State Net Criminal Law Update: California, Illinois Latest To Block Criminal History From Job Apps

STATE NET CAPITOL JOURNAL

GOVERNORS

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) issued an administrative order last week that adds the Prairie State to those which bar public agencies from using employment application forms that require job seekers to disclose any previous criminal record. Agencies will still be able to run background checks and ask applicants for their criminal information, but not until later in the hiring process. According to the National Employment Law Center, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Mexico have previously passed so-called "ban the box" laws in public employment. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last week also signed AB 218, codifying into law a similar administrative rule in the Golden State. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Minnesota have bans in both public and private hiring. (SACRAMENTO BEE, CBSLOCAL.COM [CHICAGO], NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAW CENTER)

GOVERNORS IN BRIEF: KENTUCKY Gov. Steve Beshear (D) called on Bluegrass State lawmakers to approve a bill that would let dating partners obtain protective and domestic violence court orders. House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley (D), who will sponsor the bill when it comes before his committee in January, said it would apply to all dating couples, including those of the same sex (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER).

CRIME & PUNISHMENT: The WYOMING Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of a 2011 Equality State law that allows judges to grant requests from police over the telephone for warrants to force motorists to submit to DUI testing (CASPER STAR-TRIBUNE). • CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoes AB 477, which would have added notaries public to the list of professionals required to report suspected financial elder abuse. Gov. Brown said notaries' interactions with clients are too limited to burden them with that responsibility (CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR'S OFFICE).

IMMIGRATION: A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that ARIZONA cannot enforce a state law making it illegal to knowingly transport or harbor someone in this country illegally. The provision was part of the Grand Canyon State's seminal 2010 SB 1070 immigration measure that has served as a model for similar bills in multiple other states. Attorney General Tom Horne (R) said he would appeal the ruling (ARIZONA DAILY STAR [TUCSON]).

POTPOURRI: A federal court strikes down an ARIZONA law that makes street begging illegal in the Grand Canyon State. U.S. District Judge Neil Wake said the law violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment (ARIZONA DAILY STAR [TUCSON]).

— Compiled by RICH EHISEN

MARIJUANA BURINING ISSUE IN STATES

So far, Colorado and Washington are the only states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. But 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its use for medical purposes, according to Governing. Most recently, a very limited law went into effect in Maryland on Oct. 1 allowing academic medical centers to use the drug in state-approved research programs.

POT LEGALIZATION WAVE SWEEPING WESTERN STATES: Spurred by the success of voter initiatives last November legalizing recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington and the U.S. Justice Department's decision not to block those laws, advocates for legalization are seeking to put the issue on the 2014 ballot in California, Arizona, Oregon and Alaska, with a combined population of 49 million. Added to the 12.1 million people in Colorado and Washington, the measures could potentially make pot legal for nearly 1-in-5 Americans.

"Because of Colorado and Washington, it's created a cannabis tidal wave across the country," Mike Jolson, 45, a legalization activist in Santa Cruz, California. "We want to capitalize on this wave."

More than half of California residents — 52 percent — support legalizing marijuana, according to a poll last month by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. Counting just likely voters, that figure rises to 60 percent. But backers of the legalization campaign will need to gather 504,760 signatures by Feb. 24 to qualify their measure for the state's ballot. (BLOOMBERG)

— Compiled by KOREY CLARK

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