California voters have chosen to approve a ballot proposition that seeks to speed up the death penalty process, a late count of ballots has shown.
Proposition 66 intends to speed up executions by designating trial courts to hear petitions challenging death row convictions, limiting successive petitions and expanding the pool of lawyers who could take on death penalty appeals. As of Monday, the proposition was leading with 51.3% of the vote and on Tuesday, an Associated Press tally of votes found the proposition had received enough votes to pass.
Speculation over a potential last-minute push on a transportation funding plan ended Tuesday, when Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders declared there would be no lame-duck negotiations this month.
The current two-year session of the Legislature officially ends on Nov. 30, and lawmakers have left talks on a multi-billion transportation plan in limbo since adjourning in August.
Brown joined Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) in ending any speculation of a late effort to bring current lawmakers back to the state Capitol.
Proposition 53, an effort that sought to force statewide votes to fund a major water project and the future of high-speed rail, failed in a late count of ballots Tuesday.
An Associated Press tally of votes found the ballot measure, which had been trailing since election night, narrowly lost.
Proposition 53 would have required state revenue bonds, borrowing that's generally paid back by users of a large public works project, of $2 billion or larger to be approved by voters statewide. Revenue bonds could be an integral part of the future $17-billion effort to build twin underground water tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region. They could also be required to complete the controversial high-speed rail project from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she plans to lead an aggressive opposition against President-elect Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress, naming jobs, veterans and Medicare as the top priorities.
But first, Pelosi, who is being challenged for her leadership position by Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, is making an attempt to quell disenchantment within the House Democratic Caucus she has run for 14 years.
In a letter to colleagues sent Wednesday, Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Democrats must push back against the privatization of the Veterans Affairs health system and "insist on a bill that puts good-paying jobs for workers first — not one that is a corporate tax break disguised as an infrastructure bill."
The new California Legislature will look slightly more racially and ethnically diverse than the last, but its number of women has dropped lower than it has been in more than two decades, according to an analysis of preliminary 2016 election results from the California Research Bureau.
Of the 89 members in office, the number of nonwhite lawmakers has increased from 47 to 53, with gains made among Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino and multiracial lawmakers.
The rise in diversity is most pronounced in the Assembly, where the majority, or 54%, of legislators are now minorities.
Leaders of the California Democratic Party spent the weekend in San Diego strategizing how to deal with the political era of President-elect Donald Trump. The meeting ended up being part therapy session, part pep rally.
“Donald Trump’s election was a shocking mistake of historical proportions. His dangerous ideas and policies threaten the freedom, the safety and the prosperity of every American,” said environmental activist Tom Steyer, a San Francisco hedge fund billionaire who has been flirting with a 2018 run for governor. “This is our moment. We will rise to the occasion because there is no one else.”