Tuesday Must Reads: Kill Switch Bill Goes to Governor; Lawmakers Reach Deal on $7 Billion Water Bond

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

Mark Leno
  • Mark Leno
1. In an effort to stem the robbery epidemic in California, the legislature approved a bill that would require cellphone manufacturers to install kill switches that make the devices inoperable when stolen. The Chron reports that the legislation — SB 962, authored by state Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco — is now headed to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. The bill mandates that a kill switch would be the default function and that consumers would have to purposely turn it off if they don’t want use it. The smartphone industry, which makes billions each year when robbery victims must replace their stolen phones, originally opposed the bill, but many companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, withdrew their opposition in recent months. Oakland leaders had pushed hard for the bill.

2. The governor and legislative leaders also hammered out a compromise deal on a $7 billion water bond measure for the November ballot, the SacBee$ reports. The new measure, if it passes both houses of the legislature, would replace a $11 billion bond already on the ballot. The compromise deal, however, likely will be opposed by environmentalists because it would make it easier to build the governor’s massive water tunnels. The deal also includes less money for reservoirs — $2.5 billion — than the $3 billion Republicans had sought.

3. The state Supreme Court removed an advisory measure from the November ballot that, if approved, would have urged Congress to overturn Citizens United, the controversial US Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for money in politics, the SacBee$ reports. The state Supreme Court concluded that California has no provision for non-binding advisory ballot measures and that the legislature should commission an opinion poll instead.

4. Oakland received a $2 million crime prevention grant from the state, the Trib$ reports.

5. And legendary comedian Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Tiburon home yesterday. Williams had battled severe depression and drug addiction. He was 63.

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