After weeks of back-and-forth between environmentalists and business interests, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders introduced a proposal Monday to reauthorize California's cap and trade program, the centerpiece of the state's efforts to battle climate change.
The plan consists of two separate bills: AB 398, which would extend the life of the program until 2030 and modify how the cap-and-trade market operates, and AB 617, which aims to address concerns about air quality in communities by increasing monitoring and imposing stricter penalties on polluters.
The proposal would make several significant changes to how the current system operates, including giving the California Air Resources Board the authority to set a ceiling on the price of carbon — which determines how expensive emissions permits are — as a way to guard against price spikes at the pump. It would also decrease the amount of offsets, in which businesses pay for environmental projects in California and throughout the country to ease the cost of complying with the program, and require that half of such projects take place in California, a mandate that doesn’t currently exist.
Over the shouts of a lone heckler at a packed Livermore town hall, Northern California Rep. Eric Swalwell on Saturday once more called for the creation of an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“If we do anything, we should make sure that the 2018 election is more secure than the 2016 election,” Swalwell said, drawing a round of applause from the audience.
Roughly 500 people filled the seats at a Granada High School gym, many of whom were attending a town hall for the first time amid concerns over what they said they view as a tense and divisive political climate in Washington. The event was organized to address questions from constituents about jobs, healthcare and what Swalwell called efforts to protect democracy.
More than 30 community organizations and advocates are working to reverse a California state agency rule that requires migrant farmworkers to clear out of subsidized housing at the end of a growing season and move more than 50 miles away.
They say the outdated regulation from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, known as the “50-mile rule,” forces children to switch schools twice a year, causing most to fall behind and drop out. But state agency officials say support for the rule has been just as strong to regulate the limited supply of migrant farmworker housing.
The debate comes as California is struggling with a shortage of homes driving its affordability crisis, and a labor shortage in the fields that has brought new temporary guest workers to towns and cities along the state's coastal agricultural belt.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that makes a plaintiff's immigration status irrelevant to the issue of liability in civil cases involving consumer protection, civil rights, labor and housing laws.
Assembly Bill 1690, written by Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley), prevents inquiries into a person's immigration status in civil court, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that such a query is necessary to comply with federal immigration law.
The legislation, which was backed by the Consumer Attorneys of California, immigration rights groups and several public policy centers, was meant to clarify current state law, which states that all civil protections, rights and remedies are available under state law, except if banned by federal law.
Dozens of legislative proposals have been rejected by Gov. Jerry Brown through the years over his lament that there are too many laws, and now added to that list is the danger of high-flying helium balloons.
Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1091 on Monday, a bill that would have made it a crime to "willfully release" balloons made of Mylar or another "electrically conductive material."
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation allowing cities to continue sidestepping provisions of CEQA when planning for new bike lanes or painting them on roads. But the measure, Assembly Bill 1218 from Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake), doesn't do much to address the problem.
It took decades for John Chiang to hustle into the top ranks of California politics, and he relished all the schmoozing along the way.
On the Lunar New Year, Chiang turned up at a firecracker party in Westminster. Weeks later, he awoke early for a cattlemen’s breakfast in Sacramento. When the Fresno Rotary Club sought a luncheon speaker, Chiang made time.
His nonstop networking has paid dividends. He won five elections in a rout, most recently for state treasurer in 2014.
Consider where things stood at the same point in 2015. Then, there were 31 initiatives gathering signatures in hopes of landing on the November 2016 ballot. Out of that came 17 propositions that ultimately made it to voters.
By contrast, there are only five initiatives now in the signature-gathering phase. Nine others are awaiting a formal vetting.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's reelection campaign said she has raised $25.9 million for House Democrats' bid to retake the chamber in 2018, with the majority of the money going to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.