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Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, seen here last April, will propose new state budget efforts on paid family leave and education subsidies.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, seen here last April, will propose new state budget efforts on paid family leave and education subsidies. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

California’s incoming governor, who must send his first state budget plan to the Legislature this week, has already signaled a significant new focus on programs to help families and children from infancy to college.

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom campaigned on a platform that included a number of child-focused efforts specifically aimed at helping lower-income families. The price tag for the initial efforts is expected to approach $2 billion — a cost paid out of an unrestricted tax revenue windfall that could be one of the largest in state history.

Newsom may also seek help for families through new subsidies paid by California employers. The governor-elect is expected to propose a dramatic expansion of paid parental leave — from six weeks to six months — according to an internal document provided by a source close to the Newsom transition team, first reported on Sunday by the New York Times.

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  • State government
The Old Governor's Mansion State Historic Park in Sacramento. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will move his family into the mansion.
The Old Governor's Mansion State Historic Park in Sacramento. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will move his family into the mansion. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and his family will give up the Marin County life and move to the Victorian-style governor's mansion in Sacramento after he takes the oath of office Monday.

Newsom and his wife, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, had debated whether or when to relocate to the state capital since his election in November.

The couple have four young children and expressed reservations about moving in the middle of a school year.

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  • State government
Julie Su will be secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency for Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.
Julie Su will be secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency for Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom on Friday named two advisors on issues related to the California economy, each recognized for their expertise on business and labor.

The incoming governor will appoint Julie Su as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and Lenny Mendonca as chief economic and business advisor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Su, 49, has served as state labor commissioner under Gov. Jerry Brown since 2011 and has led an office tasked with the enforcement of California’s labor laws. She won a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2001 and previously worked as a civil rights attorney representing low-wage workers. In her new position, Su will be tasked with coordinating the work of several workforce departments in state government, including those that administer unemployment benefits and oversee the relationship between agriculture workers and employers.

  • California Democrats
California Supreme Court Justice Joshua Groban gives remarks after he is sworn into the court by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.
California Supreme Court Justice Joshua Groban gives remarks after he is sworn into the court by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday. (Taryn Luna)

California Supreme Court Justice Joshua Groban, a lawyer and longtime aide to Gov. Jerry Brown, was sworn into the state’s highest court Thursday in Sacramento.

“We live in a highly chaotic, ever-changing and ever-confusing world,” Groban said in prepared remarks at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building. “But I’m happy to report that I’m joining an institution whose fundamental purpose, at core, is to provide stability and consistency amidst this chaotic place we live. I look forward to doing that with a sense of reflection, respect, fidelity to the law and compassion.”

Former state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia).
Former state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia). (Steve Yeater / Associated Press)

Elected officials accused of harassment or discrimination would be barred from using political contributions to cover their legal defense costs under legislation proposed by California’s campaign watchdog agency.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission has agreed to pursue a law change to clear up confusion after an attorney for one former state lawmaker argued political funds could be used in such legal defenses.

Commission Chairwoman Alice Germond said putting a prohibition into the law would “provide some much needed clarity.”

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California Supreme Court building
California Supreme Court building (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

A new state law allowing the public disclosure of internal police shooting investigations has gone into effect after the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a bid by a police union to block it.

The law opens to the public for the first time internal investigations of officer shootings and other major uses of force, along with confirmed cases of sexual assault and lying while on duty.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Assn. challenged the law last month, asking state Supreme Court justices to decide that the law only apply to incidents that occur in 2019 or later. The court rejected that request Wednesday, allowing members of the public to seek all applicable records held by police departments. Union president Grant Ward said in a statement that his organization was disappointed with the decision and is now seeking other legal options.

CHP Officer J. Nelson stands outside the office of Gov. Jerry Brown as activists in 2015 support requiring the tracking of police stops.
CHP Officer J. Nelson stands outside the office of Gov. Jerry Brown as activists in 2015 support requiring the tracking of police stops. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Law enforcement agencies in California sustain few citizen complaints of racial or identity profiling, according to a report Wednesday by a state panel set up to help reduce bias in policing.

The state’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board recommended in its annual report that law enforcement agencies improve training and adopt clear guidelines for tracking and reporting data on who is stopped by officers.

The panel said that 453 law enforcement agencies in the state received 9,459 civilian complaints in 2017, including 865 complaints alleging racial or identity profiling.

A view of downtown Minneapolis in 2014
A view of downtown Minneapolis in 2014 (Stephen Maturen / Getty Images)

There’s a national movement brewing to roll back zoning rules in cities that only allow one house on a plot of land. The epicenter of that movement is Minneapolis, which passed a plan last month to eliminate single-family zoning citywide and let landowners build duplexes and triplexes on residential property.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we talk about the reasons why Minneapolis leaders took this action, including their desire to combat a history of racial exclusion and spur more housing density to fight climate change. We also debate how Minneapolis’ decision might affect housing politics in California. 

Our guest is Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, who helped shepherd the new zoning rules to passage and a former San Francisco city planner. 

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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.

  • 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.