I’ve never seen Gov. Jerry Brown as animated, emotional and tenacious as he was before the state Senate Environmental Quality Committee, arguing for his embattled cap-and-trade climate control legislation.
He resembled a cross between the Clint Eastwood character Walt Kowalski in “Gran Torino” — “Get off my lawn!” — and some street-corner preacher warning that the end is near. He’s also the most effective politician Sacramento has seen in a very long time.
The effort to extend the life of the cap-and-trade program, California’s signature tool against climate change under which companies must buy permits to emit greenhouse gases, is slated for a make-or-break vote in the Legislature on Monday.
It was never going to be easy. Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking a two-thirds vote to reauthorize cap-and-trade until 2030, a threshold that would help guard the program against future legal challenges. Scrounging up a super-majority is always tough — particularly when Democrats approved a politically fraught gas tax just a few months ago.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the high-stakes vote.
Orange County Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) has picked up another election challenger. Philanthropist and Navy veteran Gil Cisneros, a Democrat, has entered the race to unseat Royce in the 39th Congressional District.
A statement announcing his run also touted the endorsement of VoteVets, a liberal veterans advocacy group.
Cisneros, 46, is a former shipping and distribution manager at Frito-Lay who won a lottery jackpot of $266 million with his wife in 2010. Since then, the couple has started two nonprofits focused on education for Latino students and established scholarship programs in their names.
“I gotta find out where I can do a better job,” she said. “Can I do a better job from the outside, kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talk to anybody? Or are you better off from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that.”
The speaker of the California Assembly is unapologetic for his decision to sideline the year's closely watched single-payer healthcare bill, calling it "lacking in virtually every respect."
On this week's California Politics Podcast, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles) talks about some of the early challenges in his time leading the lower house of the Legislature. Those have included the difficulty of creating a consensus-based leadership structure in a house more used to top-down decision-making.
He also admits there may be limited value to Democratic legislators continuing to offer nonbinding resolutions critical of President Trump.
The state attorney general allegedly drafted a misleading title and summary for an initiative that would repeal increases to California’s gas tax, and the wording should be changed, according to a lawsuit filed Friday by supporters of the proposed ballot measure.
The lawsuit alleges the title and summary drafted by the office of Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is "a nakedly partisan attempt to derail what Petitioner expects to be an initiative of considerable public interest."
Attorneys for Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) and other proponents of the initiative asked a Sacramento Superior Court judge to alter the title and summary so those asked to sign petitions can better understand that they are repealing the gas tax.
A proposal introduced Friday evening by Assembly GOP Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) could give the minority party more say in spending money generated by the state's signature climate policy, cap and trade.
The measure would effectively create a midway check-in point for doling out cap-and-trade cash. Usually, allocating the revenues raised by the program's auctions only requires a majority vote.
Under this legislation, that spending would have to have to clear a higher threshold — a two-thirds vote — for money generated by auctions starting in 2024. The supermajority hurdle would only need to be cleared once before returning to the standard requirement for a majority vote.
California corrections officials on Friday began accepting public comments on the new set of regulations that have overhauled the state parole system, allowing thousands more inmates to be considered for early release.
State regulators gave the guidelines initial approval in April. They have been used to implement Proposition 57, which was approved by 65% of voters in November and is expected to reduce the statewide prison population by 11,500 inmates over the next four years.
The sweeping initiative provided new ways for all inmates to earn time credits toward their sentences for good behavior and for enrolling in certain career, rehabilitation and education programs. It also allows the State Board of Parole Hearings to grant early release to a whole new population of inmates: prisoners whose primary sentences are for crimes not designated as “violent” under California law and have served the full term of their sentences.