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After attacks on Asian Americans, California lawmakers push to expand hate crime laws

in Around California

Since 2017, California lawmakers have introduced more than a dozen bills aimed at hate crimes, including attempts to improve data, train police and establish a hotline.

Most of those bills died in committees, never getting a floor vote, according to a CalMatters analysis.

But in the wake of recent, highly visible crimes targeting Asian Americans, lawmakers are introducing some of the same measures their colleagues once rejected.

"There wasn't the same level of urgency that I think is true today," said Democratic Assemblymember David Chiu of San Francisco, who is reintroducing his bill from 2017 that would require the state attorney general to maintain a toll-free number where people could report hate crimes.

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"The Atlanta shooting woke up much of the rest of America to what those of us in the Asian American community have been experiencing for quite some time."

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Congress is at the front of the line for COVID vaccines. Which Californians are taking it?

in People

Federal lawmakers are part of the first group of people — alongside frontline health care workers — to get access to the COVID-19 vaccine. But they’re not all taking it.

Many have taken their first does, but others are choosing to wait, saying they don’t want to receive it before seniors who are more likely to die from the novel coronavirus.

The main groups who have access to the vaccine are health care workers, seniors in nursing homes and certain public officials, including members of Congress, President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Supreme Court justices and executive branch office holders.

Brian Monahan, the attending physician for Congress, recommended to all members that they take the vaccine in order to continue government operations. Monahan also offered to all members of Congress two staff members from their personal offices could receive vaccines. Committee chairs and party leaders can designate four staff members to receive vaccines.

Continue Reading on Sacramento Bee

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