A majority of California voters oppose the state's recently passed gas tax and vehicle fee increases that will pay for state roads and expand mass transit, according to a poll released Friday.
About 58% of registered voters surveyed said they oppose the increases that were recently approved by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, according to the IGS Poll, a survey by the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. About 35% said they support the new taxes and fees.
The increases approved in April will generate about $5.2 billion annually during the first 10 years to start paying for a $130-billion backlog of road and highway repairs.
California’s attorney general argued Thursday that President Trump has no legal authority to revoke or modify national monuments created by previous administrations.
In an 11-page letter to the Interior Department, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra vowed “to take any and all legal action necessary” to preserve six California monuments, including one in Los Angeles’ backyard, that the Trump administration may attempt to revoke or shrink.
A proposal to spend $400 million to finance low-income housing development is officially dead.
Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers killed a plan Thursday night to include the money, which would have paid for new and rehabilitated housing projects for low-income residents across the state, in next year’s California budget. Assembly Democrats had pushed for the funding, but it wasn’t included in the final budget deal, which lawmakers are set to vote on by Thursday’s deadline.
The effort to craft a new state budget before next week's deadline advanced late Thursday night, although a few hotly debated items — including how to spend new tobacco tax dollars — remained in limbo.
The Legislature's budget conference committee signed off on both the framework and several detailed proposals of a spending plan that's likely to exceed $180 billion. Lawmakers must have the agreements drafted and available for public review at least 72 hours before final passage, as required under transparency rules approved by voters in November.
The budget plan boosts K-12 school funding and provides money for more in-state students attending the University of California and California State University systems. It preserves the state's Middle Class Scholarship program — a concession made by Gov. Jerry Brown, who wanted to phase it out.
California state officials on Thursday named the 23 government agencies that will receive $103 million in grant funds from a ballot initiative that downgraded six drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors.
For the large coalition of supporters behind 2014's Proposition 47, it is a long-awaited step forward. Other states have passed similar laws. But California is the lone state investing the money saved from keeping fewer people behind bars in services to help people stay out of prison.
More than $30 million in funding will go to programs in the Los Angeles area — $20 million alone to Los Angeles County to expand housing for substance abuse treatment and social services for inmates with mental health problems.
It’s not uncommon for members of Congress to grill subjects during hearings, sometimes asking the same question multiple times.
In the few minutes each Senate intelligence committee member was limited to speak during Wednesday's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act hearing, the 15 Republican and Democratic senators took their turn doing just that. When it came to Harris, the newest member of the group and final inquisitor during the hearing, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) cut her off.
Harris was in the middle of questioning Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein about special counsel Robert Mueller's independence in the investigation into Russia's possible coordination with the Trump campaign when McCain cut in.
But in a statement released Thursday morning, the Ahn campaign cited "anomalies" in the vote and said he could still win. "We believe it is critical that every vote cast now be counted," said Ahn campaign manager David Meraz in the statement.
The California Legislature should develop methods for holding the administration accountable for effectively spending $5.2 billion annually from recently approved increases to the gas tax and vehicle fees, the Legislative Analyst’s Office said Thursday.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the tax and fee hikes to provide money to maintain and repair state roads and highways and expand mass transit.
“Though SB 1 establishes various long‑term performance outcome measures for highway conditions, the legislation does not include specific mechanisms for holding the administration accountable for achieving these outcomes nor does it set interim benchmarks against which to measure the administration’s progress in the near term,” the LAO report said.