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93 posts
  • California Legislature

After a discussion of man-made waves at a site in the Central Valley, and fans of skateboarding and baseball lamenting the bill, the California Assembly voted 60-3 to make surfing the official sport of California. 

On to the state Senate.

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California voters have seen a barrage of sunny television ads in recent weeks touting former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s record on finances, crime and education, aired by Families & Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor 2018.

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Gov. Jerry Brown is massaging the final state budget of his long career, and his No. 1 priority is simple: Don’t leave his successor the same mess he did the last time.

  • California Legislature
In this file photo, Amado Nanalang watches basketball games while making bets at a sports book in Las Vegas.
In this file photo, Amado Nanalang watches basketball games while making bets at a sports book in Las Vegas. (John Locher / AP)

Just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for states to legalize sports betting, Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) on Monday said he would pursue a state constitutional amendment that, if approved by the voters, would allow the wagering in California.

“The decision by the Supreme Court affirms that the choice to legalize sports wagering is one for the states to make for themselves. The ball is in our court,” Gray said in a statement. 

The state Constitution currently prohibits sports wagering, but Gray last year introduced a placeholder bill, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 18, in anticipation of the Supreme Court striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The bill requires a two-thirds approval in the state Legislature to be placed on the ballot as early as November, where it would require a majority vote of approval.

  • California Legislature
  • 2018 election
(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Gov. Jerry Brown’s embrace last week of a $2-billion bond to fund homeless housing could make for an even busier ballot in November.

Should lawmakers agree to put the bond before voters, Californians could see as many as five housing measures on the November ballot.

In addition to the homeless housing plan, backers of initiatives to expand rent control, increase Proposition 13 benefits for homeowners and finance the cleanup of lead paint in homes all say they’ve collected enough signatures to ensure their proposals can make the ballot. Lawmakers have already agreed to put a $4-billion bond to subsidize new developments for low-income residents and provide home loans for veterans before voters in November.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered a commencement speech in New Hampshire on Sunday, adding another notch to his travels in key primary states as he contemplates a run for president.

A few days after a major televised gubernatorial debate, Democratic candidates Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa were making appearances Saturday to connect with voters and build momentum for the June 5 primary.

At a Newsom rally hosted by the Service Employees International Union and Laborers International Union of North America at Augustus Hawkins High School, dozens of the labor union members carried “Gavin for Governor” signs and chanted “This is what democracy looks like!” before the lieutenant governor spoke.

The political rivals struck similar themes at the events.

  • Governor's race

A new attack ad by state Treasurer John Chiang accuses one of his Democratic rivals in the governor’s race, Antonio Villaraigosa, of being a “failure” as mayor of Los Angeles and nearly driving the city into bankruptcy.

The attack comes with just weeks to go before the June 5 primary election. According to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released in April, Chiang was lagging in fifth place behind Villaraigosa, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republicans John Cox and Travis Allen.

“He was called ‘a failure.’ An ‘embarrassment.’ As mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa drove L.A. to the brink of bankruptcy,” a narrator says in the ad. “Villaraigosa’s recklessness threatened jobs, the economy and left no funding to test 7,000 rape kits, putting public safety at risk.”

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Shant Damirdjian, left, assists customers at Cookies Los Angeles, which legally sells recreational marijuana under Proposition 64.
Shant Damirdjian, left, assists customers at Cookies Los Angeles, which legally sells recreational marijuana under Proposition 64. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Friday to create five teams in the state attorney general’s office to investigate California’s black market for marijuana after firms that received state licenses complained they are being undercut by the illicit growers and sellers.

Brown allocated $14 million to “target illegal cannabis activity with an emphasis on complex, large-scale financial and tax evasion investigations,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

The teams also will focus on “reducing environmental and other crimes associated with the illegal cannabis market.”

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
California's gubernatorial candidates in a debate at the California Theater in San Jose on Tuesday.
California's gubernatorial candidates in a debate at the California Theater in San Jose on Tuesday. (Aric Crabb / Bay Area News Group)

Election day is less than a month away and California’s six major candidates for governor all have plans for tackling one of the state's biggest problems: the rising costs of housing.

On this episode of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod, we talk about where the candidates’ housing plans differ. One area where there’s near unanimity? The candidates broadly agree that the biggest barrier to affordability is a lack of housing supply.

Our guests are Phil Willon from the Los Angeles Times and Laurel Rosenhall from CALmatters, both of whom have been covering the election. We discuss how housing has become an issue on the trail and the reaction from voters.