PUBLIC INFORMATION — Government-funded stem cell research and felony animal abusers are two topics addressed in recently introduced government disclosure bills in Sacramento.

SB 1064 by Senator Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) would apply several reforms to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and in particular to its governing body, the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), requiring among other things that:

  • the State Controller annually commission a performance audit of the activities of the CIRM and the ICOC; and
  • the ICOC disclose, in all meeting minutes, a summary of vote tallies, including each board member's votes and refusals, and would require the ICOC to amend all past minutes to include this summary.

The bill may be heard for the first time on or after March 19.

SB 1277 by Senator Dean Florez (D-Fresno) would require any adult convicted of felony animal abuse to register with local law enforcement authorities after release from confinement, like a sex offender.

As with sex offenders, the Department of Justice would be required, on or before January 2012, to make available information about these offenders to the public via an Internet website, including the person's name and known aliases, a photograph, a physical description, including gender and race, date of birth, criminal history, the address at which the person resided or the county in which the person was registered as a transient, and any other information that the Department of Justice deems relevant.

"Felony animal abuse" means a felony conviction under Penal Code Sections outlawing the theft of any animal "for purposes of sale, medical research, slaughter, or other commercial use;" the intentional and malicious maiming, mutilation, torture, wounding or killing of an animal; bull-, bear-, dog- or cockfighting for amusement or gain; importing horses for butchery; offering horsemeat for human consumption; or the willful and malicious attack on a police mount or dog.

The bill may be heard for the first time on or after March 23.