Approval of the State Legislature is on the rise.
TARYN LUNA with Sac Bee: "The California Legislature’s approval rating among registered state voters has climbed to 50 percent, up from as low as 10 percent in September 2010."
"The response to a new statewide Field/IGS Poll marks a rare moment for Sacramento lawmakers. According to annual data from the pollster, a greater percentage of Californians have disapproved, rather than approved, of the job the Legislature is doing since 2003."
"Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said voters’ views of the Legislature are largely tied to the economy. When the state faces a deficit or budget cuts, lawmakers are often forced to make difficult decisions such as raising taxes or cutting programs, which may be unpopular with voters, DiCamillo said."
In the battle for the U.S. Senate, Kamala Harris has a decided advantage over her opponent: support and funding from her own party.
PHIL WILLON with L.A. Times: "Two Democrats will be on California’s U.S. Senate ballot this November, but only one has the state Democratic Party’s blessing — and money."
"The California Democratic Party has provided more than $560,000 to state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris’ campaign, spending close to $100,000 on mailers, window signs, campaign handout cards and door nob hangers prominently featuring Harris as the party’s recommended Senate candidate in November."
"But the other candidate on the ballot, Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez, hasn’t received a dime from the California Democratic Party. And with outside groups all but dormant when it comes to spending on the race, Sanchez is mostly on her own when it comes to fundraising."
Gov. Brown has signed a program into place that would create retirement funds for private sector employees.
JONATHON J. COOPER with AP: "Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to sign legislation Thursday to automatically enroll nearly 7 million people in a retirement savings account, an attempt to address growing fears that many workers will be financially unprepared to retire."
"The legislation creates a state-run retirement program for workers who don't have an employer-sponsored plan, many of them working in lower-wage positions. It requires employers to automatically enroll their workers and deduct money from each paycheck, though workers can opt out or set their own savings rate. The account could also be carried from job to job."
"Supporters of the concept hope that requiring workers to affirmatively opt out will make them less likely to do so, allowing them to set aside a retirement nest egg over time so they don't have to rely solely on Social Security in their post-work years. A third of all American workers - and two-thirds of part-time workers - don't have access to a retirement plan through their employer, the Pew Charitable Trusts reported in September, relying on U.S. Census Bureau data."
READ MORE related to Gov. Brown: Stricter background checks and DUI rules coming for Uber and Lyft drivers through laws signed by Gov. Brown -- Liam Dillon with L.A. Times; 5 years later, many see criminal justice realignment as a success -- MARISA LAGOS with KQED; Governor to approve state-run retirement for private workers -- JONATHON J. COOPER with Associated Press; Californian's may soon be asked: "A glass of Pino Noir with that perm?" -- PATRICK MCGREEVY with L.A. Times
Scott Jones has revoked a small number of concelead weapons permits from a pool of registered gun owners who were caught in the commission of a crime while carrying.
PHILLIP REESE with Sacramento Bee: "About six months after Hun Chu Saelee obtained a concealed carry weapon permit from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in 2012, he reached into the trunk of his car during an argument outside a San Francisco Halloween party, pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and shot a stranger in the head, leaving him in a coma, according to police."
"Saelee is one of roughly 8,000 Sacramento County residents who have been issued concealed carry permits since Sheriff Scott Jones took office in 2011. He is one of at least 78 people with Jones-issued permits who have been arrested in subsequent years and had their permits revoked, according to a Sacramento Bee review of Sheriff’s Department data, revocation letters and court records."
"As of February of this year, Jones had revoked more than 150 permits for a variety of reasons, including arrests and other contact with law enforcement that didn’t lead to arrest, such as making threats or misusing a weapon."
A local news station has threatened legal action against the GOP after the party surreptitiously used prime time ad space to denigrate an opponent.
JAVIER PANZAR with L.A. Times: "The owner of a Santa Barbara TV news station is threatening legal action against a Republican congressional candidate after his campaign released an attack ad featuring a 10-second clip from the station's newscast."
"KEYT-TV General Manager Mark Danielson wrote a letter to Republican Justin Fareed's campaign Wednesday saying the station had "not authorized or consented to any such use of its copyright protected news content in this political advertisement."
"The ad features news anchor C.J. Ward reporting on a comment Democratic Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal made this month referring to the city of Lompoc as the "armpit" of the coastal county."
California lawmakers are torn over a controversial bill that would allow victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to collectively sue the foreign government in Saudi Arabia.
SEAN COCKERHAM with Sacramento Bee: "Californians in Congress were deeply divided over Wednesday’s vote to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill to allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over its alleged backing of the terrorists who committed the attacks."
"Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, was among the California Democrats who broke with the president to support the first successful veto override in the nearly eight years that Obama has been president."
"This is the least we can do for families of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11. They deserve to have their day in court,” said Bera, who is running for re-election in a competitive suburban Sacramento swing district."
Darrell Issa has primed his offensive against challenger Doug Applegate after releasing a TV ad blasting his opponent.
MARTIN WISCKOL with O.C. Register: "Rep. Darrell Issa is launching attacks on Democratic rival Doug Applegate, the latest sign that the Vista Republican has a re-election battle on his hands for the first time since winning office in 2000."
"In a conservative vs. liberal contest with little middle ground, Issa is airing a TV ad blasting Applegate for backing tax increases – including a carbon tax that could increase gas costs – and for favoring free “Medicare for All."
"A website run by the Issa campaign portrays the retired Marine colonel from San Clemente as “another left-wing extremist California just can’t afford."
Proponents of the death penalty say that social justice activists will most likely make life imprisonment their next target of political attack.
ALEXEI KOSEFF with Sacramento Bee: "If California voters abolish the death penalty this fall, its foes will go after life imprisonment next, proponents of a measure to speed up the capital punishment process warned Wednesday."
"Once all those attorneys who have been trying to prevent the death penalty from being enforced have nothing better to do, they’re going to turn to life without parole,” Dane Gillette, former chief assistant attorney general of California, told The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board on Tuesday. It’s “the next step to get rid of what they consider to be too much incarceration."
"Voters face two contrasting death penalty initiatives this November: Proposition 62, which would replace it with life without parole, and Proposition 66, which aims to expedite the appeals process by expanding the pool of lawyers eligible to take on capital cases and instituting shorter timelines for legal challenges."
Protests in El Cajon continued yesterday after the fatal shooting of a unarmed mentally ill black man who originally appeared to be brandishing a weapon at officers with intent to use it.
PAULINE REPARD, LYNDSAY WINKLEY, and DAVID HERNANDEZ with San Diego News-Tribune: "Hunndreds of protesters poured into the streets of El Cajon Wednesday, denouncing a police shooting that killed an unarmed, reportedly mentally ill black man."
"Police said Wednesday evening that the object the man had pulled out from his pants pocket and pointed at an officer was a vape smoking device."
"Demonstrations that began in the morning continued into the night, with crowds that were mostly peaceful."