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Government Watch
May 31, 2012, 05:00 AM

Federal government

• Bipartisan transportation security legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote yesterday.

The Mass Transit Intelligence Prioritization Act, H.R. 3140, would enhance the security of mass transit systems by promoting mass transit-related information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and state and local law enforcement agencies, according to Speier’s office.

• The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which includes reauthorization of the Best Pharmaceutical for Children Act (BPCA) and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA), by U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto.

Eshoo’s bill, referred to as the BPCA and PREA Reauthorization Act of 2012, incentivizes pharmaceutical companies to conduct more clinical trials to study the effects of medications on children, and encourages more pediatric labeling to ensure proper dosage, according to Eshoo’s office.

 State government

• Legislation introduced by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, to establish Consumer Owned and Operated Plans (CO-OPs) as part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed the state Assembly Tuesday afternoon.

As created under the ACA, CO-OPs are a new type of nonprofit health insurer that are directed by its customers, use profits for customers’ benefit and designed to offer individuals and small businesses affordable, customer-friendly and high-quality health insurance options, according to Gordon’s office. 

• A winning entry in the 2011-12 "There Oughta Be a Law” contest by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, passed Tuesday off the Senate floor. Senate Bill 1191 would warn prospective tenants when the property they are looking to rent is subject to foreclosure. It requires that a landlord who receives a Notice of Default provide written notice to any prospective tenant before a lease is signed. Under existing law, a landlord is not required to disclose this fact to a prospective tenant. The vote was 23-13.

City government

• The Community Development Department in San Mateo is currently reviewing its policy and guidelines for the use of leaf blowers in residential and commercial neighborhoods and has created a new email topic that residents can subscribe to in order to keep informed of the policy review process. Residents who would like to receive periodic updates from the city regarding leaf blowers should visit

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