With President-elect Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric on illegal immigration still fresh on their minds, legislative Democrats have readied a pair of proposals they believe will offer some immigrants additional legal help.
The bills, set to be introduced on the first day of the new legislative session Monday, primarily aim to bolster the legal representation of immigrants who are in the country illegally and threatened with deportation. California has no formal role in national immigration policy, but the bills could supercharge the state's role in pushing back against a Trump administration's effort to deport as many as 3 million people living in the United States.
Most sweeping is a bill that would authorize state government grants to nonprofit organizations that provide legal help for immigrants facing deportation. Dubbed "due process for all" in a summary document obtained by The Times, Democrats believe the money could help a significant number of immigrants to successfully challenge deportations.
A union representing some 95,000 state workers has called off plans for a one-day strike, saying that it has "found a pathway forward" in contract negotiations with the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown.
The announcement on Friday afternoon by SEIU Local 1000 averted what was shaping up to be a test of wills between state officials — who warned that its members are subject to a no-strike clause — and the politically powerful union.
A spokesman for the union declined to offer any additional details beyond a brief statement from Yvonne Walker, the union's president.
Ahead of next month’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, more than two dozen returning and new Democratic members of the California Senate on Friday asked President Obama to enact a ban on new oil drilling off the state’s coast.
The letter signed by 26 of the 27 members of the new Senate Democratic Caucus that will be in place Monday cites the presidential authority to block new oil and gas drilling under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Last month, the Obama administration said it was banning offshore oil drilling in the Arctic through 2022.
The phone call that Gov. Jerry Brown made on Wednesday night was unusual. A governor who marches to his own methodical timetable for decisions was having his hand forced by the politics of Capitol Hill, and the job of California attorney general hung in the balance.
In the end, Brown got the man he wanted: Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles). But it was Becerra's effort to make a big career move that complicated things.
In interviews with advisers to the governor and those close to Becerra, a portrait emerged of two veteran politicians who have mutual admiration but don't really know each other very well. In fact, the 12-term congressman plans to spend part of this weekend meeting with Brown in Sacramento.
Two state lawmakers on Friday asked newly selected but still-to-be-confirmed state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to give priority to the long-standing investigation into alleged misconduct in the California Public Utilities Commission.
State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane sent a letter to the congressman asking that he continue the probe, which was launched in 2014, when he takes office as the state’s top cop in the coming weeks.
It was launched by current Attorney General Kamala Harris and involved a search for documents at the home of former PUC President Michael Peevey.
Lou Correa is a well-known name in central Orange County; over the years, he's represented the area in the state Assembly and the state Senate and on the county Board of Supervisors.
But there's a side of Correa that few are as familiar with: a man who lived much of his early life in Mexico, learned English as a second language and whose parents struggled in low-paying jobs while he was growing up in Anaheim.
Correa, who was born in East Los Angeles, said many of his family and friends were immigrants, and that one of his top priorities during his first term in Congress will be to fight the deportations that President-elect Donald Trump has promised.
Former Assembly Speaker John A. Perez may have been among the first to publicly announce he plans to pursue Rep. Xavier Becerra's 34th Congressional District in Los Angeles if the Legislature confirms him as attorney general, but he isn't the only one talking about it.
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar is discussing with his wife whether to run for Becerra's seat, his spokesman, Rick Coca, said in a statement.
"There is no doubt as a Mexican immigrant who has been very vocal in his concerns with President-elect [Donald] Trump, and as an elected official with a stellar record of building schools, protecting the environment, addressing homelessness and spurring economic development in many of the same communities covered by the 34th Congressional District, Councilmember Huizar would be both a well-qualified and formidable candidate."
Just weeks after Californians voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana, State Treasurer John Chiang on Friday appointed a working group to figure out how to address problems caused by the unwillingness of federally regulated banks to handle money from pot businesses.
Chiang also sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump and members of California’s congressional delegation seeking guidance in finding a solution.
Marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law, and banks regulated by the U.S. government have refused to provide financial services to cannabis-related firms.