News

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Say goodbye to scenery selfies or selfies with your food or drinks and say hello to taking ballot selfies.  California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill last month that allows Californians to legally take pictures with their marked ballots after the California Assembly voted 57-11 to send the legislation to the governor.

The so-called "ballot selfies bill" was created and presented by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) as an attempt to help increase the state’s poor voter turnout.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nowadays we document our lives online—sharing everything from a meal at a trendy restaurant to the birth of a new child with a selfie posted to social media. So snapping a quick pic of you and your ballot at the voting booth to show off your civic pride might sound like a fun idea. Doing so, however, could possibly get you in big trouble: laws in many states ban photography at polling places.

What is legal

Laws about photography at polling places vary widely from state to state, and enforcement is spotty everywhere that such laws exist. In Washington State, where most voting is done by mail-in ballot, there are no restrictions at all. Until recently, California law prohibited any voter from showing his or her ballot to another person after marking it, but had never prosecuted anyone for publishing a photo of their marked ballot.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Donations made to a candidate for the state Assembly or Senate are usually a small part of California’s political money machine, a function of the relatively low limits on the size of contributions.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A proposed settlement gives Volkswagen too much power over how it spends $2 billion to promote electric vehicles, according to California lawmakers, the EV charging industry, states and environmentalists.

They are calling on the court and federal regulators for more transparency, oversight and public input.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Marin Assemblyman Marc Levine said this week he will introduce legislation that will close a loophole in state campaign finance law when the Legislature reconvenes in December.

The loophole allows unlimited contributions to political parties and permits parties to make unlimited contributions to candidate campaigns.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The state just became the fourth to pass a law making it legal to swap seeds and collect them in non-commercial libraries.

Free seed libraries, swaps, and exchanges increase access to local food and can play a large role in both expanding and preserving biodiversity. Yet for almost 80 years, these non-commercial operations have been running afoul of the law.

That’s because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Federal Seed Act mandates that any activity involving non-commercial distribution of seed be labeled, permitted, and tested according to industrial regulations that would be both costly and burdensome to the over 460 estimated seed libraries operating in 46 states.