Asm. Bill Quirk

ASSEMBLY//LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP | On Feb. 19, just three days away from the deadline for new legislation in the California State Legislature, freshman Assemblyman Bill Quirk made like one of those exotic chefs on any given number of cooking game shows who struggle because of one deflated soufflé, only to rally at the last second to produce a full-course meal.

By Friday, Quirk’s first crack at legislation since winning a seat in the Assembly last November produced 13 bills now being groomed to run the body’s gauntlet of analysis and committee hearings. If the initial batch of potential laws authored by Quirk is any indication, his opening gambit is meant to bolster campaign promises to streamline government, if not, in a symbolic fashion.

A vast majority of Quirk’s slate of bills involve removing slight impediments from the levers of government. AB 492 would allow offenders of nonviolent drug offenses to face revocation of probation hearings outside of the area they reside. On a similar note, AB 625 would allow for identification cards from correctional facilities to be accepted as a single source for a notary public. And AB 535 would make changes to the state’s emergency alert system to include alerts in case of minors suspected of being abducted by the child’s custodian or guardian.

Quirk also offered a slate of bills friendly to the renewable energy community. During the campaign, Quirk often touted the future of new and renewable going as far to stand firmly in his support of the natural gas-fired Russell City Energy Center under construction on the Hayward shoreline. AB 448 would allow renewable energy sources produced out of state for end-users in California be counted toward an existing renewable procurement plan.

Another bill, AB 1078, would merely add a passage to the California Water Plan encouraging the use of new water recycling technology. While AB 686 hopes to exempt recyclable materials as they pertain to hazardous waste when recycled within a single facility.

Alcoholic beverage special interests get two nods from Quirk. One bill, AB 949, would allow the manufacturers of distilled spirits the ability to create paid tasting events on their premises. AB 593 would order a review of the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control’s on-site license review process for restaurants. The bill seeks to ensure a more expedited manner for restaurateurs to procure approval for alcohol licenses.