268 posts
  • California in Congress

California's Republican members may have hoped the Senate tax bill unveiled Thursday would revive the popular deductions for all state income and property taxes, but it doesn't.

Getting rid of state and local tax deductions is a blow to residents of high tax states, including California, where 1 in 3 people claim the deduction.

California's 14 Republicans weren't part of a recent compromise between House leaders and New York and New Jersey lawmakers to preserve the property tax portion of the deduction, capped at $10,000 per household. That deal helped East Coast states with high property taxes, but didn't do much for Californians, where property taxes are lower. 

  • Congressional races
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) talks with voters after speaking to a tea party group.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) talks with voters after speaking to a tea party group. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday that it's adding Northern California's Rep. Tom McClintock, a conservative Republican, to its list of targets in next year's midterm elections. 

The announcement is a sign of increasing confidence after Democrats won sweeping victories in Virginia and New Jersey earlier this week. The party is hoping for a wave of support that could return the House to Democratic control.

“In response to the incredible outpouring of enthusiasm and grassroots support we are seeing across the country, Democrats are building an unprecedented battlefield in California ahead of the 2018 elections," said a statement from Drew Godinich, spokesman for the DCCC.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield).
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Low-income housing programs on the chopping block in the House GOP’s proposed tax ovehaul created nearly 10,000 new homes in the 14 Republican-held congressional districts in California over the last four years, according to new data released by state Treasurer John Chiang.

Chiang, who has been advocating for the preservation of the programs, argued that California cannot afford to lose any low-income housing funding as the state continues to face a housing affordability crisis.

“As the list of projects shows, this is not an abstract issue, or one that impacts only one region or a small number of Californians,” Chiang wrote in a Thursday letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). “It is broad-based and affects constituents like yours and those in congressional districts across the state. We all have seen the tangible benefits of these vital programs; now we must come together to save them.”

  • California in Congress
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) joined about a dozen Republican House members from across the country on Thursday to urge House leaders to find a fast solution for the hundreds of thousands of people brought to the country illegally as children.

"It is time for people to come to the middle ... in a way that hasn't always been the case," Issa told reporters.

Democrats and Republicans are working behind the scenes on a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and a variety of ideas are being discussed. Other Senate Republicans have said they don't plan to address the legal status of DACA recipients before the end of the year.

  • 2018 governor's race
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday that Democratic wins in Virginia and New Jersey are clear signs that voters across the United States want to elect leaders who have a vision of uniting the nation. 

That vision, Villaraigosa said, should include a focus on creating clean energy jobs and job training, especially for low-income residents.

“I think what [the election] portends is that Democrats need to keep on working,” Villaraigosa said. “I believe we need to focus a lot more on the economy and moving people into the middle class — that’s what I’m doing as governor.”  

  • State government
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Industries regulated under California’s cap-and-trade program reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5% in 2016, according to new data released by state officials. 

Richard Corey, executive director of the California Air Resources Board, said the numbers show the state is on track to meet its emission-reduction targets in 2020 and 2030. 

“This is also further proof that cap-and-trade is now part of the fabric of the California economy,” he said in a statement. 

As long as the middle-income Americans in my district are going to have more money in their pocket, then I'm going to support the bill. That is my No. 1 concern, because middle-income Americans need tax relief.

  • California in Congress
(Cliff Owen / Associated Press)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation Wednesday to ban the sale and possession of military style assault weapons. The push comes after two mass shootings in six weeks, including a shooting at a church in Texas on Sunday that killed 26 people.

Feinstein indicated she knows the bill has little chance of moving in the Republican-controlled Senate. It is co-sponsored by 22 Democrats, including Feinstein's fellow California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Feinstein said in a statement that she introduced the bill so “the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for debate and a vote."

  • California in Congress

Half a dozen California Democrats joined House colleagues Wednesday to say they won't back a bill that allows the federal government to spend money unless Congress passes the Dream Act to address the legal status of hundreds of thousands of people who were brought to the country illegally as children.

"It's a priority. Whenever you have a priority you want it done; it needs to be done because these young people deserve to live their lives without fear of being deported," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) said.

The 25 Democrats explained their position in a piece published in the Hill on Wednesday.

  • 2018 governor's race
Delaine Eastin, a Democratic candidate for California governor, greets people as she arrives to speak at a meeting of the East Area Progressive Democrats in Los Angeles in June.
Delaine Eastin, a Democratic candidate for California governor, greets people as she arrives to speak at a meeting of the East Area Progressive Democrats in Los Angeles in June. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Democratic candidate for governor Delaine Eastin, the former state schools chief, has mostly lived off her California state pension, a handful of investments and some small jobs as an education consultant over the past six years.

According to Eastin’s tax returns, which were made available to reporters Tuesday, her average income from 2011 to 2016 was just over $170,000 a year, with about $80,000 coming from her pension from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Before two terms as California’s superintendent of public schools, Eastin also served in the state Assembly representing Union City.