California voters in November will get to weigh in on whether the state should continue its practice of changing the clocks twice a year after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill to put the question on the statewide ballot.
The ballot measure would only give the Legislature the power to alter the practice with a two-thirds vote by both houses. Even then, approval from the federal government would be required.
“If passed, it will — albeit through a circuitous path — open the door for year-round daylight saving,” Brown wrote in a signing message, adding in Latin “Fiat Lux!” which translates to “Let there be light.”
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a sweeping new consumer privacy law on Thursday that gives Californians new authority over their personal data, a framework that backers say could be adopted throughout the country.
The legislation sailed through the Senate and Assembly earlier in the day, but the vote count belied the frenzied behind-the-scenes negotiations to craft a last-minute bill to stave off a similar ballot initiative.
“Today we have a chance to make a difference by giving California consumers control of their own data,” said Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), the author of the measure, AB 375.
California schools, healthcare and social services programs will see spending increases under the state budget signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The $201.4-billion plan, which takes effect next week, is the final budget of Brown's eight-year tenure. It is also the third consecutive blueprint that includes notably higher-than-expected tax revenue, a sizable portion of which lawmakers are diverting into the largest cash reserve in California history.
“This budget is a milestone,” Brown said at an event in Los Angeles. “We’re not trying to tear down, we’re not trying to blame. We’re trying to do something.”
Californians will decide in November whether to borrow $2 billion to fund new housing for homeless residents.
Gov. Jerry Brown authorized the ballot measure Wednesday when he signed the state’s annual budget and related legislation. The measure would draw funding from dollars generated by Proposition 63, a 1% income tax surcharge on millionaires passed in 2004 that funds mental health services. Housing built or rehabilitated under the plan would be designated for mentally ill residents living on the streets.
This is the second try at a spending plan for Brown and state lawmakers, who first tried to approve the money without a public vote in 2016. But a Sacramento attorney and mental health advocates challenged the effort in court, arguing that the money shouldn’t be diverted from treatment programs and that legislators needed a vote of the people to authorize the funds. That case is still in litigation and the November ballot measure, if successful, would free up the money.
State senators advanced a proposal Tuesday that would ban local governments from approving new taxes on sodas and other sugary drinks until 2031, a bill aimed at spiking an industry-sponsored initiative that would limit the ability of cities and counties to raise any taxes.
The bill, AB 1838, is moving quickly through the Legislature in advance of a Thursday deadline for proponents of initiatives to withdraw their measures from the November statewide ballot. The beverage industry is expected to have collected enough signatures for an initiative that would prohibit local governments from increasing taxes without two-thirds support from the public, which significantly raises the current threshold.
Over the weekend, legislators introduced a bill that includes the temporary soda tax ban in an effort to stave off the initiative. Local soda taxes have become popular in recent years with public health advocates arguing that they are necessary to reduce obesity and diabetes risks.
Faced with opposition from California counties and cities, lawmakers on Tuesday shelved a proposal that would have replaced 25 digital signs operated by the state along freeways with electronic billboards running commercial ads in addition to traffic warnings.
Lacking the votes for passage, Assemblymen Kevin Mullin of South San Francisco and Rob Bonta of Alameda pulled their bill from the Senate Transportation Committee, which needed to act on it Tuesday for it to meet deadlines for approval.
“AB 1405 is no longer an active bill for this legislative year and Mr. Mullin does not plan to pursue the goals in AB 1405 through any other means in 2018,” Susan Kennedy, a spokeswoman for the assemblyman, said late Tuesday. “Future pursuit of this legislation would be determined only after discussions with all the involved stakeholders to make sure any and all concerns are addressed.”