This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- If congressional Republicans eliminate the federal estate tax, one Sacramento lawmaker says he'll ask voters to create a state version and use the money for a variety of California programs.
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received a rock star's welcome in Los Angeles over the holiday weekend.
State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday he is concerned about federal immigration agents detaining a 23-year-old man in Washington state who came to the U.S. illegally as a 7-year-old and later received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Becerra made his comments to reporters at the Sutter Club in Sacramento after he spoke to 5th Annual California Business Roundtable's Business Leaders Luncheon.
The attorney general’s office is trying to gather the facts of the case of Daniel Ramirez Medina, who was arrested at his father's home south of Seattle on Friday, Becerra said when asked about the case.
“A lot of us are very concerned if people who voluntarily came forward and relied to their detriment [on DACA] in providing information to our government, that they should find themselves all of a sudden in this very scary circumstance,” Becerra said. “It should trouble a lot of people.”
Becerra also said he is meeting with other state officials to make sure tough safety standards are applied to repair of the Oroville dam after problems with an emergency spillway triggered mass evacuations Sunday.
“I don’t know that there is any need to start ascribing blame to anybody on this,” he said, when asked if an investigation was in order.
“I certainly think it’s a fact that it’s been out there that we could have done more to shore up the spillway and the need to have the integrity of the dam remain constant," he added. "I think what you are going to find is that state leaders will do what they must to make sure that, moving forward, we are protecting lives as we try to stabilize the dam.”