Kevin de León’s handling of sexual harassment scandal an issue

kevin de leon 2SACRAMENTO — Two days after state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León announced he would challenge fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in next year’s election, a sexual harassment scandal broke under his roof.

More than 140 women in and around the state Capitol signed an open letter on Oct. 17 and launched the We Said Enough campaign decrying the pervasive sexual harassment and abuse they have faced in their jobs in politics. But it didn’t take long for the women to hear the theory that their efforts were part of a well-oiled Feinstein machine kicking back an insurgent de León campaign.

“Yep, we’ve heard that rumor,” said Samantha Corbin, a leader in the We Said Enough campaign.

And, to be clear, Corbin said it’s not true. De León’s campaign said they didn’t start the rumor, nor do they believe it.

Corbin said the group has no intention of swaying any election. But she’s unapologetic that the sexual harassment scandal in Sacramento is creeping into California’s U.S. Senate race.

“Any candidate that puts themselves forward should be asked if they support finding solutions to ending systemic harassment and abuse, and what, specifically, they would advise,” Corbin said.

That’s why all eyes are on de León’s handling of the flood of accusations in the state Legislature. So far he’s getting mixed reviews on what some say could be a defining moment in his uphill campaign. De León has promised to have no mercy on any senator found to have violated the Senate’s sexual harassment policy. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle

California Lawmakers Have Enabled Culture Of Sexual Harassment

CapitolThe issue of sexual harassment has jumped to the forefront of public discourse in a relatively short period of time, with revelations about alleged sexual misconduct ranging from the inappropriate to the illegal.

The accusations have flown from the studios of Hollywood to the halls of Congress, from film executive Harvey Weinstein to longtime television news personality Charlie Rose; from National Public Radio news chief Michael Oreskes to Senator Al Franken (D-MN); from Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) to Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

With each passing day, more stories are coming out, and the California State Capitol, while a relative side-show compared to some of the more newsworthy persons dominating national politics, has been turned on its head.

In mid-October, a bipartisan group of more than 140 women – lawmakers, lobbyists and consultants – signed a letter calling attention to pervasive sexual harassment in California politics. Since that time, two California state legislators – Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) — have been embroiled in scandal, with multiple women coming forward making scathing accusations about each.

In the case of the former, Mendoza has denied allegations. Senate President Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) recently suspended Mendoza’s chairmanship of the powerful State Senate Banking Committee, pending further investigation. With regards to Bocanegra, he has admitted wrongdoing. Facing increasing scrutiny, he has announced that he will be resigning from the legislature – albeit on an arbitrary date he picked in September of next year. Assembly Speaker Rendon (D-South Gate) has removed him from his leadership position, and his committee assignments.

I won’t take the time in this column to detail the specific allegations against both, but suffice it to say they paint an alarming picture of a culture in the State Capitol that has been permissive of such bad behavior, or worse. One can assume that this will only snowball in the coming weeks and months, as more revelations occur. (For example, DeLeon, it has been revealed, was roommates in Sacramento with Mendoza, moving out just days ago – which is significant in that accusations against Mendoza include inappropriate activities taking place in his residence).

The California legislature, however, has taken steps to make sure that the permissive culture of sexual harassment would thrive – embracing the idea that that legislators not only make the law, but are above the law.

For decades, the only way that someone who was harassed or abused could bring it to anyone’s attention would have been to go to legislative leadership – never mind the obvious conflict of interest there. What legislative remedies have been pursued by some have been bottled up in committees. A great example is legislation pursued for years in a row by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Temecula) to protect whistleblowers who report unethical or inappropriate behavior. It has never made it to the Governor’s desk.  It should come as no surprise that laws were passed giving all other state government employees whistleblower protection, but the legislature was exempt.

Speaking of exemptions, the Los Angeles Times put in a request for details on any formal investigations of allegations of sexual abuse on the legislature. It received a brief summary indicating that in the last decade there have been 31 such investigations — 15 in the State Senate and 16 in the State Assembly – but the legislature has refused to provide any more detail, and is not obliged to provide any more detail.  That is because the California legislature exempted itself from the Public Records Act, which applies to the rest of state government.

There are some actions that the governor and legislature can take to try to regain some credibility here, and try to end Sacramento’s toxic culture. And while Democrats in the Capitol control all of the levers of state government – and are the only ones that can create laws in a partisan fashion – Republicans have the bully pulpit and can publicly call for Governor Jerry Brown to call a special legislative session to deal with this issue immediately.  In the special session, the legislature should send several bills to Brown for his signature, including:

  • A bill to establish that a law enforcement agency (perhaps the California Highway Patrol) has jurisdiction over investigations of allegations of sexual harassment in the Capitol. The idea is to put someone in charge of such investigations who is not beholden to legislators.
  • The Melendez whistleblower protection bill that has been shoved into a legislative drawer for years.
  • A bill to make sure that the legislature is subject to the California Public Records Act, like every other part of state government.

Finally, there should be a formal investigation into DeLeon’s friendship with his now-former roommate, Senator Mendoza. Perhaps DeLeon’s position should even be suspended pending the outcome.

The idea that DeLeon, as Chairman of the Rules Committee (made up of Democrats and Republicans who are his hand-picked choices), is going to clean up the Senate’s act lacks credulity.

Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor for Breitbart California.  His columns appear on this page. You can follow him on Twitter here.

This article was originally published by Breitbart California

Outside legal firm tasked with investigating sexual harassment at state Capitol

CapitolSACRAMENTO – Will a newly announced set of Senate rules for handling sexual harassment claims help change a Capitol culture that some blame for fostering the current sexual harassment scandal?

Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, announced this week that all harassment investigations in his chamber will be handled by an outside legal firm. De Leon also announced that he was moving out of a house he shared with Sen. Tony Mendoza, the Artesia Democrat who is the latest legislator accused of inappropriate behavior.

California’s state government has been dealing with a sexual harassment scandal after 140 influential women who have worked in and around the Capitol published an open letter in mid-October stating that they have “endured, or witnessed or worked with women who have experienced some form of dehumanizing behavior by men with power in our workplaces.”

Signed by six sitting legislators, the letter decried such behavior “in a state that postures itself as a leader in justice and equality.” The California Legislative Women’s Caucus was even more pointed, as its statement alleged “a lack of accountability and remorse” and a “pervasive culture of sexual harassment within California politics.” The statement claimed that “the Legislature’s own zero-tolerance policies are not enforced.”

A couple of prominent legislators have been caught up in the scandal. First, longtime Capitol staffer Elise Flynn Gyore said that she was treated like “prey” and then groped by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, in 2009, when he was a staffer. The Assembly Rules Committee investigated and disciplined Bocanegra, but didn’t release the details to a group of 11 women who sought such information when he was running for office with widespread party backing.

Bocanegra recently has apologized for the incident, but the details raise questions about an institution that some people say values secrecy over accountability. It’s also led to criticism of Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Berkeley Democrat known for her strong stance for women’s rights, who chaired the Assembly Rules Committee at the time of the incident. KPIX-TV in the Bay Area contacted one of the women who signed the letter asking for the file on the harassment complaint, but she said that “Nancy Skinner never responded to their request.”

Now Mendoza is in the spotlight. Southern California Public Radio reported that Mendoza “fired three employees after they reported his alleged inappropriate behavior toward a young female colleague, according to an attorney representing one of the staffers.”

Mendoza denies the allegations and apologized if he “ever communicated or miscommunicated anything that made an employee feel uncomfortable.” He also says the firings were based on work performance. The Sacramento Bee broke the news this week about allegations from a second intern. She claims that Mendoza took her to his hotel suite at the California Democratic Party convention and acted inappropriately toward her. Mendoza’s spokesperson told the Bee that that the woman’s recounting of what took place was “completely false.”

And the Senate president has received criticism, with some “wondering how de Leon – who chairs the Senate committee that investigates allegations of sexual harassment – could have been unaware of the reports and investigation into his roommate,” reported the San Jose Mercury News. De Leon denies knowing anything about the reports.

The scandal comes against the backdrop of Alabama’s Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is facing sexual misconduct allegations – a nationally publicized story that’s being depicted by Moore and some of his supporters as a “witch hunt.” And, of course, sexual harassment allegations have been roiling the entertainment industry.

For California political observers, the big questions are whether the Capitol has fostered an insular environment that promotes, or at least tolerates, sexual misbehavior – and whether de Leon’s new rules have a chance of fixing that situation.

Specifically, the new approach will remove the Senate Rules Committee from dealing with harassment allegations. “Instead, an independent outside legal team will investigate any and all allegations and make findings and recommendations to resolve and, where appropriate, discipline,” according to the committee’s statement this week. “The Senate’s Rules Committee and Senate Democratic Women’s Caucus will work jointly and expeditiously to retain a highly qualified team of counsel and investigators to fulfill this obligation.”

The committee stated that the process “will be designed to protect the privacy of victims and whistleblowers, transparency for the public, and adequate due process for all parties involved.” The “general findings will be made public” even if some names and details will be withheld based on the discretion of “victims and whistleblowers.” This will apply to all current complaints. The committee has also asked the women’s caucus to make recommendations for reform and has retained a human-resources consulting firm to review its policies.

Yet some critics believe that by bringing in an outside legal firm that this could establish attorney-client privilege and shield key facts from the public. But others believe the rules will help Capitol staffers, who are at-will hires who can be fired for any reason, to feel more comfortable lodging a complaint. “The short-range plan is to pull this out of the current system where people really don’t feel their complaints will be handled appropriately,” Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, told Capital Public Radio. She is on the rules committee.

Even if the new process succeeds in dealing more forthrightly with particular harassment claims, it might just be the first step in dealing with broader problems within the Capitol.

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

California’s ‘sanctuary state’ law could be blocked by voters

From the Sacramento Bee:

Opponents of California’s recently approved “sanctuary state” measure have launched an effort to overturn the law.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Monday that a referendum on Senate Bill 54, the controversial law limiting state and local police agencies’ ability to work with federal immigration authorities, has been cleared to gather signatures.

Introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León in late 2016, shortly after the election of President Donald Trump, SB 54 aims to prevent California police resources from being “commandeered” by the Trump administration as it ramps up deportations.

Ben Bergquam, a spokesman for the referendum campaign, said those efforts to “undermine” the federal government amount to “sedition.”

“It’s lawless. It’s politicians protecting criminal illegals at the expense of law-abiding citizens,” he said. “It’s a slap in the face to American sovereignty and the citizens of our country.”

Proponents have until Jan. 3, 2018, to collect signatures from at least 365,880 registered voters. If they are successful, the referendum will appear on the November 2018 ballot, where voters will be asked whether or not to uphold SB 54. Bergquam said the campaign has no major funders yet, but it is reaching out to law enforcement groups that oppose the law. …

Click here to read the full story from the Sacramento Bee

Sexual misconduct in the California Legislature – Outside firm hired to investigate

Nancy Skinner

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, is among more than 140 women who signed the letter detailing sexual harassment in politics and demanding that it end. (Bert Johnson/KQED)

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, announced on Tuesday that the state Senate will hire outside firms to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct at the Capitol in Sacramento – allegations referenced in an open letter signed by women claiming widespread harassment while working in California politics.

“There’s always more employers can do to protect their employees,” de León said. “Everyone deserves a workplace free of fear, harassment and sexual misbehavior and I applaud the courage of women working in and around the Capitol who are coming forward and making their voices heard.”

The open letter was published on wesaidenough.com.

“The time has come for women to come together, to speak up and to share their stories,” part of the letter read. “The time has come for good men to listen, to believe us, and to act as strong allies by speaking out against harassment in all its forms.”

Below the text was a box to share and submit a story of your own to the group.

“If you see – or experience – inappropriate behavior, don’t sweep it under the rug. Speak up, speak loud, and know there is a community of people who will support you. Let’s work on the solution together,” the letter added.

In particular, the writing criticized the Legislature’s procedures for dealing with such complaints, with some women arguing they fear speaking out over concerns that it will put their professional life in jeopardy.

“If you hang someone out to dry as a Weinstein of the Sacramento community, that sort of gives folks the political cover to say look we got the bad guy, we fixed this,” lobbyist Samantha Corbin told the Sacramento Bee. “That’s not true. We want long-term culture change where men are held accountable and there is a system where woman can work and feel safe.”

Assembly leaders also said this week that they will launch public hearings, prompting some speculation that the claims are being given a heightened sense of attention in wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal that has rocked Hollywood.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, issued a joint statement with with Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, and Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale.

“First, we must change the climate that has allowed sexual harassment to fester,” the statement read. “Second, we must ensure victims have a safe and dependable environment to come forward and discuss complaints no matter who the perpetrator is and without detriment to their career or environment. Third, we must ensure that sexual harassment is dealt with expeditiously and that the seriousness of consequences match the violations committed.”

The move by de León comes just days after he announced his primary challenge to longtime incumbent U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., likely creating a sense of urgency to quell any criticism that he presided over a toxic and abusive culture while in leadership in Sacramento.

The Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer will conduct the investigation and CPS HR Consulting will “review the Senate’s policies and practices against harassment, discrimination and retaliation,” according to de León.

One of the more explosive allegations comes from lobbyist Pamela Lopez, who described to several papers an incident where a current lawmaker, who has not been named, shoved her into a bathroom and masturbated in front of her.

The actions come in conjunction with the #MeToo campaign, which is spreading across social media, where victims are documenting their experiences with harassment.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

California is now a sanctuary state. Is non-citizen voting next?

Protesters chant during a May Day demonstration outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco on Monday. Thousands are expected to take to the streets across the United States to participate in May Day demonstrations.

With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on Senate Bill 54, California now calls itself a sanctuary state. There is strong symbolism in the move, although California governments’ actions relative to individuals in the country illegally will change little in many parts of the state.

Brown’s demand that some 700 additional crimes be added to the list that federal agents could use in examining immigrants changed the bill author Sen. Kevin de León’s original intent to offer sanctuary to most immigrants except those who committed the most heinous crimes.

Brown went out of his way to write in his message accompanying his signature that the bill “strikes a balance that will protect public safety.”

Opponents of Brown’s action disagree. State senator Ted Gaines predicted that California would become “a giant magnet pulling every illegal alien criminal in the country to our state.”

For many supporters of the sanctuary state bill, SB 54 did not go far enough. They accepted the final version for the message it sent, the symbolism. But they want more. Where does the push for gaining more protections for illegal immigrants go now and how far will California voters allow it to go?

It is doubtful that the list of crimes that Brown insisted be added before he signed the bill would be reduced. Even a new governor will not do that. The public safety community still remains split over the effects of the bill.

Likely there will be a push for more empowerment for immigrants. Already illegal immigrants have been granted drivers licenses. Some local governments have set up taxpayer-funded legal aid to immigrants in the country without legal documents. San Francisco voters approved a measure last November to allow parents of children in the school system, whether the parents are legal citizens or not, to vote in school board elections. Now, California declares itself a sanctuary state.

Don’t be surprised if the next push is to grow the voting franchise for non-citizen immigrants.

Symbolic measures do matter in moving public affairs debates.

Joel Fox is editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily.

This article originally appeared on Fox and Hounds Daily.

Why California Senate leader’s 100% renewable energy bill failed

kevin de leon 2From pioneering air-pollution control programs in Los Angeles County in the 1940s to setting nationally copied standards on fuel efficiency and emissions to the 2006 passage of AB32, the state’s landmark anti-global warming law, California has long been proud of its role as a global leader in environmentalism.

So when Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León introduced Senate Bill 100 in January, the expectations were high. The measure committed California to generating 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2026 – four years earlier than the present goal – and to 60 percent by 2030 and to 100 percent by 2045. No government remotely as large as California’s had made such a commitment.

In spring interviews with a reporters at an energy conference in Orange County, the Los Angeles Democrat depicted his bill as a common-sense measure to goad investor-owned utilities into making long-term shifts in their infrastructure to prepare for an all-renewable future. He said progress had been so quick that he expected the state to meet the 50 percent renewable standard “in the early 2020s without breaking a sweat.” But he also depicted SB100 as setting up “the most ambitious program in the world.”

When it passed the California Senate on a mostly party-line vote in May, the world took notice. The New York Times set the tone: In a 2,100-word analysis headlined “Fighting Trump on Climate, California Becomes a Global Force,” it depicted the bill as a key part of California’s determination to take over the global lead in environmentalism from Washington.

But earlier this month, SB100 failed to even get a floor vote in the Assembly as lawmakers wrapped up business for the year. A Desert Sun report depicted the decision as “unexpected.”

That’s not how it looked to some insiders. Business groups spent months hammering home the argument that it was risky to commit to 100 percent renewable energy use when it was not clear that was either feasible or safe for a modern economy. In a June interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Gary Ackerman, executive director of the Western Power Trading Forum, depicted SB100 as “reckless” and with a huge downside. The arguments echoed those made by Pacific Gas & Electric, Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, the state’s three giant investor-owner utilities, which quietly have established strong ties with Democratic lawmakers in poor districts buffeted by high energy costs.

IBEW adopted, modified utilities’ argument

Meanwhile, de León didn’t enjoy unified support on the Democratic front. An argument the utilities had been making – that SB100 was potentially a hugely disruptive force – was adopted and modified by some labor leaders. They worried what a 100 percent commitment to renewable energy might mean for thousands of union members. According to an NBC News report, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1245, began opposing the bill in late summer because the local union alleged de León had gone back on his promise to protect union jobs.

But a third factor may also have been at play. De León has never enjoyed the broad goodwill accorded his predecessor, Darrell Steinberg, now the mayor of Sacramento. Soon after taking over as Senate leader in late 2014, de León was the target of a scathing column by then-Sacramento Bee pundit Dan Walters for mistakes, power plays and a lack of humility. He faced similar criticism from the Sacramento Bee’s editorial board.

De León has since emerged as a legislative powerhouse, at least according to the conventional wisdom that holds that the 2017 session was one of the most productive in recent history. But his clout couldn’t overcome the late-emerging opposition to SB100.

The lobbying will begin all over again for the measure in January, the Greentech website reported.

“We’re going to be back next year,” said Peter Miller, Western energy project director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the website. “I don’t want to underestimate the challenges to moving to a fully zero-carbon grid, but we can get there, and we will.”

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Unions Stop CA Democrats from Requiring 100% Renewable Energy by 2036

Solar panelsCalifornia unions killed the Democrats’ last-minute push to force the state to adopt 100 percent renewable electricity production by 2046, over worries the nation’s highest utility costs are killing jobs.

Governor Jerry Brown and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León were pushing hard to pass Senate Bill 100 in the final hours of the legislative session. The bill would require 44 percent of all retail electricity sold in the state to come from renewable energy and zero-carbon sources by 2024; 52 percent by 2027; 60 percent by 2030; and then 100 percent by 2046.

The Democrat party-line legislation would have accelerated the requirements of SB 350. That legislation, passed in 2015, requires 50 percent of all retail electricity sold in the state to come from renewable energy and zero-carbon sources by renewables by 2030.

But it appears that the state’s powerful union sector is feeling the heat from its members and employers, angered that energy-rich California now has the “lower 48’s” highest average electric utility rates for residential, commercial, industrial and transportation at 17.55 cents per kilowatt hour. They quietly killed the legislation, which had already passed the State Senate, by making sure it did not come to an Assembly floor vote.

To put a perspective on the current comparative cost burdens that the state’s families and businesses suffered last year, Californians paid 62 percent higher electrical costs than the national average for electricity. But even worse on a regional basis, Californians paid 124 percent more for electricity than residents of Washington State, and 98 percent more than residents of Oregon.

Because energy-rich California used to have electricity costs that were below the 1960 national average of 1.8 cents per kilowatt hour, the state was a large electricity exporter.

But under a government-mismanaged deregulation of utilities in the 1990s, the Democrat-controlled legislature demanded the public utilities commission implement a “Long Term Procurement Process.” Rather than encouraging the building of more efficient power plants, the California regulatory scheme prevented building new efficient power plants by forcing utilities to rely on the unreliable availability and predatory prices for imported electricity.

After California suffered a 2000-era energy crisis, the state forced utilities to comply with a Renewables Portfolio Standard in 2002. The movement to renewables started slowly, but since 2010 about 80 percent of new electrical production has come from highly subsidized renewables, according to the Hass Energy Institute at the UC Berkeley Business School.

Proponents of strong renewable standards claim new purchase contracts for renewable energy are only priced “modestly above those for a new conventional natural gas power plant.” But renewables such as solar and wind have intermittent availability. For evenings and whenever the skies are overcast or the wind is calmed, California utilities must pay to have an equivalent percentage of natural gas electrical generation available to offset 100 percent renewable sources.

Breitbart News reported extensively about Governor Brown’s hopscotching around the world to sign climate change agreements with some of the world’s worst polluters, such as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping.

With only 16 months left before he is termed out of running for governor for a second time, Brown is running out of time to drive up California electrical prices.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

California on the verge of ‘sanctuary state’ status after legislative deal

Protesters chant during a May Day demonstration outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco on Monday. Thousands are expected to take to the streets across the United States to participate in May Day demonstrations.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, reached a compromise on the state’s “sanctuary state” bill this week, in a deal that amends the legislation to expand the ability of law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities.

The amended Senate Bill 54 “prevents our state and local law enforcement resources from being diverted to tear families apart. California will protect our communities from the Trump administration’s radical and hateful immigration policy agenda,” de León said in a statement.

As part of the compromise, under the revised SB54, police can share information with federal authorities about inmates convicted of hundreds of crimes that were not part of the original language. These crimes include serious or violent felonies, felony drunk driving, unlawful possession of a deadly weapon and felony drug crimes.

But the bill still prohibits law enforcement from inquiring as to a person’s immigration status, detaining suspected illegal immigrants for ICE, and from acting as federal immigration agents.

“This bill protects public safety and people who come to California to work hard and make this state a better place,” Gov. Brown’s statement read.

Under the amendment, federal agents will be permitted to interview suspected illegal aliens in jails and to access state databases – actions that were previously prohibited.

The California Sheriffs Association still opposes the bill, despite the changes, believing it puts too great of a barrier between local enforcement and federal authorities.

Activists on the left largely praised the agreement. Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, called the deal a “victory for migrants,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

The bill must still be passed by the state Assembly.

SB54 comes amid a larger national debate about “sanctuary” policies, with conservatives and many law enforcement groups maintaining that they provide a safe haven for violate criminal aliens, while liberals and immigration activists argue the so-called “sanctuaries” encourage undocumented aliens to cooperate with police without fear of deportation.

The bill could also be a model for other states eager to push back against the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.

For California, it’s just the latest act of defiance against the Trump agenda in Washington, as Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday sued the administration over its decision to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, arguing that doing away with the order violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, citing fears that the administration may use “Dreamer” data to find and deport them.

However, President Trump has said there will be “no action” to that effect for six months as Congress attempts to craft a legislative fix.

“I think everyone recognizes the scope and breadth of the Trump decision to terminate DACA hits hardest here,” Becerra said.

About one quarter of the 800,000 recipients of DACA live in the Golden State.

This article was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Democrats seek $4 billion bond for water, flood control, parks

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

As torrential rains and dangerous flood waters pummel large swaths of Texas and parts of Louisiana, California lawmakers are eying legislation to prevent similar damage from from the state’s own disasters.

Senate Bill 5 from state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León would ask voters this upcoming June to approve a $4 billion bond to fund water, flood and parks projects across California.

To make it to the governor’s desk, it would need to clear the Assembly, where another water and open space bond from from Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, is under debate.

De León has characterized the bond as critical following the state’s historic five-year drought, and the 2017 winter storms that marked the wettest water year for California in more than a century.

If passed, bond proceeds would fund flood and water infrastructure projects, and expand and improve local parks and open space. It would allocate $550 million for water projects, $750 million for flood control projects such as levee repair and $2.6 billion for local and regional parks – including $800 million to build new parks in lower income communities. It would also fund deferred maintenance and other projects at California’s state parks system, including construction of new trails, plant and wildlife habitat restoration and coastal climate change adaptation projects. …

Click here to read the full article