Written by Alex Gronke
Passed the bar, but not a citizen
The Legislature approved a bill Thursday that would allow undocumented immigrants to practice law. The legislation, which specifically addresses the state Supreme Court case of Sergio Garcia, now awaits the governor’s signature or veto. According to the Sacramento Bee, Garcia was brought to the United States as a small child, passed the state bar and is now arguing to the state’s highest court that his citizenship status shouldn’t prevent him from practicing law
Driver’s privileges for undocumented immigrants
Governor Brown is expected to sign another bill benefitting undocumented immigrants. The bill by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville), which the Legislature approved Thursday night, wouldallow immigrants who are in the state illegally to get a so-called driver’s privilege card from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Brown said he hopes the law will send a message to Washington D.C. that federal immigration reform is “long past due,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Eye on the prize
How much is an eyeball worth? The state corrections department paid an ex-inmate $585,000 to settle a lawsuit he filed alleging that he lost his eye in 2008 due to shabby medical care he received while serving prison time for a parole violation. According to the Los Angeles Times, Frank Lucero, who now lives in Arizona, agreed to drop the prison doctor from the lawsuit in exchange for the settlement check that arrived last week.
Brown to sign minimum wage bill
If Gov. Brown does as he is expected to do and signs a new minimum wage bill into law, the state’s minimum wage will rise over the next three years from $8 an hour to $10 an hour. For a 40-hour week, that works out to $1,600 a month. The state’s minimum wage would still be $0.50 lower than San Francisco’s, which is the highest in the country, according to the Associated Press.
The dying STAR
Despite a warning from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Gov. Brown backs a bill that brings to an end the 14-year-old regime of standardized assessment known as STAR tests. Backed by the state school chief and the teachers unions, AB 484 suspends STAR tests as the public education apparatus shifts to tests designed to gauge student performance on the newCommon Core Standards. According to the Sacramento Bee, Duncan wrote that he may have to “take action” if the state dumps the STAR tests in 2014.