In the News

August 28, 2018

In the biggest move yet aimed at blocking the Trump administration’s plans to allow new offshore oil drilling off the California coast, state lawmakers have approved a bill that would ban construction of any new pipelines to get the oil to shore.

August 27, 2018

A controversial bill requiring that publicly traded California companies include women on their boards of directors heads to the Assembly floor this week.

SB826, which is opposed by many business groups, would make California the first state with such a mandate.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, the bill’s author, said it’s important for businesses to have a perspective from women — and time to “blow that glass ceiling up.”

August 27, 2018

“The expectation is that we’re going to have legislation that’s meaningful and productive,” says Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), who sits on a two-house conference committee that is writing the Legislature’s centerpiece bill. “Everyone wants to see this happen.”

For Jackson it’s personal, as it is with several legislators touched by fire. December’s Thomas fire, which until this summer was the largest in state history, stopped one mile short of her Santa Barbara home.

August 23, 2018

Unless Senate Bill 10 is vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown, starting on October 1 of next year, California will no longer have a cash bail system. On Tuesday, SB 10, authored by San Fernando Valley Senator Robert Hertzberg, passed the senate. The bill initially garnered strong support from Human Rights Watch (HRW), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and public defenders.

August 23, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would bar forced arbitration and nondisclosure agreements under a bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday that enjoys celebrity backing from some in the #MeToo movement.

It would prohibit employers from requiring nondisclosure agreements related to sexual misconduct as a condition of getting or keeping a job. It also would ban employers from requiring arbitration agreements, which can force employees to settle workplace complaints instead of going to court, as a condition of employment.

August 20, 2018

While President Trump’s Interior Department was mapping out oil and gas leases off California’s coast, the Legislature debated what to do. The sanctified cause of a drilling ban turned into a fight over a pair of bills that aimed to put hard restrictions on the White House idea.

Last week, lawmakers followed through on protecting the coast. The nearly identical bills won approval on the final day of committee work, a cliffhanger win for efforts to safeguard fishing, tourism and recreation along the 1,000-mile coast.

August 17, 2018

As California's enormous wildfires continue to set records for the second year in a row, state lawmakers are scrambling to close gaps in state law that could help curb future fires, or make the difference between life and death once a blaze breaks out.

August 16, 2018

When the Trump administration proposed opening California waters to drilling on an unprecedented scale, state leaders said they would do whatever it takes to keep new oil operations at bay.

But promises only go so far.

So some in Sacramento now are trying to lock those pledges into law — safeguarding the coast from offshore drilling no matter the whims of future administrations.

August 15, 2018

By Anne Staines And Angela DePaoli

Special to The Sacramento Bee

Few women sit at corporate board tables, to the detriment of the company bottom lines and California’s economy.

One-fourth of all publicly-held corporations in California have no women serving on their boards of directors. And women occupy 15.5 percent of all board seats at the state’s publicly held companies, compared to the national average of 16.2 percent.

August 08, 2018

A local senator on Friday called for a more scientific, proactive approach in how California responds to wildfires, as blazes burned out of control throughout the state.

Still early in a typical fire season, nearly 400,000 acres have burned, hundreds of homes have been destroyed and several firefighters and civilians have been killed.

Record-breaking heat and years of drought have changed the landscape, leading to 129 million dead trees and catastrophic fire seasons.