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.
An ambitious effort to close a widely used loophole that allows large donations from political parties to be funneled into California races was rejected on Friday.
The bill by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) would have made political party money donated to statewide and legislative candidates subject to the same contribution limits as individuals. Under the language of a voter-approved initiative, Proposition 34, money from political parties is exempt from those existing limits.
“It’s a money-laundering scheme that has completely duped voters,” Levine said last fall when he first promised to introduce the bill.
The proposal was quietly killed, without a formal vote, by the Assembly Appropriations Committee during its biannual session to act on bills placed on the so-called suspense file due to their estimated costs. Committee staff estimated that Levine’s AB 1234 would have six-figure costs both for enforcement and for placing the issue before voters in 2018.