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SCVNews.com | Assembly Panel OK’s Pavley Bills on Kiddie Porn, Fracking | 08-30-2013
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1963 - First stretch of Antelope Valley 14 Freeway opens from east of Solemint Junction in Canyon Country to Red Rover Mine Road in Acton. [story]


Fran Pavley

Fran Pavley

The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Friday to approve Senate Bill 145 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), which would raise the maximum penalty for the most serious child pornography offenses. The committee vote paves the way for a vote on the Assembly Floor.

California currently has the weakest child pornography sentencing laws in the nation. SB 145 would raise the maximum penalty for the worst offenders: those with huge collections of child pornography, those with images of children forced to endure sexual sadism or masochism, and those who use images to groom children to participate in this crime. The bill is sponsored by Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten and strongly supported by the California District Attorneys Association.

“We need to halt the cycle of child abuse at its roots,” Pavley said. “As long as there is a demand to see sexually abused children, and possessors of this material fail to receive serious consequences, possessors will continue to fuel the production and distribution of images and the vicious cycle of child abuse will continue.”

Testifying at the hearing was Erin Runnion, who founded the Joyful Child Foundation after her daughter, Samantha was sexually assaulted and murdered in 2002. Runnion was also representing the National Association to PROTECT Children and the Surviving Parents Coalition.

“Child pornographers perpetuate the victimization of children,” Runnion said. “The man who killed my daughter had a collection. Our greatest responsibility is to protect our children.”

 

FRACKING

The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 12-5 Friday to approve Senate Bill 4 (Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills), clearing the way for the full Assembly to approve regulations for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), acidizing and other unregulated oilfield practices.

Unlike at least 14 petroleum producing states including Texas and Wyoming, California does not currently regulate fracking, which is the injection of water, sand and chemicals underground to crack rock formations and free up oil and gas. The state also lacks regulations for acidizing, which is the use of hydrofluoric acid and other corrosive acids to dissolve shale rock. Oil companies have predicted acidizing could be the primary tool for accessing the Monterey Shale, the nation’s largest shale oil deposit with an estimated 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

SB 4 would require permits for fracking, acidizing and other oil well stimulation practices. It would require notification of neighbors, public disclosure of all chemicals used, groundwater and air quality monitoring and an independent scientific study. The study would evaluate potential risks such as groundwater and surface water contamination, greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollution, seismic impacts, and effects on wildlife, native plants and habitat.

“This bill will address serious unanswered questions about the safety and environmental risks of fracking and acidizing,” Senator Pavley said. “California needs strict regulations to hold the oil industry accountable for the true costs of its activities. I’d like to thank the chairman, Assemblymember Mike Gatto, for his support.”

“Senator Pavley worked tirelessly to get some meaningful regulation of fracking on the books,” said Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This is an important step in the right direction.”

Also on Friday, the Los Angeles City Council’s Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee approved a resolution endorsing Senate Bill 4. The resolution will be considered by the City Council on Tuesday.

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