The decision by leaders of the California Legislature to voluntarily disclose some records related to sexual misconduct investigations could, under a new proposal, become state law.
On Tuesday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee introduced legislation to codify the guidelines unveiled last month for releasing records. Those rules were announced in the wake of conversations between Los Angeles Times attorneys and legislative officials, but do not have the force of law if future lawmakers reverse course.
“We are faced with a unique opportunity to fix some policies that should have been fixed a long time ago,” said Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley), the committee chairman.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been speaking on the House floor since 7:04 a.m. Pacific time, pushing for House Republican leaders to promise to hold a vote on a legislative fix for the status of people brought to the country illegally as children.
The San Francisco Democrat is now nearing hour eight, having blown past the previous record for the longest House speech anyone can remember, which occurred in 1909 when Champ Clark of Missouri held the floor for 5 hours and 15 minutes to speak against a tariff overhaul.
Unlike Pelosi, who has spoken nearly without interruption, Clark was repeatedly interrupted during his remarks.
The California Department of Justice on Wednesday took its federal counterpart to court, seeking an order to release documents that would explain the rationale of a threat to withhold law enforcement grants unless agencies in the state cooperate with immigration enforcement.
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed the lawsuit in San Francisco against the U.S. Department of Justice and its Office of Justice Programs, following up a Freedom of Information Act request in September for information about new conditions placed on law enforcement grants under the Trump administration.
The new conditions were set by the federal government as California declared itself a sanctuary state that is restricting how local law enforcement agencies cooperate on immigration enforcement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, wants House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to commit to holding a vote on a legislative fix for people brought to the country illegally as children, and she has been speaking on the House floor for hours.
Pelosi sent out a statement earlier saying she wants a commitment from Ryan to bring a bill for so-called Dreamers to the House floor in exchange for her support for the massive bipartisan spending package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made such a promise to Senate Democrats as part of a deal to end the last shutdown just weeks ago.
A UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies poll released Wednesday found that likely voters in one of the most volatile districts, the 7th Congressional District, are “inclined” to reelect Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove by a 48% to 44% margin.
The Sacramento-area seat is a frequent Republican focus. Bera won a third term with 51.2% of the vote in 2016 and so far, his 2018 opponents have struggled to break through or compete with his current $1.4-million war chest.
A Bay Area lawmaker wants to require Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies to have all electric fleets by 2028.
Senate Bill 1014 from Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) would set goals for the electrification of ride-hailing cars over the next decade, and set aside up to $300 million to help subsidize the purchase of electric cars by ride-hailing drivers.
As the ride-hailing companies continue to gain popularity, particularly in urban areas, their cars should lead the way on adopting zero-emission vehicles, Skinner said in a statement.
The new sexual harassment reporting and settlement process for Capitol Hill staffers that was approved by the House Tuesday wouldput victims in control, said California Rep. Jackie Speier.
Speier (D-Hillsborough) and House Administration Committee members wrote the legislation that would simplify the current convoluted sexual harassment reporting process. The legislation follows a series of high-profile sexual harassment stories that have rocked Hollywood, the media and Capitol Hill. Speier said the current process was designed to protect harassers.
“The victim becomes the person we’re putting first and foremost,” Speier said at a news conference after the House approved the bill by a voice vote. “The victim will have support, the victim will have legal representation. The victim will be in charge and any member who thinks, moving forward, that they are going to get away with sexual harassment, we have a big wakeup call for you.”
Any California registered lobbyist found to have committed sexual harassment could be banned from similar work for up to four years under a plan introduced on Tuesday at the state Capitol.
“We need to protect people throughout the Capitol community from harassment and hold perpetrators accountable," Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) said. "The scope of sexual harassment expands beyond the Legislature, and we have a duty to protect the entire community.”
Levine’s bill would require the state Fair Political Practices Commission, which oversees much of the regulation of lobbying, to investigate sexual harassment complaints made against individuals who are registered to lobby state officials. The ban for those found guilty could, in some cases, be imposed for as long as four years.