Tuesday, July 29, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 20
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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 16th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 32

Political Watch

• Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) that protects domestic violence victims from losing their jobs or being discriminated against in the workplace. Senate Bill 400 prevents employers from firing or discriminating against an employee who has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The bill also would require employers to make reasonable efforts to protect the victims from their abuser or stalker, such as changing their work telephone number, relocating their desk, or implementing a workplace safety plan. “Victims will no longer fear losing their livelihoods and being re-victimized in the workplace because of the actions of their abusers,” Jackson said in a press release. As the bill made its way through the legislature, former San Diego teacher Carie Charlesworth, who made headlines when she was fired from her teaching job after her abusive ex-husband visited her school campus, traveled to Sacramento and testified in support of the bill. “It is incredibly gratifying to know that because SB 400 has been signed into law, thousands of domestic violence victims won’t have to experience what I did—the devastation and financial uncertainty of losing a job and their professional identity jus because they are victims of domestic violence,” Charlesworth said in the press release. The bill takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

• Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian’s (R-San Luis Obispo) bill requiring reimbursement to San Luis Obispo County for state hospital trials was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill 610 mandates any county that refers an offender to serve parole at Atascadero State Hospital to reimburse SLO County for the court costs associated with involuntary medication of that offender. Many of the patients assigned to the state hospital require antipsychotic medication as part of their treatment, but can’t be forced to take the medication without a court hearing. These hearings often take place in the county where the state hospital is located, and so the cost burden of providing attorney services to patients falls on the host county, rather than the offender’s county of origin. “As the home to Atascadero State Hospital, which treats some of the most violent mentally disorder offenders from around the state, San Luis Obispo County provides a tremendous service to the people of California,” Achadjian said in a press release. “I am pleased, that by signing this legislation, the governor has recognized that San Luis Obispo County should not bear the financial burden of offenders referred to Atascadero from other counties.”