December 6, 2013
Nearly as many California voters now approve of job the Legislature is doing as those who don't, the best public view of the elected representatives working under the state Capitol's golden dome, according to a statewide Field Poll released Friday.
December 4, 2013
Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) has shuffled a number of policy committee appointments, resulting in three new chairs and a full slate of assignments for the Assembly's newest Democrat.
December 3, 2013
While much of the rest of the country is ramping up for the holiday season, political forces in Sacramento are girding for political battle.
November 29, 2013
California lawmakers are set to receive a 5.3 percent pay raise Monday, but a dozen say they won't accept it in the wake of a voter-approved tax hike last November and while many residents are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession.
November 21, 2013
Gov Brown is appointing Grant Cope as the new Deputy Serectary at Cal/EPA.
November 20, 2013
Legislature's advisors report higher-than-expected revenue could pump more than $4 billion in unanticipated funds into schools and community colleges starting next summer.
November 19, 2013
A former Caltrans director and a member of the state's transportation panel have filed a proposed November 2014 ballot measure that would generate an estimated $3 billion a year for road improvements by more than doubling vehicle license fees.
Editor's Note: Some of this money should be used for environmental projects to repair the damage highways and roads have done to the environment, especially along the coast (i.e., loss of sand supplies).
November 13, 2013
Lashing back at federal officials and Senate colleagues, state Sen. Ron Calderon contended in a federal filing late Wednesday that authorities leaked an FBI affidavit alleging that he took $88,000 in bribes after Calderon refused to participate in a sting operation targeting Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Sen. Kevin de León.
November 12, 2013
State Sen. Ron Calderon was stripped of his committee assignments Tuesday amid a federal investigation involving allegations that he accepted money in return for promoting certain bills.
November 11, 2013
As Gov. Jerry Brown and other state leaders pitch California’s Democratic-dominated politics as a model that should be emulated throughout the country, they keep stumbling over an embarrassing obstacle: poverty.
Assemblyman Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) on Monday became the first to announce a candidacy for the Senate seat from which Bill Emmerson is resigning effective Dec. 1.
November 10, 2013
San Diego-area lawmakers are divided over whether to accept a coming salary increase, underscoring the political minefield they must tread to avoid voter backlash.
November 8, 2013
State Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands) abruptly announced his resignation Friday, saying that after nine years in the Legislature his passion for the job had waned and his constituents deserve better.
November 6, 2013
Numerous constituents Wednesday urged Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael to rethink his opposition to a bill that would grant the California Coastal Commission the power to fine violators of the state's Coastal Act.
November 4, 2013
LaBonge and Englander want their colleagues to back a statewide ballot measure that would help fund local seismic safety efforts.
November 3, 2013
Michael Drobot a Newport Beach resident and former owner of a Long Beach-based spinal surgery hospital, paid $28,000 in bribes to state Sen. Ron Calderon, according to an FBI affidavit published Wednesday by Al Jazeera America.
November 1, 2013
A new environmental scorecard of California legislators reveals an emerging trend – an uptick in the scores for Republicans, bolstered by a new crop of moderates.
October 31, 2013
Seeking to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags cluttering California's beaches and landfills, the state Legislature in 2006 passed a law requiring grocery stores and other large retailers to give consumers an easy way of returning used bags.
October 15, 2013
California Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed more than a dozen bills aimed at improving access to water in the state, where drought is common and tension is high over the competing needs of residents, agriculture and the environment.
October 14, 2013
The economy, global warming and water and high-speed rail infrastructure all demanded his attention.
On Sunday, those debates (at least some of them) came to an end with the winding down of the legislative season.
October 13, 2013
Gov. Jerry Brown wrapped up final action Sunday afternoon on the scores of bills placed on his desk this year by the Legislature -- a series of decisions that, stepping back, paint a scene of a chief executive who clearly marches to his own drum beat.
September 24, 2013
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday ordered creation of a statewide earthquake early warning system that could give millions of Californians a few precious seconds of warning before a powerful temblor strikes.
September 21, 2013
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the following appointments.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Saturday that he'd signed a bill to add a checkbox on California state income returns to give charitable contributions to coastal conservation efforts.
September 20, 2013
Oil industry says the rules go further than needed for safe drilling. Environmentalists contend there aren't enough protections.
After publicly endorsing the measure to ease its passage in the Legislature, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill establishing a permitting system for hydraulic fracturing in California, the governor's office announced this afternoon.
September 15, 2013
Environmental groups were excited last week when a key bill they worked on all year came up for a final vote in Sacramento.
September 13, 2013
Development and operation of an early-warning system that would swiftly alert Californians when a damaging earthquake ruptures the ground anywhere in the state received unanimous approval by the state Legislature on Thursday.
September 11, 2013
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg is shelving most of his effort to streamline the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, this year.
Giving momentum to workers who rallied this summer to increase the minimum wage, Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that he supports a bill that would boost California's basic wage from $8 to $1o by 2016.
September 10, 2013
The state Assembly killed a measure Tuesday that would have granted stronger enforcement powers to the California Coastal Commission.
September 9, 2013
California lawmakers will wade into the final week of the year Monday to tackle an unfinished agenda that includes milestone measures to increase the minimum wage, strip tax breaks from the Boy Scouts and grant driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants.
September 6, 2013
If you are like most Californians, one of your private dreams is to own a home on the coast overlooking the ocean, where you can sit and watch the sun dip below the horizon or take awalk at the surfline and join the seabirds chasing the waves.
The state Senate approved a measure Friday that would give the California Coastal Commission the ability to impose fines.
September 3, 2013
In honor of Sacramento's version of the playoffs — the final two weeks of the legislative season — we'd like to propose a bill to create a new pay-as-you-go system in the Capitol.
September 2, 2013
Two bills that were heavily amended in recent weeks lay out different visions for how California should revise the water bond slated for the 2014 ballot.
September 1, 2013
They'll be on the lookout for 'gut and amends' — getting through legislation that bypasses committees.
August 30, 2013
A bill that would regulate hydraulic fracturing in California by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee Friday and is cleared to move forward for a full Assembly vote.
Editor's Note: The bill mentioned in the article is SB 405. It is a two-year bill since it did not pass this session.
The Senate Appropriations committee announced the fate of nearly 200 bills on the suspense file today.
August 29, 2013
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, was in San Diego Thursday, to rally support for his effort to ban single use disposable shopping bags.
August 27, 2013
California's Legislature is reigniting the debate over whether to douse beach bonfires for health reasons.
Reforming California's environmental regulations has been a priority among critics who say the rules are too onerous for businesses in the state.
August 25, 2013
A bill to update the California Environmental Quality Act, which often hampers development in the state, has passed the Senate and is being debated in the Assembly.
August 23, 2013
Substantially overhauling the 40-year-old California Environmental Quality Act may still happen, but with just two weeks remaining in the legislative session, it probably won't happen this year.
August 22, 2013
Women make up only thirty-five percent of the Assembly’s chief of staff positions, the top leadership post for each state representative.
August 21, 2013
Fracking is when energy companies inject pressurized water and chemicals into the ground to extract oil and gas. Backers of the bill say it would set a national precedent on the regulation of fracking.
August 20, 2013
Sierra Club California honored San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins with one of its highest awards Monday, citing her pending legislation to give the Coastal Commission broader authority to directly fine violators rather than pursue a lengthy case in court.
August 18, 2013
Backers say the bill, already OKd by the Assembly and nearing a vote in the Senate, would provide an important tool to help the commission to protect California's coast.
Editor’s note: The bill mentioned in the article above is AB 976 (Atkins). The current text of the bill is available online here. The Senate Floor analysis of AB 976 is available online here.
August 16, 2013
Two California lawmakers are burned up by new regulations on beach fire pits and they're sponsoring a bill to roll them back.
Editor’s Note: AB 1102 is currently in the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. The text of the bill is available online here.
August 14, 2013
A proposal to streamline the environmental review process for development was approved by a key committee Wednesday after its author, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said he is unwilling to include more dramatic changes demanded by business groups.
With support from the Obama administration, organizations of Chinese American businesses and suppliers of shark fins asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to halt enforcement of a California law banning the possession and sale of the main ingredient of shark fin soup, a traditional Chinese delicacy.
August 12, 2013
Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, will not seek re-election at the end of her current term.
August 11, 2013
The California State Senate returned to the Capitol Monday after its summer break. The Assembly went back into session last Monday. As the article below points out, the Legislature has a lot of work to do between now and the end of session on September 13 (1,100 bills or 55 bills/day). It’s “gut and amend” season, when legislation introduced last winter morphs into something totally new at the last minute.
California lawmakers in the Legislature's final month in session are set to tackle about 1,100 bills that feature such politically volatile issues as environmental rules, gun control and immigration.
The CEQA bill referred to in the above article is SB 731 and the fracking bill is SB 4.
Darrell Steinberg will be a busy man for the next month as the central figure in what happens – or doesn't happen – on the Legislature's remaining major issues.
August 10, 2013
If Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez were a more effective legislative leader, he wouldn't need to use public funds to hire a communications consultant.
August 8, 2013
Can you imagine only having only a few hours to review important work documents and then be forced make snap decisions that are critical to the future of your business?
August 7, 2013
For the second time this year, Assemblywoman Connie Conway faces the possibility of surrendering her leadership of the California Assembly's Republican Caucus.
August 5, 2013
The California Assembly may vote on a bill this week that could set strict performance measures for personal and business tax incentives.
July 30, 2013
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg has promised to find the right balance as he rewrites the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.
July 15, 2013
When a federal grand jury convenes in Los Angeles early next month as part of an investigation involving Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello), at least two other lawmakers will be before the panel.
Use this database to search every organization that recently paid lobbyists.
July 14, 2013
Facebook billionaire Sean Parker's extravagant wedding last month made international headlines when he agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle violations of California's coastal laws for building rock walls, a stone bridge, a cottage, dance floor and other structures in a sensitive Big Sur forest without permits.
Editor’s note: The Senate Judiciary Committee passed AB 976 on July 2nd and referred the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for August 12. Click here for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s staff analysis of AB 976.
July 3, 2013
The California Legislature fights over everything from taxes to red-light cameras, but routinely the two houses agree on details of a monthlong summer recess – until now.
June 24, 2013
Lawmakers buoyed by last fall’s election of a supermajority of Democrats in the state Legislature are pushing new legislation that would cut off state construction funds from charter cities that don’t mandate the equivalent of union-scale wages on public-works projects.
After Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to eliminate the state's enterprise zone program appeared to stall earlier this month, the Brown administration and Democratic legislative leaders rushed forward Monday with a slightly modified version of the plan, anticipating a floor vote in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon.
June 23, 2013
Tom Hayden gained fame – or notoriety – as an anti-Vietnam War activist in the 1960s, later moved to California and attempted, with mixed results, to become a political power in the state.
Editor’s note: The text of AB 227 is available online here. The most recent staff analysis of the bill is available online here.
June 21, 2013
Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties' redwood forests, known as the Southern Subdistrict, are highly valued for their timber, wildlife habitat and carbon sequestration -- but also as places for people to live and enjoy the outdoors. Many mountain communities and the entire county of Santa Cruz also depend upon forested watersheds for their drinking water.
Editor’s note: The text of AB 904 is available online here. The most recent staff analysis of the bill is available online here.
The League of California Cities is ramping up its campaign to defeat a high-profile, union-sponsored bill aimed at preventing charter cities -- those with their own governing systems -- from bypassing the state's "prevailing wage" law on some construction projects.
June 9, 2013
What could possibly be wrong with banning political fundraising during the legislative session, as my friend, Republican spokesperson-turned-academic reformer Dan Schnur, proposed on May 30 ("Ban fundraising during legislative session")? Let me count the ways.
June 7, 2013
State senator, who says he's been told he's not a target of the federal investigation, and Calderon had been on opposite sides of a legislative effort.
June 6, 2013
California state Sen. Ron Calderon, whose Sacramento offices were raided Tuesday by the FBI, has personal and legislative ties to the Central Basin Municipal Water District — a public agency that is also under federal scrutiny.
It was disappointing to hear the same tired arguments and excuses used by legislators and lobbyists to defeat Senate Bill 405, a statewide ban on plastic bags proposed by state Sen. Alex Padilla.
June 5, 2013
Proposition 13, Howard Jarvis' iconic property tax limit measure, was passed by California voters 35 years ago this week - but the debate over its provisions is just as heated now as it was then.
June 4, 2013
FBI agents raided the offices of Sen. Ron Calderon and the Legislature's 24-member Latino Caucus on Tuesday as part of an undisclosed investigation originating in Los Angeles.
Agents give no reason for raids on offices of Montebello Democrat Ron Calderon and the Latino Caucus.
June 3, 2013
Under the proposed legislation, conversations between the governor and local government boards could be held behind closed doors. The bill awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature.
Lawmakers on Monday moved to roll back state open-government rules, passing a measure that would allow the public to be excluded from certain gatherings including the governor and county officials.
May 31, 2013
Lawmakers quashed a bill that would have created a state agency to tax and regulate California's overgrown medical marijuana landscape on Friday.
Lone motorists would be able to use car-pool lanes during off-peak hours on some of Los Angeles County’s most congested freeways under legislation approved by the state Assembly.
May 30, 2013
The California Assembly today passed legislation by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins that enables the California Coastal Commission to levy penalties against those who disregard orders to stop violating the California Coastal Act.
A proposal to ban plastic grocery bags in California went the way of so many plastic bags - into the trash can - on Thursday when it failed to garner enough votes in the state Senate to move ahead in the lawmaking process.
May 29, 2013
City by city, county by county, California is well on its way to banning single-use plastic bags.
May 28, 2013
Should a blind man be allowed to operate a self-driving car? Will an 8-year-old be permitted to "drive" herself to school? Should the vehicles roll through all kinds of weather? Who will be at fault when a robotic car crashes?
Senators want more money for dental care and mental health while Assembly members want to boost welfare grants, but neither plan aligns with the governor's.
May 26, 2013
When you think of the work the California Legislature does, you think of eloquent statements of the rights of man, of soaring language that sets forth the highest principles of political philosophy and calls citizens to action - right?
May 24, 2013
California Assembly lawmakers this morning put a hold on legislation that would have prohibited salaried state employees from taking a secondary hourly-wage position within their same department or agency.
A California bill that would have required manufacturers to figure out how to keep the most common plastic junk out of state waterways died in the state Assembly without a vote Friday.
May 23, 2013
Measures aimed at creating new taxes on Californians were held by the Senate Appropriations Committee today, making it extremely unlikely that taxes on cigarettes, soda, strip clubs, plastic bags or oil extraction will become law this year.
May 22, 2013
Democrats picked up another seat in the state Assembly in Tuesday’s special legislative elections, restoring their two-thirds majority in the lower house, while a Republican was the apparent upset winner of a race for an open Senate seat.
May 15, 2013
Democrats who control the Legislature have proposed about 20 tax and fee measures affecting such things as soda, cigarettes, plastic bags and bullets.
May 14, 2013
Even tiny amounts of lead are toxic. Banning lead ammunition in California would go far in protecting both animals and humans.
May 13, 2013
A controversial bill that would indirectly increase local taxes on commercial property was stalled - perhaps permanently - Monday in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.
May 2, 2013
A bill that would make changes to California's landmark environmental review law moved forward in the state Senate Wednesday, as Democrats rejected a GOP-backed proposal as "too broad and comprehensive a change."
Don't be fooled by how easily a Senate panel approved a bill to overhaul the California Environmental Quality Act, Dan says: A lot of work lies ahead.
April 30, 2013
The fight over Proposition 39 didn't end at the ballot box.
April 29, 2013
A bipartisan handful of legislators is trying to stop the Sacramento tradition known as the "gut-and-amend" bill -- the last-minute, late-night law-making that has become the summertime norm in the Capitol.
A California Assembly panel approved a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing by oil and natural-gas producers until the most populous U.S. state assesses health and environmental concerns.
AB 10, which would give California its first minimum wage increase since 2008, was approved by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on a party-line vote.
April 28, 2013
A bill that would make California fishing licenses valid for a year from the date of purchase won unanimous approval of a state Senate committee last week. Currently, licenses are good only for a designated calendar year.
Backers of the legislation say that the proposed expansion area was part of naturalist John Muir's original vision for the park. That might well be, but Congress should be far less concerned with Muir's 19th century opinions than with serving the public and protecting Yosemite today and in the future.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure.
April 24, 2013
Legislation to establish the first statewide earthquake early-warning system moved forward in Sacramento on Tuesday when the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to approve the $80 million bill.
April 23, 2013
Assemblyman Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, has introduced legislation to create a specialty license plate for the Salton Sea, that large but beleaguered body of water that sprawls across eastern Riverside County and Imperial County.
April 22, 2013
The annual celebration of all things nature may have lost some of its luster since its debut back in 1970, but it still gets attention in environmentally conscious California.
April 15, 2013
Many live a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle and the accessibility of a quick meal is often necessary, but state Sen. Mark Leno believes that should not outweigh fast food packaging’s impact on the environment and the California coast.
April 12, 2013
California on Thursday became the latest state to place restrictions on the chemical known as Bisphenol-A and declare it a reproductive toxicant.
April 10, 2013
A bill to more tightly regulate the drilling process called hydraulic fracturing cleared a Senate committee Tuesday.
April 7, 2013
For years, California's business leaders have lamented that the state's 43-year-old environmental law is too often used to protect everything but the environment.
April 1, 2013
For money-minded shoppers, it could be a great weekend to buy a car, stock up on gardening tools, maybe spring for a new washer/dryer or even a few pair of designer jeans.
Newly elected state Sen. Ben Hueso has been tapped to serve on several key committees.
CalCoast Editor's Note: AB 976 is a re-introduction of AB 226 (Ruskin, 2009) and SB 588 (Evans, 2011). AB 226 passed in the Assembly, but was "gutted and amended" in the Senate. No action was taken on SB 588 after the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee passed the bill.
The Natural Resources Committee’s analysis of AB 976 is available here.
See also AB 203 (Stone) which would require Coastal Commission staff to reject an application for a coastal development permit (CDP) or stop work on the application if staff asserts that a violation exists on the property in question. Commission staff must stop processing a CDP application until staff is satisfied that the violation has been cured. The bill does not apply to de minimis violations. Disputes over violations would be resolved by the Commission after a public hearing. The Assembly Natural Resources Committee passed AB 203 Monday and the bill was referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. No hearing date has been set. AB 203 is similar to AB 291 (Saldana, 2009), which passed in the Assembly, but was “gutted and amended” in the Senate.
The Natural Resources Committee’s analysis of AB 203 is available here.
The years-long attempt to ban plastic bags from grocery stores in California began anew Monday when an Assembly committee backed a 2013 version of a bill that would require shoppers to bring a reusable cloth bag or buy a recycled paper bag at the checkout stand.
March 27, 2013
If it’s spring break for the California Legislature, that means lawmakers are putting their passports to use.
March 23, 2013
State Sen. Mark Leno has proposed statewide legislation that would allow bars to extend drinking hours from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.
March 22, 2013
Raises are still on the table for state politicians after the California Citizens Compensation Commission met for the first time Thursday to begin deciding how much legislators and other state elected officials will be paid next year.
For most politicians, earning the support of one in three voters would be a red flag. But for the California Legislature, it’s a sign of improvement.
As of the end of business Thursday, the Legislature is on spring recess. So kick back and join us for AM Alert: Recess Edition.
March 20, 2013
Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, has named nine members to the lower house's GOP leadership team for the 2013-2014 legislative session. Here is a list of the appointments.
Former San Diego Assemblyman and mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher has endorsed Lorena Gonzalez in her bid for the 80th District Assembly seat.
March 18, 2013
Even after supporting legislation that would have banned such gifts, more than a dozen state senators accepted Disneyland passes, Pebble Beach golf outings and NASCAR tickets from firms lobbying them for special treatment.
Tough battles are expected to break out over animal protection legislation pending in the state Capitol.
California's legislative leaders vowed to act with austerity after voters passed billions of dollars in tax hikes last November.
What's in a word? Apparently a lot, when it comes to overhauling the California Environmental Quality Act.
March 17, 2013
California's legislative leaders vowed to act with austerity after voters passed billions of dollars in tax hikes last November.
March 15, 2013
With a big battle looming over the California Environmental Quality Act, Dan says labor unions and environmentalists could thwart Gov. Jerry Brown's ambition to overhaul the law.
March 14, 2013
Last call could come later in California under a bill that’s being proposed at the Capitol.
Sen. Leno’s press release regarding SB 635 is available online here.
Each year the California Legislature considers thousands of proposed new laws. After extensive public review and input in multiple committees in both houses, the Legislature approves several hundred of these laws that go to the governor for his signature. At least that's what is supposed to happen.
March 13, 2013
Hueso's election restores the supermajority the Democrats gained in the upper house in November.
California Democrats have recaptured a supermajority in the state Senate as Democrat Ben Hueso sailed to victory in a special election for a vacant San Diego-area Senate seat Tuesday night.
A new report sheds light on one place California's sun doesn't always shine: the state Capitol.
March 12, 2013
The battle over the future of California's environmental review law waged on Tuesday, as a coalition of environmental groups, tribal organizations and labor unions rallied against the prospect of changes.
Assembly lawmakers intend to introduce legislation and dedicate millions of dollars to reduce what is now a six-week backlog of business filings stacked up at Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office.
March 11, 2013
The California Environmental Quality Act, signed into law by Gov. Ronald Reagan, is being used for unintended purposes and needs fixing.
A new bill would require the Legislature approve state contracts for services, limit how long the agreements could run and clamp down on how long departments could extend them.
March 10, 2013
It's possible that upcoming vacancies could complicate some budget action, but no major upheavals are expected.
March 8, 2013
The primary special election to fill former Sen. Michael Rubio's seat will occur on May 21, Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced on Friday.
March 7, 2013
PGA policy that allows salaried state workers to take second positions within their departments is on a legislative committee's agenda this morning.
March 3, 2013
Corporations, trade groups and other special interests with matters before the Legislature doled out trips, sports tickets, meals and other perks. In August, legislators killed a measure that would have prevented some such giving.
March 1, 2013
As Democrats and Republicans in Washington remain deadlocked over a compromise to avoid automatic, across-the-board cuts to the federal budget starting Friday, state lawmakers in California could not even agree on an advisory resolution urging Congress to avoid the reductions.
One of the early names raised as a potential candidate for the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Michael Rubio one week ago -- Assemblymember Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno -- has taken himself out of the running.
February 28, 2013
Before resigning to head California governmental affairs for Chevron Corp., Democratic Sen. Michael Rubio participated in two real estate deals with a Kern County oil executive who has contributed to his campaign.
California officials are using a standard bidding process for their plan to speed construction of the state's $68 billion high-speed rail line, but there are still outstanding questions about the inspection process that the Legislature should investigate, lawmakers heard Tuesday at a hearing on the plan.
February 27, 2013
A special election has yet to be called, but there's already no shortage of names being floated as possible candidates to succeed Shafter Democrat Michael Rubio in the state Senate.
February 22, 2013
Two state senators call for an investigation after a Consumer Watchdog report accuses the Department of Toxic Substances Control of failing to protect residents and the environment.
State Sen. Michael Rubio abruptly resigned Friday to accept a position managing California governmental affairs for Chevron Corp., saying a desire to spend more time with his family motivated his decision to step down.
Gov. Jerry Brown said today that state Sen. Michael Rubio's resignation from the state Legislature took him by surprise, and he suggested it could complicate his effort to overhaul the state's signature environmental law.
With the news that CEQA “reform” champion and State Senator Michael Rubio resigned today to lobby for Chevron, I have to wonder if his push for CEQA reform was really just to benefit oil and gas fracking.
Ordinarily, the resignation of a state senator - particularly one not tinged with scandal - is of no more than passing interest. In fact, two senators had already resigned early this year to take their seats in Congress.
Sixty cities including Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Pasadena already have acted to ban single-use plastic bags at store checkout lines, and now a lawmaker says it is time for the rest of the state to follow suit.
California lawmakers on Friday positioned themselves to tackle changes to the state's landmark environmental regulatory law, which has long been a source of conflict among business, environmentalists, labor groups and local governments.
Senator Steinberg’s press release regarding SB 731 is available online here.
February 21, 2013
The Legislative Analyst's Office is turning up its criticism of Gov. Jerry Brown's plans for clean energy funding.
January 28, 2013
Southern Californians would have precious seconds to prepare for a major earthquake under a new proposal to create a statewide early warning system.
January 8, 2013
State workers would get back a holiday they lost four years ago under the terms of legislation introduced Monday by Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-West Covina.
January 7, 2013
Firmly in command of the policy agenda and controlling a state budget that is in its best shape in years, California Democrats are expected to push a broad agenda of fiscal and social change in 2013.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has released the full Senate committee roster for the 2013-2014 legislative session.
With Democrats firmly in control in both houses of the Legislature, and Democrat Jerry Brown sitting in the governor's seat, now is an opportune time to reform California's convoluted tax laws.
The Legislature's Democratic leaders want to use their newly minted supermajorities to do things that they could not do before, but are leery of doing things that might alienate voters and jeopardize those supermajorities.
January 3, 2013
The deal won't allow California and other states to keep some revenue from the U.S. estate tax. Gov. Brown had included $335 million in such revenue in his budget.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez released today the lower house's committee assignments for the 2013-2014 legislative session.
January 2, 2013
To Jared Huffman, the name "fish and game" was an outdated artifact of a bygone era when state officials mostly set hunting seasons and bag limits.
January 1, 2013
Homeowners will have increased protections from foreclosure under some of the hundreds of state laws taking effect with the new year.
Of the 81 state laws highlighted on its annual list of the nation's most interesting laws that take effect on New Year's Day, the National Conference of State Legislatures included 27 passed by the California state legislature.