When it comes to dealing with Donald Trump, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seems committed to walking a political tightrope: offering to work with Trump on some issues while pushing back on the president-elect's immigration stance.
A pair of powerful California elected officials expressed outrage Tuesday at a recommendation that the state's largest public employee pension fund cancel its ban on investing in tobacco companies.
A staff report from the California Public Employees Retirement System calls for the agency's directors to abandon a 16-year effort to move away from tobacco-related securities. The report estimates there are about $547 million worth of investments related to tobacco in the CalPERS portfolio.
CalPERS staffers wrote that the existing policy has left pension fund managers in limbo, and that any effort to completely divest from the tobacco industry would be "tying the hands of investment staff, thereby severely hampering staff's ability to re-evaluate and reinvest as market conditions warrant."
Seeking swift action before the arrival of a new president, Gov. Jerry Brown urged President Obama on Tuesday to make permanent the existing ban on new oil and gas drilling along the California coast.
"Now is the time to make permanent the protection of our ocean waters and beaches," wrote Brown in the letter released by his office. The governor later participated in a San Diego event to mark California joining a regional effort to combat ocean acidification.
Brown's letter comes almost two weeks after a similar request by legislative Democrats. Whether Obama could act in a way that could not be revisited by President-elect Donald Trump next year remains unclear, though a growing chorus of Democrats and environmental activists are urging an attempt by the president before he leaves office.
A taxpayer group has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Jerry Brown that seeks to invalidate a new law that will allow public funds to be used for political campaigning.
The lawsuit was filed in Sacramento Superior Court by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. The legal challenge says that a law signed by Brown in September that allows cities and counties to use public financing for political campaigns violates Proposition 73, which voters approved in 1988 and prohibits public funds from being used in campaigns.
“It runs directly contrary to the expressed language of the Political Reform Act,” Jon Coupal, president of the association, said on Tuesday. He said the law cannot be changed without another vote of the people.
Federal agencies don’t do enough to track and justify their use of live animals for research, several members of Congress wrote in a letter asking the U.S. Government Accountability Office to examine the issue.
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) led the letter, which also was backed by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Downey), Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and eight other House members.
“We have discovered it is impossible to determine what federal animal research programs currently entail, what they cost and if they meet federal standards because of the limited and decentralized information available publicly. Federal agencies are not currently required to publicly report their total use of animals in research, do not publish noncompliance reports and generally do not maintain searchable databases of animal research projects with information about their purpose, methods, results, and cost,” the letter says.
It took years of negotiations, and the right political timing, to bring the first major water policy affecting California in decades through the House and Senate.
Over frayed feelings and filibuster threats last week, both chambers overwhelmingly passed the bill, which changes how much water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to San Joaquin Valley farmers and Southern California.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris vowed Monday to be a loud, supportive voice for immigrants after she becomes a U.S. senator next month, pledging to push for comprehensive immigration reform and to work closely with lawmakers in Sacramento to “provide national leadership” on the topic.
Speaking to immigrant rights advocates, law enforcement officials, religious groups and business leaders at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Harris acknowledged that there is much anxiety over what President-elect Donald Trump — who said during the campaign that he wanted to build a wall along the Mexican border, deport millions of people and ban Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S. — will actually do when he takes office.
“We’re all feeling at least concerned,” Harris said. “We’re all feeling, I think, actually, a myriad of emotions.”