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KSBR News Briefs on Friday, June 22, 2018


Trump calls sales tax ruling 'victory for fairness'

President Trump is commenting on a Supreme Court decision that may result in shoppers getting charged sales tax on more online purchases.

The high court issued its 5-4 decision yesterday.

Trump had tweeted: "Big Supreme Court win on internet sales tax - about time! Big victory for fairness and for our country. Great victory for consumers and retailers." The decision, however, will mean consumers may pay sales tax they hadn't been previously. Large retailers cheered the decision while the shares of some online retailers fell.

At a meeting with governors, Trump described the decision as a "big, big victory" for governors. More than 40 states had urged the Supreme Court to rule as it did, overturning previous decisions that states said cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue annually.


California bill would give free postage for mail ballots

State lawmakers are considering providing free postage for vote-by-mail ballots statewide.

A measure that cleared the Senate would require return ballot envelopes to have prepaid postage. Currently, some counties pay for return postage while others don't.

Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara says voting should be free for every person in our state. Had the measure been in place for the 2016 general election it would have cost $5.5 million. The cost would be borne by counties but they may be able to claim reimbursement from the state.

The Assembly has already approved the plan but must sign off on changes made in the Senate before the bill goes to Gov. Brown.

The bill was written by Democratic Assembly members Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and Evan Low.


Voters may see daylight saving measure on November ballot

State voters may get to decide in November whether to take the first step toward keeping our state on daylight saving time year round.

Lawmakers have voted to place a measure on the November ballot asking voters to give them authority to move toward changing the state's daylight saving policy. It passed the Assembly 63-4 after winning approval in the Senate.

Gov. Brown must now decide whether to sign it.

Daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday of March, when clocks move ahead by one hour to allow for more daylight in the evening and less in the morning. Clocks then move back an hour on the first Sunday in November.

San Jose Democratic Assemblyman Kansen Chu who authored the bill, said staying on daylight saving time year round would improve Californians' health because people would have more daylight time to spend with their families and for activities such as outdoor exercise.

Voters can't authorize the switch on their own. If the initiative passes, lawmakers would have to pass more legislation and earn approval from the federal government to switch to daylight saving time permanently.

Arizona and Hawaii already don’t switch the clocks.


Deal may keep internet privacy measure off California ballot

Backers of an internet privacy initiative say they will keep their measure off our state’s November ballot if lawmakers pass a comparable consumer data protection bill next week.

Supporters of the initiative aimed at giving consumers more control over their data say they've collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. But the campaign's political consultant Robin Swanson says the initiative's chief backer has reached a deal with lawmakers to withdraw it if lawmakers and Gov. Brown enact similar legislation ahead of Thursday's deadline to pull measures from the ballot.

Details of the agreement weren’t immediately available, but Swanson and a spokeswoman for Van Nuys Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg had confirmed legislation is in the works. Hertzberg spokeswoman Katie Hanzlik says she expects details to be made public today.

The initiative would require companies to tell users what types of personal information they collect and whether they've sold it. It would also let consumers sue companies for security breaches and allow consumers to forbid companies from selling their information.


Audit faults University of California sex misconduct process

State auditors say University of California administrators failed to address sexual misconduct complaints in a timely manner and didn’t discipline faculty swiftly.

The review, which examined a decade of cases, found staff was disciplined in 43 days on average, compared to 220 days for tenured faculty. The campuses often exceeded investigation timelines without approval and didn't adequately inform involved parties.

Auditors also found campuses didn't effectively review complaint data to identify and address trends.

UC President Janet Napolitano pointed to the system's hiring of a Title IX coordinator to oversee the misconduct process across all UC campuses and other reforms made in recent years.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bans sex discrimination by universities that receive federal funding, requires that schools act to prevent harassment and resolve misconduct complaints fairly and promptly.

The audit comes after a trove of files released in 2017 by the UC system showed campuses dispensed discipline inconsistently in response to misconduct complaints.


ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, says it will air a Conner family sitcom minus Roseanne Barr this fall.

ABC ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff after Barr relinquished any creative or financial participation in it, which the network had said was a condition of such a series.

In a statement issued by the show's producer, Barr said she agreed to the settlement to save the jobs of 200 cast and crew members who were idled when "Roseanne" was canceled last month.

The revival of the hit 1988-97 sitcom "Roseanne" was swiftly axed by ABC last month after Barr posted a tweet likening former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and "Planet of the Apes."

Executive producer of the original series and the revival, Tom Werner said in the statement that he was grateful to reach the deal to keep the team working "as we continue to explore stories of the Conner family."

ABC said that the new series, with "The Conners" as its working title, will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman.

How Barr's character, the family matriarch, will be erased from their lives was left unexplained for now by ABC.