After questions from California members of Congress, the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center has halted planned tests on narcoleptic dogs.
In a May letter to the Veterans Affairs inspector general, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and eight members of Los Angeles' congressional delegation demanded to know more about the experiment, including how much it could cost and what other experiments the Los Angeles VA was conducting on animals.
The proposed experiment would have involved giving 18 narcoleptic Dobermans antidepressants or methamphetamine, then killing the dogs and studying how the drugs affect the production of histamines — the body's response to allergens — in their brains. The animal rights group White Coat Waste Project, which obtained a 2016 research application for the experiment through a Freedom of Information Act request, brought the approved experiment to the attention of lawmakers.
Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers unveiled a final state budget deal on Tuesday, settling disputes over how to spend tobacco tax dollars and boosting the bottom line of California’s largest public employee pension fund.
The agreement announced by Brown and Democratic leaders of the state Senate and Assembly paves the way for both houses to ratify the spending plan on Thursday — the constitutional deadline for the Legislature to take action.
“This budget keeps California on a sound fiscal path and continues to support struggling families and make investments in our schools,” Brown said in a written statement.
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators proposed Monday to allow medical and recreational marijuana to be sold out of the same locations. The pot industry had sought the change to cut costs and the number of operations.
The co-location rule was one of dozens of new regulations contained in budget bills released Monday. They are aimed at merging regulations of medical cannabis, which the Legislature approved in 2015, and recreational marijuana, approved by voters in November.
“Being able to co-locate is much more cost-efficient for operators,” said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Assn.
State Senate Democrats introduced legislation Monday to change the rules governing recall elections to remove a lawmaker from office, potentially helping one of their own survive an effort now underway in Southern California.
The proposal, contained in one of the bills enacting a new state budget, comes after backers of an effort to remove state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) from office have submitted more than 31,000 voter signatures to trigger a special election.
"Recalls are designed to be extraordinary events in response to extraordinary circumstances – and it's in the public’s overwhelming interest to ensure the security, integrity and legitimacy of the qualification process," said Jonathan Underland, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).
In a letter to other members of Congress, Sherman (D-Porter Ranch) says there's enough evidence to move forward with his resolution to impeach Trump and "the national interest requires that we do so." Sherman also asked his colleagues for their "counsel, input and support."
That doesn't mean Sherman thinks it will happen any time soon.
For years, ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft have been steadily eroding the taxi industry.
Cabs, which operate under notoriously tough governmental regulations, especially compared with ride-hailing, have been thrown a potential lifeline from a state lawmaker. Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) wants to loosen taxi regulations as a way to help cabs compete, and he warns that without reform, cabs could go out of business.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are proposing a shakeup of the state tax board that would eliminate many of its duties and shift the job of holding tax appeal hearings to a new office of administrative law judges, State Controller Betty Yee said Monday.
The legislation would also take away the ability of the elected Board of Equalization to get involved in day-to-day oversight of collecting sales taxes. Dubbed the "Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017,” the changes were introduced Monday and will be considered a part of the state budget, Yee said.
The board would continue to oversee the setting of some tax rates, but would be freed up to advocate for its constituents, including those appealing tax decisions, Yee said.
Lawmakers are almost certain to vote on a new state budget later week, one that will spend more than $180 billion on hundreds of government services.
But it's the spending being skipped that could spark the biggest reaction.
On this week's episode of the California Politics Podcast, we examine the budget agreement outlined Thursday by lawmakers — one that was conspicuous for its silence on how to spend some $1.3 billion in new tobacco tax revenues.
A California congressman this week joined the burgeoning effort to impeach President Trump.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Porter Ranch) said at a news conference he was joining Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) to draft articles of impeachment against Trump.
"This matter needs to be analyzed in terms of preserving constitutional rule of law, not on the basis of partisanship," Sherman said as he stood beside Green. "Our Constitution and democracy require that our leaders be held accountable to the rule of law."