By EMMA BROWN
You gotta hand it to ’em—our guys in SacTown have been tireless on the making-headlines front.
As promised, Tom Ammiano offered up a bill last week to legalize pot, thereby ensuring himself a spot in the Cannibis Hall of Fame, and making him one of very few politicians who’ve earned big love from constituents by proposing a new tax.
In a press conference at the city’s State Office Building, he framed AB 390—the Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act—as a practical approach to coaxing new revenue out of recession-weary Californians. While marijuana prices would likely drop to half what they are today, Ammiano’s bill would add a $50-per-ounce tax—a little more than $1 billion a year for California’s puny coffers, according to budget analysts.
Ammiano introduced 19 other bills, but none of those have gotten quite the same attention. Leno, too, is gunning for more than 20 bills this session. Not to worry—Mission Loc@l has you covered. We’ll publish a rundown later this week.
Meanwhile, on Monday both houses of the legislature passed anti-Prop-8 resolutions, sponsored by Ammiano and Senator Mark Leno, respectively, in time for Thursday’s California Supreme Court arguments on the same-sex marriage ban. Leno spoke to gay-marriage supporters Wednesday night at City Hall:
“Do you feel the love of freedom? Do you feel the love of equality? Do you feel the love of justice? Well, so does our Supreme Court,” he promised.
Leno, riding the wave of post-Milk appreciation for Harvey Milk, is again pushing to recognize the slain supervisor each year on his birthday, May 22. Harvey Milk Day wouldn’t cost a penny, he promised, and wouldn’t mean any extra days off for students or their state-worker parents. Leno appeared with Oscar-winner Sean Penn yesterday at the Castro’s Tosca Cafe to push for the commemorative day; both of them, it must be said, were at their dapper-est.
Hey, remember the budget impasse? After sleeping just two out of 48 hours that long-ago weekend, Leno promised to introduce a measure in 2010 to eliminate the two-thirds vote that’s needed to pass the budget and that gives minority Republicans outsized power.
“Every year they extract, they extort,” he told SF Weekly. “The minority ups the ante ever year and throws in issues completely nonbudget related—issues that could be passed outside of the budget by a simple majority vote.”