A controversial proposal to allow certain California counties and cities to establish sites where people could inject drugs without legal consequences stumbled in the state Senate on Tuesday night.
The measure, by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), would establish a first-in-the-nation program in which users of heroin and other intravenous drugs could inject in settings with clean needles and under the supervision of trained staff. The goal: to stave off overdoses in an era in which heroin use is on the rise.
San Francisco is already in discussions to develop an injection center, which is modeled after a site in Vancouver, Canada. State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who represents San Francisco, said the proposal "gets to the core of who we are as a society in terms of how we respond to that public health crisis."
A state Senate bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown would reduce sentence enhancements for some low-level, nonviolent drug offenses, part of a push by Democratic legislators to help young people facing charges or doing time in California.
Under current state law, a person convicted for sale or possession for sale of a small amount of drugs can face a sentence of three to five years behind bars, plus an additional three years in jail for each prior conviction for similar drug offenses.
The legislation, by Sens. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), would repeal the three-year sentence terms for each prior conviction. It moved out of the state Assembly on Tuesday with a 41-25 vote.
Vice President Mike Pence’s fundraising trip to California, intended to bolster the state's vulnerable GOP members of Congress, has been rescheduled to October because of ongoing hurricane recovery efforts, according to a person familiar with the planning.
Pence had been scheduled to headline four high-dollar fundraisers in the state on Thursday and Friday alongside House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The largest, a reception and dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Thursday, costs up to $100,000 to attend and was expected to draw a notable crowd of the state’s most influential GOP donors — as well as a vocal group of liberal protesters.
Gov. Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders have agreed to earmark $30 million for financial aid and legal services to help young people brought into the country illegally as children, a response to President Trump’s recent decision to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The funding proposal, expected to be taken up Tuesday in a Senate budget and fiscal committee, comes a day after state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit challenging Trump's decision to rescind DACA, which grants temporary deportation protection and work permits for about 800,000 people across the country.
The funding includes an additional $10 million for young immigrants without legal residency, known as "Dreamers." Most of that money will go to state community college students, while $3 million has been allocated for loan programs at California State University and the University of California.
Cap-and-trade funding for electric car rebates in California could come with new strings attached, part of a last-minute proposal intended to help unions.
If passed by lawmakers, the legislation would require state regulators to develop a process for determining whether automakers are "fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers" before vehicles can be eligible for the rebates. The change could take effect next summer.
The proposal, part of AB 134 and SB 119, could give unions additional leverage because rebates are an important part of the sales pitch for electric cars, shaving thousands of dollars off the sticker price.