With just three months left to draft new rules for marijuana sales in California, the state on Wednesday appointed a panel of industry members, health experts, law enforcement officials and union leaders to provide advice during the effort.
The 22-member Cannabis Advisory Committee will help the Bureau of Cannabis Control develop regulations on the cultivation, transport, testing and sale of medical and recreational marijuana, with state licenses scheduled to be issued starting Jan. 2.
“These individuals represent the diverse backgrounds of California and the cannabis industry and have the necessary experience to make the committee successful,” said Dean R. Grafilo, director of the state Department of Consumer Affairs. He said hundreds of people applied for the panel.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two measures Wednesday to help Californians who buy health insurance under Covered California, the state's Obamacare marketplace. The measures ensure a longer enrollment period and continued treatment for some patients even if their insurer leaves Covered California.
The first measure, AB 156 by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), was spurred by a Trump administration policy that established a 45-day window for shoppers on Obamacare marketplaces to buy new insurance policies for the coming year.
That's half the amount of time Covered California shoppers are used to, because the state has always offered a three-month enrollment period. Healthcare advocates said Wood's bill was necessary to both conform to the federal 45-day policy and establish additional enrollment times in order to give Californians adequate time to sign up for coverage.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is the reason Rep. Dana Rohrabacher hasn't spoken with President Trump about a meeting the congressman had with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Costa Mesa Republican told Business Insider.
Rohrabacher told the news site that Kelly and "a coalition of people in the White House" are keeping him from talking with Trump about what he learned from Assange regarding the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee. WikiLeaks published the emails before the 2016 presidential election.
"The White House staff and other top people in the administration are trying to protect the president from himself," Rohrabacher told the publication. "That's what they think, and in fact they are usurping his authority to make decisions — the important decisions — himself."
Months after an audit found widespread problems with the program providing disabled parking placards in California, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday approved legislation aimed at preventing fraud.
"We must make sure the drivers who need this important program have access to the benefits it provides — and block scofflaws and fraudsters from gaming the system," Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), who authored the bill, said after the governor's action.
A state audit in April found the California Department of Motor Vehicles isn't making sure that people issued placards for disabled parking should actually have them. The agency hasn't canceled tens of thousands of the permits issued to people who have died, which has allowed some placards to be misused by family members, the audit concluded.
California Reps. Jeff Denham and David Valadao co-sponsored Democrats' legislative fix to address expiring protections for young immigrants, but they don't plan to join the effort to force a vote on it.
House Democrats announced Sept. 25 that they would try to force a vote on Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard's version of the Dream Act, which is backed by every House Democrat and four Republicans, through a procedural move called a discharge petition. To pull the bill from committee and force a vote on the House floor, Democrats need signatures on the petition from 218 House members.
The House and Senate have five months to address the legal status of "Dreamers," people brought into the country illegally as children, before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects them from deportation and lets them work legally, ends in March.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday vetoed legislation that would have increased the fine for secretly photographing someone in a private place such as a dressing room and distributing the images.
The proposal, Senate Bill 784 by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), was intended to deter the type of "body shaming" that occurs when someone mocks another person's appearance by surreptitiously taking pictures of them.
The term gained wider notice when a Playboy model took a picture of a 70-year-old woman in a gym shower area in Los Angeles and posted it on social media with a disparaging caption.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez endorsed Wendy Carrillo on Wednesday, one day after the primary vote left her poised to advance to a runoff election for his old Assembly seat.
Gomez, a Los Angeles Democrat, vacated the seat earlier this year when he was elected to Congress.
“Wendy Carrillo will make an excellent Assembly member for the people I represented in the California state Legislature,” Gomez said in a statement. “She is a proven working-class progressive who understands that she must represent everyone in the 51st District."
That would be a substantial pay bump for most of the state's teachers. According to the state education department, average teacher salaries range from around $40,000 to $96,000, depending on the school's size and the teacher's experience level.
The first poll on a proposed ballot measure indicates 53.9% of California residents oppose repealing a new gas tax and vehicle fee hike.
The poll of 1,000 people via phone interviews and email polling indicates the gas tax has a good chance of surviving any challenge, said Pollster Adam Probolsky, the president of Probolsky Research in Newport Beach. The increases raise $5.2 billion annually for transportation and mass transit improvements.
“The gas tax repeal is unlikely to be successful,” he said. Probolsky said 52% of Republicans would vote to repeal the tax, but their numbers in the state are not large enough to overcome strong opposition to repeal from Democrats.