Gov. Jerry Brown agreed on Wednesday to expand the California National Guard’s efforts on crime and drug issues that cross the state’s border with Mexico, but insisted troops would not be used to enforce immigration directives from President Trump.
“This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life,” Brown wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. “And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”
The decision comes one week after the Trump administration asked governors in border states to provide Guard troops for assistance with the duties of Border Patrol agents. On Saturday, Mattis signed an order to send up to 4,000 Guard troops to the border, but barred them from interacting with migrants detained by the Border Patrol in most circumstances. The president later wrote on Twitter that “We are sealing up our Southern Border.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday the city needs more money from the state to combat increasing homelessness, even though local voters recently approved ballot measures designed to bring in more than $1 billion in funding to help build new housing and provide supportive services.
Although the city is working on using its new local dollars to build permanent homeless housing, state revenue could help with programs that could help people off the streets in the meantime, Garcetti said.
In advance of a trip later this week to the early presidential caucus state of Iowa, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants Iowans to know that they’re not any different from Angelenos.
“We’re the same as Iowa,” Garcetti said before a news conference in Sacramento. “These divisions that there’s the heartland and the coast to me are B.S.”
He went on to lavish compliments on the state. “Los Angeles is the heartland, and Iowa is the cutting edge. They have 31.3% of their power generated by wind, by renewable, the highest in the country,” he said. “They are a manufacturing capital like we are. They’re a farm state; we’re a farm state. I think we struggle with the same things: Will politicians listen to us? Will we have a country that brings us together rather than rips us apart?
Faced with opposition from drug legalization advocates, California lawmakers backed away Tuesday from a proposal to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy on motorists under age 21 who drive after using marijuana.
A bill by state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) originally proposed a one-year suspension of driver’s licenses for minors caught for the first time driving with measurable amounts of marijuana in their system. Hill had said the state should have the same “zero tolerance” policy for cannabis that it has for those under 21 who drive under the influence of alcohol.
But faced with opposition, Hill agreed on Tuesday that the first offense would result in a warning, and the second offense would add one penalty point to the driver’s record, removable if they take a drug-awareness class. Only the third and subsequent offenses would result in suspension of the driver’s license.
California’s clean-air board and its attorney general have sued the Trump administration to challenge as illegal the repeal of a policy that requires major sources of air pollutants, including oil refineries, to permanently take action to reduce their emissions, officials announced Tuesday.
The lawsuit filed by Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and the California Air Resources Board targets a policy change by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would no longer require major polluters to install and operate equipment to permanently minimize the release of hazardous substances.
“Instead of prioritizing the health of hardworking Americans, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to let major polluters off the hook,” Becerra said in a statement. “That is unconscionable, and it is illegal.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Delaine Eastin marked Pay Equity Day on Tuesday by challenging her rivals in the race to pledge to hire equal numbers of men and women in their staffs and to pay them equally if elected.
“Several candidates have claimed to be feminists, so they should be more than comfortable making this pledge to gender parity in staffs and leadership, and pay equity for state workers in their administrations — or their claim is mere political grandstanding,” Eastin said in a statement.
The former state schools chief is one of only a handful of women to be elected statewide in California. The state’s voters have never elected a female governor, a glass ceiling Eastin hopes to shatter by campaigning vigorously around the state. But she badly lags behind her Democratic rivals in the polls and in fundraising.
Ahead of its first legislative committee hearing scheduled for next week, a Bay Area lawmaker has narrowed his bill aimed at building more housing near transit across California.
Under the newly amended Senate Bill 827 from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), cities would be allowed to restrict building heights to four or five stories, down from a maximum of eight stories, within a half-mile of rail and ferry stops. Wiener also limited changes surrounding bus stops. The new version of the bill wouldn’t mandate height increases around bus stops, instead allowing for increased density and lower parking requirements. It also would apply only at bus stops with frequent service throughout the day, rather than just during rush hour.
SB 827 tries to address the state’s longstanding shortage of homes and a push by climate regulators to build near mass transit through dramatically changing development rules, particularly in the state’s largest metropolitan areas. Earlier versions of the bill would have affected nearly all of San Francisco and, according to a Times analysis, about 190,000 parcels currently zoned for single-family homes in Los Angeles — roughly half such parcels in the city.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reelection bid.
“More than ever, we need Dianne Feinstein's steady leadership in the U.S. Senate; she's exactly the right person to ensure that Trump is held accountable. Dianne will continue to stand up for immigrants and fight to protect our healthcare and the environment,” Brown said in a statement.
The two San Francisco natives have developed a close relationship in the decades since Brown’s father, former Gov. Pat Brown, appointed Feinstein to the California Women’s Board of Terms and Parole. Feinstein officiated at Brown’s 2005 wedding and he has helped her raise cash in the past.