California

Budgets in Brief - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA GOV PROPOSES LAST STATE BUDGET: CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) unveiled the final budget of his tenure, a plan calling for $199.3 billion in total spending and projecting an $8.8 billion surplus, $7.6 billion of which would be deposited into two...

Health & Science - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

MA House Approves HB 4486 The MASSACHUSETTS House approves HB 4486 , legislation that would raise the Bay State smoking age to 21. It is now in the Senate (BOSTON GLOBE). IA Governor Signs HF 2377 IOWA Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs HF 2377 , a...

Immigration - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Governor Signs SB 785 Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs SB 785 , which prevents lawyers from revealing the immigration status of crime victims and witnesses in open court unless a judge rules the information relevant to the case (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)...

The Local Front - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Federal Judge Strikes Down A federal judge in CALIFORNIA strikes down a ban on shipping coal through the Port of OAKLAND . U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the City Council did not have enough evidence that the coal operations would pose...

Reinsurance Programs Catching On in States | 05-11-2018

Since 2016 at least 19 states have introduced and 9 have enacted legislation creating a state reinsurance program and/or authorizing the state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to obtain federal funding...

State Pot Revenues Surging But Still Relatively Insignificant | 05-11-2018

Between 2014 and 2017, tax revenues from the sale of marijuana shot up about 400 percent in Washington. In Colorado they surged about 900 percent. But the $314 million and $223 million in marijuana tax revenues, respectively, in the two states that were...

Budgets in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CA ECONOMY NOW WORLD’S 5TH LARGEST CALIFORNIA’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth-largest, according to data released this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce. California’s 2017...

Governors in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

BAKER OPEN TO NEW MA DEATH PENALTY In the wake of the murder of a Bay State police officer, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) says his office is talking with lawmakers and law enforcement officials about crafting a bill to reinstate the death penalty...

READ THIS ANY WAY YOU WANT | 05-11-2018

It’s now the thick of primary season, aka prime endorsement gathering time. Which is kind of like mating season in the animal world, just with even crazier behavior. Case in point this week comes from the California Lieutenant Governor’s race...

The Iron Duke | 05-11-2018

The California Capitol community lost a classic old school Republican last week, as former Gov. George Deukmejian passed away at age 89. Most rightly recall him as being representative of what Claremont McKenna College professor Jack Pitney called “the...

Always Time to Brush | 05-11-2018

California lost another old school GOP stalwart last week, as longtime Assemblymember and Senator Sam Aanestad died at 71 after a lengthy illness. An oral surgeon by trade, much of his time in office was focused on health care issues. This was on prominent...

Business - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

VT Senate Approves HB 196 The VERMONT Senate approves HB 196 , which would grant workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year. The bill, which would ensure employees are paid 70 percent of their wages for a maximum of 12 weeks of combined parental leave...

Energy - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CT House and Senate Endorse SB 9 The CONNECTICUT House and Senate endorse SB 9 , a bill that would double the amount of renewable energy that Constitution State utilities will be required to purchase over the next decade, from 20 percent in 2020 to...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

The Local Front - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CO City Council Endorses The DENVER City Council unanimously endorses new rules that, among several things, require so-called “slot homes” – town homes that face sideways, allowing developers to fit more units on the property –...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Brown Leads Multistate Suit Over Emissions Standards | 05-04-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced the Golden State would lead a 17-state coalition and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the agency’s proposed rollback of fuel economy standards....

Budgets in Brief - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

NJ SUPREME COURT BLOCKS STATE FUNDING FOR CHURCHES The NEW JERSEY Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state Constitution expressly prohibits the use of public money for the benefit of churches, invalidating Morris County’s practice of giving...

Business - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Supreme Court The CALIFORNIA Supreme Court rules that businesses seeking to declare a worker an independent contractor must be able to prove that the worker is independent of control and direction from the employer, performs work that is outside...

The Local Front - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Board Announces Plan LOCAL FRONT : The LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA County Board of Supervisors announces a plan to install showers and bathrooms for the homeless to use in or near some of the city’s 93 metro train stations. A final plan is expected...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Governors in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

BROWN REACHES DEAL ON CA NATIONAL GUARD USE...OR DOES HE? After a week of jousting with the Trump administration, it is still unclear if CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will order the deployment of the California National Guard to the state’s...

CA Voters Could Consider Splitting State in Three | 04-20-2018

Tim Draper, a billionaire venture capitalist based in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, is backing an effort to get a measure on the state’s Nov. 6 ballot that would divide the state into three parts: “Northern California,”...

Politics in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

NY AG SEEKS AUTHORITY TO PROSECUTE PRESIDENTIAL PARDONEES: NEW YORK Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking to change the state’s double jeopardy law to exempt cases involving presidential pardons. The change, if approved by the state’s...

Social Policy - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

PA House Approves HB 2050 The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 2050 , which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion based on the belief the expected child is likely to have Down syndrome. It moves to the Senate (PENNLIVE). PA House...

The Local Front - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

CA City Council Approves The LOS ANGELES City Council unanimously approves and ordinance requiring companies that are seeking to do business with the city or have city contracts to reveal whether they are helping to build a wall along the Mexican border...

Governors In Brief - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

BROWN AGREES TO SEND CA TROOPS TO BORDER In a somewhat surprising move, CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) agreed last week to President Donald Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. But in a letter to Sect. of...

Deputy Dog | 04-05-2018

Since the passing of former First Dog and national celebrity Sutter Brown in 2016, current First Dog Colusa has been a tad lonely. But no more! California Gov. Jerry Brown reported last week that Colusa has a new buddy, a poodle and Border collie mix...

Seems Worth the Risk | 04-05-2018

One of the first things I learned as a young scribe was that cops and reporters never say no to coffee. Given that my brother was a cop for 30 years and I’ve been kicking around this gig for almost as long, I know this to be as true today as it...

Governors in Brief - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

WALKER SIGNS OFF ON CLOSURE OF WI YOUTH PRISON : After years of accusations of ongoing abuse and neglect of its inhabitants, the lone WISCONSIN prison complex for teen offenders is now set to shut its doors for good. Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed bipartisan...

Trump Threatens CA Enviro Rules | 04-05-2018

The ongoing war between California and President Trump heated up significantly last week, as the administration moved to challenge two of the Golden State’s cornerstone environmental laws. The first came on Monday when Environmental Protection...

Politics in Brief - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

FBI NABS AL LAWMAKER IN CORRUPTION STING : FBI agents arrested longtime ALABAMA Rep. Jack Williams, former state GOP Chairman Marty Connors and Trina Healthcare CEO Ford Gilbert last Monday on corruption charges. Gilbert is accused of devising a scheme...

Social Policy - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

HI Senate Approves HB 2739 The HAWAII Senate gives final approval to HB 2739 , a bill that would allow Aloha State doctors to help terminally ill patients to end their own lives. It is now with Gov. David Ige (D), who has said he will sign it into...

States Looking for Cure to High Drug Prices | 03-30-2018

During his State of the Union speech in February, President Donald Trump declared his intention to address what he called “the injustice of high drug prices.” He repeated the promise last month in New Hampshire during a press conference on...

A True Loss | 03-30-2018

The point of this column is to poke fun at the odd, pretentious or absurd things that happen in politics. But this week we will be straight for just a moment to honor the untimely passing of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s esteemed chief of staff...

Bros and Bears | 03-30-2018

As a native of South Lake Tahoe, California I know firsthand that it is one of the loveliest places in the world. But as the Sacramento Bee reports , the community is feeling under siege these days from an influx of two entirely different kinds of visitors...

Budgets in Brief - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

AZ BANS LOCAL SODA TAXES: ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed HB 2484 , prohibiting local governments in the state from imposing extra taxes on sodas or other sugary beverages, as some left-leaning cities in other states, including San Francisco and...

The Local Front - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

CA City Council Adopts Ordinance The city of LOS ALAMOS, CALIFORNIA adopts an ordinance exempting itself from the Golden State’s so-called “sanctuary state” law that restricts local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal...

The Rewards and Perils of Redistricting | 03-16-2018

In democracies, voters are supposed to choose their legislative representatives. Increasingly, however, U.S. courts have found that representatives choose their voters through partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. With...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

Governors in Brief - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

BAKER OUTLINES $300 MILLION CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN : On the heels of several massive winter storms, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) outlined a plan to borrow $300 million to put toward efforts to combat climate change in communities all along the...

CA Dems Could Spoil Party’s Congressional Plans | 03-16-2018

Deep-blue California’s primary system and a glut of Democratic candidates for the state’s June 5 primary election could end up hurting that party’s chances of retaking control of the U.S. House. The state has a top-two primary, in which...

Environment - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

Environment In CA A federal court rules that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must move ahead to carry out the 2015 Ozone Standards and designate areas in the country that do not meet them. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District...

Sessions Hits CA, CA Lawmakers Hit Back | 03-08-2018

Saying California is using “powers it doesn’t have,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed suit last week over a trio of Golden State laws he says inhibit federal immigration authorities from doing their jobs. “In recent...

Politics in Brief - March 12 2018 | 03-08-2018

MARYLAND SENATE PASSES TAX RETURN MEASURE : The MARYLAND Senate approved a measure last week that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns as a prerequisite for getting on the Old Line State ballot. That bill, SB 256 , is...

States Seek To Chart Their Own Course on Net Neutrality | 03-02-2018

Whether you are reading this in Olympia or Atlanta, Boston or Sacramento, the rules for how this story – or the collection of bytes of data that comprise it - travels from the Capitol Journal to your laptop, tablet or phone, are the same. ...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

Govs Form Multistate Gun Task Force | 03-02-2018

Decrying a lack of federal action, several Northeastern governors have formed a multi-state partnership to address gun violence. The “States for Gun Safety” coalition is the brainchild of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who was joined by...

Governors in Brief - March 5 2018 | 03-02-2018

BROWN SIGNS CA DAM INSPECTION MEASURE : One year after the near failure of the Oroville Dam, CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation ( AB 1270 ) last month to codify and strengthen the Golden State’s dam inspection standards. A significant...

The Local Front - March 5 2018 | 03-02-2018

GA Senate Rejects SB 418 The GEORGIA Senate rejects SB 418 , which would have barred local governments from enacting prohibitions on the sale of commercially-bred puppies (WXIA [ATLANTA]). Going On In HI The HONOLULU City Council unanimously...