California budget deal approved, eliminates contentious welfare policy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers approved a state budget Wednesday that gives liberal Democrats long-sought increases to safety net programs while socking away billions to prepare for a recession. The $122.5 billion spending plan, negotiated by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders, earned a rebuke from Republicans, who said it sets the […]

California raises legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday approved raising the legal age to buy tobacco for smoking, dipping, chewing and vaping from 18 to 21. The new law, which will take effect June 9, makes California the second state to raise the legal smoking age to 21. It will not apply to […]

Racist statements lead lawmakers to reject John Wayne Day

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — What a California lawmaker intended as a benign resolution honoring a late, world-renowned movie icon exploded into an emotional debate over decades-old racist comments. The state Assembly defeated the official ode to John Wayne Thursday after several legislators described statements he made about racial minorities and his support for the anti-communist […]

California lawmakers OK $15/hour minimum wage

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California lawmakers on Thursday approved the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour to take effect by 2022 after it was hailed by Democrats as an example to the nation as it struggles with a growing gap between rich and poor. The legislation now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, who […]

California’s $15/hour wage could help workers, cost jobs

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A political deal to raise California’s minimum wage to a nation-leading $15 an hour could help some workers cope with the state’s crushing cost of living but also deprive other low-wage earners of jobs altogether, economists said as Gov. Jerry Brown and other leaders touted what would be a landmark agreement. California’s […]

Deal reached to take California minimum wage to $15 an hour

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California legislators and labor unions have reached a tentative agreement that will take the state’s minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour, a state senator said, a move that would make for the largest statewide minimum in the nation by far. “This is not a done deal,” Sen. Mark Leno, […]

Bill would make California 2nd state with smoking age of 21

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Thursday revived a stalled effort to make the nation’s most populous state one of two to raise the smoking age to 21. The state Assembly passed a bill raising the smoking age from 18, joining Hawaii and dozens of cities around the country that have already moved to […]

California lawmakers return with full plate of heady issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers return to the Capitol Monday facing two of the most vexing problems from last year: a looming $1 billion hole in funding for the state’s health care program for the poor and a $59 billion backlog in road repairs needed over the next decade. Gov. Jerry Brown called special […]

California voters to be automatically registered at DMV

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation to make California the second state in the nation to begin automatically registering eligible voters when they obtain or renew their driver’s licenses. AB1461 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, aims to boost California’s voter rolls by registering visitors to the Department of Motor Vehicles […]

Two Senators Move to Ban Confederate Names, Symbols in California

SACRAMENTO (CBM) – The nationwide rally against Confederate symbols has hit the Golden State. Sens. Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) and Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) last week announced a bill that would prohibit all public schools, buildings, parks, roadways, and other state-owned property from using names associated with the Confederate States of America, a  group of seven […]