Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday stalled an ambitious bill that sought to overhaul how courts award criminal defendants bail while their cases are pending, saying he and the authors of the legislation will continue negotiations through the fall and revisit the issue early next year.
“I believe that inequities exist in California’s bail system, and I look forward to working this fall on ways to reform the system in a cost-effective and fair manner, considering public safety as well as the rights of the accused,” Brown said in a statement.
The announcement came after days of rallies and heavy lobbying efforts by supporters of the bill, including a free concert by music artist and activist Common in Sacramento. Behind the scenes, bail agencies and lobbyists for prosecutors and law enforcement associations were raising concerns about its cost and the strain on resources it could place on its agencies.
Six weeks after helping Democrats revamp California’s landmark climate change policy and facing a torrent of anger from conservative critics, the Republican leader of the state Assembly agreed Thursday to step down and allow a rural Northern California lawmaker to lead the GOP’s fractured caucus.
The shuffle, which saw Chad Mayes replaced by Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) as leader, comes as the California Republican Party’s numbers continue to shrink among registered voters and in elected office. Republicans make up just over a quarter of the state’s total voters, while Democrats in the last election won supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove), who has faced rowdy protesters and sharp barbs at town halls this year, received a kinder if not exactly warm response in a remote town in the Sierra foothills Thursday evening.
Most of the hostility from the crowd inside the Foresthill High School gym focused on McClintock’s support for President Trump.
The congressman faced multiple questions on Trump’s controversial comments about the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, prompting McClintock to disavow the hate groups and defend the president.
A lawsuit filed in a California appeals court on Thursday alleges the ballots of as many as 45,000 voters weren't counted in November because of the state's flawed rules for verifying the signatures of those who vote by mail.
The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California on behalf of a Sonoma County voter who said his ballot wasn't counted after his signature on the ballot envelope was deemed to not match the one that elections officials had on file.
"People should not be denied their right to vote because a government official doesn't like their penmanship, but that’s exactly what is happening in California," said Michael Risher, an ACLU staff attorney, in a written statement.
Just months before shops can begin selling marijuana for recreational use, state lawmakers on Thursday sent the governor a bill aimed at preventing the drug from being marketed to minors.
The measure approved by the state Senate prohibits packaging and labeling of marijuana products that show "pot edibles" such as cookies and candy bars. The bill by Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Chico) also bars packaging that mimics the name or packaging of non-marijuana candies, snacks and drinks.
“Studies have shown the dangers that accidental marijuana ingestion poses to young children,” Nielsen said in a statement. “This measure will prevent marijuana from being packaged to attract children.”
The University of California president's office has failed to keep a proposed new payroll system on budget and on schedule, and original estimates of its cost savings are unlikely to be realized, a state audit concluded Thursday.
The Office of the President originally estimated in 2011 that the UCPath payroll system would be implemented by 2014, cost $306 million and save the university $753 million, mostly from staff reductions.
But current estimates put the cost at $504 million and it won't be done until 2019. University officials now estimate it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars more to operate, so the projected savings won't happen, California State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a second version of new rules governing California recall elections, one passed hours earlier by Democrats seeking to stop the removal of an Orange County state senator.
The bill, introduced in the Legislature just three days ago, would impose new waiting periods before a special recall election is held. Democrats insist the change is needed so voters who sign a recall petition have time to remove their names from the list if they change their minds.
But the law would also apply to the current effort at a recall election for state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), whom Republicans hope to remove from office after his springtime vote for a $52-billion transportation plan. That law will raise gas taxes and vehicle fees. The additional time for signature tallies and fiscal analysis of election costs would likely delay any special election in the Newman effort until 2018.