Wilk bills pass committees, head to appropriations

Sen. Scott Wilk

Several bills authored by State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, were approved by various committees on Wednesday. The bills would create a memorial for fallen California soldiers, streamline the state’s production of hemp and use violence against animals as a way to study domestic abuse.

The bills will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Appropriations before moving on to the Senate Floor for a full vote of the house.

Wilk previously introduced Senate Bill 1452 on Feb. 20 to the Senate Committee on Governmental Organization, aimed at creating an official state memorial for those Californians who have lost their lives in combat. It would create committee of experts to study the best practices for the development, funding and construction of a War on Terror memorial in the State Capitol Park.

“The committee’s decision today was an encouraging sign for California’s bravest men and women, their families and friends that the sacrifices of those who paid the ultimate price may soon be eternally memorialized,” Wilk said. “This bill is the first step toward creating a memorial to forever recognize these warriors and to display the gratitude we all have for their selfless sacrifice in the name of freedom.”

Senate Bill 1409 was also approved by the Senate Committee on Public Safety. It allows California farmers to grow and produce non-intoxicating hemp for commercial and industrial uses, while also bringing California’s hemp laws up to date by updating the definition to reflect the difference between it and cannabis.

“California is the largest consumer of hemp materials in the nation,” Wilk said. “Bringing the industry to California will mean jobs and manufacturing.”

Wilk added that the federal government has also initiated similar efforts to update industrial hemp laws by removing it from the federal controlled substances list. The legislation in congress, if successful, will compliment Senator Wilk’s legislation.

The Public Safety Committee also approved Senate Bill 1024, the Animal Cruelty and Violence Intervention Act of 2018. It would require offenders convicted under animal abuse crimes to undergo mandatory mental health assessments and, if deemed beneficial upon evaluation, to attend ongoing counseling. The bill also requires offenders to enroll in an animal offender education course that will teach them proper techniques for interacting with animals in a positive way.

The Appropriations Committee expects to hear the bills in May.

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