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.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, one of President Trump’s first allies in Congress, described the president in profane terms to a group of Republicans on Friday, but also touted Trump as their champion.
“He’s just like he is on TV,” Hunter (R-Alpine) told the group. “He’s an asshole, but he’s our asshole.”
Hunter’s salty assessment was recounted by four people who were present when the congressman spoke at a Riverside County Young Republicans meeting in a Murrieta sports bar. Three spoke on the record with attribution, while one source spoke on the condition of anonymity. Others who were there made posts about Hunter’s comments on social media as well.
A bill to establish single-payer healthcare screeched to an abrupt halt earlier this summer — but that hasn’t blunted its continuing influence on California politics.
Calls for a sea change in the state’s healthcare system have proved remarkably durable, even after Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) shelved a measure in June that would have made the state responsible for paying all of its residents’ medical costs.
A recently filed ballot initiative, budding campaigns against sitting lawmakers — including a recall effort against Rendon — and new plans for legislators to wrestle with how to achieve universal healthcare have taken shape in recent weeks, and the conversation is poised to take on national heft as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) prepares to introduce a “Medicare for all” measure in the fall.
California lawmakers have sought to shed light on the StingRay, a powerful surveillance device that imitates the function of a cell tower and captures the signals of nearby phones, allowing law enforcement officers to sweep through hundreds of messages, conversations and call logs.
A 2015 state law now requires law enforcement agencies to seek permission at public meetings to buy the devices, and post rules for their use online.
But a Los Angeles Times review of records from 20 of the state’s largest police and sheriff’s departments, plus the Alameda County district attorney’s office, found that California still does not have a clear picture of which agencies are using the device, how wide a net the surveillance tools cast or what kind of data they gather.
Rapper, actor and activist Common last week made the rounds in Sacramento, meeting with lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown, in an effort to promote bills meant to continue the reversal of tough-on-crime policies in California.
As part of the weeklong push by criminal justice reform groups, Common attended several events, had one-on-one meetings with political leaders and performed on the Capitol mall grounds during a free concert that brought together poets, activists and other music artists, including J.Cole, Goapele and Los Rakas.
At the center of attention were several juvenile justice bills meant to extend protections for minors entangled in criminal charges — and a legislative package that would have overhauled the way courts award offenders bail while their cases are pending.