Gov. Jerry Brown landed in China on Saturday to seek a broader role in shaping the world’s climate change policies as America retrenches.
His arrival is timely. President Trump on Thursday pulled the U.S. out of the Paris accord, a hard-fought pact negotiated by China and the U.S. under President Obama to battle global warming worldwide. China has vowed to stay in it.
Brown brought a fraction of the nearly 100 officials who accompanied him on his trip four years ago, when he rode China’s high-speed rail and set up a trade office in Shanghai. This time, his five-night mission is more focused: to reaffirm a global obligation to green growth as America’s de facto envoy on climate change.
Democratic organizer Kimberly Ellis, the candidate who narrowly lost the race to be the next leader of the California Democratic Party, on Friday said the state party has rejected her request for an independent audit of the election.
A statement released by the Ellis campaign Friday afternoon claims that it has uncovered “alarming discrepancies and an amassing of ineligible voters” during her campaign’s ongoing review of the ballots cast during the state party’s convention almost two weeks ago.
The Ellis campaign said her request for the audit was rejected by newly elected state party chairperson Eric Bauman, who beat Ellis by just over 60 votes.
Efforts to expand California’s primary program to combat climate change have hit a snag.
Two bills that aimed to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program failed to make it out of the Assembly by this week’s deadline. And Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) rebuffed Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to lock in cap and trade’s future by the June 15 budget deadline, saying that the issue was too complicated to complete by that time.
"We have to get it right," de León said this week.
EMILY's List has endorsed UC Irvine law professor Katie Porter in her bid to unseat Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) in California's 45th District.
It's the group's first House endorsement for the 2018 election. It supports pro-choice, female candidates.
Porter, 43, is an expert on consumer protection law and banking and gave early warnings about mortgage fraud ahead of the 2008 financial collapse. She was picked by then-Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris to monitor distribution of California's share of a $25-billion mortgage foreclosure settlement.
An ambitious plan to overhaul the bail system in California stalled in the Assembly late Thursday, facing steep opposition from industry lobbyists and lawmakers concerned about the high costs it could impose on counties.
The bill by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) was the last proposal to be reconsidered for a vote and failed to make it out of the chamber near 11 p.m., with 36 lawmakers in favor and 37 opposed.
The result spells challenges ahead for an identical version of the proposal authored by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). That bill is now before the Assembly after it was approved in the Senate this week with a 25-11 vote.
An effort to extend the life of California's landmark climate change program failed in the last hour of a long Assembly session on Thursday, a sign of how the program's fate has divided Democratic lawmakers.
Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) has had three town halls this year. His Thursday afternoon event — at 4 p.m. in a Santa Clarita high school auditorium — was the most sparsely attended and perhaps the most heated.
Factions in the crowd interrupted each other in the auditorium as people tried to ask questions.
One constituent accused Knight of lying about a piece of financial legislation, and another got into a particularly heated back-and-forth with Knight about his vote to kill federal regulations that would have required broadband companies to get customer permission before using or sharing personal information.
When Gov. Jerry Brown flew across the Pacific four years ago to meet with leaders and business executives in China, the world seemed much different.
President Obama had committed to fight the warming of the planet, while China remained a reluctant actor yet to take a firm stand. On Friday, when the seasoned California governor heads back to China for a series of business and government meetings, the political roles will have reversed.
Now, it's China that is poised for global leadership. And as President Trump retreats from the nation's previous path on environmental policy, Brown has the distinction of being America's unofficial ambassador on climate change.
A proposal to adopt a single-payer healthcare system for California took an initial step forward Thursday when the state Senate approved a bare-bones bill that lacks a method for paying the $400-billion cost of the plan.
The proposal was made by legislators led by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) at the same time President Trump and Republican members of Congress are working to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act.
“Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays, and they often forgo care,” Lara said during a floor debate on the bill.
California state senators passed a package of housing legislation Thursday, a bid to spend more on low-income housing as well as make it easier for developers to build.
The two marquee measures — Senate Bill 35 from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Senate Bill 3 from Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) — would force cities that have fallen behind on their state housing production goals to reduce some of the hoops they put in place to approve developments and would authorize a $3-billion bond to spend on low-income housing on the 2018 statewide ballot.
“What the bill does do is create actual accountability,” Wiener said of SB 35. “Because local control is about how you meet your housing goals, not whether you meet your housing goals.”