This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he intends to open a satellite attorney general's office in Washington, D.C., as he prepares to fight the Trump administration.
- The results from California's latest cap-and-trade auction are in, and revenue from the sale of pollution credits was weak.
- A bill that would set up a state-funded legal aid system for immigrants will be amended by its author to allow those with criminal records to apply for assistance.
Republicans in the state Assembly introduced a variety of bills on Thursday that they said would limit instances of voter fraud in California, weeks after President Trump's unproven accusations of widespread problems in the state and elsewhere.
The most high-profile effort is a bill to require that Californians show a photo ID card before casting a ballot at the polls.
"Any time a vote is fraudulently cast, it negates a legitimate vote by an honest citizen," said Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), the author of the bill. "This legislation is a common-sense measure to ensure that every citizen's vote is protected."
A survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that 32 states had voter ID laws in place for last year's election. California's current law hinges on providing a signature to check voter identification at the polls.
Another bill introduced this week seeks to increase the penalties against people who illegally vote by mail. The proposal by Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) would raise the fine for a fraudulent signature to $10,000, a tenfold increase.
The legislative efforts come on the heels of Trump's continued assertions of widespread voter fraud in California and other states. Elections officials have rejected the president's accusations.