When it comes to climate change, the California Chamber of Commerce is best known for suing over the state's cap-and-trade program, a cornerstone of the state's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
But the lawsuit has faltered, and the powerful business group now wants to work with lawmakers to extend the program, which requires companies to buy permits to release emissions into the atmosphere. The chamber also wants to strike a deal in the next month, a deadline pushed for by Gov. Jerry Brown.
"Now is the time,” Allan Zaremberg, the organization’s president, said in an interview. “Not a year or two from now. It gets harder, not easier.”
The memo used by the Trump administration to explain the firing of FBI Director James Comey "appears to have been hastily assembled to justify a preordained outcome," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement Thursday.
Though she initially held back, in keeping with a temperament the long-serving senator is known for, Feinstein's criticism of Comey's firing has escalated since Tuesday.
The White House has leaned heavily on a memo written by Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein to push back against an outcry from Democrats and some Republicans over the firing of a man who was leading an investigation involving Trump's presidential campaign.
The contrast between the leading contenders to become the next chairperson of the California Democratic Party was clear at a debate between the hopefuls Wednesday: Longtime party official Eric Bauman said the party must expand on its existing successes, while activist Kimberly Ellis countered that it had lost its way and needs to be fundamentally overhauled.
“I’m running not just to bring a new vision to the party. I’m running not just to bring new perspective, not just to change the tone, tenor and culture of our politics,” said Ellis, the candidate who received loudest cheers and applause from the hundreds of delegates at the party gathering in a San Diego union hall. “I’m running to be chair of the California Democratic Party to redefine what it means to be a Democrat and get this party back to basics.”
The California Democratic Party, the largest and most liberal in the nation, has enjoyed years of electoral and financial success. But it is at a crossroads: The progressive forces that coalesced behind Bernie Sanders in last year’s presidential primary and railed against the Democratic establishment are now seeking to redefine the state party.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s amended budget to be released Thursday includes $1.5 million to pay for cleanup of environmental damage caused by illegal marijuana grows in the Emerald Triangle — the counties of Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino, officials said Wednesday.
Brown’s proposal comes just months before the state is expected to begin issuing licenses for growing pot to be sold for recreational and medical uses.
“These illegal grow sites do untold damage to forests and wildlife along the North Coast,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday, adding that with the help of Assemblyman Jim Wood, “we’re doing something about it.”
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart on Wednesday became the first sheriff to endorse the so-called sanctuary state bill, which would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using resources for immigration enforcement.
In a letter to state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), who introduced the legislation, Hart said Senate Bill 54 would improve public safety and provide clear standards for local law enforcement agencies.
"The fear of detention, deportation, and family separation is very real and is having negative impacts for public safety and law enforcement," the letter states. "Public safety is not enhanced when local law enforcement officers enforce immigration laws or act in a manner that causes suspicion within the diverse communities they serve."
A federal court has granted the Trump administration more time to review California regulations for limiting emissions from diesel-powered vehicles such as bulldozers.
It's a procedural step that could lead to a hotly contested battle over the state's unique authority to set tighter rules than federal standards, something that's been questioned by President Trump's choice to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to delay a May 18 hearing in a lawsuit over the regulations when federal officials said they "will be closely scrutinizing" the Obama administration's previous decisions in the case.
On the eve of a special meeting of the University of California regents, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) voiced frustration Wednesday with how UC President Janet Napolitano has dealt with a scathing audit of her office.
Rendon, who is an ex-officio member of the Board of Regents, said he and Assembly Higher Education Committee Chairman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) had tried to help Napolitano deal with lawmakers' concerns before the audit was released last month.
“I’m very frustrated with the lack of communication coming out of the office of the president,” Rendon said during a meeting with Times reporters Wednesday in Sacramento. “Personally, the higher ed chair and I went to great lengths to spend a lot of time with the president and members of our caucus who have been very critical. We went out on a limb and we feel that to an extent it was cut off.”
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) has questions about why FBI Director James B. Comey was fired, he said in a statement Wednesday.
"The timing of Director Comey's firing raises many questions which deserve answers. We now need a top-notch, independent FBI director put in place to finish the investigation of Russia's unacceptable meddling in our election," said Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Though he's so far the only California Republican to appear to break from the White House, Royce joins several Senate Republicans who have voiced concerns about President Trump's abrupt dismissal of Comey on Tuesday night.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles would be required to do more to confirm that those who use disabled parking placards actually need them, under state legislation proposed Wednesday after an audit warned of possible widespread abuse.
The state audit released April 18 found 70 of 96 approved placard applications in a sample group "did not include sufficient medical information to demonstrate that the applicant qualified.” In addition, a check of the name and date of birth of active placard holders against the Social Security Administration's Death Master File identified nearly 35,000 matches.
“Taking unfair advantage of our state’s disabled placard program is an act of fraud,” state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) said in a statement introducing the bill. “We must ensure that the DMV is equipped with the tools to effectively oversee the program so that it properly serves disabled drivers and works to eliminate abuse of the system.”