Gov. Jerry Brown will keep his imprint on the state’s powerful climate change agency beyond his time in office following an agency vote Thursday.
The California Air Resources Board, the state’s climate change and air quality regulator, granted 11 of its 14 members terms beyond the end of this year. The decision ensures that the next governor — either Democrat Gavin Newsom or Republican John Cox — won’t be able to appoint a majority of the board’s leadership for the entirety of his first term in office unless existing positions become vacant.
“I’m sure the next governor will be OK with a few of the folks here remaining on the board,” member Hector De La Torre said during debate on the measure.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has a dominant lead over the wealthy Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox in the race for California governor, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Opportunities for Cox to pick up support before the November election also appear to be limited, with just 9% of likely voters saying they were undecided.
“The electorate is very polarized today. For Republicans it’s hard to imagine voting for a Democrat. For Democrats, it’s hard to imagine voting for a Republican,” institute President Mark Baldassare said.
In the wake of San Francisco’s decision to remove citizenship status as a requirement for those voting in school board elections, a former Sacramento congressman said on Wednesday that he’ll work to change state law to block such efforts.
Doug Ose, a Republican who served in the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2005, submitted a proposed ballot measure to state officials that would ban voting by those in the U.S. illegally.
“It’s very simple. I don’t think noncitizens should be voting,” Ose said.
California’s top climate regulator will continue serving through 2020 under a plan set to be voted on Thursday.
Mary Nichols, who has led the California Air Resources Board since 2007, would see her term expire at the end of 2020 if the board’s members confirm staff recommendations at the Thursday meeting. The Air Resources Board is one of the most powerful agencies in the state, and is responsible for implementing California’s strict greenhouse gas and air pollution rules.
Legislation passed in 2016 authorizes Air Resources Board members to serve six-year terms, part of an effort by lawmakers to wrest some control over the agency from the governor, who appoints a dozen of the board’s 14 members. The new law, however, allowed initial terms in office to be staggered so that the board wouldn’t see constant turnover.
Former legislator David Hadley was unanimously appointed vice chairman of the California Republican Party on Tuesday by its board of directors. The move eases the path for the Manhattan Beach resident to become the party’s next leader once current Chairman Jim Brulte’s term ends in February.
Hadley, who ran for governor earlier this year before dropping out of the race after two weeks, served one term in the state Assembly representing much of the South Bay.
The 53-year-old businessman is a social moderate and fiscal conservative who has ties to prominent donors, relationships that could prove vital if next year’s chairman’s race is contested, and should he be elected leader of the state party.
Proposition 7 would allow the Legislature — if Congress approves — to abolish the twice-yearly changing of clocks, and instead permanently place the state on daylight saving time. It would undo provisions of a 1949 ballot measure that first created the shifting of official time by one hour every spring, thus allowing lawmakers to enact year-round daylight saving time as long as it’s consistent with federal law.
Although Proposition 7 won a spot on the ballot with bipartisan support in the state Capitol, not all lawmakers think voters should embrace it.
An assistant chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection asked employees to help build a Tiki bar behind the house he rented from the state government, according to a state audit released on Tuesday.
The high-ranking fire official “misused state employees and caused discredit” to the agency by quietly building the bar, complete with electricity and plumbing, over six months in 2016.
“The assistant chief misused state land when he built an unauthorized structure in the backyard of the home he rented from CAL FIRE,” auditors wrote. “The rental agreement states that the tenant agrees to obtain written consent from the CAL FIRE unit before making any significant improvements or changes to the site.”