The White House on Wednesday announced a series of new funding and environmental programs to address the deteriorating health of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding forests caused in part by the increasing temperatures brought about by climate change.
The announcement came just hours before President Obama was scheduled to address the Lake Tahoe Summit, an annual environmental conference that California and Nevada leaders began two decades ago because of concerns about the declining water clarity in the once crystal-clear Sierra lake.
Tahoe’s surface water temperature in 2015 was the highest ever recorded, while annual snowfall levels have been on the decline. The increasing air temperatures in the Lake Tahoe region also have stressed the surrounding forests, causing an alarming increase in tree mortality and fire danger, according to the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.
California lawmakers on Tuesday sent the governor a bill to end the statute of limitations for prosecuting rape and other felony sex crimes.
If the governor signs the bill, crimes including rape and child sexual abuse could be prosecuted at any time.
Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) introduced the bill in the wake of news that dozens of women have said comedian Bill Cosby raped them. Most of their cases cannot be prosecuted because the statutes of limitations for those crimes have expired.
Lawmakers on Tuesday narrowly rejected an effort to create new disclosure rules for California political mailers and money gathered from several donors into a single contribution.
Assembly Bill 700 failed by a single vote in the state Senate, needing a supermajority of 27 senators to pass.
The complex campaign finance bill became ensnared in a disagreement this month over whether it represented more or less donor disclosure. The state's Fair Political Practices Commission voted to oppose late amendments to AB 700 regarding the disclosure rules for "earmarked" contributions.
This week, the Legislature approved two measures, SB 1069 from Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and AB 2299 from Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) aimed at forcing local governments to approve the secondary housing units, often known as “granny flats.”
“People are shocked and frustrated when they see the enormous fees and requirements that are preventing them from adding a small unit or converting a room in their house,” Wieckowski said in a statement. “SB 1069 will eliminate unnecessary fees and reduce requirements to give homeowners more control over their home.”
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez on Tuesday took to Twitter to voice his support for a California bill that would expand overtime pay for thousands of farmworkers across the state.
Assembly Bill 1066, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown after it was approved Monday in a historic vote on the state Assembly floor. Brown has made no indication as to whether he will sign the legislation, and his office said Tuesday he generally does not comment on pending proposals. A spokesman also said he would not comment on Perez's support for the bill.
Farmworkers that put food on our table deserve same protections that other industries have had for years. CA bill would ensure fairness.
The proposal would roll out new rules for farmworker overtime in 2019, lowering the current 10-hour-day threshold for overtime by half an hour each year until it reaches the standard eight-hour day by 2022. It also would phase in a 40-hour standard workweek for the first time. The governor would be able to suspend any part of the process for a year depending on economic conditions.
U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris on Tuesday called for new national policies to reduce recidivism by felons released from prison and to make data on crime and police actions more accessible to the public.
Harris, California’s attorney general, made the comments during a roundtable discussion on criminal justice at Community Coalition in South Los Angeles.
California lawmakers on Tuesday sent the governor a bill that could help students graduate in four years from California State University schools.
Only 19% of students at Cal State campuses graduate in four years, state Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) said, citing statistics from 2011. Glazer's bill would create programs at Cal State campuses to help students graduate on time. Students in the programs would receive extra support from academic advisors and priority registration in classes. They would be required to take a minimum number of credits and maintain a qualifying GPA.
Low-income and first-generation students, as well as community college graduates and students from communities with low college attendance rates, would be given priority to participate in the programs. They would also have to be eligible for in-state tuition.