A cadre of Democratic state senators are pushing to spend nearly $1 billion over the next year to replace diesel trucks, buses and other vehicles with cleaner versions.
A chunk of the money would come from California's cap-and-trade program, which lawmakers agreed to extend last month. The program requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases, and the state can use the revenue on initiatives that further reduce emissions.
"You are looking definitely at California's future," Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) said at a Tuesday news conference as nine trucks and buses, some powered only by electricity, lined up behind him outside the Capitol.
U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa’s gubernatorial bid on Tuesday, arguing that his record of fighting for equal rights over the four decades she has known him demonstrates he would be the best candidate in the 2018 race to lead all Californians.
“What a governor he will be,” Bass said. “Antonio is working to lift up this state so everyone everywhere has equal opportunities. So good jobs are not just for people in Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach, but for everyone. So good schools are not just in wealthy neighborhoods, but for everyone, everywhere. So we are not a wealthy coast and a struggling inland, but one California [where] every single one of us has a chance to learn and earn.”
Bass is the third former Assembly speaker to endorse Villaraigosa, who also held that post before he was elected mayor of Los Angeles. The current speaker, Anthony Rendon, has backed Treasurer John Chiang for governor.
SB 2 from state Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would charge a $75 fee on mortgage refinances and other real estate transactions and funnel the money to housing subsides. The fee, which would raise roughly $250 million a year, wouldn’t be charged on home or commercial property sales.
Under the changes made to the bill Tuesday, local governments will receive half the money in the first year to update blueprints that guide neighborhood development to speed up community planning. The state Department of Housing and Community Development would receive the remainder to fund homeless housing efforts. In later years, the state would award most of the dollars to cities and counties to finance the construction of low-income housing development.
For decades in California, local tax increases to finance school, transit, road and other specific improvements have needed to clear a high bar: a two-thirds super-majority of voters.
But a California Supreme Court ruling on Monday has led some to argue that's changed, making tax hikes easier to pass. The court decided that local tax proposals from citizen groups put on the ballot via initiative should be treated differently than those pitched by local elected officials. By that logic, the two-thirds threshold may no longer apply to tax initiatives, which now could possibly pass with a simple majority.
No consensus has emerged yet, however, on if the ruling is that far-reaching. The attorney who won the case said the voter threshold for tax increases has not changed.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday offered support for Assemblyman Chad Mayes, who recently lost his Republican leadership post because of his support for the cap-and-trade climate change program championed by Democrats.
Schwarzenegger, a longtime proponent of such efforts to fight climate change, used FaceTime to call in and laud Mayes at a Sacramento fundraiser, according to a source familiar with the former governor’s remarks.
He “really pumped him up,” said the person, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about Schwarzenegger’s remarks. The former governor “said [Mayes] is the type of Republican California needs.”
.@Schwarzenegger FaceTimed into Sac fundraiser for Chad Mayes, saying the just-deposed GOP Assm leader is kind of Republican CA needs.
Rep. Brad Sherman, the L.A.-area congressman who bucked Democratic Party leadership to file articles of impeachment against President Trump based on allegations of obstruction of justice, met Monday with the Los Angeles Times editorial board and members of the newsroom. The Porter Ranch resident talked about his reasons for formally pushing impeachment, the country’s divisions, and why California Democrats don’t work more with the state's Republican leaders. Here are portions of the discussion, edited for length and clarity. You can listen to the interview in full above.
Sherman thinks people are leery of impeachment, but filing for it has an effect
The actual filing of articles tangibilitizes what so many other people are saying and even Republicans are warning. … It’s funny, the word impeachment. I’ve had all these people come up to me in my district and thank me for everything I was doing and not mention the word impeachment. It’s a word that people stay away from and I analogize it to abortion. When I go out there I support Planned Parenthood, you don’t want to mention the particular word.
If it had any beneficial effects short-term, it was to get people in the White House to say, “Mr. President, you’ve got to clean up your act a bit." … I can only imagine what Trump would do if he thought there was absolutely no risk of impeachment but firing [Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert] Mueller is the first thing he would do.
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed late Monday to a $4-billion bond aimed at the 2018 ballot that would fund low-income housing developments and subsidize home loans for California veterans.
"The bond agreement we have reached provides badly needed funding to help Californians, including our veterans, find safe, affordable housing," Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said in a statement announcing the deal.
A Superior Court judge has struck down a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would have allowed cities, counties and the state to provide public financing of political campaigns, ruling that it violates a ban on that use of taxpayer dollars established nearly 30 years ago, officials said Monday.
Judge Timothy M. Frawley in Sacramento ruled that the financing law, which was signed last September, "directly contradicts" Proposition 73, an initiative approved by voters in 1988 that bans use of public money for campaigns.
The judge ruled the new law did not "further the purpose" of Proposition 73, which is the only means in which the Legislature can amend a law passed by the voters.
More than six years of state Capitol wrangling over how to improve disclosure of big donors in California political campaigns comes down to a crucial vote this week.
And in many ways, the effort to shine a brighter light on money in politics is really a fight over the fine print.
The basic elements of the "California Disclose Act" have been kicking around Sacramento since 2012. In short, it seeks to ensure that voters have more information about donors who increasingly use a series of bland-sounding political committees and groups to remove any fingerprints from the cash they’re spending.