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This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:

  • Former GOP Senate leader Dave Cogdill died at 66
  • California legislators adjourned Friday for a month-long summer recess
  • After receiving pressure to step down because of his cap-and-trade vote, Assembly GOP leader Chad Mayes held a caucus meeting Thursday to discuss his role. Mayes remains in his leadership post, but another top Assembly Republican stepped down from hers in protest

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Assembly speaker defends action on single-payer bill: It was 'lacking in virtually every respect'

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.

"To a large extent, you start to wonder if it's preaching to the choir too," he said in a Times interview July 5.

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