The Center for State and Local Government Law

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Welcome to the Center for State and Local Government Law! 


  • At the San Francisco Ethics Commission’s December meeting, students from UC Hastings’s Public Law and Policy Workgroup presented the Commission with a series of Fact Sheets designed to promote compliance with San Francisco’s recently amended Lobbyist Ordinance.  Congratulating Sally Hong (‘15) and Lena Germinario (’15) on an “outstanding presentation,” Ethics Commissioner Peter Keane commented,  “Sally and Lena have redesigned, in simple, understandable language, the requirements for lobbyists under San Francisco Ordinances. They took a lot of very arcane, legalistic language and translated it into readily understandable English.  This will be an enormous help to the Ethics Commission in the future, since so many of our disciplinary hearings against people alleged to have violated these ordinances result in complaints that the ordinances were not understood because of their complex language.”

The Fact Sheets will be on the Ethics Commission site in January, in the interim they are available here: OverviewRegistration and Training, Disclosures, Political Contributions, Contacts, and Who is a Lobbyist?

  • The Center is pleased to announce the publication of Preparing California for Genetically Engineered Salmon, written by Hastings students Eric Dang (’15) and Itak Moradi (’15).  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is on the verge of deciding whether to approve AquAdvantage transgenic salmon as the first genetically engineered (GE) animal product sold for human consumption in the United States.  The report examines a spectrum of California’s regulatory options (including mandatory GE labeling requirements), assessing the obstacles posed by Federal preemption, 1st Amendment and Dormant Commerce Clause.         

Recent Reports

In January 2014, the Center published an update to its 2013 report on compliance with California's landmark consumer arbitration reporting law (AB 2656, 2002).  Recent press coverage highlights the ongoing trend towards mandatory consumer arbitration. On March 18, 2013, Center Director and Professor David J. Jung and Hastings third year student Jamie Horowitz testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee regarding the Center's findings of arbitration firms' widespread noncompliance with the reporting requirements. Since then, the Center found that compliance has continued to slip. In response,  the Assembly is considering legislation to improve the quality of reporting by providing a right of action against noncompliant arbitration firms.

State Sentencing Commissions: Models for Reducing Overcrowding in California Prisons (full report). The lack of a consistent sentencing scheme and comprehensive data collection, the lack of alternatives to prison sentences, and failures in the parole system have meant that prison — the most costly correctional option — is overused for low-level or non-violent offenders with low risk of recidivism. This report discusses these issues in detail and surveys solutions that other states have pursued. Specifically, the report outlines PLRI’s recommendations for the duties and priorities that the Legislature should assign to a potential sentencing commission.

California Pilotage: Analyzing Models of Harbor Pilot Regulation and Rate Setting (full report) and Compendium of State Practices (appendix) - The century-old regulation of San Francisco Bay Harbor Pilots has recently become the subject of legislative and media attention. In this report, the Center compares models of state regulation of this vital, esoteric, profession, and suggests alternatives to the current regime.

Spending in Judicial Elections: State Trends in the Wake of Citizens United (full report)
Read the five page executive summary.

Environmental Justice for All: A Fifty-State Survey of Legislation, Policies and Cases - The fourth edition's improved index and innovative keyword classification system enables researchers to compare initiatives across states with ease.

For a complete list of reports see the Public Law Research Institute (PLRI) and PLRI Reports pages.

About the Center

Through the Center, you can:

Learn about opportunities to study Government Law at UC Hastings, including information about classes and faculty, about the Local Government Clinic, the Legislation Clinic in Sacramento and other externship opportunities

Learn about the Public Law Research Institute’s cutting edge research on topics relevant to government lawyers

Learn about jobs in government law, including research assistant positions with the Center.

Register for one of our conferences or events, or see materials from a past event.

Become involved in the Center’s work.

Recent Conferences:

Ethics-- The Public Lawyer's Role in Ensuring the Integrity of Public Institutions...October 23, 2009

Additional conferences appear on the State and Local Government Conferences and Colloquia page.