For most of the debate in Sacramento over extending California’s cap-and-trade program, the goal has been reaching a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Legislature to get the job done.
That’s the target set by Gov. Jerry Brown and the threshold that nonpartisan legislative analysts believe would insulate the program from legal challenges.
However, there’s increasing interest among some key lawmakers in requiring only a majority vote. That would lower the political hurdles to reaching an agreement but leave one of the state’s most important efforts on climate change vulnerable to lawsuits.
With businesses expected to get state licenses in January to sell marijuana in California, the top regulator said Thursday that they will be given up to six months to comply with a requirement the pot be thoroughly tested by a licensed laboratory.
State pot czar Lori Ajax said it may take months for enough testing labs to be properly screened and licensed to handle the supply of marijuana expected to be sold in California starting next year. In addition, many existing medical marijuana dispensaries will have untested supplies when licensing begins, she said.
As a result, dispensaries and shops that can’t get testing that complies with state standards will be allowed to continue selling products for up to six months as long as they are labeled untested, Ajax said during a conference on marijuana sponsored by Capitol Weekly in Sacramento.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday sidestepped questions about a possible run for governor — or any other higher political office — but didn’t totally dismiss the idea.
Garcetti, speaking to the California Newspaper Publishers Assn. meeting in Santa Monica, said he’s focused on his job at City Hall, and reminded the audience that he has yet to be officially sworn in for his second term as mayor.
The mayor was dismissive of elective officials he dubbed “lilypad politician[s]” — always having an eye on a higher political office to jump to. Garcetti described himself as a politician who “puts on waders” and hunkers down.
Newly energized residents are giving Democrats hope they can claim at least some of the congressional seats in Orange County that have been red for a generation.
More than a dozen resistance groups have formed in Orange County since the presidential election. They’ve demanded meetings with the four Republican members of Congress, and staged town halls in their name when the members decline. They’ve delivered petitions and Valentines and even protested outside the members’ homes. Most Tuesdays, at least a few dozen people show up with signs outside district offices (some of which they’ve been told they can no longer enter).
Despite the vocal optimism from activists and local dissatisfaction with Trump, it will be an uphill battle for Democrats to flip the four heavily Republican congressional districts in Orange County, all but one of which the incumbent won in 2016 by double digits.
Alarmed by several explosions in residential areas caused by drug processing labs, the state Assembly on Thursday voted to ban home manufacturing of marijuana concentrates using volatile solvents.
The action comes ahead of plans by the state to begin issuing licenses in January to firms for the manufacture and sale of marijuana products in California.
“As California comes to terms with newly legalized recreational cannabis, we must continue to protect public safety and keep these potentially explosive extractors out of residential neighborhoods,” Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga) told his colleagues during the floor discussion.
The state Senate approved a measure Thursday that could loosen sentencing for gun crimes.
Current law says anyone who uses a gun in committing a felony must have their sentence increased by 10 years or more in prison on top of the penalty for the felony. The proposal is to lift that mandate.
Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said he introduced the bill after a 17-year-old riding in a car involved in a drive-by shooting was sentenced to 25 years in prison even though he denied shooting the gun.
State lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of crafting a budget proposal that would require all but eight California county jails to provide spaces for inmates to visit their families in person.
In a 4-0 bipartisan vote, members of an Assembly subcommittee agreed to make the legislative demand in budget negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown, even after he vetoed similar efforts in a bipartisan bill last year.
Over the last five years, an increasing number of jails and prisons across California and nationwide have moved to offer Skype-like video visits through phone and computer screens. Some jails have used the video systems to replace on-site meetings that have traditionally occurred face to face through a glass window.
Democrats and Republicans in California's congressional delegation praised former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as the right pick to serve as special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and what the Trump campaign may have known.