Legislative Affairs Committee of West Orange County 

-- Legislative Updates as of May 19, 2017

 

LEGISLATURE

This week, the fiscal impacts of legislative proposals remained a priority discussion at the Capitol as bills continued to be heard in their respective appropriations committees. As legislators considered the costs of bills, the California Citizens Compensation Commission was set to meet this Wednesday, but canceled the meeting due to their lack of a quorum. Governor Brown has yet to fill four of the seven seats on the panel. The governor-appointed commission sets elected officials’ salaries and was created in 1990 through the voters' passage of Proposition 112. The panel is required to meet by June 30th of each year to decide what changes to make, if any, for the following December.

GOVERNOR’S RACE

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León stirred up the pot for those closely watching the 2018 election races this week, raising suspicions that he would run for higher political office in California after he terms out of his current post, by sending a candidate-style political video to Democrats across the state. De León said 
Thursday that he had no imminent plans to jump in the race, but added, “When I know, everyone else will know.” If de León decided to run for governor, it would immediately jolt the race, especially for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The Democratic men, both Latino and from Southern California, could cut into each other’s voter support should they both be in the race.

 

OTHER CALIFORNIA NEWS

According to a report in the Fresno Bee, last fall, a group of Fresno residents sued the city over water quality problems related to water chemistry issues at the treatment plant and how the treated water differs from pumped well water that for years exclusively served city residents. Testing of some homes indicated the presence of lead in the water, in some instances at levels higher than “action levels” set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Now, a second group of northeast Fresno residents are suing the city over water problems, including lead and discoloration. The suit alleges that for years the city ignored reports from residents about discoloured water coming from faucets in homes plumbed with galvanized pipes since shortly after the plant opened in 2004. In early 2016, social media posts sparked a realization among homeowners that problems were not isolated to only a few residences, but were more widespread than they had realized.
 
A UC Regents meeting, 
Wednesday, was disrupted by students and union members protesting and chastising officials for raising tuition while hiding away millions of dollars. The UC Regents Board is still facing backlash over the millions of dollars in hidden funds unearthed by state auditors last month. 
 
Sacramento is set to welcome hundreds of Democratic activists starting today, for the three-day state Democratic convention. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the featured speaker for the convention’s 
Saturday night agenda titled, "#TheResistance,” and hosted by California Young Democrats. The event is an outdoor block party featuring performances by Grammy and Oscar-winning hip-hop artist/actor Common and DJ Jazzy Jeff, along with local artists and poets.

 

INTERESTING BUT IRRELEVANT

We reported earlier this year about California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) being under investigation for questionable reimbursements to his campaign treasury for charges including video games, oral surgery, private school tuition, a garage door, and a family trip to Italy, which included travel accommodations for the family bunny. Since then, Hunter’s campaign spent $353 on “food/beverages” at Alpine Tobacco Company, a smoking lounge. The first quarter report also shows Hunter’s campaign paid a $1,042 hotel bill at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and spent $896 at one of the hotel’s bars, The Chandelier, where patrons can drink inside a huge crystal chandelier. Hunter has reimbursed more than $60,000 in mistaken, personal, or undocumented expenditures to his treasury since the Federal Election Commission and the San Diego Union-Tribune began questioning his expenses a year ago.