New California Declares Independence From Rest Of State

With the reading of their own version of a Declaration of Independence, founders of the state of New California took the first steps to what they hope will eventually lead to statehood.

To be clear, they don’t want to leave the United States, just California.

“Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California,” said founder Robert Paul Preston.

The state of New California would incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.

“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” Preston said.

But unlike other separation movements in the past the state of New California wants to do things by the book, citing Article 4, Section 3 of the US Constitution and working with the state legislature to get it done, similar to the way West Virginia was formed. …

Click here to read the full article from CBS

Jeff Sessions just made it harder for California’s legal marijuana businesses to deposit their cash

California’s burgeoning cannabis industry, already heavily reliant on cash and detached from banks, could face even more barriers to the mainstream after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama era guidelines, known as the Cole memo, which eased federal regulation of marijuana.

Sessions’ decision has left California’s state government and the legal pot industry scrambling for ways to handle all the cash that will come flowing in.

Moving to a more regulated market should, in theory, encourage financial institutions to bank cannabis businesses, but Sessions’ actions on Jan. 4 — just days after recreational adult marijuana use became legal in California — put a freeze on bank activities, leaving businesses and the financial institutions that look to support them in an even murkier state of affairs.

“The withdrawal of the Cole memo really couldn’t have come at a worse time, because now is the time that the types of banks and credit unions that are willing to take on more risk would have been entering the market,” said Robert McVay, partner at Harris Bricken, a Seattle-based law firm with a practice group dedicated to cannabis law. …

Click here to read the full article from CNBC

California predicts 1M pounds of marijuana sales in first year

SACRAMENTO — Before California voters passed a ballot measure legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) warned of the dangers of importing Colorado’s “Rocky Mountain high.” But as Brown prepares to leave office, his constituents apparently had no such qualms.

The state Department of Finance expects Californians to purchase nearly 1 million pounds of marijuana over the first full budget year of legalization, between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019.

That would amount to $3.4 billion in recreational retail sales in the first full year, and $643 million in tax revenue for the state.

If California is like the other states where recreational marijuana use is legal, those estimates are likely to be lower than actual sales and revenue.

Finance staffers consulted with their counterparts in Colorado, Washington and other states where marijuana is already legal to arrive at their estimates, said H.D. Palmer, a department spokesman. Those states almost all underestimated the amount of marijuana businesses would sell in initial months.

And California’s Finance Department estimates project slower growth in the recreational market than other states experienced. Colorado’s recreational market grew by 40 percent per year over the first three years of legalization, and Washington’s grew by 50 percent. The Finance Department estimated California’s recreational market would grow by 22 percent per year. …

Click here to read the full article from the Hill

 

Republican Frontrunner Travis Allen Calls on John Cox to Drop Out of Governor’s Race After Racist Remarks

The Travis Allen for Governor 2018 released this update on January 13:

Today marked the first major debate in the race for California’s next Governor. While discussing the topic of immigration, three time failed Republican candidate John Cox stated immigrants are needed to “pick the fruits and vegetables.”

“California Republicans don’t need a condescending, racist sounding candidate that will only hurt EVERY down ticket Republican candidate on the ballot in 2018. John Cox is an embarrassment to every Californian and must drop out of the Governor’s race so Republicans can unite behind the only candidate who can win and truly take back our state,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen.

 

Nuclear power receives its death sentence in California

In a unanimous vote, state regulators agreed Thursday to a plan that will see the closing of the last nuclear energy power plant in California.

  • The Diablo Canyon nuclear facility will begin shutdown operations starting in 2024.
  • The power plant’s operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, says the facility will soon become an economic liability for the company because of dramatic changes in the state’s energy landscape.
  • Critics of the shutdown say it will lead to the use of more natural gas in the state’s power grid.
  • Environmental groups hailed the vote but want assurances that greenhouse gas emissions will not rise as a result.

Click here to read the full article from the San Diego Union-Tribune

Breaking Poll: Travis Allen Only Republican Candidate That Can Make Run Off

A new SurveyUSA poll released Thursday confirms that Travis Allen is the clear Republican frontrunner in the race for California Governor. Travis Allen’s support stands at 9%, more than doubles the support of his nearest Republican rival John Cox, who has dropped to 4%. The support for Travis Allen is more than the combined support for his two Republican opponents, John Cox and Doug Ose, who stand at 4% and 2%.

In even more good news for Travis Allen, he is essentially tied with Villaraigosa, who has 10%, to make the run of against Gavin Newsom.

“This poll shows our message of Taking Back California and Restoring the California Dream is resonating with voters,” said Assemblyman Allen. “The voters know that only an authentic conservative will be able to beat the elites and special interests and make California once again the greatest state in the nation,” finished Allen.

Brown’s final budget plan proposes $132 billion in spending

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $131.7 billion state spending plan Wednesday, launching his final year of budget negotiations as he prepares to leave office.

Brown’s proposal is up 5 percent from last year but includes little new spending on new programs. Once again warning that he believes a recession looms, Brown dedicated $5 billion toward the state’s Rainy Day fund, more than is constitutionally required. He also proposed a new online community college program.

“It’s not exciting, it’s not funding good and nice things, but it’s getting ready and that is the work of a budget,” Brown said.

Notably, Brown’s plan makes no changes related to federal tax changes out of Washington, which are expected to hit taxpayers in high-tax states like California the hardest. That’s because Brown had to finalize his plan in December, before the federal changes were finalized. He said he expects to make revisions to his plan during ongoing negotiations with the Legislature. A final plan must be passed by lawmakers in June.

The spending plan also includes nearly $59 million in special funds and bonds, which are dedicated for specific purposes. …

Click here to read the full article from  KPPC

GOP Congressman Darrell Issa will not seek re-election

Nine-term Congressman Darrell Issa, among the most vulnerable Republican House members in this year’s elections, unexpectedly announced Wednesday morning that he would not seek reelection.

In an emailed statement, Issa recounted his accomplishments but specified no reason for the decision.

“Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve,” he said. “Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District.”

Issa, whose district straddles the Orange-San Diego county line, was nearly upset in 2016 by Democrat Doug Applegate, winning the closest House race in the country by just 0.6 percentage points.

Roll Call has listed him as the most vulnerable House member. Democrats consider winning his district essential to flipping the 24 Republican House seats needed to take control of the House. …

Click here to read the full article from the Orange County Register

Abortion pills would be available at college campuses under California bill

Should California colleges make medication that induces an abortion available to students?

A controversial bill that would require student health centers at the University of California and California State University to offer “non-surgical abortion services” faces a crucial vote today to keep advancing this session. Introduced last February, Senate Bill 320 must pass the Senate Education Committee, which meets at 9 a.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol, before a Friday deadline for holdover legislation.

Sen. Connie Leyva, a Chino Democrat who is carrying the measure, said she believes the more than 400,000 female students attending UC and CSU deserve affordable and safe abortion procedures on campus. Women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant can obtain the medication, a two-pill dosage of mifepristone and misoprostol, from a doctor, creating a response similar to an early miscarriage.

Students currently have to leave campus to access reproductive health services, sometimes traveling for hours and missing school and work, Leyva notes. Half of all students across both systems come from low-income families, according to a UC San Francisco report, creating further cost barriers. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

Ed Royce, longtime Orange County congressman, announces retirement

Longtime Orange County congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the high-profile Foreign Affairs Committee, announced Monday that he will retire when his current term is completed at the end of the year.

The conservative Republican, 66, has repeatedly won reelection by broad margins but has seen the GOP advantage in his district slip to less than 2-percentages. And since Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in his district in the 2016 election, Royce has drawn six Democratic challengers.

While he said Monday that his polling shows he’d win reelection, the task would require considerable time on the campaign trail and away from Washington.

Royce, who is required by Republican protocol to step down from his committee chairmanship after 2018 because of a 6-year limit, said he plans to focus his last year entirely on his committee work. …

Click here to read the full article from the Orange County Register