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SB 785 – authored by Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gonzalez Fletcher -- prevents attorneys from questioning witnesses about their immigration status in open court unless a judge first rules that the status is relevant to the subject of the litigation
July 18, 2017

Sacramento –  Today the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) to protect immigrants from irrelevant disclosures of their immigration status in open court. SB 785 requires that any discussion or questioning about the immigration status of any witness, victim, or defendant first be deemed by a judge to be relevant to the subject of the litigation.

July 17, 2017

Now here in Sacramento, lawmakers are considering extraordinary legislation to, in effect, crack down on communities that have, in their view, systematically delayed or derailed housing construction proposals, often at the behest of local neighborhood groups. The bill was passed by the Senate last month and could be acted on as soon as this week.

“The explosive costs of housing have spread like wildfire around the state,” said Scott Wiener, a Democratic senator from San Francisco who sponsored the bill. “This is no longer a coastal, elite housing problem. This is a problem in big swaths of the state. It is damaging the economy. It is damaging the environment, as people get pushed into longer commutes.”

July 14, 2017

California’s housing emergency can be measured in many ways — its 78,000 unsheltered homeless, nearly half the nation’s total; the 180,000 additional units a year the state needs but has no apparent prospect of producing; the tensions over urban gentrification that some are blaming for a spate of East Bay apartment building arsons.

But perhaps the most remarkable sign of the crisis is that the Legislature is at long last on the brink of doing something about it.

July 13, 2017

A bill currently making its way through the California legislature would do much to combat the lack of understanding or hostility confronting so many LGBTQ seniors in residential care. Senate bill 219, by Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, would create a “bill of rights” for LGBTQ seniors in residential care facilities, prohibiting refusal or eviction on the basis of sexual orientation, HIV status or gender identity.