Making Apartments and Condos Smoke-free

Anybody who has lived in an apartment or condominium knows about the downsides of living so close to your neighbors. When walls, floors, ceilings or balconies are shared, so are loud noises, unpleasant smells, and even deadly cigarette smoke. Drifting secondhand smoke poses health concerns for even the healthiest residents, but can you imagine the effects on a child with asthma, or a senior with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? Families living in multi-unit housing understand the adverse effects all too well.

Levine Legislation Sails Through First Committee

Assembly Bill 253 Allows Owners of Floating Homes to Purchase Marina

The Assembly Local Government Committee today unanimously approved legislation by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) to allow the residents of a floating home marina to create a condominium association for the purpose of purchasing their marina.

“When a floating home marina is up for sale, those with the most at stake are those who call the marina home,” said Levine. “AB 253 is straightforward legislation that simply allows owners of floating homes to come together to protect their residences. I am glad that this legislation was met with bipartisan and unanimous support in its first committee hearing.”

Bill would authorize local takeover of Tiburon Boulevard section

The town of Tiburon is moving a step closer to taking over the downtown section of Tiburon Boulevard from the state, which has overseen the road — also known as Highway 131 — for more than 50 years.

At the request of town officials, Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, has introduced a bill authorizing state highway commissioners to transfer the downtown section of the boulevard to the town. The bill, AB 747, will be discussed at an Assembly transportation committee hearing April 15.

Assembly Panel Approves Levine's Proposed Ban on Plastic Grocery Bags

Assembly Bill 158 (Levine) Approved by Assembly Natural Resources Committee

Today the Assembly Natural Resources Committee passed AB 158 (Levine), which would provide a statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags.

"I am pleased that this important bill has cleared its first legislative hurdle. The elimination of plastic bags is inevitable and it is time for a statewide solution to this problem," said Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael). "To continue to allow the use of plastic bags would ignore the convincing body of global evidence proving that these bags are having a drastic effect on marine environments."

Levine needs to build political coalitions behind his bills

Marin and Sonoma's new state Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, just threw three bills in the legislative hopper.

All are substantial. They nicely balance the interests of the political coalition that elected Levine and that he'll need as he goes forward.

PD Editorial: Independent members for pension board

A federal grand jury indictment charging two ex-CalPERS officials with fraud is yet another argument for greater public oversight of the state's public employee retirement system.

The indictment, unsealed Monday in San Francisco, names as defendants Federico Buenrostro, a former chief executive of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, and Alfred Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member.

Editorial: Renters deserve relief from smoking

Fewer than 14 percent of Californians smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products.

While they have the right to choose the risks of smoking for themselves, they do not have the right to impose their smoke involuntarily on others. That is why California has statewide laws that ban smoking in workplaces, restaurants and bars.

Now legislators are considering taking the next step – apartments and condominiums. With shared walls, floors, ceilings or ventilation systems, the drift of smoke is palpable in neighboring units.