This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- If congressional Republicans eliminate the federal estate tax, one Sacramento lawmaker says he'll ask voters to create a state version and use the money for a variety of California programs.
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received a rock star's welcome in Los Angeles over the holiday weekend.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) won't request federal funds in the coming fiscal year for states, cities and universities that have a policy to not comply with enforcement of federal immigration laws, he said in a statement Thursday.
So-called sanctuary policies limit local efforts in enforcing federal immigration laws, arguing that the threat of deportation keeps immigrants from reporting crime. Opponents, though, say it's a willful disregard of federal law.
As one of the only Republicans representing the San Diego area, Hunter's support -- or objection -- to funding requests could have a major effect on whether federal money is available for local needs.
"The submission of a federal funding request for sanctuaries is irresponsible and rewards disregard for the law— and I can’t support that," Hunter said in a statement.
No cities in San Diego County explicitly identify themselves as sanctuary cities , a tactic that's been used to avoid federal retribution. But some do have policies that limit how long a person can be held for suspected immigration violations. San Francisco and other California cities have more enthusiastically embraced the term.
Leaders of the University of California and California State University systems have said their campus' will not help deport students who are in the country illegally.
Earlier this year, Hunter filed the No Funding for Sanctuary Campuses Act, which would deny Title IV education funding to campuses that violate immigration laws.