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675 posts
  • California Legislature
State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)
State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Ahead of its first legislative committee hearing scheduled for next week, a Bay Area lawmaker has narrowed his bill aimed at building more housing near transit across California.

Under the newly amended Senate Bill 827 from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), cities would be allowed to restrict building heights to four or five stories, down from a maximum of eight stories, within a half-mile of rail and ferry stops. Wiener also limited changes surrounding bus stops. The new version of the bill wouldn’t mandate height increases around bus stops, instead allowing for increased density and lower parking requirements. It also would apply only at bus stops with frequent service throughout the day, rather than just during rush hour.

SB 827 tries to address the state’s longstanding shortage of homes and a push by climate regulators to build near mass transit through dramatically changing development rules, particularly in the state’s largest metropolitan areas. Earlier versions of the bill would have affected nearly all of San Francisco and, according to a Times analysis, about 190,000 parcels currently zoned for single-family homes in Los Angeles — roughly half such parcels in the city.

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  • U.S. Senate race
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reelection bid.

“More than ever, we need Dianne Feinstein's steady leadership in the U.S. Senate; she's exactly the right person to ensure that Trump is held accountable. Dianne will continue to stand up for immigrants and fight to protect our healthcare and the environment,” Brown said in a statement.

The two San Francisco natives have developed a close relationship in the decades since Brown’s father, former Gov. Pat Brown, appointed Feinstein to the California Women’s Board of Terms and Parole. Feinstein officiated at Brown’s 2005 wedding and he has helped her raise cash in the past.

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Sacramento Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert was met with boos, applause and chants of “Stephon Clark” Monday at the state Capitol as she joined several law enforcement officials who were honored for their work in public safety at a crime victims rally.

Speaking over the protesters, Schubert did not address Clark’s case or take questions. She pledged only to represent victims and help people get back on track, whether through school or youth intervention programs.

“I will always stand with victims,” she said at the event hosted by Crime Victims United of California. “I will always do what’s right, and I will always follow the facts of the law.”

  • State government
Serena Remington, 10 months, gets treated at Long Beach Memorial Hospital under the Affordable Care Act.
Serena Remington, 10 months, gets treated at Long Beach Memorial Hospital under the Affordable Care Act. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

California on Monday jumped into the middle of a legal dispute over the future of the federal Affordable Care Act, seeking to preserve the law that is under assault in the courts by 20 other states.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra announced he is part of a coalition of 16 attorneys general who have filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed in February by Texas, Wisconsin and other states seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which provides tax credits for coverage and requires coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions.

“It is an irresponsible action,” Becerra said of the Texas lawsuit. “It is a legally unsound action, and it is a dangerous action for millions of Americans who left the bad days of pre-existing conditions and the inability to get care for their children.”

An influential political committee launched a campaign blitz for Encinitas congressional candidate Sara Jacobs after her grandfather gave it one of the largest contributions it has received this election cycle.

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In one of the most aggressive efforts in the nation to curb soaring healthcare spending, a new California measure would put the state in charge of setting prices for hospital stays, doctor’s visits and most other medical services covered by commercial insurers.

Want to save tax money? Have more dollars for schools or police? Then stop holding special elections hardly any voters care about.

  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
The state Capitol in Sacramento.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A top legislative staff member has resigned during an investigation that substantiated allegations he made sexually inappropriate comments to two female state employees in violation of state policies, according to internal documents and a letter to Wilson from Debra Gravert, the chief administrative officer for the Assembly.

The investigation looked at sexual harassment allegations against Rodney Wilson, who was chief of staff to Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) until Wilson resigned Jan. 2 to become a state lobbyist. One female state employee told Assembly personnel investigators that on the last day of session in September that Wilson came into an unidentified state office after hours and appeared intoxicated.

The staff member, whose name was redacted from investigative reports, alleged Wilson made “sexual innuendos” toward her and another woman who told her “she was upset with Wilson’s behavior,” according to internal documents and a letter to Wilson from Debra Gravert, the chief administrative officer for the Assembly.

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(Los Angeles Times)

An ambitious effort to raise commercial property taxes through revamping California’s Proposition 13 will no longer be aimed at earning a spot on this fall’s statewide ballot, supporters said on Friday.

“The longer that we have to explain this issue, the better that we're going to do,” said Mac Zilber, a political strategist working with the coalition of community and labor groups behind the plan.

Long discussed among liberal and Democratic activists, the proposed initiative would redefine Proposition 13’s limits on property taxes to focus mostly on homeowners. Commercially owned properties would be assessed at market values — a change the group believes could generate as much as $11 billion a year for local services and schools.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis walks with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom before announcing that she is endorsing him for governor.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis walks with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom before announcing that she is endorsing him for governor. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

After facing criticism for not taking part in a Latino business group’s gubernatorial forum, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has rolled out an endorsement from one of the most prominent Latino politicians in the state.

Hilda Solis, a former member of the Obama administration who now serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, announced Thursday that she was backing Newsom at a campaign event in East Los Angeles.

"Gavin Newsom is a true champion for all Californians," Solis said in a statement, pointing to his record on healthcare and city finances as mayor of San Francisco. "There's no question that on issues that matter to families — from providing quality health care and good paying jobs to standing up for immigrant families and protecting Californians from Donald Trump's attacks — Gavin's the leader we need sitting behind the Governor's Desk.”