Geologist Jess Phoenix, a Democrat, is considering challenging Rep. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) in the 2018 midterm elections as part of a larger effort to get scientists elected to Congress.
Phoenix, a volcanologist who runs an educational science nonprofit called Blueprint Earth that researches the Mojave Desert, said she is "90-plus percent sure" she will run for the 25th Congressional District and plans to launch her campaign in early April.
Phoenix, 35, is running with assistance from 314 Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization formed to recruit candidates with science backgrounds and help them launch campaigns for public office.
A state Senate panel on Tuesday supported a ballot measure that would prohibit the state from borrowing money from vehicle fees and gas taxes for use by non-transportation programs.
The measure by Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) is being considered as Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers negotiate toward a deal to make progress on a $132-billion backlog of repairs and improvements for local roads and state highways.
Tax and fee increases have been proposed to raise $5.5 billion annually for road repairs and transit.
Since Gov. Jerry Brown asked lawmakers to extend California's cap-and-trade program, a broad cross-section of state policies on climate change are coming under the microscope.
One of the most controversial issues is carbon offsets, which are environmentally friendly projects that polluters can financially support to meet requirements to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Offsets have long been opposed by environmental justice advocates, who view them as an escape hatch for companies to avoid directly reducing their own emissions. But now that the advocates have gained political strength in the Capitol, they might be able to limit the program during this year's debate.
State Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel was elected Tuesday as Senate Republican leader by the house’s GOP caucus, and will take over April 12 from Sen. Jean Fuller of Bakersfield, a representative said.
Fuller must leave office next year because of term limits, but the effort to find a successor has been difficult as some prominent Republican senators said in recent weeks that they did not want the job.
The next Senate Republican leader faces a challenge of keeping her caucus relevant at a time when the Democrats enjoy two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature, giving them power to increase taxes without any votes from the minority party.
Crime victims on Tuesday urged California state lawmakers to pass legislation that attempts to expand the collection of DNA in criminal cases, calling it crucial evidence that often serves as the only lead to help solve rapes, murders and cold-case investigations.
The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), would order investigators to gather swab samples, blood specimens, palm prints and fingerprints from offenders convicted of certain misdemeanors.
Cooper says it attempts to address what law enforcement officials say is an unintended consequence of Proposition 47. The ballot measure, approved by voters in 2014, reduced some drug possession and theft crimes to misdemeanors, narrowing the list of felony crimes from which authorities are required to gather DNA evidence.
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said Tuesday he has decided not to run for state attorney general in 2018, eliminating a prominent Republican challenge to Democratic Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra.
Ramos said he will run for reelection as district attorney to finish work he has as the county prosecutor. He said one factor was the large amount of effort it takes to run a statewide campaign, something he learned after spending much of last year supporting Proposition 66, which changes death penalty procedures.
“I am a realist and I have confidence in our attorney general, Xavier Becerra,” Ramos said in an interview. Becerra was appointed this year to the job,
Workers in state-licensed care facilities for children and the elderly are not undergoing sufficient screening of criminal histories to protect their vulnerable clients, a state audit concluded Tuesday.
The state Department of Social Services licenses and oversees 70,000 community care facilities, including child care facilities, foster family homes and care facilities for seniors.
“This report concludes that Social Services does not receive all of the information it needs to protect vulnerable clients,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board has made its pick in the crowded congressional race to replace Xavier Becerra. The Times endorsed Maria Cabildo, a longtime affordable housing developer and advocate.
In its endorsement, The Times said Cabildo is "someone who can bridge the gap between the old guard and new idealists" running for the seat, and cited her accomplished career outside of politics.
Cabildo, who has not gained as many high-profile endorsements as some of the other 23 candidates, said in an email to supporters that she is "happy and honored."