675 posts

Nearly two years after California lawmakers approved a $2-billion bond to help finance new housing for the state’s homeless, not a penny has been spent, and it’s unclear when any of the money will be available.


Three months after Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, an Assembly investigation has found the Pacoima Democrat likely engaged in “unwanted conduct” toward three subordinate employees while he worked as a legislative staffer.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein shook with glee on Wednesday after President Trump suggested an assault weapons ban should be included in a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales.

The California Democrat, who became mayor of San Francisco after the shooting deaths of George Moscone and Harvey Milk in 1978, authored the original assault weapons ban in the 1990s and has been pushing to reinstate it since Congress let it expire in 2004.

Amid a nationwide reckoning over the latest mass shooting at a school, Trump said during a White House meeting with lawmakers Wednesday that he wants a comprehensive gun bill, something Congress has repeatedly struggled to get done.

  • California Legislature
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a news conference this week.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a news conference this week. (Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is not on board with high-profile state legislation designed to substantially increase new housing near transit despite pending changes intended to protect renters from displacement.

Garcetti believes Senate Bill 827 from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) doesn’t go far enough to address concerns about housing affordability and the existing character of Los Angeles’ neighborhoods.

“Mayor Garcetti appreciates Sen. Wiener's bold proposal to help address our housing crisis, and the most recent amendments are encouraging,” Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar said in a statement. “But this bill is still too blunt for our single-family home areas.”

  • California Legislature
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students hug survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting before heading to a rally earlier this month..
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students hug survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting before heading to a rally earlier this month.. (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

California would raise the minimum age for purchasing a rifle and other long guns from 18 to 21 under legislation proposed Wednesday in response to the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school.

The measure by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) would also ban the purchase of more than one firearm by individuals in any 30-day period.

Portantino proposed the bill after a gunman armed with a semiautomatic rifle killed 17 people at a Parkland, Fla., high school on Feb. 14. The suspect is a 19-year-old who authorities say purchased the weapon legally.

Motorists slog through traffic on the 110 Freeway.
Motorists slog through traffic on the 110 Freeway. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The California Republican Party has donated $200,000 to an initiative drive aimed at repealing recent increases to the state gas tax and vehicle fees while the campaign is still struggling to collect enough signatures to qualify a measure for the November ballot.

The infusion of cash to the group Give Voters a Voice comes as supporters of the tax increases in Senate Bill 1 released a study Wednesday that predicted the revenue generated by the levies will significantly boost the state economy.

The initiative drive has collected 550,000 of the 585,000 signatures needed to qualify a constitutional amendment that would not only repeal the taxes but require future increases to be approved by voters.

  • 2018 election
  • U.S. Senate race
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A group of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s longtime supporters and staff are hoping to remind Californians of the senator’s quarter century of work in Washington with a new super political action committee called “Delivering for California.”

“I want Dianne Feinstein in the crucible,” said former California Democratic Party Chairman Phil Angelides. “I can’t think of anyone who is better equipped for these extraordinary times.” 

Angelides, who is also a former state treasurer, and labor rights icon Dolores Huerta will serve as co-chairs.

adillon (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The former employer of  Rep. Linda Sanchez’s husband, Jim Sullivan, paid $35,000 to settle a 2015 harassment complaint against him, according to the settlement agreement. 

Norwich Public Utilities agreed in May 2016 to pay $35,000 to settle a harassment complaint filed by a female utilities employee in September 2015 against Sullivan, who was then chairman of the Connecticut-based utilities commission. A month later, Sullivan resigned from the commission he had served on for 16 years.

“My husband and I have addressed this as a family. It does not affect my views on the need for serious change in how we deal with and put an end to workplace harassment,” Sanchez, who is the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement Tuesday.

  • California in Congress

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) announced earlier Tuesday that he planned to hold a “town hall” on Facebook to answer questions from constituents on a video live stream. 

Rohrabacher didn’t hold an in-person town hall last year, but did hold at least three telephone town halls in 2017. His spokesman, Ken Grubbs, says they’re conducive to “more thoughtful questions and answers and do not abide organized protests in which constituents cannot communicate with him.”

Hours before the live stream began, Facebook users began posting questions on the event page about sanctuary cities, sober living homes, gun control and the Russia investigation. Rohrabacher said questions would be chosen from the ones posted there.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election