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  • California in Congress
  • California Republicans
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, front left, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan talk with reporters about the GOP tax plan.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, front left, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan talk with reporters about the GOP tax plan. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

House leaders are considering keeping a version of the state and local tax deductions used widely in California in order to get the state’s Republican members on board with the final GOP tax bill.

Three California Republicans voted against the House version of the tax bill in October, and several others said they voted to advance the bill with the hope that their concerns would be fixed in a final compromise with the Senate.

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina told Roll Call on Tuesday that the potential deduction tweak would be made to appease lawmakers from California.

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  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale)
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Top staff members in the California Assembly sought to offer information Tuesday on how sexual harassment allegations are reported and investigated, but some key elements of the process seemed to leave lawmakers still confused about the process.

“This has to end,” said Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), the chair of the subcommittee that discussed the problem of sexual misconduct in the Capitol during the afternoon hearing. "It's my commitment to you that we’re going to do our best to end that culture."

Lawmakers asked the Assembly’s top staffers, the chief administrative officer and the human resources director, for information on how complaints are filed and how frequently complaints are made. The Los Angeles Times requested similar information last month. The records requests were only partially granted.

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  • California in Congress

Sen. Kamala Harris wore an Astros shirt under her suit jacket Tuesday afternoon and donned an Astros World Series hat as she took a deep breath and knocked on Sen. Ted Cruz’ office door.

“This is one of the most painful moments of my life,” she said with a laugh.

It was time to settle a bet over which state’s hometown team would win the 2017 World Series, which the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros in seven games. Los Angeles-area House members settled their own bets earlier this month.

Capitol Community Cultural Changes: Assault, Harassment & Retaliation - Part 1. Please visit...

Posted by California Legislative Women's Caucus on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Members of the California Assembly are meeting to review how the chamber handles reports and investigations of sexual harassment claims, the first hearing by either legislative house on reporting processes that some women in state politics say leaves victims with little recourse and fearful of retaliation.

The Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention and Response is headed by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), a former Hollywood producer. The vice chair is Marie Waldron (R-Escondido).

Other subcommittee members are Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace) and Assemblymen Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), Timothy Grayson (D-Concord) and Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo).

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  • State government
  • Sexual harassment
  • California Legislature
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima). left, quit and Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) has lost his leadership posts amid harassment claims.
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima). left, quit and Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) has lost his leadership posts amid harassment claims. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Members of the California Assembly will meet Tuesday to review how the chamber handles reports and investigations of sexual harassment claims, the first hearing by either legislative house on reporting processes that some women in state politics say leaves victims with little recourse and fearful of retaliation.

The public hearing comes a day after one Democratic legislator announced his immediate resignation and another was stripped of key posts by his colleagues.

The focus on sexual harassment was sparked by high-profile allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo social media movement. At the Capitol, it was propelled with an open letter from more than 140 women denouncing a "pervasive" culture of misbehavior in state government.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), center, wants the Legislature to reexamine how it pays out harassment settlements.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), center, wants the Legislature to reexamine how it pays out harassment settlements. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

As the California Assembly prepares to have its first public hearing Tuesday afternoon on how it handles sexual harassment and discrimination complaints, one Democratic lawmaker says he wants to see changes in how settlements from Capitol complaints are paid.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) is urging his colleagues to examine how to decrease the burden of settlement payments on taxpayers.

“Why should taxpayers be on the hook for sexual harassment payouts, while wrongdoers walk away with no financial accountability? The State Assembly and the Joint Rules Committee should consider ways to recover financial damages from proven violators directly,” McCarty said in a statement.

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  • California in Congress
(Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

Now that the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has agreed to step aside over sexual harassment allegations, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) is hoping to take his place on the committee that would play a major role in potential presidential impeachment hearings.

The current ranking Democrat, John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), agreed to step down Sunday after 23 years in the committee post, but he has not officially vacated his leadership position.

Lofgren, a former immigration lawyer serving her 12th term, is the third most-senior Democrat on the committee, but she’s long made it clear that she doesn’t intend to cede the gavel to the second most-senior Democrat, New York’s Rep. Jerrold Nadler. Politico reported that Lofgren warned Nadler over the summer that she’ll pursue the ranking seat, and her staff said Tuesday she remains interested.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats

Democratic leaders spoke out against the GOP tax plan on Monday, arguing it would disproportionately harm Californians, benefit the wealthy and impact the state’s infrastructure and affordable housing.

“We’re here to raise the alarm on behalf of Californians everywhere that the Republican tax plan is a terrible deal for America,” said Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), noting the version of the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would raise taxes on all California families by $12.1 billion in 2027. “We see our state has the most to lose under this plan.”

Gomez, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and officials with the Los Angeles Metro and a real estate group pointed to several provisions they said would especially hurt the state’s residents, including the elimination of deductions for state and local taxes, and for earthquake and fire losses. They also warned about the plan’s cap on mortgage interest and property tax deductions, and other provisions that would impact affordable housing and transportation projects.