This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- After receiving pressure to step down because of his cap-and-trade vote, Assembly GOP leader Chad Mayes held a caucus meeting Thursday to discuss his role. Mayes remains in his leadership post, but another top Assembly Republican stepped down from hers in protest.
- Backers of a campaign to force a recall election of state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) filed a lawsuit Thursday to block a new state law they say unfairly changes the rules.
- Environmental activist Tom Steyer renames his political action organization in an effort to shift the focus toward fighting the policies of President Trump.