The political journey between good intentions and the statute book was twisted even by Sacramento standards in 2017. But there was more — much more.
Co-published by International Business Times
Immigrant rights groups say arguments against SB 54 prove their point—that the state must limit ICE’s reach because it routinely wreaks havoc in communities by sweeping up residents with U.S. citizen children and other long-standing ties to the United States who haven’t committed crimes.
Co-published by Newsweek
Some California cities are rethinking their law-enforcement relationships with ICE, but others are likely to continue their joint operations with the agency because of the additional personnel, intelligence-gathering capacity and cash that it brings to crime fighting.
California considers a bill that would bar county sheriffs from contracting with ICE to house immigration detainees in county jails.
BY ROBIN UREVICH
Today California legislators returned to their jobs in Sacramento, facing a new year and, for Democrats, a distressing new reality: their first session under the incoming presidency of Donald J. Trump.
Bill Raden reports how Big Oil is trying to scuttle California’s program to reduce greenhouse gases.
The placards stacked outside the Ronald Reagan State Building said it all: “We Did It!” The hundreds of low-income workers who had just carried those signs had come to downtown Los Angeles Monday morning to celebrate “it” – the passage of a $15 an hour state minimum wage. The mood was jubilant, almost delirious, in anticipation of Governor Jerry Brown’s arrival to sign the measure, known as Senate Bill 3.
To be clear: The new wage law does not mean fast-food workers, janitors, in-home caregivers or others are about to jump from earning $10 an hour to $15. Come January 1, 2017, people earning the current minimum wage will move to a $10.50 hourly wage. The following January, it will go up to $11, not reaching $15 until 2022 (2023 for workers employed in companies with 25 or fewer workers). But along the way, workers who previously had to get sick on their own time will be given three paid days off – a big boost for their health and the well-being of both the people they work with and serve.
Within the next 20 years, the number of Californians beyond retirement age will increase by two-thirds, to 12 million. Many of them — half, by some estimates — will have saved less than they need to subsist on after they stop working, leaving them no choice but to either work until the end of their lives if they can, or live out the rest of their years in or near poverty.
Some of those seniors of tomorrow, no doubt, were during their working lives too short-sighted to invest in their employers’ 401(k) plans, or to open Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) on their own. Or they might have been struggling to support families, pay back student loans or were so chronically underemployed that saving money for retirement was out of the question.
In 2012, state legislators recognized this looming problem of the future elderly poor and wrote the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act,
More than seven million people—over one-fifth of California’s population—work without a path to retirement. They have neither a 401(k) — the so-called “roller-coaster plan” tied to the stock market — nor a traditional pension that was once considered a worker’s right and which is now a rare species outside of government employment or the public education system.
There is nothing that legally compels a typical American employer to offer any kind of retirement plan to employees. But the average Social Security recipient earns about $15,600 per year in retirement benefits — a near-poverty income in the 21st century.
That could change for Californians when state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon’s “California Secure Choice’’ retirement savings plan takes effect. Meanwhile, as one union official put it, “Many employers’ retirement plan for their workers is that they work until they die.” Or,
I hope the oil lobbyists in Sacramento broke out some high-priced Champagne this weekend. They deserve it. They just scuttled the biggest and most likely-to-succeed effort in the history of California to save the planet.
Oil industry ad decrying what it called the “California Gas Restriction Act of 2015”
Senate Bills 350 and 32 had already passed in the upper house. As my Capital & Main colleague Bill Raden summarized, SB 32, authored by state Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), would “extend the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions” achieved a few years back through Assembly Bill 32. Senate bill 350, introduced by Senate president Pro tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) – named after the threshold of carbon particles per million that our planetary life cannot surpass – aimed to set standards for California that would “double the energy efficiency of its older buildings,
As comprehensive immigration reform stalls along party lines in Washington, D.C., state Democrats are taking action in Sacramento. Backed by an assortment of coalition partners, California’s blue lawmakers have authored 10 new immigration bills (four in the Senate and six in the Assembly) to better the lives of two million undocumented individuals — five percent of California’s population.
As a thunderstorm with hail and lightning soaked a drought-parched Sacramento, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) announced the “Immigrants Shape California” reform measures. They would increase the consumer, civil, criminal, health-care and labor rights of undocumented households.
“We are doing the work of the federal Congress,” said de León during a late-morning news conference inside the state Capitol. “This is our reaction to their lack of action.”
“With these bills,” said Atkins, “California will show the practical, humane and forward-thinking leadership that can move the needle on a national discussion.” To this end,