268 posts
Handguns are displayed at the Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas in 2016.
Handguns are displayed at the Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas in 2016. (John Locher / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has repeatedly failed to follow its own rules for issuing concealed weapon permits, the state auditor concluded in a report released Thursday.

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell disputed some of the key findings of the audit, saying state officials misinterpreted the policy.

The department policy requires applicants to provide “convincing evidence” of a “clear and present danger to life or of great bodily harm” to get a license, but the audit found the department issued 24 licenses during the last few years without sufficient evidence. 

  • California Legislature
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats
  • Sexual harassment
  • California Legislature
  • California Republicans
State Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)
State Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) (Mark Boster)

California Senate Republican leader Patricia Bates is wading into the sexual harassment debate that has swept up the Capitol and is calling on her Democratic colleagues to allow whistleblowers to speak out by releasing them from non-disclosure agreements.

Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) wrote in a letter to the Democratic legislative leaders — Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) — that Senate Republicans are calling for the Legislature to allow victims or witnesses who may have signed such agreements to share their experiences publicly.

“This release from NDAs would empower victims of sexual harassment, create a new atmosphere for resolving sexual harassment or discrimination concerns, increase public awareness and transparency, and ensure that both the Senate and the Assembly fulfill their obligations to the public and their employees for providing a safe and welcoming workplace environment,” Bates wrote in the letter, dated Dec. 12.

Patrons shop at Bud and Bloom, a Santa Ana marijuana dispensary, last year.
Patrons shop at Bud and Bloom, a Santa Ana marijuana dispensary, last year. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

California officials said Wednesday they plan to use email before the new year to send out some licenses to sell marijuana to speed up the transition to a regulated market. The licenses will not go into effect until Jan. 1.

Proposition 64, which legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use, required the state to begin issuing licenses by Jan. 1. Because that date is a state holiday, the bureau originally planned to begin sending them out on Jan. 2. That has changed.

“Much of the date discussion — Jan. 1 versus Jan. 2 — was based on whether or not we’d be able to be open on a state holiday,” said Alex Traverso, a bureau spokesman. “The solution to that issue was to issue licenses with an effective date of Jan. 1 since licenses will be issued electronically. That eliminates the need to have the office open on Jan. 1.”

  • California in Congress
House Republicans hold a news conference after the House passed the GOP tax bill.
House Republicans hold a news conference after the House passed the GOP tax bill. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

As closed-door negotiations over the final tax bill come to an end, the head of the California Department of Finance is making a last-ditch effort to convince Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation to vote against the plan.

In a letter to the entire delegation Wednesday, Finance Department Director Michael Cohen detailed 10 issues in the current tax proposals about which the state is worried.

Some of Cohen’s concerns may be addressed in the deal that House and Senate leaders said they reached Wednesday morning. Details of the agreement are not yet public.

Gov. Jerry Brown signs an extension of California's cap-and-trade program in July.
Gov. Jerry Brown signs an extension of California's cap-and-trade program in July. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Although California’s cap-and-trade program was designed to combat climate change, a new analysis predicts it could also provide significant cash — as much as $8 billion in a decade’s time — for state and regional programs.

The report issued Tuesday by the independent Legislative Analyst’s Office projects a wide range of revenue generated by the sale of permits for companies to emit greenhouse gases beyond a state-ordered emissions cap. The most recent auction of those emission permits brought in more than $800 million.

The analysis warns that annual cap-and-trade revenue beyond 2020 is “highly uncertain,” and offers a possible range from $2 billion in 2018 to almost $7 billion in 2030 — the final year of the program under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed in July.

  • California in Congress

A handful of California representatives discussed the federal response to their state’s wildfires Tuesday with Vice President Mike Pence.

Attending the West Wing meeting were House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and Reps. Ken Calvert (R-Corona), Darrell Issa (R-Vista), Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) and Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara).

“It was a very bipartisan-spirited meeting. He clearly understood the significance of the fires and the impacts,” Brownley said after the meeting. She said Pence offered federal assistance and “recognized that recovery was going to be very important and that we want to work together to make sure that we can get the resources needed.”

  • California in Congress
(Olamikan Gbemiga / Associated Press)

As the House and Senate work to reconcile their versions of the tax bill, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Alpine) is urging negotiators to let Americans continue to deduct their state and local taxes on their federal income tax returns. He also is asking for a fix to continue a credit for post-disaster rebuilding costs.

In a letter Tuesday to House and Senate leadership and the members tasked with melding the two bills together, Issa emphasized that the final bill should not pick winners and losers.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real reprieve from years of heavy-handed, misguided tax policy that has left millions paying more to their government and getting less in return. We must not squander this moment by passing a bill that does not allow all hard-working taxpayers to see relief,” Issa said.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Thibault Camus / Associated Press)

He showed up at Paris City Hall on Monday on a green bicycle and wearing a green tie to talk climate change with the mayor.

But Arnold Schwarzenegger almost didn’t make the trip from Los Angeles. One of the wildfires scorching Southern California was threatening his home.

“Luckily we have extraordinary firefighters,” he told a group of officials and journalists.