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498 posts
  • California Legislature
Shant Damirdjian, left, assists customers at Cookies Los Angeles, which sells recreational marijuana under Proposition 64.
Shant Damirdjian, left, assists customers at Cookies Los Angeles, which sells recreational marijuana under Proposition 64. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Money collected through California’s marijuana taxes may fall short of the $175 million budgeted for the first six months of this year. The less-than-expected haul could force the Legislature to shelve a bill that would reduce the excise tax on pot from 15% to 11%, state officials warned Tuesday.

For the first three months of the year, the state collected $34 million in state excise taxes on cannabis. If the trend continues, revenue will be less than half of what was anticipated for the first six months, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

“We’re not seeing the numbers” expected, said Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), chairman of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. Tax revenue, he added is “woefully below the projections.”

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  • U.S. Senate race
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A week after voting with fellow Democrats to raise California’s gas tax, state Sen. Josh Newman was vacationing with his wife on a Caribbean island when he saw a news alert on his phone that said Republicans were targeting a lawmaker for recall over the action.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats

Gavin Newsom’s campaign on Monday released a television ad that focuses on gun control and features former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the survivor of an assassination attempt, and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.

It’s the first time the couple, who became notable gun-control advocates after the mass shooting in which Giffords was shot in the head, have appeared in a television ad this election cycle.

“Our country is at a crossroads,” Kelly says in the 30-second ad, which shows footage of young people protesting after the deadly shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. “Our children are demanding we stop America’s gun violence epidemic.”

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will begin airing ads in one Orange County congressional district on Tuesday, signaling it’s ready to take a more active role in one of the most competitive open House seats in the country.

According to two media buying sources, the committee is spending nearly $300,000 on cable TV ads, its first to air in any district this midterm season.

In two separate ads, which also include radio buys, the DCCC attacks the records of Republican candidates Bob Huff, a former state senator, and Shawn Nelson, who currently serves on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Both are vying for a chance to replace retiring GOP Rep. Ed Royce in a crowded race with 17 candidates on the ballot.

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Candidate Katie Hill at the 2018 California Democratic Convention in San Diego.
Candidate Katie Hill at the 2018 California Democratic Convention in San Diego. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A half-hour Vice News Tonight special on California congressional candidate Katie Hill’s campaign promises behind-the-scenes access to the world of politics in 2018, and it delivers. 

The first-time candidate is seen hunting for votes at the state Democratic Party Convention, preparing for a debate by watching a bit from comedian John Oliver and recounting how her personal life has changed since she entered the crowded race challenging GOP Rep. Steve Knight. Even breakfast with mom has to be scheduled by her campaign manager.

The documentary-style piece, airing on HBO on Monday night, also captures some uncomfortable moments on the trail, including an awkward sex joke made by Hill at the expense of one of her staffers.

  • California in Congress
Marvin Gaye in concert at the Forum.
Marvin Gaye in concert at the Forum. (Los Angeles Times)

He shaped the sound of Motown in the 1960s and 1970s, and legend Marvin Gaye could soon have a Los Angeles post office carrying his name.

The House of Representatives on Monday approved legislation to name the post office at 4040 W. Washington Blvd. in Gaye’s honor by a voice vote.

Born in Washington, D.C., Gaye scored a series of hit songs from “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” to “Sexual Healing” that topped the record charts for more than 20 years. His song “What’s Going On,” recorded after a fellow soul singer witnessed police brutality at an antiwar rally in Berkeley, was a No. 1 hit in 1971.

  • California Legislature
Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg).
Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). (Melanie Mason/Los Angeles Times)

As budget negotiating season heats up, Assembly Democrats are making their priorities clear, proposing $1 billion in new healthcare spending that includes expanding Medi-Cal coverage to young adults without legal status and subsidizing insurance premiums for the poor.

The plan was unveiled Monday in advance of the upcoming “May Revise” that details the governor’s updated budget proposal.

“Today’s action shows our commitment as an Assembly to improving our healthcare delivery system,” Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) said. The package “makes healthcare more affordable and provides more access to care.”

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People mingle for the start of the third and final day of the 2018 California Republican Party Convention and Candidate Fair in San Diego.
People mingle for the start of the third and final day of the 2018 California Republican Party Convention and Candidate Fair in San Diego. (Kent Nishimura Los Angeles Times)
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
A convention delegate tries to suspend the rules for a revote between candidates Travis Allen, standing left, and John Cox, center.
A convention delegate tries to suspend the rules for a revote between candidates Travis Allen, standing left, and John Cox, center. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The California Republican Party declined to offer an endorsement Sunday in the governor’s race, a move that could hurt the chances for GOP voters to coalesce behind a candidate before the June 5 primary election.

Businessman John Cox received 55.3% of the vote, short of the 60% required for the party nod. Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach received 40.5%, and 4.1% voted for no endorsement at the party’s convention in San Diego.

With Republicans split between the two candidates, the GOP faces the prospect of failing to advance a candidate to the general election. Failing to launch a GOP candidate to the top of the ticket could also dampen voter turnout in critical congressional races that are key to the party’s effort to hold on to control of the U.S. House of Representatives.