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385 posts
  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Beach) attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2015.
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Beach) attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2015. (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mimi Walters’ chances of reelection just got slimmer according to one election prognosticator.

On Thursday, analysts for Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics moved her race in the 45th Congressional District from “leans Republican” to a “toss-up.”

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of the ratings publisher, cited the fact that Walters received just over half of the vote share in her district during the June 5 primary, a marked decrease from previous years

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In the early morning hours after the June 5 primary, Democrat Harley Rouda declared victory in California’s 48th Congressional District.

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  • California Legislature
(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

California voters in November will get to weigh in on whether the state should continue its practice of changing the clocks twice a year after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill to put the question on the statewide ballot.

The ballot measure would only give the Legislature the power to alter the practice with a two-thirds vote by both houses. Even then, approval from the federal government would be required.

“If passed, it will — albeit through a circuitous path — open the door for year-round daylight saving,” Brown wrote in a signing message, adding in Latin “Fiat Lux!” which translates to “Let there be light.”

  • Ballot measures
  • California Legislature
Alastair Mactaggart, left, the sponsor of a proposed internet privacy initiative, backed a similar bill by Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia).
Alastair Mactaggart, left, the sponsor of a proposed internet privacy initiative, backed a similar bill by Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia). (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a sweeping new consumer privacy law on Thursday that gives Californians new authority over their personal data, a framework that backers say could be adopted throughout the country.

The legislation sailed through the Senate and Assembly earlier in the day, but the vote count belied the frenzied behind-the-scenes negotiations to craft a last-minute bill to stave off a similar ballot initiative.

“Today we have a chance to make a difference by giving California consumers control of their own data,” said Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), the author of the measure, AB 375.

At least three California Democrats are considering a bid to lead the Democratic caucus in the House.

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  • State government
  • California Legislature
  • California Democrats
Gov. Jerry Brown signs the state budget surrounded by legislative leaders on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Gov. Jerry Brown signs the state budget surrounded by legislative leaders on Wednesday in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

California schools, healthcare and social services programs will see spending increases under the state budget signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The $201.4-billion plan, which takes effect next week, is the final budget of Brown's eight-year tenure. It is also the third consecutive blueprint that includes notably higher-than-expected tax revenue, a sizable portion of which lawmakers are diverting into the largest cash reserve in California history.

“This budget is a milestone,” Brown said at an event in Los Angeles. “We’re not trying to tear down, we’re not trying to blame. We’re trying to do something.”

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Gov. Jerry Brown at a June 27 budget-signing announcement in Los Angeles
Gov. Jerry Brown at a June 27 budget-signing announcement in Los Angeles (Gary Coronado)

Californians will decide in November whether to borrow $2 billion to fund new housing for homeless residents.

Gov. Jerry Brown authorized the ballot measure Wednesday when he signed the state’s annual budget and related legislation. The measure would draw funding from dollars generated by Proposition 63, a 1% income tax surcharge on millionaires passed in 2004 that funds mental health services. Housing built or rehabilitated under the plan would be designated for mentally ill residents living on the streets.

This is the second try at a spending plan for Brown and state lawmakers, who first tried to approve the money without a public vote in 2016. But a Sacramento attorney and mental health advocates challenged the effort in court, arguing that the money shouldn’t be diverted from treatment programs and that legislators needed a vote of the people to authorize the funds. That case is still in litigation and the November ballot measure, if successful, would free up the money.

  • State government
  • California Legislature
  • California Democrats
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California’s public employee unions, for decades some of the state’s towering political giants, knew this day was coming.

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

State senators advanced a proposal Tuesday that would ban local governments from approving new taxes on sodas and other sugary drinks until 2031, a bill aimed at spiking an industry-sponsored initiative that would limit the ability of cities and counties to raise any taxes.

The bill, AB 1838, is moving quickly through the Legislature in advance of a Thursday deadline for proponents of initiatives to withdraw their measures from the November statewide ballot. The beverage industry is expected to have collected enough signatures for an initiative that would prohibit local governments from increasing taxes without two-thirds support from the public, which significantly raises the current threshold.

Over the weekend, legislators introduced a bill that includes the temporary soda tax ban in an effort to stave off the initiative. Local soda taxes have become popular in recent years with public health advocates arguing that they are necessary to reduce obesity and diabetes risks.