California's housing affordability crisis is driven by a shortage of new home construction.
For the last two years, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers have introduced legislation to make it easier for developers to build. But for even longer than that, the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, the labor group representing construction workers, has pushed for higher pay in homebuilding. The union also has used its considerable sway at the Capitol to influence a key housing cost study and target state bureaucrats and academics it believes have opposed higher pay standards.
The union's opposition was one of the main reasons Brown's housing plan failed last year, and its lack of support for similar pending bills looms over the current housing debate.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's recent vote to roll back the Affordable Care Act is the centerpiece of a new online ad from one of his 2018 opponents, Laguna Beach real estate businessman and attorney Harley Rouda.
The minute-long ad will run on Facebook for the next few weeks, Rouda's campaign said.
"This new ad articulates these two sharply contrasting visions for where to take our healthcare system in the months and years ahead," Rouda said in a statement.
State auditors on Friday provided new details of questionable travel and entertainment expenses approved by the University of California system.
The amounts are small compared to the main finding of the April 25 audit that UC’s Office of the President failed to disclose tens of millions of dollars in reserve funds, but the audit said the questioned expenses represent issues that should be addressed.
“Our review of three travel expense claims found an instance in which reimbursements exceeded allowable amounts for federal and state employees,” the audit said. “Specifically, one employee spent more than $350 per night on a hotel room, even though this cost exceeded the federal and state allowable limits by $140 per night.”
The chairman of a powerful state Senate committee stepped down from his post on Friday, the second Democrat to lose a prominent position after voting against last month's $52-billion transportation package.
Silicon Valley freshman Rep. Ro Khanna became the first member of Congress to join a progressive group that has pledged to back Democrats who fit its progressive political views, even if it means challenging sitting Democrats to do it.
"It's time that the Democrats had a clear, bold progressive vision and that we had spine and willingness to stand up for those bold, progressive ideas," the Fremont Democrat said on "The Young Turks," a popular online progressive show.
The group was founded by Cenk Uygur, founder of the Young Turks video network, and several advisors from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign in January with the goal of expanding the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Gov. Jerry Brown is getting ready to go back to China four years after his last trip across the Pacific Ocean.
The first week of June, the governor plans to attend an international summit on clean energy and meet with other members of a coalition dedicated to fighting climate change. The coalition includes cities, states and provinces who have signed an international agreement promoted by Brown to reduce emissions at faster rates than called for under the Paris agreement on global warming.
During the weeklong trip, Brown is stopping in Beijing, Chengdu and Nanjing to talk with regional and national Chinese officials.
In Orange County on Tuesday night, Rep. Mimi Walters was nowhere to be found when more than 800 people showed up at an Irvine high school for an activist-organized “town hall.”
Outside Rep. Darrell Issa’s Vista office, hundreds of protesters, some dressed in hospital gowns or holding crutches, arrived for a “sick in” protesting his vote while the congressman raised money at a white sand beach resort in Florida. And 80 miles north, the handful of people who showed up to the Simi Valley office of Rep. Steve Knight talked to a single staffer while others were met with a locked door.
All three Republicans were reelected in districts won by Hillary Clinton and have been named as top targets by Democrats. All three, along with the rest of their Republican California colleagues, voted for the GOP plan to dismantle Obamacare last week. None of the three has announced public events in their districts this week, even though the House is out of session.
A group trying to get California to secede from the United States said the results of the presidential election give their cause new momentum.
A previous effort to get a "Calexit" initiative on the ballot ended less than three months after organizers were allowed to start gathering signatures.
Efforts to split California from the rest of the U.S. have been closely watched since the election of President Trump even though it's not clear such an effort is viable.
Whether voter approval could make secession possible is a source of a debate among constitutional experts, with some saying there is no legal method for a state to do so. The U.S. Constitution only lays out the steps for a state to join the union.