The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Kris Wiktor)
The burning question of the day: Should Joint Rule 10.5 be changed? If you, like most normal people, have little interest in the Capitol’s battles, then this question prompts a big yawn. But if you engage in the interminable wars over legislation, then this issue is a very, very big deal. So pay attention, you may be tested on this later.
Assemblymember Melissa Melendez at a Capitol Park rally supporting her whistleblower protection bill. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law whistle blower protections Capitol staffers. Now, legislative employees in California will have the same protections as all other state employees. But a question arises: Will the new law, which passed both Democrat-controlled houses without a dissenting vote, really make much of a difference?
Gov. Brown delivers his 16th state of the state address. (Photo: Screen capture, ABC 7 Los Angeles).
Jerry Brown professes to not be interested in legacies. Yet his 16th and final state-of-the-state speech last week was all about a legacy – his own. The governor talked about how dire the state’s fiscal situation was before he became governor. Then he talked about how good things are now that he’s been in charge for the last seven years.
Balancing the political power between L.A. and the San Francisco Bay Area. (Illustration: Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly)
ANALYSIS: With five months to the 2018 gubernatorial primary election, there is a natural tendency to try and find the single major factor that will determine the outcome. Will it be Donald Trump, absentee voters, young people, the gas tax, racially polarized voting, the open primary, North versus South, the growing number of independent voters, the new registrants since President Trump was elected, or 25% of the electorate who registered to vote in 2016? The fact is, it will be all of these things.
View of downtown San Diego and central rail yards. (Photo: welcomia, via Shutterstock)
ANALYSIS: Something that isn’t too surprising for legislators or Gov. Brown as California continues to be on the forefront of environmental policies: A major survey shows strong majority (62 percent) of Californians believe air pollution is a problem in their part of California. Two-thirds (66 percent) believe the effects of global warming have already begun, while 58 percent believe it is a serious threat to California’s economy and quality of life.
Democrat Doug Jones on election night in Alabama, declaring victory over Republican Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate special election. (Photo: Screen capture, CNBC)
ANALYSIS: Last week’s U.S. Senate election in Alabama marked for many political observers the first striking evidence that the coming year will bring a “wave election” which could wash Republican majorities out of Congress and trickle down to gubernatorial and legislative seats. It seems like a big turnaround based on just one election result.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: N.F. Photography)
ANALYSIS: Influencing legislation is a complicated business. There is no high-tech computer model that can predict whether a bill introduced in the California Legislature will become a law and, if so, the form it will take. However, there are many, knowable influences that regularly shape state legislation in California.
The state Capitol in Sacramento at night. (Photo: Susanne Pommer)
Cutting deals is part of the Capitol culture — it’s how laws are made. But does this deal-making come close to the legal line, or even cross it? Let’s continue our review of California criminal statutes that might apply to the wheeling and dealing of the Legislature.
The Assembly chamber in the state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov, Shutterstock)
We often read about the “wheeling and dealing” among elected officials that occurs in state capitols across this country, including Sacramento. While some Capitol observers refer to it as lawful deal-making, others characterize it as improper, or even unlawful, vote trading. So which is it?
Gov. Brown at Hall of Fame ceremonies in Sacramento last year. (Photo: By Randy Miramontez)
ANALYSIS: California is a solid Democratic state, Republicans in the foreseeable future have little chance of winning a statewide office, and Democratic icons Jerry Brown and Dianne Feinstein viewed more positively than negatively. But voters still want change.