Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed criticism Wednesday that negotiations on this month's $52-billion transportation plan crossed the line into the illegal trading of votes by lawmakers, instead calling it a part of the process of finding political consensus.
"That is preposterous," Brown said of the accusations leveled by some Republicans in the Legislature. "When we fashion a bill in the democratic system, we don't do it by an autocratic dictator behind a closed door. You talk to people."
The governor and Democratic legislative leaders participated in intense negotiations earlier this month to strike the deal that raises fuel taxes and imposes a new annual vehicle registration fee to repair roads and highways and improve public transit. The proposal, Senate Bill 1, needed a super majority of votes in both the Assembly and Senate to pass.
Democratic National Committee leader Tom Perez will address California Democrats at their annual convention in May, the state party announced Wednesday.
Perez, who was elected chairman of the DNC in February, previously served as secretary of Labor under President Obama.
The state party convention takes place May 19 to 21 in Sacramento. The state party did not say which day Perez will deliver his keynote address; it previously announced Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) would speak on May 20.
Backers of a bill to make it harder for police departments to discipline officers for making false statements say the current process ensnares officers who make simple mistakes.
But opponents of the legislation argue that building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve requires greater accountability. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) cleared its first committee hurdle Tuesday.
A state proposal that sought to expand the list of violent crimes under the California penal code failed to make it out of Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 75, introduced by state Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), would have reclassified more than 20 offenses as violent felonies, including certain forms of rape and crimes such as inflicting injury on a child and assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon.
The legislation was voted down with a 5-2 vote along party lines. It was granted the option of “reconsideration,” meaning the committee could take it up again at a later date. But its chances of approval are slim.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, get ready to meet Duncan Thumper, a giant rabbit.
With two cute ears, a pair of beady eyes and a little white tail, Thumper is the anthropomorphic personification of the Alpine Republican's pet rabbit that took a cross-country flight paid for by the congressman’s political campaign.
Thumper will be the image of a political action committee, Bunny PAC, dedicated to focusing on the campaign finance scandal that has hounded Hunter for the last year.
Celebrity bounty hunters Duane “Dog” and Beth Chapman on Tuesday were among dozens of bounty hunters and bail agents to voice opposition to a state bill that would drastically transform the way judges award criminal defendants bail in California.
The packed hearing before the Assembly Public Safety Committee signals the ramping up of what state lawmakers have predicted will likely be the largest criminal justice battle at the Capitol this legislative session.
As Californians rush to file their personal income taxes before a midnight deadline, budget writers in Sacramento are expecting more than $1 billion in payments on Tuesday to help balance the state's books.
Brown's budget team has projected a total of $14 billion in income tax revenues this month, a slight uptick from actual returns in April of last year. An analysis by the independent Legislative Analyst's Office shows that total collections for the month are currently running about 10% above the same time last year.
The final totals as of April 30 are crucial to crafting both Brown's revised budget plan, which will be presented to the Legislature next month, and the final plan lawmakers must put in place by June 30.