State senator lays out legislative agenda

February 18, 2011
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State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz laid out some highlights of her legislative agenda in a phone interview with the Gazette last week. Some of the proposals are new for the 2011 legislative session, and some are re-filings of bills she filed last year.

Chang-Díaz said he hopes to pass legislation to:

  • “Make the officially stated goal of state diversity hiring programs be to reflective of the local population,” and require more transparent reporting from state contractors and vendors on their efforts to meet minority-hiring standards.
  • Curb the illegal sale of guns in the state by, among other things, limiting the number of guns that can legally purchased by an individual to 15 a year. Also, strengthen reporting requirements for guns sold on the secondary market, stolen, or passed on by bequest.
  • Increase environmental impact reporting standards in communities shown to be suffering because of local environmental degradation—as determined by health indicators including things like asthma rates.
  • Ensure civil rights protections for transgender people.
  • Require court approval for foreclosure on owner-occupied houses to, among other things, make sure that banks own the mortgages loans they are acting on.
  • Close corporate tax loopholes, including loopholes that exempt the bottled water industry from the state’s bottle recycling program and non-incendiary tobacco products from taxation under the state’s tobacco tax. Also, Chang-Díaz said she wants to close a loophole that allows corporations and individuals to avoid paying taxes on property they have sold by forming limited liability corporations (LLCs) and “selling their interest in the LLC instead of the piece of real estate.”
  • Link the state’s voter registration database with the Registry of Motor Vehicles database and the United States Postal Service database so residents’ voter registrations can “automatically” transfer when they move.