This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators went to Concord Thursday to tout their transportation package, which they unveiled Wednesday at the state Capitol.
- Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León amended his "sanctuary state" bill Thursday morning to allow law enforcement to notify federal immigration officials about the release of violent felons.
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones hosted a community forum on immigration Tuesday, where the guest speaker was the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be back.
He said Sunday that he is not interested in running for the U.S. Senate, after rumors bubbled last week that he was considering a campaign for the seat held by Dianne Feinstein.
“I'm deeply flattered by all of the people who have approached me about running for Senate, but my mission right now is to bring sanity to Washington through redistricting reform like we passed here in California,” Schwarzenegger wrote on his Facebook page early Sunday morning.
Redistricting reform – or changing how districts are drawn for members of Congress and state legislatures to avoid gerrymandering – is a normally dry subject that Schwarzenegger has been trying to draw increased attention to in recent weeks. He has also been sparring with President Trump.
“Gerrymandering has completely broken our political system and I believe my best platform to help repair it is from the outside, by campaigning for independent redistricting commissions,” Schwarzenegger wrote. “Thank you for your kind messages and all of the support and I hope you'll join me in my battle against gerrymandering with the same enthusiasm.”
The rumors about a potential Senate run went into overdrive last week after a report in Politico cited anonymous GOP insiders who said Schwarzenegger was mulling a run, potentially as an independent.