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Gabriela Cruz, who was brought to the U.S. illegally when she was 1, couldn’t vote, but in the final hours before the Nov. 6 election, she was making one last run to get people to the polls.

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  • State government
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Seeking to frame his new administration as one with a firm focus on closing the gap between children from affluent and poor families, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose spending some $1.8 billion on an array of programs designed to boost California’s enrollment in early education and child-care programs.

Newsom’s plan, which he hinted at in a Fresno event last month, will be a key element in the state budget proposal he will submit to the Legislature shortly after taking office Monday, a source close to the governor-elect’s transition team said.

The spending would boost programs designed to ensure children enter kindergarten prepared to learn, closing what some researchers have called the “readiness gap” that exists based on a family’s income. It would also phase in an expansion of prekindergarten and offer money to help school districts that don’t have facilities for full-day kindergarten.

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  • State government

No Californian has served longer as governor, signed more laws, granted clemency to more felons or waged more high-profile campaigns than Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown will leave behind a unique legacy when he packs his last belongings for the trip from the governor’s mansion in Sacramento to his Northern California ranch. His final two terms in office could be his most consequential.

The governor reviewed some of the more notable moments from the past eight years in a far-reaching interview with The Times on Dec. 22. This week’s podcast episode includes extended portions of that conversation.

  • California Legislature
Youth football players leave the field during halftime of an NFL preseason football game in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Youth football players leave the field during halftime of an NFL preseason football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. (Bill Wippert / Associated Press)

California youth football supporters who defended their sport against a proposal this year that would have barred tackling have taken a new approach: going on the offensive.

Under a bill supported by a coalition of youth football groups, California, beginning in 2021, would limit children to two 60-minute practices of full contact, while barring tackling in the sport’s offseason.

The proposal introduced this month by Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) models the limitations on restrictions already in place for high school football in California, which caps full-contact practices to 90 minutes twice a week.

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Gov. Jerry Brown, at his Colusa County home on Saturday, said a ballot measure to raise commercial property taxes could struggle in 2020.
Gov. Jerry Brown, at his Colusa County home on Saturday, said a ballot measure to raise commercial property taxes could struggle in 2020. (Randall Benton/For The Times)

An effort to remove commercial property in California from the tax limits imposed by the landmark Proposition 13 could be felled by an economic slowdown, Gov. Jerry Brown said.

In a Saturday interview with The Times at his Northern California ranch, Brown said liberal activist groups that have successfully placed the proposal on the November 2020 statewide ballot shouldn’t read too much into early poll numbers showing support for the plan.

“That isn’t as easy as you think,” Brown said. “Because you’re going to be in a downturn of the business cycle. And you’re talking many kinds of business. And the cost of doing business in California is already high.”

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts (Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

The city of Inglewood has authorized the shredding of more than 100 police shooting and other internal investigation records weeks before a new state law could allow the public to access them for the first time.

The decision, made at a City Council meeting earlier this month, has troubled civil liberties advocates who were behind the state legislation, Senate Bill 1421, which takes effect Jan. 1. The law opens to the public internal investigations of officer shootings and other major uses of force, along with confirmed cases of sexual assault and lying while on duty.

“The legislature passed SB 1421 because communities demanded an end to the secrecy cloaking police misconduct and use of force,” Marcus Benigno, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said in a statement. “Inglewood PD’s decision to purge records undermines police accountability and transparency against the will of Californians.”

  • State government
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has notified the California Department of Motor Vehicles that its process for providing residents with federally recognized identification cards is not adequate.

DMV spokesman Armando Botello said Friday that 2.3 million residents who received Real IDs under the current process will have to submit additional documentation when their cards are renewed in five years but will be able to use them in the meantime.

The DMV is developing a way for residents to submit more documentation online or via email to comply with the stricter federal requirement, he said.

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Keely Bosler, the director of the California Department of Finance, will continue in that role under Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.
Keely Bosler, the director of the California Department of Finance, will continue in that role under Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom. (California Department of Finance)

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom on Friday appointed Keely Martin Bosler as director of the California Department of Finance, continuing the role she has served under Gov. Jerry Brown since August.

Bosler will become Newsom’s chief fiscal advisor, and will play a pivotal role in shaping Newsom’s spending plan for the state that will lay the foundation for his top policy priorities. Newsom must roll out his first budget plan within days of taking office on Jan. 7.

“California’s brighter future depends on a strong, stable fiscal foundation,” Newsom said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “Keely is an accomplished public servant of sound fiscal judgment. She understands that state budgets are more than numbers on a page – they are value statements affecting the fate and future of millions of families reaching for the California Dream.  We are fortunate to have her on our team.”  

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, who has led the state research unit since 2008, will retire on Dec. 31.
Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, who has led the state research unit since 2008, will retire on Dec. 31. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Only five people have led the independent research office of the California Legislature since its creation in 1941. And each of them has had a pretty simple mantra to live by in reviewing public policy proposals and government programs: Call it like you see it.

“The job of any analyst, to me, is you maintain that nonpartisanship,” Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said.

Taylor, 65, will retire from the post at the end of December after a four-decade career with the research team that began, as he likes to tell it, just after the passage of the landmark property tax rollback, Proposition 13, in 1978. He became the leader of the office, with the title of legislative analyst, in October 2008.