Billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer is endorsing state Sen. Kevin de León in his insurgent challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and did not rule out funding an outside effort to boost De León’s chances.
“I think he’s the kind of young progressive that reflects California and would be a very strong advocate for our state nationally,” Steyer said in an interview on Tuesday, pointing to De León’s efforts on issues such as immigration, climate change and gun control while he was the state Senate leader. “I know him well and he’s a friend. We share a lot of values.”
As part of a shift toward less optimistic expectations for investment returns to pay for government worker pensions, board members of the California Public Employees Retirement System voted Tuesday to require an almost $6.3-billion payment from the state budget in the fiscal year that begins on July 1.
The state issued a warning Tuesday that businesses holding licenses to sell marijuana could face penalties if they participate in unlicensed temporary events away from their stores, including on Friday, April 20, which has become an annual celebration for counterculture groups.
The warning was issued ahead of 4/20 by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control. Since Jan. 1, the bureau has issued more than 700 state licenses to sell marijuana for medical or recreational use.
The bureau has issued 47 temporary event licenses to groups that are limited to holding the marijuana celebrations on county fairgrounds that have authorized such events with city approval.
Some major law enforcement groups signaled Tuesday they are willing to support making part of police officer disciplinary records public, a dramatic departure from their past positions.
Local and national attention on police shootings and misconduct has led law enforcement organizations to reconsider their blanket opposition to proposals that would give public access to some internal disciplinary investigations of officers.
“We're going to be open to supporting efforts that would allow for some records to be released,” said Ryan Sherman, a lobbyist with the Riverside Sheriff’s Assn.
Two weeks after winning a Los Angeles special election, the newest member of the California Assembly says she hopes to focus on reforms to the state’s criminal justice system during her time in Sacramento.
Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) took the oath of office on Monday, filling one of three vacant seats representing Los Angeles County in the lower house. The Democrat, a former community college trustee and legislative staffer, thanked her mentors in remarks from the Assembly rostrum.
“So many women, and in my life so many black women, have paid in giving me the kind of morals and integrity and grit that is required to fight on behalf of people that you know, and people that you don’t know,” she said.
Her father, uncle, a cousin and two older brothers. Those are some of the family members 16-year-old Aaliyah Smith has lost to gun violence. Then there are her friends.
Jermaine Jackson Jr., 27, was shot and killed in 2016 while he painted over graffiti in San Francisco. Toriano “Tito” Adger, 18, was shot there a year later at a bus stop. He called Smith, who was nearby, and warned her to run. She made it inside a library moments before the crack of gunfire.
Last week, Smith was among hundreds who gathered in Sacramento for annual National Crime Victims’ Rights Week events, where calls were issued for a new approach to criminal justice and public safety in California, one that puts survivors at the center of policy. But a debate is brewing over what that entails.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget is built on what taxpayers might find an audacious assumption: almost $14 billion in tax payments in the month of April, an average of $83 million collected per hour on every business day of the month.
Most of that money will come from the taxes Californians pay in advance of Tuesday night’s filing deadline for income tax returns. If history is any guide, the rate of payment could quadruple by week’s end.
While tax rules have shifted some of the payment schedules to other months, April remains a vitally important month to the fiscal health of state government. The state controller’s office reports more than 15% of all personal income tax revenues in 2017 were collected in April. In the recession years of a decade ago, tax revenue predictions were frequently off the mark by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein widened her already-massive fundraising advantage in the run-up to June’s primary, raising twice as much in the first quarter than her strongest Senate challenger has sitting in the bank.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in a new radio ad by GOP gubernatorial hopeful John Cox, calls the San Diego County businessman a “conservative champion” who is gaining momentum in California’s 2018 race for governor.
Gingrich notes that recent polls show Cox is second place in the race, behind Democratic front-runner Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, calling it evidence that the Republican candidate is leading a conservative resurgence in California.
“Why? Because they agree with John Cox on the two most pressing issues facing Californians — repealing Jerry Brown’s “sanctuary state” and his $52-billion gas tax increase,” Gingrich says in the ad.