California Lawmakers Reject Weed Bank Plan, Panic Buttons for Hotel Workers Fearing Sex Assault in Frenzy of Sacramento Action

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Facing a key deadline for legislation to move forward, California lawmakers on Thursday rejected dozens of bills, including a state-run bank for marijuana growers, government healthcare services for those in the U.S. illegally and hotel panic buttons for cleaning crews who fear sexual assault.

Lawmakers on the appropriations committees in both houses of the California Legislature acted on more than 600 bills, rejecting about 150 of them. The Legislature will adjourn for the year at the end of the month and the bills that moved forward will head to final votes in the Assembly and Senate.

One of the rejected bills, Senate Bill 930, would have allowed the state to license private banks to handle the billions of dollars expected to be generated by California’s legal marijuana industry. Newly licensed pot shops and farms say they can’t put their money in federally chartered banks because cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) proposed that the state could license privately financed banks that would issue checks to the businesses to pay rent and state and local taxes and fees. But a legislative analysis said the proposal faced “significant obstacles,” including no protection from federal law enforcement.

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