California

The Third or Fourth Most Interesting Man in the World | 02-16-2018

If you’re a well-respected but wonky administrator facing off with two huge personalities for the epic job of being California’s next governor, you gotta go big or go home. Or at least go for a laugh or two. Last week, California state Treasurer...

Politics in Brief - February 19 2018 | 02-16-2018

FL CONSIDERING RESTRICTING ACCESS TO VOTER INFORMATION: A bill introduced by FLORIDA Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R) would restrict voter information that has been publicly available for decades to election officials, voters inquiring about their own information...

Budgets in Brief - February 19 2018 | 02-16-2018

POT SALES SET ANOTHER RECORD IN CO: Marijuana sales reached a record $1.5 billion in COLORADO in 2017, topping the previous record of $1.3 billion set in 2016. About $1.09 billion came from sales of the drug for recreational use and the rest came from...

The Local Front - February 19 2018 | 02-16-2018

CA City Council Votes The BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA City Council unanimously votes to become the nation’s first sanctuary city for adult recreational marijuana use. The ordinance bars city agencies and employees from turning over information on legal...

Paved with Good Intentions | 02-09-2018

An old adage says the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The same can sometimes be said of the road to legislation. Today’s example comes from California, where Assemblymember Ian Calderon has sponsored a bill aimed at reducing the number...

At Least He’s Consistent | 02-09-2018

The late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead once said, “You don’t want to be the best of the best. You want to be the only one that does what you do.” California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom loves that quote – loves it! So much so that...

Goofy Even To Us | 02-09-2018

It is probably hard for most folks to imagine an idea too ridiculous for California, but gubernatorial candidate John Cox has found it. Yes, as the Sacramento Bee reports , Cox failed in his mission to get a measure on the November ballot that would have...

The Local Front - February 12 2018 | 02-09-2018

CA Court Rules A CALIFORNIA court rules that a BAKERSFIELD baker was within her rights to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. Superior Court Judge David R. Lampe called wedding cakes “artistic expression,” making it exempt...

Governors in Brief - February 12 2018 | 02-09-2018

OR GOV CALLS ON GOP LAWMAKER TO RESIGN : OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) called on Sen. Jeff Kruse (R) to resign last week after an independent investigator determined he had repeatedly subjected women to uncomfortable hugging and unwanted touching even...

‘Split Roll’ Property Tax Ballot Measure Proposed in CA: | 02-09-2018

A proposed initiative for California’s November ballot would make a big change to Proposition 13, the landmark Constitutional amendment approved by the state’s voters in 1978, limiting property taxes to 1 percent of a property’s market...

Job Vacancies Taking Toll at State Agencies | 02-09-2018

Job vacancies at government agencies are up from coast to coast. About 11 percent of the positions in Maryland’s executive branch are currently unfilled, about twice the rate in 2010. Between 15 and 17 percent of the clerk positions at courts that...

Business - February 5 2018 | 02-02-2018

CA Senate Approves SB 460 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 460 , net neutrality legislation that would bar broadband providers from blocking or limiting access to the Internet. The measure moves to the Assembly (LOS ANGELES TIMES). CA Senate Rejects...

Education - February 5 2018 | 02-02-2018

CA Senate SB 320 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 320 , which would make the Golden State the first to require public universities to offer medication abortion. The law would take effect in 2022, with startup finding provided by private donors. The...

Environment - February 5 2018 | 02-02-2018

CA Assembly Approves AB 1097 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves AB 1097 , which would ban smoking at all of the state’s public parks and beaches. It moves to the Senate (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET). CA Assembly Approves AB 319 The CALIFORNIA ,...

The Local Front - February 5 2018 | 02-02-2018

CA City Council Approves The LOS ANGELES City Council approves a motion to ask Golden State lawmakers to change the way the state defines “grave disability” in order to give officials more power to forcibly treat mentally ill homeless people...

Debauchery No More | 02-02-2018

For a long, long time the annual “Back to Session Bash” for California lobbyists and political staffers has been a ribald affair with so much drunken debauchery that some attendees joke the event is good to end at least one promising career...

Spicoli Would Vote For This | 02-02-2018

And since we’re talking about bodacious 24 hour party people, the Los Angeles Times reports that California lawmakers will soon ponder legislation to make surfing the official state sport. In a statement, bill author Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi said...

Better Late Than Never | 02-02-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown gave his 16 th and final – we think – State of the State address last month. Although he can still speechify with the best of them, the 79-year-old Brown is these days a far more humble version of himself than the...

Head for the Border | 01-19-2018

Horror movie fans know all about Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, the fictional horror movie characters who are almost impossible to kill. While they are merely the spawn of Hollywood’s ability to make serious money by scaring us half to death...

Governors in Brief - January 22 2018 | 01-19-2018

NORTHAM ISSUES VA NON-DISCRIMNATION ORDER : New VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph Northam (D) issued a trio of executive orders, including one that bars state agencies under Executive Branch control from discrimination “based on race, sex, color, national...

Some States Act on Gun Control | 01-19-2018

Although there appears to be broad public support for some gun control measures , federal action on any of them seems unlikely in the current political climate. “The possibility of evidence-based firearm laws has become so politically toxic...

Environment - January 22 2018 | 01-19-2018

NJ GOvernor Vetoes SB3317 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) pocket vetoes SB 3317 , which would have compelled the state to join the U.S. CA, WA, and NY Climate Alliance Climate Alliance, a coalition of states led by CALIFORNIA , WASHINGTON...

State Charitable Giving Programs Model for SALT Cap Workaround | 01-12-2018

In response to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) included in the federal tax overhaul, lawmakers in high-tax states like California are considering allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions to state funds...

Immigration - January 15 2018 | 01-12-2018

CA Federal Judge Blocks Trump A federal judge in CALIFORNIA issues a temporary injunction blocking President Donald Trump’s declaration to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Judge William Alsup of the Federal District...

Govs Cry Foul Over FL Drilling Exemption | 01-12-2018

Coastal states reacted with alarm last week when the Trump administration announced it was expanding oil drilling leases in waters previously protected under the Obama administration. But when U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that after a...

Land Grab Lesson for Border Wall Watchers | 12-15-2017

In the spring of 2007, long before presidential candidate Donald Trump began promising to build a wall along the border with Mexico, the federal government initiated one of the most aggressive seizures of private land in decades to build a fence to keep...

States With Most to Lose by Elimination of SALT Deduction | 12-15-2017

Taxpayers in nine high-income, high-tax states claimed more than 60 percent of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions on federal tax returns nationwide in 2014, according to the Tax Foundation. Seven of those states, which include California, where...

2018: A Year of Living Dangerously | 12-15-2017

The shadow of President Donald Trump and the Republican tax bill will hover over state governing bodies in 2018, a year of midterm elections that Tim Storey, political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says will be “a referendum...

Energy - December 11 2017 | 12-08-2017

NY GOVERNOR SIGNS AB 6571 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs AB 6571 , an energy bill that requires the state Public Service Commission to establish a portfolio of energy storage policies, including a long-term energy storage target. The Empire State...

Governors in Brief - December 11 2017 | 12-08-2017

EDWARDS TO CREATE LA HARASSMENT ASK FORCE : Weeks after his chief of staff resigned amidst sexual harassment allegations, LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said he would soon issue an executive order directing executive branch state agencies to review...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

More Familiar Issues Likely to Draw State Lawmakers’ Attention in 2018 | 12-08-2017

As SNCJ ’s Rich Ehisen reported last week, some of the issues likely to receive the most attention from state lawmakers next year are those that are already familiar, such as health care, the opioid epidemic and sexual harassment. Here are several...

Business - December 04 2017 | 12-01-2017

CA Supreme Court Upholds Farmers Contract Law The CALIFORNIA Supreme Court upholds a Golden State law allowing farmers to have a labor contract imposed on them if negotiations with a union fail to produce an agreement. The ruling overturned a lower...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

Education - December 04 2017 | 12-01-2017

Education In CA The CALIFORNIA Governor’s Office of Planning and Research releases proposed changes to the state’s landmark California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that would require development projects to estimate the number of miles...

Budgets In Brief - December 04 2017 | 12-01-2017

FEDERAL SPENDING DEBATE LIKELY TO DRAG INTO 2018 The U.S. Congress will likely miss a Dec. 8 deadline for passing legislation to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, 2018, extending the debate between Republicans and Democrats over federal...

Just Jerry Being Jerry | 11-17-2017

Anyone who has covered California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for any length of time – which I have – knows he takes a lot of pleasure at times in verbally jousting with the press...or anyone else in his path when the mood strikes him. Old timers...

Oh The Humanity | 11-17-2017

Anyone who has played the ribald question-answer card game “Cards Against Humanity” knows that pretty much nothing is out of bounds. And speaking of boundaries – see how I did that! – the game’s creators made news last week...

Business - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

MD Adopts Rule Montgomery County, MARYLAND (D) adopts rules making it the first jurisdiction in the Old Line State to adopt a $15-an-hour minimum wage. The new minimum goes into effect in 2021 for businesses with at least 51 employees, with those between...

Social Policy - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

CA Senate Hires Outside Attorneys The CALIFORNIA Senate announces it will hire outside attorneys for any sexual harassment abuse investigation involving either staff or lawmakers. The Senate has previously required complaints to be made through the...

Governors in Brief - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

RAUNER SIGNS TWO IL ANTI-HARASSMENT BILLS : ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed two measures last week aimed at curbing sexual harassment in the Prairie State statehouse. The measures require all lawmakers, lobbyists and state employees to undergo...

Politics in Brief - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

CA SENATE SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES TO BE INVESTIGATED BY OUTSIDE COUNSEL: CALIFORNIA’s Senate Rules Committee issued a statement last week indicating that an outside legal team will now be handling the investigation of any sexual harassment or...

Some Wondering How CA Will Pay for Free Community College | 11-17-2017

When California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed AB 19 , the California College Promise, waiving the first year of fees for all first-time, full-time students at the state’s community colleges, into law last month supporters sang the measure’s...

Environment - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

New CA Pesticide Regulation The CALIFORNIA Dept. of Pesticide Regulation issues new rules barring the use of certain pesticides within a quarter mile of schools and day care centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the school week. The new regulations...

Governors in Brief - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

BROWN ISSUES OR CLEAN ENERGY ORDERS : Saying “economic development and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive goals,” OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed two executive orders that collectively take steps to increase the use...

Politics in Brief - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

KY HOUSE SPEAKER RESIGNS POST: KENTUCKY Rep. Jeff Hoover, the state’s first Republican House speaker since 1921, stepped down from that post last week over allegations of sexual harassment were made against him and three other Republican lawmakers...

States Preparing for Legal Sports Betting | 11-10-2017

Thirteen states have introduced and three have passed legislation this year dealing with the legalization of sports betting, currently prohibited in all but a handful of states by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) passed by Congress...

Governors in Brief - November 6 2017 | 11-03-2017

LEPAGE SIGNS REVISED ME FOOD SOVEREIGNTY LAW : MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed legislation last week that allows anyone living in or visiting one of 22 designated Pine Tree State communities to make a face-to-face purchase at a farmer’s or...

Sexual Harassment Prevalent Problem in Statehouses | 11-03-2017

Incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault involving female state lawmakers, legislative staff or lobbyists have been reported recently in at least 16 states. The legislatures in all of those states have training programs or policies in place to...

Lawmakers Look to End Harassment Under the Dome | 11-03-2017

What started as a flood of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against powerful Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has morphed into an ever-widening outcry against such outrages regularly committed by men in all workplaces, including statehouses...