Rapper, actor and activist Common on Monday is expected to draw up to 30,000 people to the Capitol Mall in Sacramento for a free concert in support of state legislation to overhaul California’s bail system and ensure the rights of young people under juvenile detention.
At Monday's “Imagine Justice" concert, former youth offenders shared their stories and activist Byronn Bain performed spoken word poetry. Musical guests on the bill included J.Cole, Goapele and Los Rakas.
The event was part of several advocacy and outreach efforts organized this week by Common and a coalition of criminal justice organizations, as lawmakers weigh a number of legislative proposals meant to advance the state's shift away from tough-on-crime policies.
California law enforcement officers will be prohibited from detaining crime victims or witnesses on immigration violations under a state bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.
The legislation, filed by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), would keep officers from holding a crime victim or witness solely for an immigration violation unless they acquire a judicial warrant. It was approved by the state Assembly on Monday with a 64-15 vote.
California state senators began their return to legislative work on a somber note Monday, with a remembrance of the victims of violence in Charlottesville, Va., and Barcelona Spain, and an appeal by Senate leader Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles) to reject the white nationalist ideology on display in Virginia.
De Léon began the floor session with a warning of a "rising tide of hate and intolerance threatening to once again tear us apart."
Regardless of political party, De Léon said he believed all of his fellow senators "would stand up and speak out against fascism, white supremacy and hate if it threatened our own community."
Democrats in the California Legislature pushed again Monday to revamp the rules covering recall elections, their second attempt to potentially delay an effort aimed at removing an Orange County state senator.
The proposal, written as a budget-related "trailer bill," would ban elections officials from verifying voter signatures on recall petitions through a random sampling process. It would, instead, require every signature to be validated.
Less rowdy than the sputtered push for single-payer healthcare and less fraught than the battle over Obamacare’s future, the concern over the cost of prescription drug prices has been overshadowed for the past year by the marquee healthcare battles gripping Sacramento and Washington D.C.
That’s not likely to be the case much longer. The effort to rein in pharmaceutical costs is poised for a major showdown as state lawmakers enter their final month of the legislative year.
The debate conjures déjà vu. Much of the action centers on legislation that recalls a failed 2016 bill to require more disclosure around prescription prices, with lobbying efforts tracing familiar battle lines — labor unions, health plans and consumer groups facing off against drug manufacturers.
Most of the revenue is already being routed to affordable housing, mass transit and building the bullet train. But there’s still at least $1.4 billion available, which includes some money left over from the last fiscal year and more cash expected to roll in over the next one.
Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) wants to spend roughly $1 billion to replace old, dirty engines. In an interview, he suggested it’s a plan with potentially broad appeal: new tractors in rural areas, better trucks for middle class workers and incentives for drivers to buy electric vehicles.
Bay Area Democratic activist Kimberly Ellis, who narrowly lost her bid to become the new California Democratic Party leader, said “all options are on the table” now that the party on Sunday rejected her final appeal challenging the election results.
“Today was yet another missed opportunity for us to get the Democratic Party back on track. As we've said from the onset, we were committed to going through the internal process before deciding what's next. We're now soliciting feedback from key supporters and deciding where we go from here,” Ellis said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.
Ellis said from the outset that she expected her challenge to the election of Eric Bauman as party chairman to be dismissed, saying the process was biased in favor of her rival. She’s also indicated her next step may be to take her case to court.
The California Democratic Party on Sunday rejected a last-ditch appeal contesting the election of the party’s new leader, setting up a strong possibility of a court challenge.
Bay Area Democratic activist Kimberly Ellis, who narrowly lost the race for new party chair to Eric Bauman in May, appealed a party committee’s affirmation of the election results in July. On Sunday, the party’s credentials committee dismissedthe appeal.
"With the conclusion of the Credentials Committee hearing today, it is my hope that our entire California Democratic Party family can move forward on making progress on these urgent and pressing issues, free from the distraction of costly litigation and needless division," Bauman said in a statement Sunday afternoon.