A state senator plans to amend a bill that would create a legal defense program for immigrants, making all people facing deportation in California eligible to apply for services regardless of criminal background.
As concerns mount over prescription drug abuse, a California legislator wants to impose a tax on addictive opioid medications and use the funds to expand prevention and rehabilitation services.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) has introduced a bill that would impose a one-cent-per-milligram surcharge on prescription opioids sold in California. The tax would be imposed on wholesalers who import the medication into the state, not at the point of sale, and it would require a two-thirds approval vote in the Legislature.
“California’s opioid epidemic has cost state taxpayers millions and the lives of too many of our sons and daughters,” McCarty said in a statement. “We must do more to help these individuals find hope and sobriety. This plan will provide counties with critical resources needed to curb the deadly cycle of opioid and heroin addiction in California.”
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he is setting up an office in Washington, an unusual move for a state attorney general. Opening the new office is reflective of the fact that much of his attention will be devoted to Trump administration actions that might conflict with California policies, Becerra said.
Becerra, who has already filed three amicus briefings in lawsuits challenging Trump immigration orders, said the office will help him collaborate with members of California's congressional delegation on policies that affect the Golden State.
“Decisions that are going to affect California are going to be played out in Washington, D.C., and I think it’s important for my office to have a presence here,” Becerra said.
Former President George W. Bush’s speech Wednesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley is billed as a discussion of his new book featuring his paintings honoring members of the military and veterans he became close to after leaving office. But all ears will be listening for whether the former president speaks out about President Trump.
Though Bush painstakingly avoided criticizing former President Barack Obama, his Democratic successor, after leaving office in 2009, he has raised eyebrows in recent days with remarks viewed as barbs aimed at Trump, a fellow Republican.
While promoting his book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors,” Bush has spoken out about the importance of the media, immigrants and investigating allegations of Russian interference in the November presidential election.
After weeks of criticizing President Trump over his travel ban, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra was noticeably absent Tuesday when two dozen state attorneys general posed for a photo with Trump at the White House.
Becerra was in Washington with 47 counterparts from other states for the winter meeting of the National Assn. of Attorneys General, where the elected officials were set to discuss healthcare fraud, abuse and waste.
Trump stood on a riser with some 24 attorneys general for the photo in the East Room, according to a pool report.
Two years ago, Holly J. Mitchell stood on the state Senate floor and, in a crisp, deliberate voice, laced into the budget that her fellow Democrats were poised to approve.
The plan “picks winners and losers,” the state senator from Los Angeles said. “It appears to me that poor people in California and their children continue to be on the losing end of that equation.”
Mitchell had never been shy in urging her colleagues to do more for the poor. But this time, she went even further — withholding her support when the bill came to a vote, a flagrant violation of an unwritten legislative rule among the Capitol’s ruling Democrats that could best be described as “thou shalt not defect on a budget vote.”