Senators are breaking ahead of an expected late-night vote on extending cap and trade, the state's signature program to combat climate change.
There will likely be three measures voted on today as part of the cap-and-trade package:
Assembly Bill 398: This is the main cap-and-trade bill, which would extend the program, now set to expire in 2020, for an additional decade. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are aiming for a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Legislature to insulate the decision from legal challenges.
Assembly Bill 617: This is a companion bill designed to strengthen air quality rules across California. It was designed to address concerns from Democrats that cap and trade wasn't doing enough to protect communities from pollution. This measure requires a simple majority vote.
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1: This is a potential 2018 ballot measure written by Assembly GOP leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley. It would require one-time supermajority approval in 2024, as opposed to the majority vote typically necessary, to spend money generated by cap-and-trade auctions as a way to ensure that Republicans have more influence in doling out those revenues. This measure also requires a supermajority vote before it goes on the ballot.
All three measures are starting in the Senate, and if they pass they'll move to the Assembly for final approval. You can watch the Senate debate live here.
The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced hotly contested legislation on climate change and air quality on Monday afternoon, setting the stage for a vote of the full Legislature later in the evening.
The two measures would extend the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions, and require tougher regulations on pollution in disadvantaged communities.
The legislation is the product of intense negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown, environmentalists, industry lobbyists and lawmakers.
California lawmakers will not vote on a package of bills Monday designed to address the state's housing crisis, according to the leader of the state Senate.
A bloc of legislators, led by progressive Democrats in the Assembly, have pushed for action on housing amid a broader debate over the future of the state's climate change policies. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said last week they were delaying a vote on extending the state's cap-and-trade program in part to “allow our discussion on long-term housing affordability solutions in California to catch up to the climate effort.”
But De León spokesman Jonathan Underland said lawmakers won't be voting on housing Monday.
I’ve never seen Gov. Jerry Brown as animated, emotional and tenacious as he was before the state Senate Environmental Quality Committee, arguing for his embattled cap-and-trade climate control legislation.
He resembled a cross between the Clint Eastwood character Walt Kowalski in “Gran Torino” — “Get off my lawn!” — and some street-corner preacher warning that the end is near. He’s also the most effective politician Sacramento has seen in a very long time.
The effort to extend the life of the cap-and-trade program, California’s signature tool against climate change under which companies must buy permits to emit greenhouse gases, is slated for a make-or-break vote in the Legislature on Monday.
It was never going to be easy. Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking a two-thirds vote to reauthorize cap-and-trade until 2030, a threshold that would help guard the program against future legal challenges. Scrounging up a super-majority is always tough — particularly when Democrats approved a politically fraught gas tax just a few months ago.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the high-stakes vote.
Orange County Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) has picked up another election challenger. Philanthropist and Navy veteran Gil Cisneros, a Democrat, has entered the race to unseat Royce in the 39th Congressional District.
A statement announcing his run also touted the endorsement of VoteVets, a liberal veterans advocacy group.
Cisneros, 46, is a former shipping and distribution manager at Frito-Lay who won a lottery jackpot of $266 million with his wife in 2010. Since then, the couple has started two nonprofits focused on education for Latino students and established scholarship programs in their names.
“I gotta find out where I can do a better job,” she said. “Can I do a better job from the outside, kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talk to anybody? Or are you better off from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that.”
The speaker of the California Assembly is unapologetic for his decision to sideline the year's closely watched single-payer healthcare bill, calling it "lacking in virtually every respect."
On this week's California Politics Podcast, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles) talks about some of the early challenges in his time leading the lower house of the Legislature. Those have included the difficulty of creating a consensus-based leadership structure in a house more used to top-down decision-making.
He also admits there may be limited value to Democratic legislators continuing to offer nonbinding resolutions critical of President Trump.