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An Attempt to Legally Mandate Native Plants Throughout California Has Failed

This is a story of the influence of interest groups on the process of making new laws.  When Assembly Bill 1573 was introduced in February 2023, it seemed to be primarily a water-saving measure that would “eliminate the use of irrigation of nonfunctional turf” (turf that is not a recreational area or community space with foot traffic).

AB 1573 Reaches a Stopping Point: The bill’s 2023 fate marks a victory for the status quo, but change is on the horizon.

Yesterday, at the request of Assemblymember Laura Friedman, AB 1573 entered the California Legislature’s  “inactive file,” therein ending its run this legislative season. The Assemblymember’s transformative legislation was derailed by last-minute amendments on Sep. 1 as it passed through the California Senate Appropriations Committee. Sponsored by CNPS, the bill would have implemented California’s first requirement for the inclusion of low-water native plants in public and commercial landscapes.

Keep off the grass

BROWN IS THE NEW GREEN: Nearly all of California is officially out of the drought, but one emergency rule that targets bright green lawns is on its way to becoming permanent.

Telehealth bill advances in California Senate

A California bill that would allow a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) to be established remotely is making progress despite opposition from the California VMA (CVMA), AVMA and others. Veterinarians worry that the use of telemedicine without a previously established in-person relationship will produce more incidents of inaccurate diagnoses and ineffective treatment plans, more unnecessary prescriptions, and delays in accurate diagnoses and correct therapy.

Legislative Update: Nearing the End of Session

It's time for a quick update on bills that are still alive in the legislature. All bills moving forward must have passed to the floor of the second house already, and the Senate and Assembly must pass all bills by September 14. The governor has until October 14 to sign or veto those that pass. Because this is the first of a two-year session, some bills could be held or revived next year.

Rat poison ban clears Senate

Environmentalists and animal activists lauded the passage of a bill this week that bans California businesses from using a controversial type of rodenticide that has been linked to the death of cougars and other wildlife in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Landmark Speed Camera Bill Advances to Full Senate Vote

SACRAMENTO —Assembly Bill 645, the groundbreaking bill to make streets safer for all in California with the use of automated speed enforcement cameras authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and now moves to a vote before the full Senate.

Editorial: Telehealth is good for people — and for their dogs and cats too

In much the way that telehealth medicine has brought medical resources to people who won’t or can’t travel to a doctor’s office, veterinary telehealth brings care to pets whose people can’t make it to a veterinarian’s office.

But in California, veterinary telehealth is so highly restricted that it is mostly used for follow-up care after an in-person visit or for triage in an emergency.