Archive for the ‘ State Senate ’ Category

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 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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Bob Huff

Sen. Bob Huff says Republicans in the California Legislature are open to raising motorist fees to pay for road repair and construction. But GOP lawmakers will demand reforms in exchange.

Allen Young, Staff Writer
Sacramento Business Journal
Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015 – 1:48pm PDT
Updated Jul 22, 2015, 3:58pm PDT

When the California Legislature reconvenes next month for a special session on road funding, Republicans will be in the front seat — because Democrats need GOP support to impose new taxes or fees.

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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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San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors would grow to seven members under Senate Constitutional Amendment 8.

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 07/20/15 – 1:10 PM PDT |

Proposed legislation that would require San Bernardino County and other California counties with populations of 2 million or more to increase their number of elected supervisors from five to seven is gaining momentum in the state Legislature.

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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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METRO

By Daniel Borenstein, Staff Columnist
Posted: 07/17/2015 – 04:00:00 PM PDT

Organized labor has lined up behind legislation purporting to promote government contract transparency. It’s a sham.

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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.

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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: 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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Debra J. Saunders

By Debra J. Saunders
Friday, June 12, 2015 – Updated 3:08 pm

“There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” President Obama proclaimed in a 2009 speech to Congress. It was a memorable event in part because Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted, “You lie.” Editorial-page umbrage followed.

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Proposition 13

By Phil Willon
June 10, 2015

Saying a major “loophole” allows some business to unfairly avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes, two Democratic state senators on Wednesday filed a proposed constitutional amendment to revise Proposition 13, the landmark property tax initiative approved by California voters in 1978.

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Los Angeles Times: California state senators to propose overhaul of Prop. 13

California Taxes

California Sens. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), left, and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) want offices and factories to be regularly reassessed for property taxes.

By Chris Megerian
June 10, 2015

SACRAMENTO — Two Democratic state senators plan to introduce legislation Wednesday to overhaul Proposition 13, the state’s landmark restrictions on property taxes, so local governments can raise more revenue from commercial and industrial properties.

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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 Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Sunshine’s not bright in California’s Capitol

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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california_state_senate

By Matthias Gafni
mgafni@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 06/05/2015 03:24:52 PM PDT
Updated: 06/05/2015 04:05:25 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO — The leader of the state Senate announced Friday that his legislative body will not appeal a Sacramento Superior Court judge’s order to turn over key calendar information for two suspended senators, saying he supports the ruling on a lawsuit filed by Bay Area News Group, publisher of this newspaper, and Los Angeles News Group.

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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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Cell phones

The California Senate has approved a measure requiring a warrant or wiretap order to search a person’s smartphone or tablet.

By Patrick McGreevy
June 3, 2015

The state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would require law enforcement in California to obtain a search warrant or wiretap order before searching a person’s smartphone, laptop or other electronic device or accessing information stored on remote servers.

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Minimum-Wage

By Patrick McGreevy
June 1, 2015

The state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would raise California’s $9 minimum wage to $11 an hour on Jan. 1 and boost it again to $13 in 2017.

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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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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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The Sacramento Bee: Calderon corruption trial pushed back more than six months

U.S. ordered to answer Calderon's complaint

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, speaks at a news conference at the Capitol on June 10, 2013. | Manny Crisostomo The Sacramento Bee file

Capitol Alert
May 19, 2015
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon’s corruption trial has been postponed for a third time. It is now scheduled to begin on March 1, 2016, a delay of nearly seven months.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Water

Lawmakers received an update Tuesday on the drought, which “is going to change California,” said the director of the Department of Water Resources. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

By Matt Stevens
May 12, 2015

With Californians increasing efforts to deal with the drought, lawmakers got an update Tuesday on exactly how bad things are and heard little to cheer them.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

California senators have sent a series of questions to oil industry executives.The inquiries come amid concerns about whether the market is competitive.

Capitol Alert
May 8, 2015
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com

California senators investigating the recent surge in gas prices are escalating pressure on oil industry executives.

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grand_jury

By Melanie Mason
May 7, 2015

The state Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would prohibit grand juries from weighing in on cases of deadly shootings or excessive force by police.

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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 »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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 »

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 »

Los Angeles Times: Several state officials subpoenaed in Calderon corruption trial

Ron Calderon

Former state Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) sits at his desk during a Senate session last year. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

By Patrick McGreevy
April 9, 2015

Federal prosecutors have served subpoenas on about 10 staff members in the California Legislature who may be called as witnesses in the August corruption trial of former state Sen. Ronald Calderon, Capitol sources confirmed Thursday.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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.

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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 »

Sharon Runner

Republican candidate for state Senate Sharon Runner, center, chats with supporters in 2011. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

By Patrick McGreevy
March 17, 2015

Voters on Tuesday sent Republican Sharon Runner back to the state Senate three years after she underwent a double lung transplant. She was the only candidate on the ballot for a special election in a district representing parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown+Bob Huff

State Senate Minority Leader Robert Huff (R-Diamond Bar), right, stands next to Gov. Jerry Brown, center, at a Capitol news conference. Huff has filed papers to raise money for a campaign for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

By Jean Merl
March 16, 2015

State Sen. Robert Huff (R-Diamond Bar) has filed a statement signaling his interest in running for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next year.

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 »

Daily Press: Special election could cost $300K locally, registrar says

Special Election

By SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Mar. 12, 2015 at 10:55 AM

The state’s 21st Senate District special election Tuesday is likely to cost taxpayers in San Bernardino County between $200,000 to $300,000, despite only one candidate appearing on the ballot, Registrar Michael J. Scarpello said this week.

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 »

LATimes: Veteran politicians vie for California Senate vacancies

Campaigns

By Patrick McGreevy
March 8, 2015

Voters will soon cast ballots in special elections to fill three state Senate seats vacated by lawmakers who were elected to Congress last fall.

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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 »

SacBee: California GOP senators choose Jean Fuller as next leader

By Laurel Rosenhall
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
02/24/2015 4:38 PM

Republicans in the California Senate have chosen a new leader – Sen. Jean Fuller of Bakersfield – and she will become the first woman to hold a top leadership post in the Senate, Democrat or Republican, the caucus announced Tuesday.

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 »

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: California bill would require more vaccinations

200149053-001

By Laurel Rosenhall
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
02/05/2015 7:48 AM

With measles breaking out in California 15 years after it was thought to be eradicated, two state senators introduced legislation Wednesday that would make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sharon Runner

Republican candidate for state Senate Sharon Runner, middle, chats with supporters in 2011. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

By Patrick McGreevy
January 23, 2015

Former Republican state Sen. Sharon Runner of Lancaster, who rebounded after receiving a double lung transplant three years ago, was the only candidate to file papers by Friday’s deadline to run in a special election to fill a Senate seat vacated when Steve Knight was elected to Congress.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

VVDailyPress: Runner will vie for state Senate seat

Sharon Runner

Former assemblywoman, state senator officially announces candidacy

SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Jan. 14, 2015 @ 8:26 pm
Updated at 8:32 PM

Former Assemblywoman and state Senator Sharon Runner made it official Wednesday, declaring that she will run for the recently vacated state 21st Senate District seat, which includes the Victor and Antelope valleys.

Read the rest of this entry »

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: Sharon Runner prepares for California Senate special election

Kevin McCarthy+Sharon Runner

Then-Assembly Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, listen to floor debate about a levee bill in 2006.

By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
12/30/2014 6:37 AM

Former Republican state lawmaker Sharon Runner on Monday released a list of high-profile endorsements as she prepares to run for the Antelope Valley Senate seat coming vacant when Sen. Steve Knight officially takes his place in Congress.

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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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LATimes: Sen. De Leon removes panel staffers who questioned his legislation

Kevin de Leon

State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) watches a vote count on Aug. 21 (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

By Patrick McGreevy
December 18, 2014

In yet another shakeup in the state Senate, new President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) has removed the top staff from a Senate committee that last session blocked one of his priority bills.

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UTSanDiego: Sen. Hueso gets probation in DUI case

San Diego lawmaker also ordered to complete alcohol education program
By Chris Nichols
Dec. 18, 2014 – Updated2:44 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Sen. Ben Hueso was sentenced Thursday to three years probation and ordered to complete an alcohol education program stemming from his August arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol near the Capitol.

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VVDailyPress: Donnelly will not run for state Senate

Tim Donnelly

Tim Donnelly (File Photo: James Quigg, Daily Press) |

SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Dec. 16, 2014 @ 3:59 pm
Updated Dec 16, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly announced Tuesday that he will not run for the soon-to-be available seat in the state 21st Senate District.

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SacBee: De León eliminates government oversight office

california_state_senate

By Laurel Rosenhall
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
12/12/2014 11:26 PM

California Senate leader Kevin de León has eliminated a legislative staff unit that focused on government oversight, a creation of his predecessor, former Sen. Darrell Steinberg.

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LATimes: Judge upholds ethics agency’s subpoenas in probe of backers of Sen. Nguyen

Janet Nguyen disputes grand jury report

The state ethics agency is investigating whether some supporters of Sen. Janet Nguyen’s 2012 campaign for Orange County Supervisor were improperly reimbursed by others for their contributions. (Marc Martin / Los Angeles Times)

By Patrick McGreevy
December 5, 2014

A Superior Court judge on Friday ruled that the state’s ethics agency could subpoena financial records as part of an investigation into possible political money laundering involving 11 supporters of newly elected state Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).

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SacBee: A long string of blunders for Kevin de León

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
12/04/2014 11:00 PM

Kevin de León, president pro tem of the state Senate for just a few weeks, has already run up a remarkable string of political missteps and gaffes.

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