This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators went to Concord Thursday to tout their transportation package, which they unveiled Wednesday at the state Capitol.
- Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León amended his "sanctuary state" bill Thursday morning to allow law enforcement to notify federal immigration officials about the release of violent felons.
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones hosted a community forum on immigration Tuesday, where the guest speaker was the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This year, California lawmakers are tackling more than 130 bills that aim to ease the state's housing affordability crisis. One longtime Sacramento observer said this is the most attention legislators have paid to housing issues in three decades.
Highlights include a measure that would strip the state's mortgage interest deduction from vacation-home owners and redirect the roughly $300 million a year saved to finance low-income housing. Other bills would increase spending on low-income housing development by billions of dollars and streamline some local permitting reviews.