Archive for the ‘ State Assembly ’ Category

InlandPolitics: California Democrats want more tax money

Taxes

Saturday, August 22, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

Democrats in the California Legislature want to pick your pockets again!

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Cheryl Brown

Cheryl Brown represents California’s 47th State Assembly district and is seeking reelection in the June primary elections. (Courtesy photo)

By Beau Yarbrough and Ryan Hagen, The Sun
and Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 08/19/15, 12:57 PM PDT |

California’s legislators returned to work in Sacramento on Monday, poised for the battle to get their legislation approved before the 2015-16 session ends on Sept. 11.

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California Taxes

By Jessica Calefati and Josh Richman, Staff writers
Posted: 08/20/2015 – 06:23:45 AM PDT

SACRAMENTO — State lawmakers on Wednesday took the first steps toward raising taxes and fees on motorists and further restricting Californians’ tobacco use as the Legislature convened special sessions aimed at solving the state’s transportation and health care funding crises.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 17, 2015

  • Roadwork, Medi-Cal and carbon fees big issues
  • Taxes for transportation and health care need GOP votes
  • Republicans, pressured by anti-tax groups, are leery

The Legislature reconvened Monday after a monthlong summer recess and immediately focused on what most members like best: spending money.

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Pothole

A backlog of highway repairs is just one of the funding challenges that have state lawmakers looking for new revenue sources. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

By Chris Megerian and Patrick McGreevy
August 15, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers will start tackling some of the state’s toughest challenges this week, and the solution to many of them may be new taxes and fees for Californians.

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Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
July 29, 2015

  • Nonprofits, schools, businesses received donations during first half of year
  • San Diego’s Maritime Museum, Oakland Military Institute among top recipients
  • Businesses, unions, government agencies top sources

California lawmakers and other state officials arranged for donors, many with business at the Capitol, to contribute $28 million to nonprofit organizations, local museums and other favored causes during the first half of the year, according to the most recent filings with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Chairman still wants San Onofre emails

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | July 27, 2015 – 5:09 p.m.

State regulators do not appear ready to comply with a July 31 deadline to release thousands of emails requested by the chairman of the Assembly committee overseeing the California Public Utilities Commission.

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The Sacramento Bee: California’s gas tax drops to fourth highest in U.S.

Gas Prices

Lydia Holland replaces the gas nozzle after filling up at a Sacramento gas station in 2014. The Tax Foundation says in a new report that California’s gas tax, which recently dropped by 6 cents a gallon, is now the nation’s fourth highest. | Rich Pedroncelli AP

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 24, 2015

  • Pennsylvania has nation’s highest gas tax
  • California would have been No. 2 without recent cut
  • Alaska has the lowest tax on auto fuel

Both Congress and the California Legislature are noodling over whether to raise fuel taxes to pour more money into highway projects.

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Lou Desmond

Thursday, July 23, 215 – 5:00 p.m.

The Lou Desmond and Company Show is coming to you from the Toyota of San Bernardino Recording Studios!

Tonight on the show, Ed Hoffman joins us to talk about The Boot Campaign, which he is holding a fundraiser for this weekend. Then, Ralph Rossum joins the show to talk about the young man exposing Planned Parenthood. He is a former student of Ralph’s, and is making big news.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 21, 2015

  • Democrats won legislative supermajorities in 2012
  • However, they vanished in subsequent elections
  • Big legislative duels now Democrat vs. Democrat

Three years ago, in new districts drawn by an independent commission, Democrats won – barely – two-thirds supermajorities in both legislative houses.

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Marc Steinorth

Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

Published: July 20, 2015 – Updated: 4:07 p.m.

It’s a supercalifragilisticexpiali-political fundraiser.

Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, is using the Tuesday, July 21, production of “Mary Poppins” at the Redlands Bowl to raise money for his 2016 re-election campaign. Donors will join the first-term assemblyman for a dinner prior to the performance.

To read expanded brief, click here.

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 20, 2015

  • Labor biggest donor to legislative campaigns
  • Dozens of union-backed bills await final action
  • One major measure would enhance contract secrecy

Only a sixth of California’s wage earners are members of labor unions, but they carry a very big stick in politics.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: How much is California really spending?

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 19, 2015

  • Media reports on budget’s size vary widely
  • Their numbers are correct up to a point
  • Official numbers far less than total spending

It’s time again for some more fun with numbers – big numbers.

They’re the numbers associated with the 2015-16 state budget, which the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown enacted last month.

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Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
July 17, 2015

  • Various campaign committees collected about $102 million in 2013-14
  • Labor unions were top category of giver, mainly to Democrats
  • Fundraising filings for the first half of 2015 are due July 31

California’s 120 lawmakers reflect a variety of life experiences, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and types of districts they represent. There also are differences in where they raise their campaign money.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | July 17, 2015

The chairman of the Assembly committee that oversees the California Public Utilities Commission has given the agency until the end of this month to secure and turn over certain emails and other documents from Southern California Edison.

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InlandPolitics: Time for California legislators to give up free gas cards

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Friday, July 17, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

California legislators apparently could give a gee-whiz about the sky-high gasoline prices sucking millions out of their constituents pockets.

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The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown signs bill prohibiting fines for brown lawns

Jerry Brown

This May 28, 2015 file photo shows Gov. Jerry Brown speaking at a gathering of political, business and community leaders at the annual California Chamber of Commerce Host Breakfast in Sacramento, Calif. | Rich Pedroncelli AP

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
July 13, 2015

  • Legislation comes as California suffers through fourth year of drought

With California suffering through a fourth year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation prohibiting local agencies from fining homeowners who let their lawns go brown, his office announced Monday.

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The Sacramento Bee: Tax increases back on California’s agenda

Taxes

Capitol Alert
By David Siders and Jim Miller
dsiders@sacbee.com
July 9, 2015

  • Jerry Brown, Democratic lawmakers seek funding for roads, health care
  • Billions of dollars in unfunded maintenance plagues California roadways
  • Health funding more politically difficult than roads, but both efforts uncertain

Inheriting a budget deficit when he took office in 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown tried for months – and failed – to reach agreement with Republicans to put a tax measure on the ballot. He finally bypassed the Legislature and went directly to voters himself.

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The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Road deal won’t be easy ride for California

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 6, 2015

  • California’s highways are in bad shape
  • State wants $6 billion more a year to fix them
  • Can two differing approaches be melded?

The Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown have passed a new state budget, and that’s that, right?

Not on your sweet bippy, to channel comedian Dick Martin.

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Tax Reform

AP California News
By Femit Nirappil and Judy Lin
Associated Press
June 29, 2015 – 2:37 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Legislature is holding two special sessions this summer to tackle long-vexing funding shortfalls in the state’s transportation and health care programs. But talk of targeted tax increases has prompted political hand-wringing.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 25, 2015

  • Budget trailer bill gives drivers a break
  • Amnesty, however, doesn’t go far enough
  • Overhaul of traffic fines should be next

Capitol politicians are patting themselves on the back for opening an escape hatch for millions of motorists whose licenses have been suspended for failure to pay past-due tickets.

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The Sacramento Bee: California vaccine bill clears Assembly

Hypodermic Syringe

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
June 25, 2015

  • Legislation would require pupils to be fully vaccinated
  • Vote follows furious protest from some parents
  • Bill now returns to the state Senate, then to Brown

The state Assembly passed a closely watched bill Thursday compelling schoolchildren to be fully vaccinated, approving the measure on a 46-30 vote that blurred party lines.

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The Sacramento Bee: California legislative budget to increase by 4.55 percent

Money

Capitol Alert
June 22, 2015
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com

  • Senate officials say extra money helps solve upper house’s budget problems
  • Assembly’s increase is the largest since before recession

California’s legislative branch will be among the beneficiaries of the $115.4 billion general fund spending plan on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, with both houses receiving funding increases nearly 10 times last year’s rate.

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The Sacramento Bee: This time for real: Legislature passes (another) budget

State Capitol

Capitol Alert
By David Siders and Jeremy B. White
dsiders@sacbee.com
June 19, 2015

Three days after Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders reached agreement on a $115.4 billion general fund state spending plan, lawmakers in both houses on Friday ratified the deal.

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The Sacramento Bee: Lawmakers send Jerry Brown incomplete budget

California Capitol

Capitol Alert
By David Siders and Jeremy B. White
dsiders@sacbee.com
June 15, 2015

  • Vote meets deadline, ensuring lawmakers continue to be paid
  • Spending plan comes despite ongoing negotiations with governor
  • Republican lawmaker: ‘It’s the legislative paycheck protection act’

The budget California state lawmakers passed Monday did not reflect a deal with Gov. Jerry Brown and, for that reason, has almost no hope of being enacted.

Negotiations are ongoing.

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Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. is joined by, from left to right, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, as they head to a press conference at the state Capitol. | Randy Pench rpench@sacbee.com

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 15, 2015

  • Budget passage meets constitutional deadline
  • Actions set stage for negotiations with Gov. Brown
  • Legislature’s leaders can blame governor for blocking their programs

Some years ago, a state senator publicly accused a colleague of uttering “mindless blather.”

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Los Angeles Times: State lawmakers set to approve budget with increased spending

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown

By Chris Megerian
June 14, 2015

The Legislature is expected to approve a budget Monday that bets on California’s economy to continue growing and sets the stage for higher state spending in coming years.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 13, 2015

  • Anthropologist would find Legislature fascinating
  • Its two houses have distinct cultures
  • Senate now the bastion of bad behavior

Anthropologists probe the evolution of primitive societies, which makes the Capitol a perfect laboratory.

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IE Business Daily: California Legislature’s continuous insanity

IE Business Daily

By IE Business Daily
June 13, 2015

Nearly every two year legislative cycle in the California Legislature, among the thousands of new laws proposed by its 120 inhabitants, there are always a few to micromanage local governments. You see, many of the undereducated people that somehow get elected to the State Assembly and State Senate, often think that because they got elected, they know better than the other 32 million of us how things should be.

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The Sacramento Bee: California ‘job killer’ strategy a big success

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 9, 2015

  • State Chamber of Commerce fights with four liberal groups
  • Most of its targeted bills fall by wayside
  • Top-two primary system helps business win

The Capitol’s longest-running conflict pits business against four liberal groups – labor unions, consumer advocates, personal injury attorneys and environmentalists.

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The Press-Enterprise: ASSEMBLY: Sabrina Cervantes to run in 60th district

Campaigns

Published: June 8, 2015 – Updated: 11:48 a.m.

The district director for Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, has declared her candidacy for a neighboring Assembly district.

To read post by Jeff Horseman in The P-E Political Empire Blog, click here.

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 8, 2015

  • Legislature supports ‘sunshine laws’ for others
  • However, it exempts itself from those laws
  • Mild reform is shelved without vote

California legislators are steadfast champions of transparency in government – until it comes to themselves.

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KPCC: Anti-poverty bills may pile up on Governor Brown’s desk

Gov. Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown has faced criticism he’s not doing enough for California’s poor. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Rina Palta
June 04, 05:47 PM

As legislative deadlines near, a handfuls of bills aimed at aiding the poor are advancing through the state legislature this week.

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The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: An illusion of action in California’s Capitol

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 2, 2015

  • Capitol and its grounds are abuzz with activity this week
  • But Legislature’s appearances can be deceiving
  • It’s just practice for the real business ahead

Anyone who wandered into the state Capitol this week might conclude that important business was being done.

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U-T San Diego: Report: Officials masked big pension hike

Pensions

Pension debts are sky-high, but little interest at the Capitol

By Steven Greenhut
May 27, 2015 – 3:10 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true,” wrote the 19th century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. It must be an enduring trait of mankind and especially of politicians, who often fool themselves (and the public) about major problems.

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California Capitol

By Jessica Calefati, Bay Area News Group
Posted: 05/26/15 – 9:04 PM PDT |

SACRAMENTO ­>> With less than a month to go until the deadline to pass a new state budget, Democratic legislative leaders on Tuesday released dueling spending plans that are oddly far apart on key issues such as child care and higher education.

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Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Misdirection on California budget bills is disgraceful

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 25, 2015

  • State budget is entering its final phase
  • As issues are ironed out, ‘trailer bills’ are written
  • But trailers are misused for non-budget issues

The annual state budget cycle is approaching the latter stages, when Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators chew through their remaining differences and, presumably, reach agreement.

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tax

By Jessica Calefati
jcalefati@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 05/24/2015 – 06:13:21 AM PDT
Updated: 05/25/2015 07:14:59 AM PDT

SACRAMENTO — Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown has helped to resolve some of California’s toughest fiscal challenges — mainly huge structural deficits and old, forgotten debts.

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Daily Bulletin: Ontario airport bill clears California Assembly

California Assembly Seal

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 05/22/15, 11:02 AM PDT |

An Assembly bill that would allow Ontario to issue bonds to finance the acquisition of L.A./Ontario International Airport from Los Angeles was approved by the state Assembly on Friday.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Lobbying 2015-Q1

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
May 22, 2015
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com

Local governments, businesses, unions and other special interests reported spending more than $48.5 million on direct state lobbying expenses from January through March, according to first-quarter reports filed earlier this month.

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Los Angeles Times: Analysts see $1.1 billion more available for spending

California Money

New revenue estimate shows likely fault line over spending in budget battle between governor and lawmakers

By Chris Megerian
May 19, 2015

The battle lines in the annual tug-of-war over the state budget became clear on Monday evening, when legislative analysts said there would be $1.1 billion more revenue available for discretionary spending than Gov. Jerry Brown has estimated.

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Lobbyist

Hospitals and the oil industry topped payments for lobbying. Total reflects payments to in-house lobbyists and outside firms.

Capitol Alert
May 12, 2015
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com

Local governments, businesses, unions and other special interests reported spending more than $48.5 million on direct state lobbying expenses from January through March, according to first-quarter reports filed earlier this month.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

Those given pay raises by a state panel Monday include California Gov. Jerry Brown, pictured on May 6, and other state legislators and elected officials. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

By Patrick McGreevy contact the reporter
May 11, 2015

SACRAMENTO — A state panel appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown voted Monday to give the governor, state legislators and many other officials a 3% pay raise, saying it would make their salaries more competitive with leaders elsewhere.

The increases will take effect Dec. 7.

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U.S. ordered to answer Calderon's complaint

Calderon

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
May 5, 2015
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com

What began as a push by two California newspaper groups for the calendars of indicted former Democratic state Sens. Ron Calderon and Leland Yee may ultimately broaden public access to legislative business and change the way lawmakers operate at the Capitol.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
May 4, 2015
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com

The Capitol’s big guns came out last week – and they were aimed at a 66-year-old grandmother who dared to buck two of California’s most powerful political interests – teacher and cop unions.

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gavel

By Jessica Calefati
jcalefati@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 05/01/2015 – 01:23:42 PM PDT
Updated: 05/01/2015 – 03:05:46 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO — A groundbreaking tentative court ruling that orders the release of two disgraced state lawmakers’ appointment schedules has sparked “great consternation” at the Capitol, an attorney for the Legislature told a judge Friday.

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Daily Press: Obernolte transparency bills clear committees

Jay Obernolte

Obernolte

By Staff reports
Posted Apr. 29, 2015 at 8:29 PM
Updated Apr 29, 2015 at 9:06 PM

SACRAMENTO — Two bills dealing with government transparency authored by 33rd District Assemblyman Jay Obernolte cleared committees Wednesday, setting the stage for them to move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, his office said.

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Medical Marijuana

By Patrick McGreevy
April 28, 2015

Two bills that would regulate medical marijuana in different ways in California were approved Tuesday by an Assembly panel, although lawmakers said more work needs to be done to address concerns and settle on one scheme.

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The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: California’s legislators want even more tax breaks

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/27/2015 12:01 AM

Some call them “tax expenditures,” while others use the more pejorative “tax loopholes.”

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Christina Gagnier

Democratic Assembly candidate Christina Gagnier

Published: April 24, 2015 – Updated: 9:17 a.m.

Former congressional candidate Christina Gagnier has set her sights on an Inland state Assembly seat next year.

To read story by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Really

By Patrick McGreevy
April 23, 2015

Democratic state lawmakers on Thursday shot down a proposal that would have required all California state legislators to get their health insurance from Covered California, the benefits exchange set up to implement Obamacare in the state.

Read the rest of this entry »

Question Mark

By Patrick McGreevy
April 16, 2015

After leaving the state Senate in 2013 for health reasons, and before returning to the Senate in a special election last month, Sharon Runner was kept on the Senate payroll by her Republican colleagues as an aide.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Money

By Josh Richman and Jessica Calefati Staff Writers
Posted: 04/15/2015 – 11:19:11 AM PDT
Updated: 04/15/2015 – 01:02:59 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO — A bill that would force California’s public officials to reveal more about their wealth, property and business interests easily passed its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, April 13, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

Tonight on the show, Lou is joined by Estimable Economist Jay Prag. The two briefly discuss the Masters and the story of Jordan Spieth’s caddy. Then, they talk about Hillary Clinton’s announcement. Apparently she has spent her career fighting families.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: Officials get earful on water needs of Inland Empire

By Ryan Carter, The Sun
Posted: 04/11/15, 7:32 PM PDT

They can’t take a vote and make it rain, but as they began their spring session last week, Inland Empire legislators were listening to a chorus of local water leaders in their districts, who say they need tools and money to enforce unprecedented water restrictions, build new water infrastructure and preserve the region’s fair share of funding from recent water legislation.

Why should people care?

Read the rest of this entry »

Campaigns

Published: April 7, 2015 – Updated: 1:12 p.m.

Palm Springs Democrat Gregory Rodriguez, former district director for Rep Raul Ruiz, D-Yucca Valley, has announced his intent to run for the 42nd Assembly District next year.

To read post by James Gan in The P-E Political Empire Blog, click here.

Gavel

By Matthias Gafni, Bay Area News Group
mgafni@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 04/06/15 – 8:16 PM PDT |

SACRAMENTO >> In a first of its kind decision for open government, a Sacramento judge ruled last week that the public has a constitutional right of access to California state Legislature meetings and writings of public officials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Debt

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
04/07/2015 – 12:05 AM

To get to the California state Senate, Temecula Republican Jeff Stone survived a $3 million blitz of mailers, TV ads and other campaigning last year by Sacramento-based groups opposing him or supporting his GOP rival, former Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Utilities chair took trip to Singapore

Singapore

A man sits by a Water Lily pond at the Marina Bay Sands in which a reflection of the financial skyline of Singapore is seen (AP file/Wong Maye-E, File)

Same nonprofit group funded Poland trip that affected San Onofre deal
By Jeff McDonald
April 6, 2015 – 5:27 p.m.

The group that funded the 2013 trip to Poland where former utilities regulator Michael Peevey sketched out plans to charge customers most of the costs of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant also paid last week for the chairman of the Assembly utilities committee to travel to Singapore.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
04/06/2015 6:23 AM

As improbable as it may seem, there are some major issues in the California Legislature that attract bipartisan interest and cooperation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: PUC president opposes reconsidering San Onofre cost agreement

San Onofre

An agreement to shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station assigns approximately $3.3 billion of the costs to ratepayers in Southern and Central California and $1.4 billion to two utilities.

By Marc Lifsher
April 3, 3025

The president of the scandal-rocked Public Utilities Commission has rejected a call from a powerful lawmaker to reopen a financial settlement that apportioned nearly $5 billion in costs for the June 2013 permanent closure of the damaged San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

By Judy Lin, Associated Press
Posted: 03/24/15 – 3:52 PM PDT |

SACRAMENTO, Calif. >> State lawmakers on Tuesday questioned the recent wild swings in California’s gas prices and asked whether regulators can do more to reduce market volatility while government promotes alternative fuels to increase competition.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
Observations on California and its politics
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/24/2015 8:44 PM

As its 24.6 million licensed drivers know all too well, California gas prices have been going up and down like a supercharged yo-yo in recent months.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capital Public Radio

Ben Adler
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 | Sacramento, CA

California employers would be required to pay their employees double for working on Thanksgiving or Christmas under a bill advancing at the state Capitol. The measure passed its
first committee vote Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

U-T San Diego: Committee grills CPUC on San Onofre

CPUC

By Jeff McDonald
March 16, 2015 – 5:41 p.m.

State lawmakers grilled the new California Public Utilities Commission president Monday, asking why utility customers are being charged billions of dollars for the failure and premature shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/16/2015 – 9:12 PM

Do as we say, not as we do.

Over the decades, the California Legislature has passed numerous “sunshine laws” to bolster government transparency.

Read the rest of this entry »

American Flag

An American flag and an Army windsock fly at a home in Walla Walla, Wash. (Michael Lopez / Associated Press)

By Patrick McGreevy
March 9, 2015

Outraged by an attempt to ban the United States flag from a lobby at UC Irvine, Republican state legislative leaders on Monday proposed a constitutional amendment that would protect Old Glory from being banished from state-funded colleges and universities.

Read the rest of this entry »

SacBee: Opinion: ‘Reality lag’ plagues our politicians

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
03/08/2015 12:01 AM

It’s customary to attach the honorific “leader” to those who hold high political office, implying that they are drum majors at the head of the civic parade.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

Thursday, March 5, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

The reasoning that oil companies are giving as an excuse to squeeze California Driver’s at the gas pump looks more and more like fantasy.

Read the rest of this entry »

DailyBulletin: Assemblyman introduces Ontario Airport transfer legislation

Ontario International Airport

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 02/27/15, 6:39 PM PST

A bipartisan Assembly bill introduced Friday would allow Ontario to issue revenue bonds to finance the acquisition of L.A./Ontario International Airport from Los Angeles.

Read the rest of this entry »

SacBee: Big Prop. 47 loopholes biting back

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
02/24/2015 5:46 PM

California’s legislators are now eager to plug some gaping – and potentially dangerous – loopholes in criminal laws that voters opened last year by passing Proposition 47.

Read the rest of this entry »

UTSanDiego: Bumpy road ahead for transportation financing plans

taxes

Proposals starting to form in Sacramento and San Diego County
By Chris Nichols
Feb. 15, 2015

SACRAMENTO — With a shrinking pot of money to fix California’s roads, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has vowed to push the state into “the next generation of funding” through a $52 per year “Road User Charge” for all drivers.

Read the rest of this entry »

The PE: POLITICS: Assembly Melendez criticized for ‘Islamic savages’ tweet

Melissa Melendez

Melendez

Published: Feb. 12, 2015 – Updated: 10:37 p.m.

Inland Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez is facing criticism from Islamic groups after she tweeted with the hashtag “Stand Up Against Islam” while lamenting the death of an American aid worker.

To read story by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

LATimes: Top-two primary system hasn’t worked as proponents promised

Campaigns

By Mark Z. Barabak
February 8, 2015

Reinvention is part of California’s credo, the inalienable right of every man, woman and child to make of themselves and their lives what they will — and do it over again, if they’re not happy the first time.

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SacBee: Opinion: Election law changes aid politicians

U.S. Supreme Court

Self-serving gerrymanders had become so common in California that the state’s voters finally shifted the power over legislative and congressional districts from the Legislature to an independent commission. The Legislature could recapture its district-drawing power over congressional districts if the Arizona Legislature wins a case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court (pictured) that challenges the legitimacy of that state’s redistricting commission. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
02/02/2015 12:01 AM

When politicians tinker with the laws governing their own elections, one should view their proposals with a guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: GOP puts gun to its own head again

GOP - Shooting Itself in Head

Monday, January 26, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

You gotta hand it to the GOP.

If there’s one concept the Republican Party has really developed a fine skill for, it’s committing political suicide.

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Jerry Brown

The financial crisis has passed and the economy is rebounding, but the fight over taxes is about to resume between Governor Jerry Brown and members of the California legislature. (Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Juliet Williams | AP
January 25, 09:16 AM

Gov. Jerry Brown orchestrated the successful push for temporary sales and income taxes on Californians three years ago to help ease the state out of recession and close a multibillion-dollar budget gap.

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The Lou Desmond & Company Show: Prop 47 & 2016 Candidates

Mic

Friday, January 23, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

Tonight on The Lou Desmond & Company Show, Lou is joined by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) to discuss AB 150, which would amend Prop 47 to make the theft of a firearm under $950 a felony.

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Melissa Melendez

Melendez

Published: Jan. 22, 2015 – Updated: 10:41 a.m.

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, has been named to a board post for an organization that trains Republican leaders nationwide.

To read post by Jeff Horseman in The PE Political Empire Blog, click here.

SacBee: Opinion: ‘Oversight’ needed, but rare today

Kevin de Leon

Former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, right, created a crew of former reporters to delve into thorny issues, and it generated some noteworthy reports, but Steinberg’s successor, Kevin de León, has disbanded it. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./pkitagaki@sacbee.com)

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
01/19/2015 7:39 PM

Legislative leaders occasionally proclaim that they want to do more “oversight” – looking into how well state government agencies are serving the public interest.

At best, however, it has been spotty.

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The Sentinel

By Mark Gutgkueck
Posted on January 17, 2015

(January 14) — In local Democratic Party circles there is already peripheral discussion of the need to mount a challenge of Marc Steinorth in the 40th Assembly District in 2016.

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DailyBulletin: San Bernardino County supervisors, state reps talk of improving region

SBCO

By Greg Cappis, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 01/09/15, 10:20 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO >> In a new courthouse that is part of an underfunded county court system, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors met with the Inland Empire caucus of the state Legislature on Friday afternoon to discuss issues facing the region.

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Sacbee: Opinion: California Democrats may clash on spending

 

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
01/04/2015 12:01 AM

It’s a new year and the Capitol’s Democrats should be singing Franklin Roosevelt’s old campaign song, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

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THE PE: POLITICS: For state’s Democrats, session’s a bit less super

State Capitol

Published: Jan. 1, 2015
Updated: Jan. 2, 2015 – 8:26 a.m.

Before November, “super” described the Democratic advantage in Sacramento.

Democrats still have a firm grasp on California state government, controlling 52 of 80 Assembly seats and 25 of 40 Senate seats along with the governorship and other statewide offices. But Republican victories in several key races ended the Democratic supermajorities in the new Legislature, which convenes Monday.

To read story by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

SacBee: Opinion: California’s ‘top-two’ primary has major impact

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
12/29/2014 12:01 AM

This year was the second cycle of California’s experiment with the “top-two” primary election system, under which all candidates appear on the same ballot and the No. 1 and No. 2 vote-getters, regardless of party, face each other in the November election.

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