After weeks of back-and-forth between environmentalists and business interests, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders introduced a proposal Monday to reauthorize California's cap and trade program, the centerpiece of the state's efforts to battle climate change.
The plan consists of two separate bills: AB 398, which would extend the life of the program until 2030 and modify how the cap-and-trade market operates, and AB 617, which aims to address concerns about air quality in communities by increasing monitoring and imposing stricter penalties on polluters.
The proposal would make several significant changes to how the current system operates, including giving the California Air Resources Board the authority to set a ceiling on the price of carbon — which determines how expensive emissions permits are — as a way to guard against price spikes at the pump. It would also decrease the amount of offsets, in which businesses pay for environmental projects in California and throughout the country to ease the cost of complying with the program, and require that half of such projects take place in California, a mandate that doesn’t currently exist.
Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is backing new legislation that would lead to an analysis of police shootings across California.
The measure, Assembly Bill 284 from Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), authorizes Becerra’s office to examine the circumstances, policies, training and oversight involved in police shootings that resulted in deaths or serious injuries. The attorney general would look at shootings between 2015 and 2016 and issue a report by July 2019.
“We must proactively do what we can to achieve safer outcomes and reduce the likelihood of future incidents,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.
The California Assembly deadlocked Monday over a bill that would allow judges to not impose sentence enhancements of 10 or more years in cases where firearms were used in committing a felony.
With some Democrats joining a Republican bloc in opposition, the vote was 32-32, but Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) received permission to take the measure up on another day if she can muster the votes.
Weber said the current mandate for such penalty enhancements means judges cannot use discretion in deciding whether cases warrant a longer time behind bars.
A breakneck effort to extend the life of cap and trade, California’s signature program to combat climate change, has gotten more difficult — thanks to one assemblyman starting his new job.
Despite round-the-clock negotiations last week, including on the July 4 holiday, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders came up short in their bid to have a bill to reauthorize the program ready for a vote today, the last day that Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) would have been able to cast a vote before he is sworn into Congress on Tuesday.
Acting before Gomez’s departure on a measure to extend cap and trade, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions, was the Brown administration’s unofficial goal in hopes of retaining a reliable Democratic vote.
Gavin Newsom continues to dominate fundraising in the 2018 race for California governor, raising millions more than his Democratic opponents in the reporting period that recently closed, according to preliminary information filed with the state.
Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, raised nearly $3.6 million in large donations in the first six months of this year, a quarter of which dropped in the final week of June. In the same time period, state Treasurer John Chiang raised more than $1.1 million and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised nearly $1.2 million in large donations, according to the filings with the secretary of state’s office. Former state schools chief Delaine Eastin, also a Democrat, raised $69,000 in large donations.
The reporting period closed June 30, but full disclosure reports are not due until the end of July. However, candidates are required to immediately report campaign donations of $5,000 or more.
The liberal protesters targeting GOP Rep. Steve Knight aren't going anywhere — but their numbers are dwindling in the summer heat.
Organizers from some of the nearby "Indivisible" protest groups had boasted in a news release that "hundreds" would be outside Knight's Simi Valley offices to "speak up about the Millions of people losing access to Healthcare."
The groups specifically wanted to highlight what they say will be negative effects of a bill to overturn Obamacare. Knight voted for an early version of the measure, which is pending in the Senate.
Gov. Jerry Brown has announced a summit on climate action that will take place next year in San Francisco. He spoke Thursday to a crowd of concertgoers at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, following sets from pop singers Shakira and Pharrell Williams.
Brown made the announcement a few hours after President Trump touched down in Germany's second-largest city for the G-20 summit, where the United States' withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement cast a shadow over his talks with other world leaders on Friday and Saturday.
Christiana Figueres, a former top United Nations official who was in charge of negotiations on the Paris agreement, introduced Brown at the Global Citizen concert as a "climate optimist."
A bill that could provide roughly $250 million a year in new funding for low-income housing development passed the state Senate on Thursday, a key hurdle that keeps on track a potential larger housing package pending in the Legislature.
Senate Bill 2 from Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would add a $75 fee to real estate transactions, such as mortgage refinances, to fund the state housing subsidies. Home and commercial property sales would be exempted from the fee.
Because the bill adds a new fee, it needs a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Legislature to pass. The measure received exactly that number in the Senate with all 27 Democratic senators voting in support. The bill now heads to the Assembly.
The measure, which passed the state Senate Thursday morning, was included in Senate Bill 106 at the request of Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael). It lets Marin's largest cities and incorporated areas maintain extra restrictions on how many homes developers can build.
Housing advocates criticized it as counter to the Legislature's push for more housing. Since the bill is tied to the state budget, it didn't have to go through the regular committee process.