Los Angeles County had more cases of politicians and others successfully prosecuted for violating campaign finance and ethics rules than any other county in California this year, the state Fair Political Practices Commission reported Tuesday.
The agency prosecuted 72 cases this year from Los Angeles County, many more than the 23 in Santa Clara County, the second-highest number of violations among the 58 counties. The FPPC prosecuted 13 cases each in Orange and Ventura counties, 12 in Kern County, seven in Riverside County and six in San Bernardino County, according to an interactive map posted by the state ethics watchdog agency.
“We are always striving to improve our technology to increase transparency,” said FPPC Chair Jodi Remke. “The heat map will help inform voters and strengthen accountability.”
The investment committee of California's largest pension fund took action Tuesday to lower long-term investment projections beginning next summer, a decision requiring larger annual contributions from taxpayers.
The proposal will be considered by the full board of directors of the California Public Employees Retirement Fund, CalPERS, on Wednesday. The proposal would take three years to fully implement, lowering the official rate of return on pension investments from the current 7.5% to 7%.
Ted Eliopoulos, the chief investment officer of CalPERS, told directors that the pension fund needs "additional cash to close the growing gap between benefits going out, and contributions coming in."
Monday's gathering of the California electors featured formalities only trotted out every four years. But the proceedings began with two sounds that will likely be Capitol staples next year: a ringing Buddhist prayer bell and the distinctive baritone voice of Rev. Bob Oshita.
The 67-year-old is the newest Assembly chaplain. He most recently was reverend of the Buddhist Church of Sacramento.
Oshita, who also presided over the swearing-in ceremony for legislators earlier this month, began his opening prayer on Monday with the crisp chime of a bell and a call for "calming self-reflection." His urging of introspection lent an air of solemnity to the ceremony, during which all 55 of California's electors cast votes for Hillary Clinton.
Following a year without major legislation to address California's housing affordability crisis, state lawmakers have already introduced a number of bills designed to increase spending on low-income housing and boost production.
One proposal from Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would eliminate the state's mortgage interest deduction on Californians' second homes and redirect $300 million a year to tax credits that support low-income development.
The measure would require two-thirds approval in the Legislature and is a test of lawmakers' long history of supporting tax subsidies for homeowners.
Two members of the California congressional delegation, along with other lawmakers, wrote letters to President-elect Donald Trump this week, one warning him against targeting scientists researching climate change and another asking him to eliminate restrictions on federal money being used to provide abortions.
Responding to news that the Trump transition team requested detailed information about scientists working on climate change in Department of Energy national lboratories, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) led a letter signed by 26 colleagues warning that the members of Congress would defend the scientists in court if necessary.
Swalwell’s district includes Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory. Four national laboratories in California employ 22,500 people, according to the Energy Department.
Sen.-elect Kamala Harris said Monday that her committee assignments in the U.S. Senate will be "key battlegrounds" in next year's major policy debates on Capitol Hill.
The incoming freshman Democrat will serve on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; the Select Committee on Intelligence; the Committee on Environment & Public Works; and the Committee on the Budget.
In a written statement, Harris said she believes the four committees will be tasked with examining a number of the proposals promoted by the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
President-elect Donald Trump would have to disclose his tax returns to the public to win a spot on California's statewide ballot in 2020 under a plan two lawmakers will introduce in Sacramento.
The legislation is inspired by a similar effort in New York and would require any candidate to disclose five years of tax returns no later than 50 days before a general election.
"Transparency is a non-partisan issue," said state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) in a statement. "Voters not only deserve full disclosure of their future leader's tax returns, they should be entitled to them."