This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he intends to open a satellite attorney general's office in Washington, D.C., as he prepares to fight the Trump administration.
- The results from California's latest cap-and-trade auction are in, and revenue from the sale of pollution credits was weak.
- A bill that would set up a state-funded legal aid system for immigrants will be amended by its author to allow those with criminal records to apply for assistance.
Reacting to President Trump's threat to hold back funds from California if it becomes a so-called sanctuary state, Atty. Gen Xavier Becerra said Monday that he is willing to do legal battle over the issue if necessary.
“There is no state that provides more funding to the federal Treasury than the state of California,” Becerra said at a press conference in Fresno. “We have a right to receive some of that funding back.”
Becerra said California will work with Congress and the federal government to properly serve citizens.
“But we will also fight, every way we can, to make sure that we get our fair share of money back,” Becerra said. “We will fight anyone who wants to take away dollars that we have earned and are qualified for simply because we are unwilling to violate the Constitution under these defective executive orders.”
Senate Republican leader Jean Fuller of Bakersfield urged cooperation between the two levels of government, noting the federal government plays a major role in the lives of Californians.
“The majority party needs to put Californians first and work constructively with our federal partners,” Fuller said in a statement. “I’ve offered Governor Brown my help in bridging the gap between Sacramento and Washington for constructive, ongoing dialogue.”
State Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) is among those who oppose legislation by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D- Los Angeles) that would make California a sanctuary state.
De León’s bill would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from investigating, questioning, detaining or arresting people for immigration enforcement purposes. It also would require state agencies, public schools and contractors to keep confidential any data on people that might be used for immigration enforcement.
“SB 54 dangerously lumps violent, hardcore undocumented criminals in with millions of hard-working immigrant families,” Vidak said in a statement. “Families in the undocumented community are particularly scared that De León's actions will protect predators who prey on their children, the elderly and other vulnerable folks in their neighborhoods.”
Updated at 4:30 pm to include comment from Senate Republican leader Jean Fuller.