Welcome to Essential Politics, our daily feed on California government and politics news. Here's what we're watching:
- Legislators sent Gov. Jerry Brown a sweeping package of gun violence measures on Thursday, efforts to impose new rules on everything from buying ammunition to reporting stolen or lost firearms.
- An initiative to overhaul prison parole earned a spot on the crowded Nov. 8 ballot on Thursday, as did an effort to speed up death penalty cases.
- Rep. Xavier Becerra and other California House members hosted a gun control discussion Wednesday at Los Angeles City Hall.
- Assemblymembers will consider a resolution asking Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a statewide homelessness emergency.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will have to look at whether its suicide prevention programs are meeting female veterans' needs under a California-led bill that passed the House on Tuesday afternoon.
The House OKd the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) by a voice vote. The measure had already passed the Senate and now heads to President Obama.
The VA already has to review its suicide prevention and mental health programs annually under the Clay Hunt SAV Act. The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act requires the VA to produce separate data and statistics on female veterans.
“The current rate of suicide among women veterans is heartbreaking and unacceptable,” Boxer said in a statement.
Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) sponsored the House version of the bill after learning that the rate of suicide among female veterans increased by 40% between 2000 and 2010.
"The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act will lead to a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the alarmingly high suicide rates among women veterans so that we can design more effective suicide prevention programs," Brownley said in a statement.