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Supreme Court Strikes Down Denial of Government Grant to Church

The United States Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a state policy excluding churches from participating in a government benefit program solely based on their religious status.

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New Law Removes Restriction on Funding Student Field Trips

A bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown on July 10 allows school districts to pay the expenses of students participating in field trips or excursions to other states, the District of Columbia or a foreign country. Assembly Bill (AB) 341 goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

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Lawmakers Extend Deadline for Proposition 39 Energy Efficiency Funding and Create New Program

State lawmakers have extended the deadlines to apply for and encumber money dedicated to energy efficiency projects at schools and community colleges - the program known as Proposition 39 - and have created a new program to fund such projects indefinitely.

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California Travel Ban Does Not Apply to Local Agencies

A California law that bars state agencies from funding travel, and from requiring employees to travel, to states that permit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression - and Attorney General Xavier Becerra's recent expansion of the list of states covered by the ban - have raised questions regarding whether the law applies to cities, counties, school dis

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State's Top Court Rules that Contractors Can be Prosecuted for Conflict of Interest

The California Supreme Court has ruled that an independent contractor can be criminally liable for a conflict of interest under California Government Code section 1090, expanding the universe of penalties a contractor can face for violating the statute and reversing a prior appellate court ruling that exempted contractors from criminal liability for such conflicts.

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Public Agencies No Longer Required to Contract with DIR Registered Contractors for Small Projects

Senate Bill (SB) 96, passed this June as part of the California state budget, contains provisions designed to encourage more contractors to participate on small public works projects.

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Employers Must Provide Information on Rights of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims

California employers with 25 or more employees must now inform their employees in writing about the legal rights of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims. Employers, including public agencies, must provide this information using the form prepared by the California Labor Commissioner or in a notice that is substantially similar to the Labor Commissioner's form in content and clarit

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School Wellness Policies Must be Revised for the 2017-18 School Year

Local educational agencies (LEAs) that participate in the national school lunch and school breakfast programs must update their school wellness policies to include new requirements for the 2017-18 school year. The requirements were included in regulations finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service in 2016.

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OCR Issues New Instructions on Transgender Student Complaints

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new instructions to its regional directors regarding how to handle complaints involving transgender students. The document is intended to offer OCR staff additional guidance in light of recent court developments and the Trump Administration's withdrawal of the Obama Administration's guidance on transgender students.

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