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499 posts
  • State government
Marijuana on display at the Harborside dispensary in Oakland. Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday named members of a new cannabis appeals panel.
Marijuana on display at the Harborside dispensary in Oakland. Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday named members of a new cannabis appeals panel. (Mathew Sumner / AP Photo)

Six months after California began licensing growing and selling marijuana, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday appointed the first members of a new Cannabis Control Appeals Panel to consider objections from those denied permits or those facing penalties for violating regulations.

The governor gets to name three of the five members of the panel and on Tuesday appointed county prosecutor Sabrina D. Ashjian of Fresno, college lecturer Diandra Bremond of Los Angeles, and a staff attorney for the governor, Adrian Carpenter of Plumas Lake.

The other two appointments will be made by the Senate Rules Committee and the speaker of the Assembly.

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Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Monday announced plans to improve disaster preparedness and develop policies to better deal with the wildfires that are plaguing California, citing the historic fires that hit the state last year.

For the first six months of this year, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has battled wildfires on 53,000 acres, compared with an average of 23,000 acres over the same time in previous years, officials said. On Monday, firefighters were working to control a wildfire in Yolo County that had grown to 44,500 acres overnight.

Legislation to step up planning was sent to a conference committee for consideration, according to a statement from Brown and Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and Assembly.

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  • California Legislature
Ely Fernandez of Honduras is questioned after being detained for crossing the border illegally in March with his 5-year-old son, Bryan.
Ely Fernandez of Honduras is questioned after being detained for crossing the border illegally in March with his 5-year-old son, Bryan. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Members of the California Assembly on Monday urged an end to the Trump administration’s immigration efforts that separated children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the issue is one of humanity and not partisan politics.

“Generations down the line will remember those who allowed and advocated for the separation of children from their mothers,” Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace) said during debate on the Assembly floor.

The resolution, which carries no force of law, singles out President Trump and U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. It urges “compassion and decency” in the enforcement of immigration laws, and offers a reminder of procedures that exist for those declaring asylum.

  • Politics podcast

California’s fall ballot may be on the long side — a dozen propositions will be considered by voters — but it could have been longer, if not for blockbuster deals struck in Sacramento.

On this week’s episode of the California Politics Podcast, we take a look at the negotiations that pulled sweeping privacy and tax initiatives off the ballot and the decision by some of the nation’s largest paint companies to abandon their proposal too.

We also take a quick look at the proposals that voters will consider on Nov. 6. And we assess some of the key political impacts of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last week on public employee union fees.

The public face of the long-shot effort to pass House immigration legislation in recent weeks has been California’s Rep. Jeff Denham.

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Jerred Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary, stocks shelves with cannabis products in Los Angeles.
Jerred Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary, stocks shelves with cannabis products in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

All marijuana sold in California by state licensed firms will be required starting Sunday to undergo new testing for quality and toxins, but retailers warn they face financial hardship because they will have to destroy tens of millions of dollars’ worth of untested product still on their shelves.

The United Cannabis Business Assn. led 128 cannabis businesses and advocacy groups in petitioning Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday to indefinitely extend the period for selling marijuana products that do not meet the new testing standards to avoid forcing some licensed firms out of business.

“This really is the destruction of the whole supply chain,” said Jerred Kiloh, president of the United Cannabis Business Assn., which represents 76 pot retailers in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Renters facing eviction confront anti-rent-control advocates at the offices of Beachfront Property Management in Long Beach in June
Renters facing eviction confront anti-rent-control advocates at the offices of Beachfront Property Management in Long Beach in June (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

California voters will decide on four housing measures in the November election. No issue will be more contested than rent control.

Tenant advocacy groups qualified an initiative that would repeal Costa-Hawkins, the 1995 state law that bans most new rent-control policies across the state, and allow cities and counties to set more rules for limiting rent increases. Landlord organizations are strongly opposed and have indicated that they’ll spend $60 million to defeat the measure.

With a lot at stake, both sides had reasons to try to compromise. On this episode of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod, we talk about why tenants and landlords couldn’t strike a deal to keep the initiative off the ballot, and set up what the fall campaign will look like. Our guests are Debra Carlton, senior vice president at the California Apartment Assn., and Amy Schur, campaign director at Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

California cities and counties won’t be allowed to tax soda for the next 12 years after Gov. Jerry Brown signed fast-moving legislation Thursday.

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  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Lead paint peeling in a home in Los Angeles in June.
Lead paint peeling in a home in Los Angeles in June. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

After months of pressure from state legislators and public health advocates, major paint manufacturers have withdrawn an initiative that would have appeared on California’s November ballot.

The decision avoids a fight in the fall, when voters were set to decide whether Sherwin-Williams and ConAgra would be on the hook for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up lead paint in homes. The initiative would have blunted a state appeals court ruling that made the companies liable for the cleanup. In its place, taxpayers would have funded a $2-billion loan to finance cleanup of lead-based and other hazardous paint.

“This is a victory for all Californians,” Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) said in a statement. “We pushed back against the lead paint industry and won.”

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Beach) attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2015.
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Beach) attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2015. (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mimi Walters’ chances of reelection just got slimmer according to one election prognosticator.

On Thursday, analysts for Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics moved her race in the 45th Congressional District from “leans Republican” to a “toss-up.”

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of the ratings publisher, cited the fact that Walters received just over half of the vote share in her district during the June 5 primary, a marked decrease from previous years