In the race to replace termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown, the largest number of voters in a new statewide poll does not favor a candidate in the race. About 1 in 3 voters said they were undecided, according to the survey by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
Among candidates who have entered the race, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom holds a strong lead with 28% of the vote, followed by Republican businessman John Cox with 18%, according to the poll, which was released Wednesday. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa clocks in at 11%, state Treasurer John Chiang at 8% and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin at 3%.
Because the race is far away and public campaigning has not yet started in earnest, the poll could primarily be an indicator of name recognition. The field of candidates is also likely to grow.
California's senators and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) filed legislation Thursday to add 44 acres to the John Muir National Historic Site.
The John Muir Heritage Land Trust has offered to donate the additional land to the National Park Service, which operates the site, and the bill would authorize the agency to accept the parcel.
“The time John Muir spent with his daughters at their scenic home and its neighboring property played a major role in launching the national parks movement. Expanding the existing park to preserve more of this history and beauty is a fitting tribute to Muir’s legacy of protecting land for all to enjoy,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement.
California’s attorney general could investigate local police shootings under a new bill authored by a Sacramento lawmaker.
Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty’s Assembly Bill 284 would allow local police departments or district attorneys to ask Atty. Gen. Xavier Beccera’s office to independently investigate police shootings of civilians.
The legislation was prompted by high-profile police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Eric Garner in New York City and last summer’s police shooting of Joseph Mann, a mentally ill homeless man, in Sacramento, according to McCarty’s office. In all three cases, local prosecutors declined to charge the officers.
California officials will begin the process this spring of awarding $103 million in grants to programs for inmates centered on rehabilitation, substance abuse and reentry into society.
The efforts will be funded with dollars saved from prison spending under Proposition 47, the sweeping 2014 ballot measure that downgraded six drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors and allowed defendants to renegotiate their punishments.
For the large coalition of criminal justice advocates that poured millions into getting the proposition passed and that has closely tracked its implementation, this is a long-awaited step. Other states have passed similar laws, but California is the only state to invest those savings into services meant to help people stay out of prison.
On the executive committee helping award the grants are formerly incarcerated people who know the system from the inside.
A proposal in California for a single-payer healthcare system would dramatically expand the state government's presence in medical care and slash the role of insurance companies.
New amendments released Thursday fill in some key details on the universal healthcare measure proposed by state Sens. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), although the biggest political question — how it would be paid for — remains unanswered.
Under the proposal, which was announced in February, the state would cover all medical expenses for every resident regardless of their income or immigration status, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care.
California Senate leader Kevin de León has amended his “sanctuary state” bill to provide greater flexibility for law enforcement to notify and work with federal immigration officials on cases involving serious and violent felons.
The move, amid national debate over “sanctuary city” policies, comes days after a rowdy welcome in Sacramento for the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a forum meant to address the role of police officers and sheriff’s deputies in immigration enforcement.
Senate Bill 54 is at the center of a legislative package that Democratic lawmakers say is meant to extend protections for immigrants under the expanded deportation priorities of the Trump administration. It would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies — including school police and security — from using resources to investigate, detain, report or arrest people for immigration enforcement.
Soon California might have what it's lacked for millions of years: an official state dinosaur.
Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has introduced a bill to make the Augustynolophus morissi — a duck-billed dinosaur that 66 million years ago roamed what is now California — the state's official dinosaur.
Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday he has filed an amicus brief supporting San Francisco’s court challenge to President Trump’s order targeting so-called sanctuary cities and counties that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.
The move marks a half-dozen times the state has filed briefs supporting legal challenges to various Trump orders. Last week, Becerra filed papers supporting a lawsuit by Santa Clara County.
That case and San Francisco’s challenge the legality of the Trump administration’s threats to withhold federal funds from states and local jurisdictions that the administration deems to be “sanctuary jurisdictions.”
Amid a new call from the Trump administration to cut off federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck had a question for the head of Homeland Security on Wednesday: What exactly is a sanctuary city?
Garcetti and Beck joined a bipartisan handful of mayors and law enforcement leaders from across the country in Washington to air their concerns about President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly.
A measure that would bar employers from firing workers for having an abortion or giving birth to a child out of wedlock is getting pushback from religious groups who say such a bill would prevent them from requiring employees to act in accordance with their faith.
Under the bill by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), employers would not be able to discipline or fire workers for any reproductive health decision, such as pregnancy, in-vitro fertilization or abortion.
"What this bill does is make sure that people can make the best healthcare decisions for themselves and for their families without the fear that they'll risk their livelihoods in doing so," Rebecca Griffin of NARAL Pro-Choice California, a sponsor of the measure, said at a Wednesday afternoon hearing at the Capitol.