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CALIFORNIA - On Tuesday, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 233, legislation to protect sex workers from arrest after reporting a violent crime such as rape.

The bill also prevents condoms from being used as probable cause for arrest and use as evidence to prosecute someone for sex work. The bill was introduced by San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener and will take effect on January 1st.

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According to Senator Wiener's office, SB 233 provides health and safety protections for sex workers and is the first law with these kind of protections in the country.

"Sex workers are at high risk of victimization, including assault, rape, robbery and kidnapping," a statement from the senators office read. Under current law, sex workers are arrestable when reporting these type of incidents for their engagement in sex work. They can also be arrested and prosecuted based on evidence that they had condoms in their possession.

Senator Wiener says this creates an incentive for sex workers to not carry condoms, putting them at risk of contracting and spreading sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

However, opposition says the legislation enables sex work and related criminal activity to continue without fear of arrest, tying the hands of authorities and creating a loophole.

The authors of the legislation have a different vision.

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"When sex workers believe that carrying condoms and reporting violent crimes will get them arrested, they simply won't take these steps," said Senator Wiener. He believes SB 233 will move the state in the direction to reduce STD transmission and allow victimized sex workers protection against violence. Senator Wiener believes it will also make it easier for authorities to apprehend those who are responsible for crimes like rape and assault. The bill is also supported by organizations like the ACLU.

According to studies by UCSF and the St. James Infirmary, 60% of sex workers experience violence while working. The studies also show that 40% of sex workers reported negative experiences with authorities when reporting themselves as victims of violent crimes. 

Pearl Callahan spent 40 years in the sex work industry. She is now an outreach director for the Sex Workers Outreach Program of Sacramento, and is a survivor of human trafficking. "After 40 years in the sex trade, and being trafficked for 10 of those years, I never thought that we would see a change in my lifetime," she said. "Allowing sex workers to carry condoms and report violent offenses will be lifesaving."

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If Governor Brown wins, we will have jobs lost, decreases in home values, and wells going dry. This effects everyone!By now most of you have heard that the California Water Board just released a report called the Substitute Environmental Document (SED), which recommends that 40% of the water in the Tuolumne, Merced, and Stanislaus Rivers flow unimpaired to the Delta in order to improve the salmon habitat. A better name for the document is the SHAM Environmental Document because it is a smokescreen that hides the real reason why 40% flows are needed.The following is an Op-Ed by Turlock Irrigation District Boardmember and veterinarian at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital, Dr. Rob Santos, DVM.

 

Thursday, 21 July 2016 11:22

Jeff Denham to Appear in Turlock

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Jeff Denham will be making an appearance in Turlock next week.

Friday, 27 May 2016 08:16

Donald Trump to Speak in Fresno

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FRESNO - Crowds of people circled the block around Selland Arena Friday morning in anticipation of seeing Donald Trump.
 
The presidential pre candidate was expected to hold an event at 10:00am. By 7:00am hundreds of people, both supporters and protesters, awaited his arrival.
 
A majority of the attendees appeared to be farmers, holding signs reading "Farmers For Trump."
 
The Fresno Police Department, Secret Service and TSA were all on hand to provide security for the event.
 
The event will be re-broadcast at centralvalleytv.net/live