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  • California Democrats

More than 30 California state lawmakers walked out of the Capitol on Wednesday morning to support national student protests for stricter gun laws.

The legislators, joined by staff members and young people, stood in silence for 17 minutes in homage to the 17 people who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month.

“Today’s actions in silence were the loudest advocacy for gun control in the history of America,” said Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) after the protest.

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  • California Legislature
Proposed rules would prevent companies from varying access to streaming videos and other online content.
Proposed rules would prevent companies from varying access to streaming videos and other online content. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A state senator on Wednesday unveiled his full proposal to restore net neutrality in California, a set of rules to prevent internet service providers from manipulating or hindering access to online content.

The latest version of Senate Bill 822 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would bar broadband companies doing business in the state from blocking, throttling or interfering with a customer’s internet access based on the nature of the content or type of service. It also would prevent providers from varying speeds between websites, or charging customers additional fees for their services to reach more people.

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  • California Legislature
Supporters of single-payer healthcare march to the state Capitol on April 26, 2017, in Sacramento.
Supporters of single-payer healthcare march to the state Capitol on April 26, 2017, in Sacramento. (Rich Pedroncelli)

As progressive activists clamor for California to push ahead a sweeping single-payer health plan, a legislative report released Tuesday cautioned that such an overhaul would take years.

The report, which marks the end of months of Assembly hearings on paths to achieving universal healthcare, lays out a number of options lawmakers can pursue in the near term to improve how Californians get and pay for healthcare.

The report estimated that a healthcare overhaul that would cover all Californians under one system with public financing — including those who are insured through their employer and Medi-Cal or Medicare — would probably be a multiyear process to determine what kind of benefit would be provided. It would include how the system would be paid for, how to overcome state constitutional hurdles and how to obtain necessary permission from the federal government.

A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student stops at a memorial following students' return to school in Parkland, Fla.
A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student stops at a memorial following students' return to school in Parkland, Fla. (Getty Images)

Californians who buy guns or ammunition would have to pay a new fee to fund more counselors and safety officers at schools under legislation proposed in response to the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school.

Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) said his bill would strengthen counseling support at California’s 1,400 middle schools and junior high schools while providing more armed school resource officers at high schools.

“It sickens me to think about all the kids who have lost their lives in the school shootings that are plaguing our country,” Cooper said in a statement on Tuesday. “Arming teachers is not good public policy and shouldn’t be considered.”

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Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) (Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

On the eve of President Trump’s first visit to California since he took office, a state lawmaker says he wants to deny state tax breaks to companies that contract or subcontract to build the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who wields substantial influence in the creation of state tax policy as Assembly budget committee chairman, has been among the vocal opponents to the border wall, calling it counterproductive to the state’s economic growth and “a symbol of weakness and hate to the world.”

He plans to present his proposal to an Assembly committee on Monday, and the bill is expected in print next week. It would prevent companies that profit from the wall’s construction from receiving some tax credits, such as those given for hiring new employees, buying or using certain manufacturing and research equipment or for promoting alternative energy and advanced transportation.

  • California Legislature
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) has agreed to pay fines for campaign finance reporting violations.
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) has agreed to pay fines for campaign finance reporting violations. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) has agreed to pay $4,000 in fines to the state’s campaign watchdog agency for failing to properly disclose contributions made and received by her 2014 campaign for the Legislature, according to documents released Monday.

Weber didn’t immediately report an $8,200 contribution to her campaign from the United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund and did not report, within 24 hours as required, five other contributions that happened close to the election, including $34,000 her campaign gave to the California Democratic Party, according to an investigative report by the state Fair Political Practices Commission.

“The public harm inherent in the failure to file 24-hour reports is that the public is deprived of important, time-sensitive information regarding political contributions and expenditures,” said the FPPC report. “In the case of 24-hour reports, the reportable activity is meant to be disclosed to the public before the election.”

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra
Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra (Associated Press)

The official title for Proposition 70, a ballot measure laying out rules for future climate change revenues collected by the state, must be rewritten after a Sacramento judge agreed with a Republican lawmaker that voters in June would otherwise be misled.

Assemblyman Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) filed the lawsuit last week calling the ballot title “both wrong and highly prejudicial” for the proposed amendment to the California Constitution. Mayes was the GOP leader of the Assembly during last year’s negotiation over extending the state’s cap-and-trade program, which passed the Legislature with support from eight Republican lawmakers.

Proposition 70 would require the Legislature to take a one-time vote in 2024 on how revenues collected from cap-and-trade are spent. Those dollars come from companies that pay money for any emissions beyond the "cap" imposed by state regulators. Revenues collected from those emission allowances have added up to almost $5 billion to date. The spending plan would require a supermajority vote in both the state Senate and Assembly.

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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
(Cristobal Herrera / Associated Press)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed John Cox’s California gubernatorial campaign on Monday.

"As a lifelong conservative and taxpayer advocate, John Cox will put California on the road back to lower taxes, fiscal accountability and individual liberty,” Gingrich said in a statement. “He is the person we need to rescue California from decades of radical, left-wing policies."

Gingrich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2012 and is an ally of President Trump, is the most prominent Republican to endorse a GOP candidate in the race to replace Gov. Jerry Brown.

The use of bots to meddle in political elections. Algorithms that learn who people are and keep them coming back to social media platforms. The rise of autonomous vehicles and drones that could displace hundreds of thousands of workers.