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488 posts
  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election

A ballot measure that would clamp down on the profits raked in by companies providing dialysis treatment will go before voters in November.

The initiative, sponsored by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers, would cap revenue for dialysis companies at 115% of the cost of direct patient care and treatment quality efforts, as determined by the initiative. If companies’ revenue exceed that threshold, they would have to issue rebates, primarily to commercial health insurers.

Dialysis is used to treat patients experiencing kidney failure. The treatment performs some of the function of kidneys, such as removing excess salt and waste from the blood. Sessions are hours long and patients usually need treatments three times per week.

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa talks with students before a news conference near the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa talks with students before a news conference near the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday. (Phil Willon / Los Angeles Times)

Democrats Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom on Wednesday hammered away on two signature issues in their campaigns for California governor — immigration and gun control, respectively — as they traveled the state to rally support ahead of the June 5 primary.

Near the U.S.-Mexico border, Villaraigosa joined with leaders of Border Angels, a nonprofit that provides water and other aid for immigrants trekking across the desert, and lambasted President Trump’s “immoral” immigration policies.

Villaraigosa was especially critical of a Trump administration policy to separate children from their parents when a family crosses the border illegally.

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  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens)
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A former legislative staffer who accused Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) of groping him four years ago is appealing the investigation that found his claim to be unsubstantiated.

Danny Fierro filed a notice of appeal Wednesday to the Assembly Rules Committee that asserted “the investigation was not impartial or conducted in good faith, and did not afford Mr. Fierro due process.”

Fierro said several witnesses were not interviewed, including his former employer, Assemblyman Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), and other lawmakers who were present at the legislative softball game in 2014. Fierro has accused Garcia of touching him inappropriately at the game. 

  • State government
A worker tends a vineyard in Napa County.
A worker tends a vineyard in Napa County. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra joined his counterparts in New York and Maryland on Wednesday in filing another in a string of lawsuits against the Trump administration, this time challenging a decision to suspend safeguards for agricultural workers.

The lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to reinstate a requirement that employers provide workers and their families with training to avoid pesticide exposure.

The lawsuit alleges that the suspension of the requirement by the EPA is arbitrary and capricious, and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Democratic candidate for governor Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters on a bus after departing San Francisco on a weeklong California tour.
Democratic candidate for governor Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters on a bus after departing San Francisco on a weeklong California tour. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would seek to model the budget-conscious ethos of Gov. Jerry Brown, but said he would be more active in the legislative process if elected to succeed him.

“I really do think Gov. Brown has created a new norm of expectations in terms of fiscal discipline,” Newsom told reporters aboard his campaign bus during a wide-ranging 80-minute interview on Tuesday. “It’s incumbent upon the next governor to model that.”

But he said on certain issues — notably healthcare and homelessness — he would be more engaged in legislative efforts in Sacramento than he believes Brown, who is termed out, has been.

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  • California Legislature
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Members of the California Legislature’s budget conference committee convene Wednesday with one task above all others: reconcile the plans put forth by their two houses, both of which would be more costly than the proposal crafted by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The 10-member committee, equally split between the Senate and Assembly but dominated by Democrats, will knit the proposals together to form most of the budget sent to Brown by June 15. The most contentious disagreements are usually settled in closed-door negotiations with the governor.

While both houses propose higher spending than Brown did in his blueprint, they also have noticeable policy differences with him on healthcare, higher education and social services. And in some cases, the Senate and Assembly disagree with each other on those topics.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans

Republican John Cox kicked off the final week of his campaign by starting a tour with GOP attorney general candidate Steven Bailey, first stopping in Bakersfield and then Fresno.

In Fresno, a small crowd of supporters gathered at the county’s Republican Party headquarters, where Chairman Fred Vanderhoof urged conservatives statewide to get behind Cox and Bailey to make sure they survive the June primary.

“Don’t let the Democrats steal the election,” Vanderhoof said.

Candidates, from left: Steven Bailey, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, Eric Early and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones at a recent debate.
Candidates, from left: Steven Bailey, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, Eric Early and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones at a recent debate. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s campaign manager disputed allegations in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by Republican challenger Eric Early that the incumbent does not meet qualifications to hold office and should be kept off the November ballot.

The legal challenge alleges that Becerra is constitutionally ineligible to hold the office because he was an “inactive” member of the California Bar from 1991 to 2016, most of which was time he served in Congress.

The lawsuit argues that state law requires those holding the office to have been “admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the state for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his election or appointment.”

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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats

Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa kicked off the final week of the gubernatorial campaign with a drive from Los Angeles to Fresno, where he nabbed the endorsement of Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, visited a boxing program for troubled youth and planned to end the day at a Teamsters union hall.

Dyer praised Villaraigosa for making good on his commitment to hire more officers at the Los Angeles Police Department while he was L.A. mayor, even in the heart of the recession. Fresno cut its force by 150 officers during that time, he said.

“As the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa demonstrated that continued support of the officers on the street, as well as the support of his police chiefs,” Dyer said at a noon news conference outside Fresno police headquarters. “He was responsible for ensuring that crime was rescued in the city of Los Angeles at a time with other cities were seeing an increase in crime.”

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Gavin Newsom speaks with media in San Francisco before departing on a weeklong California bus tour on Tuesday.
Gavin Newsom speaks with media in San Francisco before departing on a weeklong California bus tour on Tuesday. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Gubernatorial front-runner Gavin Newsom on Tuesday predicted a bruising, divisive general-election campaign with $100 million spent against him if he and fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa emerge as the top two winners in the June 5 primary.

“You want a race that’s a just knock-out, drag-down [between] Democrats driving down turnout? I think that’s guaranteed to do that,” Newsom told reporters on his campaign bus.

He was pushing back at a narrative among pundits that his campaign’s efforts to boost the candidacy of Republican John Cox could ultimately hurt Democratic efforts to retake the House in the fall. The conventional wisdom is that having a Republican at the top of the ticket on the November ballot would increase GOP voter turnout, which could help vulnerable Republican members of Congress hold on to their seats.