An effort to boost the chances of local ballot measures raising taxes for transportation needs was quietly killed Thursday in the state Capitol.
The proposal, which would have ultimately required changing the California Constitution through a statewide vote, was in response to the high hurdle set decades ago for local taxes earmarked for specific projects.
Those kinds of taxes in cities and counties require two-thirds of the vote. The constitutional amendment by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would have lowered the vote threshold to 55% of ballots cast for any transportation proposal.
The state Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday shelved a bill that would have banned all registered sex offenders from school campuses without exception.
Senate Bill 26 by Sen. Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) would have made it a misdemeanor for a registered sex offender to enter any school building or grounds without lawful business.
State laws keep registered sex offenders from living near schools. But those who have not been convicted of having sex with a minor under age 16 can visit or volunteer with groups or organizations that work with children if they give proper notice, and are granted permission. They cannot work directly with children.
A measure to help Californians saddled with student debt refinance their student loans was shelved in a key fiscal committee on Thursday.
The measure by state Sen. Benjamin Allen (D-Santa Monica) was touted as a way for the state to coax private lenders to offer more favorable interest. The proposal would have carried a $25-million price tag.
“We will continue to push for sensible solutions to the student loan crisis that provide real relief to the millions of Californians saddled with too much debt," Allen said in a statement.
In my 20 years as a Democratic Party leader, I have never experienced such the type of behavior as I did at the Sacramento Convention hall on Saturday evening.
Darren Parker, longtime chairman of the African American Caucus
The California Democratic Party African American Caucus is asking the state party for a formal apology to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and its members for what it called disrespect by a private subcontractor at its weekend state convention.
Waters, a Los Angeles Democrat known for her comments on President Trump, had been speaking at a caucus meeting during the event Saturday night when the sound to her microphone was cut off.