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547 posts
  • 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.

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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

In the early morning hours after the June 5 primary, Democrat Harley Rouda declared victory in California’s 48th Congressional District.

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  • California Legislature
(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

California voters in November will get to weigh in on whether the state should continue its practice of changing the clocks twice a year after Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill to put the question on the statewide ballot.

The ballot measure would only give the Legislature the power to alter the practice with a two-thirds vote by both houses. Even then, approval from the federal government would be required.

“If passed, it will — albeit through a circuitous path — open the door for year-round daylight saving,” Brown wrote in a signing message, adding in Latin “Fiat Lux!” which translates to “Let there be light.”

  • Ballot measures
  • California Legislature
Alastair Mactaggart, left, the sponsor of a proposed internet privacy initiative, backed a similar bill by Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia).
Alastair Mactaggart, left, the sponsor of a proposed internet privacy initiative, backed a similar bill by Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia). (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a sweeping new consumer privacy law on Thursday that gives Californians new authority over their personal data, a framework that backers say could be adopted throughout the country.

The legislation sailed through the Senate and Assembly earlier in the day, but the vote count belied the frenzied behind-the-scenes negotiations to craft a last-minute bill to stave off a similar ballot initiative.

“Today we have a chance to make a difference by giving California consumers control of their own data,” said Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), the author of the measure, AB 375.