This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown told the Times Wednesday that a decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change would be "tragic."
- Legislators at the state Capitol will winnow down the hundreds of bills pending by Friday afternoon, quietly killing some of them which have been sitting in what's called the "suspense file."
- African Americans in the California Democratic Party want an apology made to Rep. Maxine Water (D-Los Angeles) after her microphone was cut off at last weekend's convention.
The California Chamber of Commerce is taking its case against the cap-and-trade program to the state's highest court.
Joining with the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, the powerful business organization is appealing a recent state appeals court decision upholding cap and trade.
The chamber had argued that the program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions, functions as an unconstitutional tax because it was not approved by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, the legal threshold for raising new revenue.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento rejected that argument. The decision has caused new consternation at the chamber, which said in its appeal that the court risks “putting no limits on what money can be exacted and providing a road map for the evasion of Proposition 13’s limits” on increasing taxes.
Denise Davis, a spokeswoman for the chamber, said the organization "remains a strong supporter of a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases," and it is currently pushing lawmakers to extend the program. However, the chamber is concerned that the appeals court decision was too broad and could allow a "major sea change" in state law.