This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators went to Concord Thursday to tout their transportation package, which they unveiled Wednesday at the state Capitol.
- Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León amended his "sanctuary state" bill Thursday morning to allow law enforcement to notify federal immigration officials about the release of violent felons.
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones hosted a community forum on immigration Tuesday, where the guest speaker was the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
With less than three weeks left in the race to replace Xavier Becerra in Congress, campaigns are rolling out some of their biggest endorsements.
Actor Danny Glover announced Wednesday that he's supporting Arturo Carmona, a former campaign aide for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Glover was one of the most visible Sanders surrogates during the Democratic primary last year and stood with Susan Sarandon, Rosario Dawson and other celebrities to protest the Democratic Party's treatment of Sanders delegates.
"We need bold, progressive leaders like Arturo who are willing to fight with conviction for the well-being of working-class families," Glover said in a statement released by the Carmona campaign. "Bernie is doing just that, day in and day out. And I know for a fact that Arturo is cut from the very same cloth."
Carmona is one of three candidates who say Sanders' movement inspired them to run for office, and many of the senator's ideas have permeated the debate in the campaign. Observers say the 34th Congressional District race could be the latest test for Sanders' platform of economic justice and anti-establishment politics in Democratic races going forward.
Also Wednesday, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), who has presented a case to potential voters that he is the progressive choice with the most elected experience, announced endorsements from the Sierra Club and the California League of Conservation Voters.
Latinas Lead California, an organization that supports Latinas running for office, endorsed Maria Cabildo, a longtime affordable housing advocate.
The primary election, which features 23 candidates on the ballot, will be held April 4. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a June 6 runoff will be held between the top two finishers.