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.
California lawmakers on Thursday announced a new effort to address climate change with an increased focus on finding ways to help communities harmed by pollution and poverty.
As reported earlier , the legislation, AB 378, represents an opening bid in the conversation about how to handle the state's cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions.
Although Gov. Jerry Brown has asked lawmakers to extend the program, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said they're not ready to commit to that.
"Before we get there, we need to make sure social justice, environmental justice is addressed," she said.
The measure will likely be fleshed out more as negotiations continue. At this point, it directs state regulators to center climate programs around public health goals and other local issues.
The announcement drew some notable supporters, including representatives from national environmental groups, environmental justice advocates and trade unions.
Given divergent opinions about cap and trade, keeping all parties at the table will be a challenge. And the hurdle will only be more difficult if lawmakers push for a two-thirds vote, the threshold needed to safeguard cap-and-trade revenue from legal challenges.