California’s top climate regulator will continue serving through 2020 under a plan set to be voted on Thursday.
Mary Nichols, who has led the California Air Resources Board since 2007, would see her term expire at the end of 2020 if the board’s members confirm staff recommendations at the Thursday meeting. The Air Resources Board is one of the most powerful agencies in the state, and is responsible for implementing California’s strict greenhouse gas and air pollution rules.
Legislation passed in 2016 authorizes Air Resources Board members to serve six-year terms, part of an effort by lawmakers to wrest some control over the agency from the governor, who appoints a dozen of the board’s 14 members. The new law, however, allowed initial terms in office to be staggered so that the board wouldn’t see constant turnover.
Former legislator David Hadley was unanimously appointed vice chairman of the California Republican Party on Tuesday by its board of directors. The move eases the path for the Manhattan Beach resident to become the party’s next leader once current Chairman Jim Brulte’s term ends in February.
Hadley, who ran for governor earlier this year before dropping out of the race after two weeks, served one term in the state Assembly representing much of the South Bay.
The 53-year-old businessman is a social moderate and fiscal conservative who has ties to prominent donors, relationships that could prove vital if next year’s chairman’s race is contested, and should he be elected leader of the state party.
Proposition 7 would allow the Legislature — if Congress approves — to abolish the twice-yearly changing of clocks, and instead permanently place the state on daylight saving time. It would undo provisions of a 1949 ballot measure that first created the shifting of official time by one hour every spring, thus allowing lawmakers to enact year-round daylight saving time as long as it’s consistent with federal law.
Although Proposition 7 won a spot on the ballot with bipartisan support in the state Capitol, not all lawmakers think voters should embrace it.
An assistant chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection asked employees to help build a Tiki bar behind the house he rented from the state government, according to a state audit released on Tuesday.
The high-ranking fire official “misused state employees and caused discredit” to the agency by quietly building the bar, complete with electricity and plumbing, over six months in 2016.
“The assistant chief misused state land when he built an unauthorized structure in the backyard of the home he rented from CAL FIRE,” auditors wrote. “The rental agreement states that the tenant agrees to obtain written consent from the CAL FIRE unit before making any significant improvements or changes to the site.”
A plan to replace California’s antiquated website for disclosing lobbying activity and contributions to elected officials is 11 months behind schedule, and its budget has doubled.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla notified the Legislature last week that the replacement for the Cal-ACCESS system will be delayed until the end of 2019. It had been scheduled for completion in February.
The Legislature agreed two years ago to a plan that would cost $11.6 million, but as the project has proceeded and vendors were consulted, lawmakers have repeatedly upped the budget. It now stands at $23 million.
California’s political watchdog panel deadlocked Thursday over allowing legislative leaders to accept much larger campaign contributions, after several open-government groups said the proposal raises “important concerns” about increasing the influence of special interests.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission split 2-2 on a motion to endorse legislation that would allow the four top Democratic and Republican leaders in the Legislature to accept individual campaign contributions of up to $36,000 per source for races they are targeting, up from the current $4,400 limit.
Commissioner Frank Cardenas was unwilling to support the new bill, which he said has been fast-tracked without the normal committee hearings “as quickly and as quietly as possible to get something done which would otherwise face the scrutiny [of the public].”
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure Wednesday to require incoming student orientations at California colleges and universities to include information on intimate partner and dating violence.
Under current law, colleges must address sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking in their orientations for new students. The measure, AB 2070 by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace), would have expanded on those requirements to specifically include intimate partner and dating violence.
In his veto message, Brown said the “essential elements” of the bill already appear to be covered by law. The governor also said he wanted to hold off on changing existing state law until a panel of experts returned their recommendations on what, if anything, should be changed to better address sexual assault on college campuses.