For all of the things to watch for in Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget, it may be the one thing he's not expected to include that may overshadow everything else.
The proposal, to be unveiled this morning at the state Capitol, is not expected to address how California might solve billions of dollars in potential cuts from the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
And the biggest question mark surrounds the $16 billion the state currently receives for Medi-Cal, providing healthcare for low-income citizens, through the Affordable Care Act.
California lawmakers will once again consider whether to increase penalties for sex offenders who willfully remove or disable their GPS trackers.
A bill reintroduced by state Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Nigel) would make it a felony for a person to tamper with any monitoring device affixed as a condition of parole, community supervision or probation. The crime would be punishable by 16 months or two or three years in state prison.
Four former state attorneys general, several labor groups and 38 Democratic members of Congress from California have submitted letters urging confirmation of Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) as the state's next top law enforcer.
With Becerra's first confirmation hearing for state attorney general set for Tuesday, 27 letters of support have been sent to the special Assembly committee holding the hearing, including from former state attorneys general Kamala Harris, John Van De Kamp, Dan Lungren and William Lockyer.
“He’s hardworking, principled, thoughtful, a man of real civility who has the potential of getting the office behind him and, in so doing, serving very effectively at a time when California needs a strong and effective Attorney General,” wrote Van De Kamp, who served when Becerra was a deputy attorney general in his office.
The state could sue under the California Environmental Quality Act or its federal equivalent, said Newsom, utilizing a common tactic to delay or kill all sorts of development projects around the state.
"There’s something called CEQA in California — NEPA at the federal level,” Newsom said. “There’s indigenous lands and autonomies relating to governance on those lands. There are all kinds of obstructions as it relates to just getting zoning approval and getting building permits. All those things could be made very, very challenging for the administration.”
Backers of a recent tobacco tax initiative ballot have agreed to pay a $2,500 fine for failing to identify that billionaire Tom Steyer was a major funder of the campaign in a YouTube video that urged voters to support the measure, according to documents released Monday.
Proposition 56, approved by California voters in November, raises California’s tobacco tax by $2 per pack. The largest donor was liberal hedge fund billionaire Steyer, who has been considering a run for governor in 2018. Steyer gave $11.5 million of the more than $30 million raised to support the measure.
That was reported by the campaign in filings with the state. But, state campaign finance rules also require campaign videos to disclose the top two donors to the campaign paying for the ads.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) is hoping a comment from President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign is a sign that the lawmaker's idea -- letting people brought to the U.S. illegally as children earn citizenship through military service -- might have a chance.
A couple of years ago, Rob Pyers was unemployed and living off severance after being laid off from a job at Walgreens. Today, from his one-bedroom apartment in West Hollywood, Pyers helms the California Target Book, one of the most trusted almanacs of state politics.
Pyers, 41, originally came to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a screenwriter. But he has quickly become an ultimate insider in the often-opaque world of campaign finance. His passion for organizing massive amounts of data has transformed the Target Book and made his Twitter feed a go-to resource for some of Sacramento's top operatives.
Everything he knows about data science and computer coding he's taught himself over the last two years, through hours of online tutorials and trial and error.
Ahead of his first confirmation hearing Tuesday, state attorney general nominee Rep. Xavier Becerra has assured legislators that he will be a strong force to counter the policies of President-elect Donald Trump, including opposing proposals for mass deportations and a registry of Muslim immigrants.
In a letter released Saturday, Becerra defended California's many programs to help immigrants in the country illegally get driver's licenses, college financial aid and legal assistance in fighting deportation orders.
"All of these policies and programs are representative of California's values as a welcoming state," Becerra wrote to members of an Assembly committee set to take up his nomination Tuesday.