Freelance politics and baseball writer Nathaniel Rakich keeps unofficial statistics for the game, and shared highlights from the California delegation with The Times. In all, lawmakers from this state scored 6 of the 11 runs.
When it comes to California's contribution to climate change, no challenge looms larger than cars.
New figures from state regulators show that transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions at 37% of the total, and passenger vehicles make up the largest chunk of that sector.
And even though the state has been reducing its emissions, tailpipe pollution increased 4.4% in 2015, the most recent statistics available.
Citing an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths across the country, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Friday that California is joining with more than 26 other states to investigate whether drugmakers have used illegal marketing and sales practices.
Becerra said the probe would focus on whether drug manufacturers have played a role in creating or extending the opioid problem.
Makers of opioids have been under heat in recent years as the addiction crisis has intensified. A 2016 Times investigation revealed that Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, knew its drug's painkilling effects might not last as long as long as marketed, which could potentially promote addiction. The investigation also found Purdue Pharma collected extensive evidence of criminal trafficking of its drug but in many cases did not alert law enforcement.
Tweets sent by President Trump have Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) concerned that he will try to fire the special prosecutor appointed to investigate Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and the deputy attorney general who appointed him.
“The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn’t apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired. That’s undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the president’s oath of office," Feinstein said in a statement Friday.
“It’s becoming clear to me that the president has embarked on an effort to undermine anyone with the ability to bring any misdeeds to light, be that Congress, the media or the Justice Department. The Senate should not let that happen. We’re a nation of laws that apply equally to everyone, a lesson the president would be wise to learn,” she said.
Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) is one of the leaders in the Legislature who is thinking about the future of Uber, Lyft and the ride-hailing industry. Low, who co-founded the Legislature's tech and millennial caucuses, now has a bill aimed at easing regulations for taxis to make them more competitive.
We spoke with Low about his motivations for supporting ride-hailing and whether the state is set up to oversee all the changes, including autonomous vehicles, heading to the industry.
"I do think it's an appropriate time to engage in a wider conversation about the vision of California in the transportation space," Low said. "We are very much engaged in that conversation. But we are also guilty of being slow at that process and not keeping up to date with that."
California county jails will not be able to restrict face-to-face family visits for inmates under a budget plan approved Thursday by state lawmakers.
The measure prohibits a local detention facility that offered in-person visitation as of Jan. 1, from converting to video-only visitation.
Over the last five years, an increasing number of jails and prisons across California and nationwide have moved to offer Skype-like video visits through phone and computer screens. But some jails have used the video systems to replace on-site meetings that have traditionally occurred through a glass window.
The state Legislature on Thursday voted to strip the state’s scandal-plagued tax board of most of its duties and powers, sending the governor a bill that would transfer taxpayer appeals hearings to a new office of administrative law judges.
The state Board of Equalization has been hit by a series of scandals, including audits showing that it misallocated hundreds of millions of sales tax dollars to the wrong accounts and that elected board members opened field offices and transferred workers without authority to do so.
Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said the measure will make structural reforms to address "significant issues of mismanagement and misuse of budget resources and disregard of directives of this Legislature."
A controversial bill to revise the rules of special recall elections against lawmakers was approved by both houses of the Legislature on Thursday, but not before angry accusations over the pending recall effort against an Orange County state senator.
Both changes would slow down the scheduling of a recall election, and could therefore benefit state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), the subject of a recall attempt in the wake of his vote for a $52-billion transportation bill that included a gas tax increase.
California state lawmakers approved $45 million in a state budget plan to expand legal services for immigrants, a response to the Trump administration's call to increase deportations.
The funds, greater than what Gov. Jerry Brown earmarked in May and which will be an ongoing allocation through 2020, will go to a coalition of legal services agencies, immigrant rights groups and faith-based organizations called One California.
The $30-million legal assistance program, run by the state Department of Social Services, was first assembled to help thousands of immigrants apply for naturalization and former President Obama’s deferred action programs. With the additional money, providers will now also be able to help immigrants fighting deportation or removal proceedings.
The squabble over how to spend around $1.3 billion in new tobacco tax revenues in California was one of the most prolonged standoffs of the budget season. But on Thursday, the compromise plan easily cleared the Legislature.
Under the spending plan, $465 million will go toward increased payments for doctors and dentists who see patients in the Medi-Cal program. Those healthcare providers had envisioned getting more money when they backed Proposition 56 last year, but Gov. Jerry Brown had resisted upping reimbursements at all for most of the budget season.
Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans sided with the medical groups, arguing that voters had backed the tax in order to expand access to Medi-Cal and that higher payments to doctors and dentists would encourage them to participate in the program.