And it wasn't the first time in recent years that lawmakers in Sacramento were told of an agency hoarding a hidden stash of cash.
In the summer of 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown's state parks director resigned after revelations that department officials had long maintained an off-the-books accounting system that hid the existence of $54 million in funds. The practice of hiding the money had existed for more than a decade, with the funds split between accounts that collected entrance fees and financed off-highway vehicle parks.
Fresno County Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew Janz will challenge Rep. Devin Nunes in the 22nd Congressional District.
“I have a strong connection to the area. I think I can be a competitive candidate, I think I have a pull here on what people think is important,” Janz, a 33-year-old Democrat, said in a phone interview.
Nunes, a Republican from Tulare, has gained national notice in recent months in the course of his role as chairman of the House Select Intelligence Committee.
California legislators took the first step Tuesday to ban state government contracts for any company that helps build President Trump's promised wall along the Mexico border, with the author of the plan urging colleagues "to be on the right side of history."
The bill by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) would prohibit any company from receiving a new or extended contract with the state of California if it participates in a future effort to build a new wall along the 2,000-mile international border.
"The wall is another attempt to separate and divide us," Lara said in testimony to the Senate Governmental Organization Committee. "It sends a message that we are better off in a homogenous society."
The administration of the University of California system pays top workers salaries and benefits significantly higher than that of similar state employees, and failed to disclose to the Board of Regents and the public that it had $175 million in budget reserve funds while it was seeking to raise tuition, a state audit found Tuesday.
The audit triggered a dispute with UC President Janet Napolitano, who said charges of hidden funds were false, while two members of the UC Board of Regents charged recommendations to give the Legislature budget authority over the Office of the President encroached on UC’s constitutional powers.
Among the sticking points, the auditors believe the regents should contract with an independent third party that can assist the regents in monitoring a three-year corrective action plan.
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), who easily beat out a Democratic challenger in the November election, says she will seek reelection in 2018.
Napolitano, 80, pointed to her seniority and experience — 10 terms in Congress — in a campaign announcement Tuesday.
“We are at a critical point in our nation, with a new administration that has lost sight of the core values that this nation was founded on," she said in a statement. "It is imperative that we have members in Congress who are experienced and ready to fight, day to day, to bring the federal resources that address our community's pressing needs and the many challenges ahead."
Gov. Jerry Brown warned on Monday that what he's heard so far from President Trump and congressional Republicans on a major new infrastructure plan sounds more like a way of benefiting the private sector.
"Let's invest in America, not sell it off to the highest bidder," Brown said in an evening speech to the annual conference of the California Labor Federation and the State Building and Construction Trades Council.
The governor, who thanked labor leaders for helping to wrangle votes in the Legislature for the $52-billion transportation plan approved earlier this month, sounded a note of skepticism about the notion of public-private partnerships that could be at the heart of Trump's promise to launch a $1-trillion national effort.
Phil Janowicz, a former chemistry professor at Cal State Fullerton who now runs a education consulting firm, is a first-time candidate. He'll start his campaign Tuesday.
“People have become disgusted by the current state of our politics in Washington, D.C. Partisanship and gridlock, never-ending conflict, and promises to ‘drain the swamp’ that are broken as quickly as they are made," he said in a statement. "Our country and our communities deserve better."
Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) wanted to stop cities and counties from taxing users of such services until 2023, which would have given the industry and local governments time to figure out how a taxation system would work, Ridley-Thomas said.
Currently, many local governments tax cable-television subscribers. Ridley-Thomas aimed to stop cities from extending that tax to streaming services to foster growth in the industry and deal with complex legal and taxation issues as the streaming services grow in popularity.
California’s fight against climate change would be overhauled under legislation advanced by an Assembly committee on Monday.
The legislation, a revised version of a measure introduced earlier this year, would link the state’s efforts against greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming, and other pollutants, which cause public health problems such as asthma.
Facilities such as oil refineries would face tighter restrictions, and the cap-and-trade program — which requires companies to buy permits to emit greenhouse gases — would become less flexible.