This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- If congressional Republicans eliminate the federal estate tax, one Sacramento lawmaker says he'll ask voters to create a state version and use the money for a variety of California programs.
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received a rock star's welcome in Los Angeles over the holiday weekend.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein will raise money on March 17 in Los Angeles for her 2018 reelection campaign.
Donors are being asked to contribute or raise up to $10,000 to attend the luncheon at the Hancock Park home of Jon Vein, the co-founder of a software company and a former Hollywood executive who was a member of Hillary Clinton’s national finance committee during her unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign.
Among the hosts of the fundraiser are former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor; former Reps. Mel Levine and Howard Berman; former U.S. ambassadors John Emerson and Nancy Rubin; former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Roz Wyman.
Feinstein, 83, has not officially announced that she will seek a fifth term. She recently had a pacemaker installed, leading to speculation among California Democrats eyeing her seat. But she hinted that she does plan to seek reelection in a recent radio interview.