Brown, Legislature differ sharply on California budget

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown sees a budget deficit and an urgent need for spending cuts. Legislative leaders see a surplus with room to comfortably increase expenditures. Always at odds when it comes to the budget, the Democratic governor and the Democratic Legislature are particularly far apart this year as they embark on […]

California hires ex-Attorney General Holder to fight Trump

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic leaders in the California Legislature said Wednesday they have hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to advise them on a legal strategy as they gird for a fight against President-elect Donald Trump. The precise role of the high-profile lawyer remained unclear, but his politically connected firm will be paid […]

Trump presidency puts California Legislature in defense mode

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As California lawmakers return to Sacramento on Wednesday, liberal dreams of expanding safety-net benefits and providing health coverage to immigrants are giving way to a new vision revolving around a feverish push to protect gains racked up in the past. After years of pushing forward a progressive agenda, legislative Democrats will […]

California lawmakers approve extension of climate change law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers voted Wednesday to extend the state’s landmark climate change law — the most aggressive in the nation — by another 10 years, resisting fierce opposition from oil companies and other business interests to keep the program alive at least through 2030. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, a strong advocate of […]

Voice Message Escalates Concerns over Education Bill in Black Faith Community

SACRAMENTO – A colorful voicemail left on the cell phone of a Southern California pastor by an experienced state Capitol staffer has brought more attention to a bill making the rounds in Sacramento and brought into question how political staff members and constituents should interact. Pastor Marc T. Little of Faithful Central Bible Church in […]

Talks stall on $400 million in California affordable housing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s Assembly speaker conceded defeat Thursday on negotiations over a plan to inject $400 million into affordable housing projects, a deal that was included in the $122 billion budget compromise legislative leaders negotiated with Gov. Jerry Brown this spring. The funding was contingent on lawmakers approving Brown’s controversial “by right” housing […]

Lawmakers Question Effectiveness of Cap-And-Trade Program

(CBM) – California’s cap-and-trade program is under scrutiny from state lawmakers who are concerned revenue collected from the program isn’t finding its way to disadvantaged communities. The program, signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 as part of California s landmark environmental bill AB 32, is supposed to help lower harmful greenhouse gas […]

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 […]