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Calif. Gov. Brown vetoes campus sexual assault bill

By
Tomas Monzon
California Gov. Jerry Brown reviewed 61 bills as the legislative deadline approached. The bills dealt with gun control, sexual assaults on college campuses, ride-sharing companies like Uber and more. Photo by Ken James/UPI
California Gov. Jerry Brown reviewed 61 bills as the legislative deadline approached. The bills dealt with gun control, sexual assaults on college campuses, ride-sharing companies like Uber and more. Photo by Ken James/UPI | License Photo

SACRAMENTO, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown rejected a bill that would have involved the state in sexual assault policies on college campuses.

The legislation, AB 967, would have required any college that receives state aid to impose stricter sexual-assault policies and uniform punishments for violators.

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These punishments would have included a minimum of two years' suspension and potential expulsion. Additionally, institutions would have had to furnish annual reports about sexual conduct and associated investigations on their campuses.

In his veto message Brown said that although no student was likely to receive preferential treatment when being disciplined for sexual violence, signing the bill could potentially "deprive professionals form using their better judgment to discipline according to relevant circumstances." He also said that signing the bill may lead to the state becoming responsible in writing up penalty policies for college campuses.

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"I don't think it is necessary at this point," Brown wrote, "for the state to directly instert itself into the disciplinary and governing processes of all private nonprofit and public colleges in California."

The veto was part of a 61-bill package Brown addressed over the weekend.

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He signed a controversial bill allowing concealed weapons on college campuses, banned the use of the name "redskin" for school mascots and refused to block Conferederate names from public buildings. He also disallowed experimental drugs for sick individuals, prohibited baseball players from chewing tobacco on a playing field and legalized electric skateboards.

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SFGate.com reported, schools have until 2017 to remove any use of the name "redskins," which is considered "racially derogatory" to Native Americans.

Four public high schools -- Gustine High School in Merced County, Calaveras High School in Calaveras County, Chowchilla Union High School in Madera County and Tulare Union High School in Tulare County -- are affected.

Brown also signed AB 1422, which will require ride-sharing companies like Uber to work with the Department of Motor Vehicles and check the driving records of its employees often.

He vetoed a bill that would have provided employees with unpaid time off to care for family members.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Brown outlined his priorities for the next legislative session in his veto messages and signing statements. His goals include finding better financial backing for public healthcare, stymieing restrictions on the cost of water and opening a holistic investigation into California's criminal justice system.

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