The last few days have seen the release of an enormous amount of polling data on some of the most high-profile state propositions this election season. And in many cases, the early reviews from voters are good.
On this week's podcast episode, we take a closer look at the polling data and the race still to come on proposals to legalize marijuana, raise taxes and more.
The race for an open Assembly seat representing Simi Valley and Santa Clarita is getting punchier as Democrat Christy Smith is lobbing new attacks at Republican Dante Acosta's business.
Those attacks are now part of Smith's first ad of the general election, which seeks to link Acosta, a Santa Clarita councilman and financial services professional, to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The ad cites three customer complaints made against Acosta and filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Two investigations were denied, but a third complaint alleging negligence ended with a settlement of $35,000, according to records.
Senate Bill 139, introduced by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Assn., adds a number of specified drugs and chemicals to the existing list of prohibited synthetic cannabinoids.
It is already a crime to sell those drugs. But the urgency measure, which was requested by the California Narcotics Officers Assn., would make a first offense of possession of specified synthetic cannabinoids or stimulants an infraction. A second or third offense could be a misdemeanor.
An effort to further defray local emergency costs connected to the San Bernardino mass shooting in 2015 was blocked by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday, with the governor citing the "precedent" the special help would create.
Senate Bill 1385 would have allowed local law enforcement agencies to have more of their costs reimbursed from the deadly Dec. 2, 2015, shooting. Fourteen people were killed in the attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, with 22 others seriously injured.
Law enforcement officers said the killers, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, had been inspired by Islamic terrorists but had no direct ties to them.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed an effort Sunday to subsidize diapers needed by families receiving government assistance, calling the plan and several other efforts "an end run" around the annual budget process.
The veto on Assembly Bill 492 came almost two weeks after the governor vetoed a different bill aimed at reducing the cost of diapers, both efforts by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to help low-income families.
"The budget process allows all spending proposals to be weighed equally through public hearings, negotiations and, finally, approval of a balanced budget," Brown wrote. "This process is even more important when the state's budget is precariously balanced."
Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation aimed at providing a greater voice on the California Coastal Commission to racially diverse, low-income communities.
Brown signed a bill by Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood) that requires one of the members appointed to the Coastal Commission by the governor to work directly with low-income communities in the state that are most burdened by high levels of pollution and other concerns.
AB 2616 also allows the panel to consider environmental justice issues when making important decisions.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law a measure allowing Californians to break into vehicles to rescue animals if they appear to be in danger from excessive heat.
The bill by Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and others was introduced after a series of incidents in which dogs died after being left in closed cars on hot days.
"We're very excited about the lives this new law will save," Steinorth said in a statement Saturday on Facebook. "Thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness of this serious issue and showed their support."
The state’s campaign finance watchdog agency will investigate allegations that the California Democratic Party improperly funneled contributions from the oil and energy industry to the 2014 reelection campaign of Gov. Jerry Brown, officials said Friday.
The group Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint with the state Fair Political Practices Commission alleging that hundreds of thousands of dollars were given by energy companies to the state party, which shortly afterward made large donations to Brown’s campaign.
“It was a laundry machine for dirty energy contributions to the Brown administration, a slush fund of sorts, hiding big oil, utility and other dirty energy dollars in close proximity to officials’ actions,” said Jamie Court, president of the group Brown’s Dirty Hands, which made the allegations in a report.
Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) will travel to Colombia on Sunday night with U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry to be present at the signing of a peace agreement between the country's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC.
"This is an incredible, historic moment for peace,” Farr said in a statement. “The transition after decades of violence won’t be easy, but Colombians are ready for a new era of peace and prosperity."
Farr was a Peace Corps volunteer in Medellin, Colombia, from 1964 to 1966. He credits the experience with getting him involved in public service and for his work on Colombia.