With President Trump pledging $1 trillion for infrastructure, California officials on Wednesday took a break from their feud with the new administration to propose a list of $100 billion in projects for possible federal funding to help rebuild the Golden State’s system of crumbling roads and bridges and improve transit and water storage.
Any federal money for the 51 projects would be in addition to money California is hoping to raise for its aging infrastructure, wrote Nancy McFadden, the governor’s executive secretary, in a letter to the National Governors Assn.
“In the short-term, these projects will benefit businesses up and down the state and put thousands to work — many in communities with the highest rates of unemployment,” McFadden wrote. “Long-term, this investment will have lasting, expansive economic benefits by moving goods and people faster, protecting vulnerable communities from flooding, bolstering emergency response capabilities, saving and storing more water and improving energy reliability.”
Seeking to better integrate refugee families across the state, California lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a package of bills that would offer schools funding to hire translators and counselors, and provide new residents with in-state tuition at public colleges.
The legislation, filed by Assembly members Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) and Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), aims to push back at what the lawmakers called religious and racially charged rhetoric at the federal level spurring fear and confusion in their districts' refugee and immigrant communities.
"It's nice to be able to be at the forefront of a state that is going to say, 'No,'" Gonzalez Fletcher told reporters at a news conference. "We are going to say, 'No, we are not taking part in this fear mongering and this hatred. And in fact, we are going to do just the opposite.'"
Gomez has been considered a major ally for Planned Parenthood in the Legislature: He received a perfect score on the group's legislative score card and was honored last year as a "Champion of Choice" by the organization.
A state senator has introduced a bill that would prohibit state agencies, higher education institutions and public service providers in California from disclosing the personal information of any of their applicants.
Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has said his legislation aims to protect the data of immigrants who are in the country illegally, as President Trump's administration has promised to identify and target a wider group of people for deportation.
Under the provisions of the bill, schools and government agencies would be allowed to release personal information only in response to a warrant issued by a state or federal court in an individual criminal case.
"I have held more than a hundred town hall meetings in my district throughout the last eight years spanning the entire life of the tea party and Occupy Wall Street movements," McClintock (R-Elk Grove) said. "Through all those heated debates, the police have never had to intervene. Until this weekend, in Roseville, when the Roseville Police Department determined that the size and temper of the crowd required a police escort to protect me as I left the venue."
McClintock blamed a "well-organized element that came to disrupt," and questioned why they were upset. He had previously blamed an "anarchist" element, which organizers denied, and police said the protest was peaceful.
John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party, announced Tuesday that he's backing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to lead the Democratic National Committee.
"He is committed full time to organizing field efforts in key states, and I agree with him that Democrats must do a better job to motivate voters across the nation, including championing working families and their issues," Burton said in a statement.
It's a big endorsement for Ellison. Only members of the Democratic National Committee can vote on who the next chair will be, and California has the largest delegation with 38 members.