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AI To Be Top Focus for California Privacy Committee, Chair Says


The top lawmaker in the California legislature overseeing privacy legislation wants to do more to protect children online and also guard against the harms of artificial intelligence.

Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D), the new chair of the state Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, said in an interview that she wants to continue the legislature’s history of being at the forefront of online safety for children. She also intends to play a significant role over AI legislation because any artificial intelligence bills will likely have to pass through her panel.

California’s budget deficit and reluctance from Gavin Newsom could limit AI regulation


SACRAMENTO — Some California lawmakers want the state to lead the nation in regulating artificial intelligence, but a looming budget deficit could hamstring their efforts.

They’ve already announced a flurry of AI bills, with more on the way. Their proposals include efforts to require the state to set new safety standards, create an AI research hub and develop protections against deepfake videos and photos that look real but have been digitally altered to mislead the viewer.

California Jewish lawmakers send colleagues anguished letter asking for support


Members of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, a group of state-level politicians who advocate for issues of concern to the Jewish community, have written an emotional letter to colleagues asking for their “support and solidarity.”

The open letter was released Wednesday, the start of the 2024 legislative session, which was cut short when a protest led by the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace and other organizations prevented the state Assembly from conducting business.

Gavin Newsom tackles a $68 billion deficit for the world’s fifth largest economy, the AI explosion and the Hollywood implosion


California lawmakers return to work on Wednesday for the start of an election-year legislative session dominated by decisions on artificial intelligence and the state’s struggling budget.

The budget is a big issue every year in California, which is the nation’s most populous state and has an economy larger than that of all but four countries. But this year, lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will have to figure out how to cover an estimated $68 billion deficit — a shortfall that is larger than the entire operating budgets of many states.

The race to regulate AI: How California could go beyond Biden


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan wants the Golden State to take the lead on regulating artificial intelligence before it’s too late.

President Joe Biden this week signed an executive order marking the most ambitious national effort yet to guide a rapidly-evolving technology. The sweeping measure was praised by both industry and consumer advocates as an important first step, but without more forceful action from Congress, its impacts are likely to be limited.

California’s next tech showdown


Artificial intelligence has taken off at a breakneck sprint, and California lawmakers are hustling to make sure they don’t get lapped.

From the state that brought you standard-setting laws in digital privacy and social media, now comes efforts to place limits on AI before it’s too late. After a few faltering attempts to regulate the new frontier this year, lawmakers in Sacramento are again preparing to take aim at what may become a powerful global force.

San Ramon agencies launch behavioral health response program


The San Ramon fire district and police department announced the start of a new behavioral health response program that has been in the works since 2021 and will see firefighters with the district -- rather than law enforcement -- respond to most mental health calls in the same timeframe as other medical emergencies in San Ramon.