said Escutia, D-Norwalk. “With SB 1205, major polluters that have accepted low fines as the cost of doing business will no longer have permission to pollute without the threat of major consequences,” she said. Opponents of the bill argue that current penalties are sufficient, especially considering the implications of non-renewal of an operating permit, according to a Senate analysis of the bill. LAST-MINUTE CAMPAIGNING: Assemblyman Ron Calderon’s campaign will hold a get-out-the-vote effort at 9 a.m. today at his campaign headquarters, 1713 W. Whittier Blvd., Montebello. Mail items for It’s Politics to the Whittier Daily News, P.O. Box 581, Whittier, CA 90608; fax to (562) 698-0450; phone (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022; or e-mail [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more