• Senate Bill 44, authored by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, was signed by the governor Monday. The legislation will require all state websites to add a link to the Secretary of State’s voter registration.
Yee authored the bill to expand access to the online voter registration system implemented last year. Since the implementation of online voter registration, more than 1 million Californians have registered to vote online, according to Yee’s office.
• Assembly Bill 524, authored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, passed out of the Legislature and is now on its way to the governor’s office for approval.
The bill removes ambiguity in the law and strengthens human rights protections for immigrants by including threats to report a person’s immigration status in the definition of extortion, according to Mullin’s office.
By clarifying the definition of extortion, AB 524 will help level the playing field and prevent unethical employers from using immigration status as a means of escaping responsibility for workplace abuses, coercion and wage theft, according to Mullin’s office.
• Assembly Bill 1135, authored by Mullin to expand the list of documents used to validate vote-by-mail ballots was signed into law by the governor, taking effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Current law says a vote-by-mail ballot may only be counted if the signature on the ballot envelope compares with the signature on the voter’s original registration form, according to Mullin’s office.
• Legislation by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, allowing voters to confirm their mail-in ballot was counted was signed Monday by the governor.
SB 589 will create a “free access system” and provide county registrars with flexibility to determine how they want to comply with the legislation by notifying voters on a walk-in basis, over the phone or online, according to Hill’s office.
• Senate Bill 467, authored by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, was passed by the Assembly Monday. The bill, sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, requires state law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before asking service providers to hand over a private person’s electronic communications, including email and Facebook and Twitter messages. It provides the same reasonable privacy protections for an email in the Cloud as a letter in a person’s home, according to Leno’s office.