Gov. Jerry Brown accepted 27 gifts worth about $4,500 last year, including dinners and travel expenses, a cellphone, bottles of wine and a ticket to a basketball game from the Sacramento Kings, according to his annual filing of an economic interest form.
The amount is down significantly from 2015, when Brown accepted gifts valued at $22,136, including money from the California State Protocol Foundation to attend a climate change conference in Paris.
Last year’s biggest gift was $1,883 in travel expenses from his alma mater, Yale Law School, for a speech he gave at the New Haven, Conn., institution during reunion week. The event included him receiving the school’s prestigious Award of Merit.
Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller of Bakersfield has begun talking to colleagues about eventually stepping down and passing the torch to another member given that she is termed out of office next year, but so far nobody has publicly agreed to take over the job, officials say.
An attempt by the 13-member Senate Republican Caucus to discuss a possible transition Tuesday was interrupted by a fire alarm drill, so the subject was put off at least until the next weekly caucus meeting, March 7.
“[Fuller] has been calling all of us to say, 'Hey, are you interested,'” Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said. “The question is, who is willing to take it and when do we do it?”
A state senator plans to amend a bill that would create a legal defense program for immigrants, making all people facing deportation in California eligible to apply for services regardless of criminal background.
As concerns mount over prescription drug abuse, a California legislator wants to impose a tax on addictive opioid medications and use the funds to expand prevention and rehabilitation services.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) has introduced a bill that would impose a one-cent-per-milligram surcharge on prescription opioids sold in California. The tax would be imposed on wholesalers who import the medication into the state, not at the point of sale, and it would require a two-thirds approval vote in the Legislature.
“California’s opioid epidemic has cost state taxpayers millions and the lives of too many of our sons and daughters,” McCarty said in a statement. “We must do more to help these individuals find hope and sobriety. This plan will provide counties with critical resources needed to curb the deadly cycle of opioid and heroin addiction in California.”
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he is setting up an office in Washington, an unusual move for a state attorney general. Opening the new office is reflective of the fact that much of his attention will be devoted to Trump administration actions that might conflict with California policies, Becerra said.
Becerra, who has already filed three amicus briefings in lawsuits challenging Trump immigration orders, said the office will help him collaborate with members of California's congressional delegation on policies that affect the Golden State.
“Decisions that are going to affect California are going to be played out in Washington, D.C., and I think it’s important for my office to have a presence here,” Becerra said.
Former President George W. Bush’s speech Wednesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley is billed as a discussion of his new book featuring his paintings honoring members of the military and veterans he became close to after leaving office. But all ears will be listening for whether the former president speaks out about President Trump.
Though Bush painstakingly avoided criticizing former President Barack Obama, his Democratic successor, after leaving office in 2009, he has raised eyebrows in recent days with remarks viewed as barbs aimed at Trump, a fellow Republican.
While promoting his book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors,” Bush has spoken out about the importance of the media, immigrants and investigating allegations of Russian interference in the November presidential election.