SACRAMENTO — California will spend $75 million to take air-polluting diesel buses off the road in the Central Valley under a bill signed by the governor Tuesday.
It is one of the hundreds of bills sent to Gov. Gray Davis before the Legislature adjourned its 2000 session last month. He has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the rest.
The new clean-air programs will give grants to communities and businesses to replace or retrofit heavy-duty diesel engines to cut pollution in Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley.
Diesel-powered trucks and buses make up a small percentage of the vehicles on the road, but are big producers of oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, a component of smog.
The regions face the loss of hundreds of millions of federal dollars if they don’t meet federal clean air standards, says the author, Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
Davis also signed a bill to expand an outreach program that teams law enforcement, mental health and social workers to find those on the streets who
The bill, also by Steinberg, allots $55.6 million in this year’s state budget to expand the experimental program started last year in Sacramento, Stanislaus and Los Angeles counties.
Other counties will be able to apply for funds to start their own programs, similar to Project HOPE or Homeless Outreach Partnership Effort, the Sacramento program.
Supporters say using teams that represent the various state and local agencies gets services to the mentally ill more efficiently, saving the government money and getting people off the streets faster.
Davis also signed a bill by Assemblyman Mike Honda, D-San Jose, that would ensure domestic violence victims could take unpaid leave from work to seek medical attention, or obtain social services, including psychological counseling or legal assistance.
The punishment for brandishing a handgun in a public area or a daycare center will be increased from six months to one year in county jail, under a bill by Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, D-Davis, also signed by Davis.
Counties will to immediately shut down a parking meter found to be inaccurate because of a new law authored by Assemblyman Brett Granlund, R-Yucaipa.
A bill by Assemblyman George Nakano, D-Torrance creates the Cruise Ship Environmental Task Force to evaluate the environmental practices and waste streams of large passenger ships.
The bills all take effect Jan. 1.
Davis also vetoed several bills Tuesday.
He rejected one that would have extended the time for domestic violence assistance grants from 18 to 24 months to provide housing, job training and placement and case management to domestic violence victims.
In his veto letter, Davis said the bill’s author, Assemblyman Tony Cardenas, D-Arleta, had good intentions, but that “the state cannot afford to finance indefinitely every program.”
Other bills vetoed ones that would have:
l Required local government to reimburse prosecutors and public defenders who had to relocate due to threats. In his veto message, Davis said the measure, by Assemblyman Rod Pacheco, R-Riverside, wouldn’t have removed the dangers that people in that profession face.
l Required the Department of Education to conduct a study on school psychological and counseling services. That bill was authored by Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro.
On the Net: The bills — AB2746 by Nakano; AB1481 by Granlund; AB2034 and AB2511 by Steinberg; AB2523 by Thomson; AB2608 by Pacheco; AB2689 by Corbett; AB2166 by Cardenas; AB2357 by Honda — can be read at www.leginfo.ca.gov