Archive for the ‘ State Senate ’ Category

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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: 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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SacBee: Multimillion dollar California Senate shortfall behind layoffs

Kevin de Leon+Jerry Brown

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, left, seen with Gov. Jerry Brown, found out he had to cut the Senate’s budget. The California Senate faced an estimated budget shortfall of $3 million to $4 million through June, a top Senate official said this week. (Steve Yeater The Associated Press)

By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
12/03/2014 10:14 p.m.

//The California Senate faces an estimated budget shortfall of $3 million to $4 million through June, a top Senate official said this week, offering the first detailed explanation of the fiscal problems behind last month’s layoffs of 39 Senate employees.

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The PE: STATE FUNDING: Roth introduces bill to help new cities

Published: Dec. 2, 2014 Updated: 11:20 p.m.

The California legislature’s 2013-2014 session ended Nov. 30 and, with it, any hope of an override of Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of a bill that would have restored vehicle license fee revenue to Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar.

To read story by Sandra Stokley in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

SacBizJournal: State Republicans take another jab at cap-and-trade

Allen Young, Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal
Dec 1, 2014 – 12:35pm PST

Stressing the hit to small businesses and motorists in rural areas, Republicans from both houses of the state Legislature lined up another offense against California’s cap-and-trade program Monday.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
12/01/2014 5:37 PM

The Legislature returned to Sacramento on Monday – or, as a dystopian might say, to the scene of its previous crimes.

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The PE: JEFF STONE: From City Council to state Senate

Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone, second from right, gets a hug from John Benoit while flanked by Kevin Jeffries, left, and Marion Ashley at Stone’s last Board of Supervisors meeting. (STAN LIM, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Published: Nov. 29, 2014 Updated: Nov. 30, 2014 12:53 p.m.

Jeff Stone likes to think of his political career as an exercise in anger management.

“I never got into this because I was looking for another job,” said the 58-year-old pharmacist. “I got into this because (I was) being angry that things weren’t being done in the city and then being angry that things weren’t being done right in the county and then being angry that things aren’t being done right in the state.”

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

The PE: DECISION 2014: How the candidates won (and lost)

Election Results

November 26th, 2014, 4:48 pm

The Nov. 4 election is officially certified in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, which means it’s time to see where the winning and losing candidates got their votes.

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

VVDailyPress: Victorville man announces bid for Knight’s senate seat

By STAFF REPORTS
Posted Nov. 24, 2014 @ 5:22 pm
Updated Nov 24, 2014 at 5:28 PM

VICTORVILLE — Businessman Sal Chavez, chief financial officer and project control coordinator of SC Engineering, a family-owned business in Apple Valley, announced his candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacant 21st State Senate District seat on Monday.

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SacBee: Opinion: Brown tries to hold line on spending

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
11/20/2014 8:27 PM

The election is over, the Legislature will soon reconvene and interest groups are starting to beat their drums – signals that the Capitol will soon begin its annual spasm of Darwinian combat known as the state budget.

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LATimes: Ex-Sen. Wright appeals voter fraud conviction

Roderick Wright

State Sen. Roderick Wright, with his attorney Winston Kevin McKesson, left, listens to a judge after jury convicted him in January of fraud and perjury for living outside his Senate district. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

By Patrick McGreevy
Novembver 10, 2014

Attorneys for former state Sen. Roderick Wright said Monday they have filed a notice of appeal of Wright’s conviction on charges of perjury and voter fraud for lying about living in his district.

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The PE: DECISION 2014: Garcia concedes in 28th Senate District race

Bonnie Garcia

Republican state Senate candidate Bonnie Garcia.

Published: Nov. 7, 2014 10:36 a.m.

Republican Bonnie Garcia on Friday conceded defeat in the 28th Senate District race.

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SacBee: Opinion: Low-voting election sets new pattern

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
11/06/2014 9:22 PM

This week’s election may be establishing a new pattern in California politics that could exacerbate the state’s already high level of polarization.

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VVDailyPress: Donnelly not ruling out state Senate run

Tim Donnelly

SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Nov. 5, 2014 @ 5:55 pm
Updated Nov 5, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly on Wednesday was open to the idea of running for the state’s 21st Senate District seat that suddenly became vacant with the incumbent’s victory late Tuesday in a Congressional battle, and said he is leaning toward making a decision “sooner rather than later.”

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Janet Nguyen

In this undated handout photo is Republican Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who won the 34th District state Senate seat.

By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
11/05/2014 2:19 PM

Two years after California Democrats swept to commanding two-thirds majorities in both houses of the state Legislature, they were unable to again claim the same margin in the Senate and the Assembly remained in doubt with key races too close to call.

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InlandPolitics: Election notes

Election Results

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 – 09:30 a.m.

Here’s some area election results of note.

In San Bernardino, voters dumped charter reform Measure Q. The measure would have removed wage-setting provisions from the city charter to collective bargaining. The city’s police and fire unions easily tubed the measure. The result is a blow to novice Mayor Carey Davis and backers, who put very little effort in support of the measure.

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InlandPolitics: Orange County: SD-34 may go to Nguyen

Jose Solario+janet Nguyen

Jose Solario (D) left. Janet Nguyen (R) right.

Monday, November 3, 2014 – 09:00 p.m.

The heated contest between Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R) and State Assemblyman Jose Solario (D) has been hard hitting to say the least.

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credit-card-debt

By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
11/01/2014 4:53 PM

California lawmakers racked up more than $4 million in campaign credit-card charges during the first 18 months of this election cycle.

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LATimes: Former state Sen. Wright’s jail term ends quickly

Roderick Wright

Then-state Sen. Roderick D. Wright, on right, listens to the judge on Jan. 28, shortly after a jury convicted him on eight felony counts. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

By Jean Merl
October 31, 2014

Former Democratic state Sen. Roderick D. Wright showed up late Friday to begin serving a 90-day jail sentence but was released almost immediately due to jail crowding, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said.

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SacBee: Opinion: California Legislature’s partisan balance a big question

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
10/26/2014 5:00 PM

With Election Day just a week away and mailed ballots already pouring into election offices, California’s biggest political unknown is the balance of power in the Legislature.

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OCRegister: Senate race to decide Democrats’ Capitol muscle

Balance of Power

BY MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF WRITER
Published: Oct. 24, 2014 Updated: 6:43 p.m.

When you get past the nasty ads, a key issue in the state Senate race between Janet Nguyen and Jose Solorio is whether the district would be better represented by a member of the Legislature’s Democrat majority or by a Republican who would give the minority party a stronger position.

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VoiceofOC: Six Nguyen Donors Admitted to Political Money Laundering

fppc logo

By THY VO
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2014 3:00 pm | Updated: 8:55 pm, Thu Oct 23, 2014.

Six donors to County Supervisor Janet Nguyen admitted to illegally receiving reimbursements for campaign contributions, according to court documents filed by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

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The PE: DECISION 2014: $2M in outside money flows into state Senate race

money

Published: Oct. 14, 2014 – Updated: 4:53 p.m.

Since last year, more than $2 million in outside money has been spent in California’s 28th Senate District, where two Republicans are waging a bitter campaign for an open seat representing much of Riverside County.

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

The PE: DECISION 2014: Bonnie Garcia, Jeff Stone debate in Lake Elsinore

Bonnie Garcia+Jeff Stone

Published: Oct. 13, 2014 – Updated: 10:45 p.m.

There weren’t boxing gloves or dueling swords. In fact, a forum in Lake Elsinore last Friday for a contentious state Senate race was pretty civil.

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

SacBee: Dan Walters: Democratic supermajorities at risk with taxes in background

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 – 10:15 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 – 10:53 pm

Two years ago, Democrats won what were quickly dubbed “supermajorities” in both houses of the Legislature, but in the ensuing months, they lost the Senate supermajority.

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By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/08/14, 5:05 PM PDT | Updated: 3 hrs ago

ONTARIO >> The second highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives shared his vision for national economic growth at a forum in Ontario on Wednesday hosted by State Sen. Norma Torres, and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership business advocacy group.

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SacBee: End-of-session fundraising tops $3 million

money

By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Sep. 19, 2014 – 8:53 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 19, 2014 – 10:50 pm

The last weeks of the legislative year are a traditional time for California lawmakers to collect campaign money. With hundreds of bills awaiting final action, breakfast, lunchtime and evening fundraisers crowd a busy end-of-session calendar.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: Three obscure bills show how big policy gets buried

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 16, 2014 – 10:53 pm

The Legislature was in full sausage-factory mode during the last days of the biennial session that ended on Aug. 30, spewing hundreds of bills onto Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

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SacBee: Rod Wright steps down from the California Senate

Resignation

By Laurel Rosenhall
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 16, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 16, 2014 – 7:32 am

Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright, sentenced to jail Friday for being convicted of perjury and voting fraud, resigned from the California Senate on Monday but plans to stay on the payroll for one more week.

Wright sent Senate officials a resignation letter Monday stating that he’s stepping down effective Sept. 22.

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SacBee: Judge sentences Sen. Rod Wright to 3 months in jail

Gavel

By Laurel Rosenhall
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Sep. 12, 2014 – 10:02 am

A state Senate roiling from turmoil this year was dealt another blow Friday when a Los Angeles judge sentenced Democratic Sen. Rod Wright to three months in jail for lying about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008.

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LATimes: Legislature passes three of top four bills backed by organized labor

Unions

By Marc Lifsher
September 7, 2014

Organized labor is having a good year at the Capitol.

The Democrat-dominated Legislature passed and sent to the governor three of four union-priority bills. And Gov. Jerry Brown has already indicated he’ll sign at least one of them.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: Legislature’s marathon finale a time-dishonored ritual

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 – 4:49 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 – 10:29 pm

Rituals – some formal, some unspoken – are intrinsic to any society, even if they may be unfathomable to outsiders.

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LATimes: In state Capitol, intransigence gives way to bipartisan deal-making

State Capitol

By Chris Megerian
August 30, 2014

It was past dark when a contingent of Republican senators filed into Gov. Jerry Brown’s Capitol office as the deadline loomed for a plan to overhaul California’s aging water system.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 – 12:00 am

The close of the Legislature’s 2012-14 biennial session also marks the end of a noteworthy period – Jerry Brown’s third term as governor and the reigns of the Legislature’s two top leaders.

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InlandPolitics: California Legislature bans free ski outtings?

Skiing

Saturday, August 30, 2014 – 01:30 p.m.

The California Senate and Assembly concluded their 2013-2014 legislative sessions early Saturday morning. The end was met with the usual flurry of last minute votes and arguments over the passage of bills covering a wide spectrum of issues.

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sign - no gifts

By Patrick McGreevy
August 30, 2014

The state Senate on Friday acted on stricter ethics rules meant to restore public confidence in the Legislature after three senators were charged with criminal wrongdoing.

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SacBee: California senators’ final-month fundraising down from 2013

Sad Emoticon

By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 – 12:07 pm

The California Senate’s curb on end-of-session fundraising has sharply cut into the flow of political cash to senators’ campaign accounts, even as some in the upper house run afoul of a rule that bans contributions from donors that have Capitol lobbyists.

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Handcuffs

By Phillip Reese
preese@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 – 10:22 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 – 8:57 am

Three of the 40 members of the California State Senate have been arrested this year, more than double the statewide arrest rate and higher than the rate in any of California’s 25 largest cities.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 – 4:32 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 – 7:55 am

The arrest of Ben Hueso, a Democratic state senator from San Diego, on suspicion of drunken driving very early one morning was not a particularly unusual event.

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money in hand

By Patrick McGreevy
August 26, 2014

With two of its members accused of accepting payments for favors, the California Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would double the restitution fines for legislators and city council members convicted of accepting a bribe in exchange for influence on official action.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: Legislature turns to special interest battles in final week

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 – 9:21 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 – 11:11 pm

As the 2012-14 biennial legislative session entered its final week Monday, it was evident – with very few exceptions – that big public policy issues have given way to conflicts among moneyed interests.

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CPR: Atkins May Consider New Assembly Rules About Drinking

Mixed Drink

Katie Orr
Monday, August 25, 2014 | Sacramento, CA

California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins says she’ll have to consider whether to create rules about drinking in the Assembly following the alleged drunken driving arrest of Senator Ben Huseo. Hueso is a San Diego Democrat and was photographed on the Assembly balcony with a drink in his hand several hours before his arrest.

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SJMercuryNews: DUI arrest is California Democrats’ latest blow

democrat_donkey

By JULIET WILLIAMS and FENIT NIRAPPIL, Associated Press
Posted: 08/23/2014 10:57:42 AM PDT
Updated: 08/23/2014 11:17:57 AM PDT

SACRAMENTO — Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested Friday on suspicion of drunken driving, the latest black eye for the state’s majority party and the 40-member chamber that suspended three other Democrats facing legal troubles.

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Money

Published: Aug. 21, 2014 – Updated: 1:22 p.m.

California’s Senate on Thursday passed legislation that would restore vehicle license fee revenue to four fledgling cities in Riverside County.

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

LATimes: Measure to withhold pay from suspended legislators misses 2014 ballot

too-late

By Patrick McGreevy
August 18, 2014

Amid criticism over three state Senators continuing to collect salaries as they serve suspensions, a ballot measure that would allow lawmakers to suspend colleagues without pay has missed the deadline for the 2014 ballot.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 – 12:16 am

When schoolchildren visit the Capitol, they often receive sheets of paper purporting to describe how a legislative bill becomes law.

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Dan Morain

By Dan Morain
dmorain@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 – 12:00 am

In a Capitol where contentious lobbying battles are de rigueur, the $14 billion hedge fund that goes by the name Pershing Square Capital Management has picked a most unusual fight.

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SacBee: Water bond headed to voters

water-dam

By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 – 9:40 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 – 12:15 am

California voters will be asked to authorize $7.5 billion to bolster the state’s water supply, infrastructure and ecosystems in November, as lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday struck a long-sought deal to move a new water bond to the ballot.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: New water bond may be close, but it’s not fully cooked yet

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 – 10:27 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 – 11:30 pm

Chances are that sometime Wednesday the Legislature will place a new water bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: Will California ban plastic grocery bags?

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 – 12:00 am

When Capitol insiders talk about a “bag bill,” it refers to something for which an interest group is willing to spend big money – legally, it’s presumed – to see done.

Senate Bill 270, one might say, is a double bag bill.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: As clock ticks, chances for water bond fade

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 – 6:34 am

With just three weeks remaining in this year’s legislative session and the official deadline for placing issues on the Nov. 4 ballot long since passed, one might think that the Capitol’s politicians would be working night and day to write a new water bond.

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InlandPolitics: This and That!

Edit

Sunday, Augusr 10, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.

Here’s some news flowing across the transom last week. In case you missed it!

Unemployment claims drop by 18,000

First-Time Jobless Claims dropped by 18,000 to 289,000, according to Thursday’s report by the Labor Department. The four-week moving average of 293,500 is the lowest since 2006. The claims estimate was for 305,000.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 – 11:15 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 – 11:55 pm

The Sacramento Suburban Water District, which supplies water to some older neighborhoods outside the city, is engaged in a decades-long project to replace its aged, undersized water mains and install meters as required by a new state law.

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The PE: ELECTION 2014: Endorsement war in 28th Senate District

Elections

August 8, 2014

The race for the 28th state Senate District has turned into a game of anything you can do, I can do better.

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

DailyBulletin: Sen. Norma Torres’ anti corruption bill clears Senate

Norma Torres

Torres

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 08/04/14, 2:26 PM PDT | Updated: 10 mins ago

The state Senate on Monday unanimously approved legislation prompted by the Colonies corruption case in San Bernardino County and proposed by state Sen. Norma Torres, D-Chino, that would change the statute of limitations for certain bribery offenses.

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