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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

A day after announcing he would retire at the end of 2018, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) has weighed in on who should replace him.

Royce has endorsed former state legislator Young Kim, a one-term assemblywoman who was unseated in a 2016 rematch with Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva. Kim worked in Royce’s district office before being elected to the Assembly.

“I can attest to Young’s dedication and abilities because she worked for me for almost 20 years,” Royce said in a statement. “She knows our district, its people and its needs. She is a tireless and dedicated public servant.”

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  • California Legislature
  • California Democrats
Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), right, walks hand in hand with her spouse, Jennifer LeSar, to the rostrum when she was elected as Assembly speaker in 2014. She will be the next leader of the Senate.
Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), right, walks hand in hand with her spouse, Jennifer LeSar, to the rostrum when she was elected as Assembly speaker in 2014. She will be the next leader of the Senate. (Associated Press)

State Sen. Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) was unanimously elected Tuesday by her Democratic colleagues to take over as the next president pro tempore of the Senate on March 21.

Atkins replaces Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) as senate leader. He is running for the U.S. Senate.

De León described Atkins as “a person of vast experience and unimpeachable integrity,” and said he is proud that the state senate will be led for the first time by a woman and member of the LGBTQ community.

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  • State government
Nancy McFadden.
Nancy McFadden. (Robert Durrell / For The Times)

Nancy McFadden, the highest-ranking advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, said Tuesday that she will work less frequently in the Capitol in the coming months as she recuperates from cancer treatments.

McFadden, 59, is Brown’s executive secretary — a post other governors have designated as chief of staff. As such, she leads the governor’s efforts on a vast array of policies and has been one of his most influential advisors since 2011.

McFadden made the announcement about her reduced role on Twitter. She explained that ovarian cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2001, returned four years ago.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) has proposed a way to expedite the clearing of records of marijuana convictions.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) has proposed a way to expedite the clearing of records of marijuana convictions. (Alexis Cuarezma / For The Times)

Proposition 64, approved by California voters in 2016 to legalize recreational pot use, allows people to petition the courts to have past convictions for marijuana offenses expunged from their records. But the process can be difficult and expensive, according to supporters of pot legalization.

In response, Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) on Tuesday proposed legislation that would make it easier to have criminal convictions removed from the records of marijuana users, potentially opening more doors to employment and housing.

Rather than require people to petition the courts for a determination, AB 1793 would require criminal convictions for marijuana-related offenses to be automatically expunged, placing the burden on the courts, Bonta said.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A proposal to allow Californians to dodge a new cap on federal income tax deductions would create “the most generous tax credits ever allowed in California history,” according to a new legislative analysis.

The legislation, Senate Bill 227 from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would create a state-run nonprofit to accept donations from residents concerned about their federal tax liabilities under the GOP-led federal tax overhaul.

The federal plan caps the deductibility of state and local taxes at $10,000. De León’s bill would allow Californians to reduce their state income tax payments above $10,000 dollar-for-dollar by instead donating to the state what they owe, allowing residents to take a federal charitable deduction instead.

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California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León on Tuesday blasted the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules, saying that without them there is nothing to stop major telecoms from blocking content or slowing the internet down for consumers.

Speaking in San Jose, De León called the protection of an open, fair and free internet yet another way California will take a stand against President Trump.

“If the Trump administration or Congress cannot or will not protect the consumers of the great state of California, then know this: the state of California will,” he said at a news conference. “We will not stand by and let corporate greed compromise the integrity of your internet.”

Salvadoran immigrant Cecilia Ramos lives in Los Angeles on protected status.
Salvadoran immigrant Cecilia Ramos lives in Los Angeles on protected status. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Two California lawmakers are asking that an additional $10 million go into a state legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation, after the Trump administration on Monday called for an end to temporary protections for more than 250,000 Salvadorans in the U.S.

Assembly members Miguel Santiago and Wendy Carrillo, both Democrats from Los Angeles, say they plan to make the request through legislation this week, as Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to unveil this year’s state budget on Wednesday.

The funds would go to aid Salvadorans covered by “temporary protected status,” and who have until Sept. 9, 2019, to apply for alternative legal means of staying in the country or face removal.

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(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown’s landmark law that sends additional dollars to K-12 students from disadvantaged communities will meet its funding goals two years ahead of schedule under a budget proposal to be unveiled in Sacramento on Wednesday.

The governor’s budget, according to sources who spoke on the condition they not be identified, will commit to full financing of the Local Control Funding Formula at a cost that could be close to $2.6 billion in the fiscal year that begins in July.

A spokesman for the governor, H.D. Palmer, wouldn’t confirm the full funding of the program. In an email, Palmer said the spending plan makes “further progress toward this goal.”

  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
State Sen. Josh Newman faces a June 5 recall election.
State Sen. Josh Newman faces a June 5 recall election. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday set June 5 as the date for a recall election against state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), who Republicans say should be unseated over his vote for an increase in the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees last year.

Brown consolidated the special recall vote with the regular state primary election when voters also will be casting ballots for governor and other high-profile offices, meaning a higher turnout that could help his fellow Democrat.