This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Legislators at the state Capitol will winnow down the hundreds of bills pending by Friday afternoon, quietly killing some of them which have been sitting in what's called the "suspense file."
- Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) said Friday that a Montana congressional candidate's alleged attack on a reporter was wrong "unless the reporter deserved it."
- African Americans in the California Democratic Party want an apology made to Rep. Maxine Water (D-Los Angeles) after her microphone was cut off at last weekend's convention.
The state Senate voted on Monday to rename a portion of the freeway that runs between Pasadena and Glendale in honor of former President Obama.
The proposal, which passed on a bipartisan vote of 34 to 1, now heads to the state Assembly.
The author of the resolution, Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) said that the former president, who attended Occidental College from 1979 to 1981, "credits his time there as helping shape his future as president of the United States."
The portion of California 134 that runs between Interstate 210 and California 2 would be renamed the "President Barack H. Obama Highway" under Portantino's plan. Freeway signs with Obama's name would be erected only after enough money from private donors is gathered.
Lawmakers have occasionally, through the years, designated roads and other landmarks for prominent people. Former President Reagan is honored with a named freeway east of Simi Valley. Last year, the Legislature named a portion of Interstate 210 near Pasadena for baseball legend Jackie Robinson. In 2015, a freeway tunnel in Marin County was named for the late comedian Robin Williams.