Brown talks climate – to anyone who will listen

Sep 1, 2015

Jerry Brown, once ridiculed nationally as “Governor Moonbeam,” is coming to be seen as an important ambassador in the battle against climate change.  As SB350 and SB32 moved through the legislature he has taken his message to Meet the Press, to the Vatican, and now, to US News and World Report. From an interview with Alan Neuhauser:


“’California is laying out a path that others can follow. We are certainly testing whether or not building energy efficiency, electric car mandates, renewable energy mandates, cap and trade, whether any of that retards economic growth. And the fact is California's economy is growing faster than the national average, both in terms of gross domestic product and in terms of job creation.’


“’One role California can play is as a proving ground for the proposition that taking action to reduce greenhouse gases is good for the economy, good for jobs, good for people's health, and certainly good for the overall environment.’”


While Brown works the national and international angle, movie star Halle Berry and a group of catholic leaders visited the capitol Monday to voice support for Senate pro tem Kevin de Leon’s (D-Los Angeles) SB350.  Chris Megerian, LAT:


Actress Halle Berry visited the Capitol on Monday and met with some lawmakers, such as Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), who have been on the fence about the legislation.


"’Climate change is the most important public health issue of our time, and I’m proud to be able to lend my voice to this important cause,’ Berry said in a statement. ‘I'm here first and foremost as a mother who has concerns about the environment we are going to leave our children and future generations….’


“[Meanwhile] State Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) held a press conference with Catholic leaders to talk about Pope Francis' encyclical, which called for action on climate change.


Jaime Soto, the Sacramento bishop, said the bill ‘can set a high mark for other world leaders to follow.’"


While the big climate change bills remain undecided, the Senate passed several pieces of legislation yesterday, including a bill making it illegal for hobbyists to fly drones where they would interfere with emergency response vehicles and a bill to ban the use of bullhooks in elephant handling. Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason, LAT:


“’To think that someone would interfere with firefighting or emergency response situations to get a sneak peek or to post a drone video on YouTube is an outrage that is deserving of punishment and condemnation,’ said state Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin), author of the measure, which now goes to the Assembly…


“Senators also passed a measure that would make California the first state in the nation to outlaw the use of bullhooks in the handling of elephants.


“’The bullhook has been directly linked to inhumane treatment of these delicate animals,’ said Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who introduced the measure.”


Perhaps the highest profile bill passed yesterday was SB 358, a landmark pay-equity bill authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, (D-Santa Barbara).  The bill passed the Senate with a unanimous vote and now heads for the Governor’s desk.  John Myers, KQED:


“Legislation that supporters say will make California the nation’s leader on assuring men and women are paid the same for similar jobs has landed on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has promised to sign it into law.


“The final vote in the California Legislature on Senate Bill 358 was unanimous in the state Senate on Monday, a sign at how both labor and business groups have joined ranks on the proposal.”


Alas, not all is “kumbaya” under the dome, as time for a bipartisan transportation deal is running out.


And, a change is gonna come: Yucca Valley Assemblyman Chad Mayes is making a run for Assembly GOP leader, seeking to replace Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto).  Vote is expected this week.


The senate is expected to vote this week on a measure that would enforce a strict ban on the sale of ivory – California is the biggest market in the United States - in an effort to curtail the killing of African elephants.  Paul Rogers and LiPo Ching at the San Jose Mercury News:


“A bill moving through the Legislature -- championed by zoos, museums and environmentalists, while opposed by the National Rifle Association and other hunting groups -- would effectively ban the sale of nearly all ivory in California, from antique guns to chess sets, not only in San Francisco and Los Angeles Chinatowns but also among private collectors.


"’It is a moral issue. When you see some of the devastation with these animals, to see baby animals standing beside the dead bodies of their mothers, it can't help but have an emotional impact on us,’ said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, a co-author of the bill.”


The governor Monday signed an Executive Order creating the California Cybersecurity Integration Center, a branch of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.  The new center will work to increase the state’s cyber security.  Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle:


“’State leaders including the governor have recognized that cybersecurity is a real hazard for the state, our counties and cities,’ said Brad Alexander, spokesman for the Office of Emergency Services. ‘Protecting our information system requires proactive action to beef up our ability to be aware of cybersecurity risks and our response to those risks.’


“The center will serve as a central hub for the state’s online security and coordinate with state departments, federal agencies and other organizations to provide warnings of cyberattacks and assess the state’s risk of falling victim to one.”


When one thinks of mainstream presidential candidates, one imagines that they have achieved a certain level of economic comfort… perhaps all won’t have, say, an elevator for their car, but at least a nice house, good 401K and a newish Cadillac or Mercedes.   Well, not this year.


Sure, there are plenty of high rollers on the list, but USA Today rounds up the surprising net worths of the top tier candidates for prez, and finds a couple who are in about the same economic boat as the average Capitol Weekly staffer:


“Based on recently disclosed tax returns and financial disclosures… Scott Walker… is worth as little as $36,000…


“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who appears not only to have a relatively small net worth, but also most estimates point to Walker being tens of thousands of dollars in debt. According to one source, Walker is currently paying off his credit card debt at an interest rate of close to 30%.”


h/t to Thomas C. Frohlich, Michael B. Sauter and Sam Stebbins


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