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492 posts
  • California Legislature
  • California Democrats
The state Capitol saw the demise Monday of a bill that would have allowed legislative leaders to accept bigger campaign checks.
The state Capitol saw the demise Monday of a bill that would have allowed legislative leaders to accept bigger campaign checks. (Rich Pedroncelli)

A controversial proposal to allow state legislative leaders to accept bigger campaign checks for their favored candidates was sidelined by lawmakers for the year on Monday after it failed to garner sufficient support in the state Senate.

The measure by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) would have allowed Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and Assembly to form caucus committees to accept campaign contributions of up to $36,000 from individual sources for state races.

Legislators are now limited to accepting contributions of no more than $4,400 from each source. Mullin’s bill would have also required monthly disclosure of campaign contributions.

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Used needles are collected and exchanged for clean ones by the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center in San Francisco.
Used needles are collected and exchanged for clean ones by the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center in San Francisco. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

San Francisco would be able to establish hygienic sites for people to use injectable drugs while supervised by healthcare workers under a bill approved Monday by the Legislature.

The measure, Assembly Bill 186 by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), would let San Francisco pilot a “safe injection site” program, which would include access to sterilized needles and referrals to drug treatment programs.

Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) said San Francisco Mayor London Breed has offered to make the city a “guinea pig” for the program. 

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  • California Legislature
Californians wanting to carry concealed weapons such as these Glock handguns would face new requirements under legislation.
Californians wanting to carry concealed weapons such as these Glock handguns would face new requirements under legislation. (Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

California lawmakers on Monday approved a trio of bills that would reduce the number of people with access to firearms, including lifetime bans on owning guns for people convicted of domestic violence and individuals placed on involuntary psychiatric holds twice in a year by the courts.

The three bills now head to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.

Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) proposed a lifetime gun ban on those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, which extends the current 10-year prohibition in state law.

  • California Legislature
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) at a news conference in February.
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) at a news conference in February. (Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

California lawmakers on Monday made another attempt to blunt Trump administration policies by passing a bill aimed at combating housing segregation.

Assembly Bill 686 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would put into state law Obama-era rules requiring local governments to advance policies to desegregate housing in their communities. This month, Ben Carson, Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced he was moving forward with plans to roll back rules requiring cities and counties to flight patterns of housing segregation.

“We wanted to make sure that fair housing still exists in California even though it’s been threatened by the Trump administration and Congress,” Santiago said.

When federal regulators voted late last year to roll back net neutrality protections, state Democratic leaders pledged to wage a fight with the Trump administration to preserve fair and open access to the internet in California.

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The FBI and Capitol Police want to talk with Rep. Maxine Waters’ 2018 Republican opponent about a fake letter he posted to Twitter that falsely indicated the congresswoman wants to resettle tens of thousands of refugees in her Los Angeles district.

  • California Legislature
A sign at the Cadiz Ranch in the Mojave Desert on April 18, 2012. Cadiz holdings proposes to pump groundwater from the Mojave Desert.
A sign at the Cadiz Ranch in the Mojave Desert on April 18, 2012. Cadiz holdings proposes to pump groundwater from the Mojave Desert. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Environmentalists are mounting a last-minute bid in the final week of the California legislative session to revive a stalled effort to require more review for a project to pump more groundwater from the Mojave Desert.

The project by Cadiz Inc. to sell that water to urban Southern California has been the subject of a long-running political drama. It was blocked by the Obama administration, then revived under President Trump

A 2017 measure by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) that sought to impede the project has languished in a state Senate committee. Now, the effort has a new shot at life through an 11th-hour bill by state Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside).

  • State government
Cody Wilson with the Liberator, the first completely 3-D-printed handgun, in 2013 at his home in Austin, Texas.
Cody Wilson with the Liberator, the first completely 3-D-printed handgun, in 2013 at his home in Austin, Texas. (Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman)

A federal judge on Monday issued a preliminary injunction continuing a prohibition on the Trump administration proposal to make available blueprints for so-called ghost guns, untraceable weapons that can be manufactured on a 3-D printer, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said.

California was one of 20 states led by Washington that won the decision from U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik in Seattle. The injunction extends a ruling last month that barred the Trump administration from taking steps that would allow the firm Defense Distributed to disseminate 3-D gun blueprints. 

“When the Trump Administration inexplicably gave the green light to distribute on the internet blueprints of 3D-printed, untraceable ghost guns, it needlessly endangered our children, our loved ones and our men and women in law enforcement,” Becerra said in a statement. “The Trump Administration’s actions were dangerous and incompetent.”

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The state Capitol was the scene of a partisan spat this week.
The state Capitol was the scene of a partisan spat this week. (Rich Pedroncelli)

A controversial proposal to boost fundraising power for legislative leaders was put in jeopardy Friday when the Senate Republican Caucus said it would not vote for the measure amid concerns that two GOP bills have been held up by the Democrats.

An aide to Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), who introduced the legislation, said the situation was “still fluid.”

But the letter signed by Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates and 11 other members of her caucus puts a cloud over the future of the bill, which needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

  • California Legislature
A motorist on Highway 101 watches flames from the Thomas fire in December.
A motorist on Highway 101 watches flames from the Thomas fire in December. (Noah Berger / Associated Press)

California’s largest electric utility companies could use payments from customers to help underwrite the cost of their wildfire liability under a broad outline released Friday by a special state legislative committee.

The proposal comes just four days before a key legislative deadline. Specific details were not presented during an afternoon committee hearing and may not be submitted until next week. That could leave little time for public review, as both houses of the Legislature will adjourn for the year Aug. 31.

Any attempt by a utility to borrow money for wildfire damages — which would likely depend on using a specific amount of money collected from ratepayers as collateral — would have to be authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission, according to the outline released Friday. Lawmakers were adamant the final plan would not let utilities and their shareholders off the hook.