News

Editorial: What’s beneath surface of lead paint ballot measure

The San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board

It’s fitting that the “Healthy Homes and Schools Act” was devised by paint companies. The proposed ballot measure brushes an appealing coat of housing and environmental policy over a cynical attempt to dodge corporate responsibility.

California lawmakers push ahead on rape-kit bills after Berkeley failure

The San Francisco Chronicle, Melody Gutierrez

SACRAMENTO — Two bills to ensure that California law enforcement agencies don’t ignore rape kits passed key committee votes in the state Legislature on Friday.
 
Advocates say the bills are needed so that critical sexual assault evidence isn’t shelved, with many pointing to a case in Berkeley as an example of the harm one forgotten rape kit can cause.

PD Editorial: Clear California’s backlog of sexual assault kits

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat Editorial Board

The arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer showed how useful DNA can be in solving crimes, even old ones. Yet an enormous collection of DNA evidence sits untouched in California. State lawmakers and local law enforcement should prioritize testing thousands of rape kits.

Two bills introduced in Sacramento would do just that.

California lead paint initiative comes under fire

The Mercury News, Katy Murphy

SACRAMENTO — In dramatic fashion, state lawmakers on Wednesday ripped into a California ballot initiative to have taxpayers, not paint companies, pay for lead-paint cleanup while overturning a landmark court ruling that made three manufacturers liable for the cost.

After hearing a panel of paint company representatives and initiative supporters quote President Barack Obama and invoke the racially discriminatory and since-banned practice of “redlining” in mortgage lending, lawmakers exploded.

The unconscionable backlog of unprocessed rape kits in California

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

Women reporting a rape are often encouraged to undergo a grueling and invasive examination to collect DNA and other physical evidence. The process can take several hours, and involves poking and prodding and swabbing and questioning as medical professionals take samples from the parts of the victim's body that the rapist touched during the assault.

Editorial: It’s time to test a backlog of rape-kit evidence

The San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board

California’s police departments have thousands of untested rape kits on their shelves, prime evidence that could produce arrests in sex-assault cases. But the numbers aren’t known nor does the law require that the kits be examined for DNA traces that can yield results.