SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed two bills authored by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica), both focused on improving academic standards and programs.

AB 250, which lays out a structure for implementing common core academic standards, is designed to align California’s system with international benchmarks.

“Adoption of these standards will finally give California internationally benchmarked criteria so that we will know how California students are performing compared with other students around the globe,” said Brownley, chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Education, in a statement.

In 2010, the state adopted the Common Core standards for English and math, but there was no process to modify curriculum, instruction and assessment with the new system. This new legislation, championed by Brownley, creates a process and schedule for the existing law to be rolled out.

Late last week, Brown also signed AB 815, a law that creates a State Seal of Biliteracy. Currently 57 districts around the state have Seal of Biliteracy programs, according to Brownley’s press secretary Linda Rapattoni. With different standards in each district, the significance of the award was not clear — a problem that AB 815 seeks to address.

The State Seal of Biliteracy provides uniform, state-level criteria, in the hopes of making it easier for employers and universities to understand the award as a “statement of significant accomplishment.”

The governor vetoed two other bills sponsored by Brownley, including a bill to help reform low-performing schools and another to reform the process for school districts to get reimbursement for state-mandated costs.

As for other legislators representing the local area, State Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) managed to ban the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) from baby bottles and sippy cups — legislation she called “a significant victory” in a press release.

Due to opposition and “fierce lobbying” from the chemical and formula industries, the bill has been modified over the past three years. BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical, is linked to illnesses such as breast cancer and neurological problems, according to the release.

“This has been a real David and Goliath fight,” Pavley said in a statement. “I wish the bill would have been stronger, but I am so pleased that we are taking this first step to protect our most vulnerable citizens — infants and toddlers — from the harmful effects of BPA.”

Brown also approved a bill co-authored by Pavley that is designed to encourage economic growth and job creation by reforming business regulations. She also passed legislation to protect the public against sexually violent predators, by closing a loophole that previously allowed predators to avoid court-ordered parole.

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