Sacramento Bee: "Most important vote of your life" coming on climate, Gov. Brown tells state lawmakers
Gov. Jerry Brown, pressing for support of a climate package slated for votes next week, held up the state’s cap-and-trade program as the most efficient and elegant way to reduce emissions from greenhouse gases, warning legislators Thursday that the alternative would be significantly more burdensome and massively expensive. "Don’t throw this thing out,” Brown said during a rare appearance at a legislative committee. “Don’t put us under the Air Resources Board for an intrusive command-and-control. Cap and trade is the way forward.”
More from the Sacramento Bee: Tax cuts for power companies offered in Gov. Brown's cap-and-trade bill
Would Gov. Brown's climate change go easy on Big Oil?
Politico: California Democrats plunge into 'civil war'
Long-standing tensions between the Democratic Party’s moderate and liberal wings have ignited in California, where progressive activists are redirecting their anger over Donald Trump and congressional Republicans toward Democratic leaders at home. Stoked by a contested race for state Democratic Party chair and the failure of a single-payer health care bill, activists are staging protests at the capitol. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon reported receiving death threats after shelving the health care legislation late last month, and security was tightened at the statehouse after activists disrupted a floor session last week. The rancor, a spillover from the contentious Democratic presidential primary last year, is aggravating divisions in a state regarded nationally as a lodestar for the liberal cause. Establishment Democrats fear the rhetoric and appetite for new spending could go too far, jeopardizing the party’s across-the-board dominance of state politics. All of it has taken on new significance as California embraces its role as the focal point of the anti-Trump resistance.
The Hill: Progressives see Dems in danger of perennial election defeats
Democrats risk losing election after election if they focus too much on winning back white blue-collar voters from President Trump, according to progressives worried that young minorities are abandoning the party. “We are not going to get back to national majorities again without these voters,” said Cornell Belcher, the top pollster who worked on both for former President Barack Obama’s campaigns. Belcher recently conducted focus groups in Florida and Wisconsin for the Civic Engagement Fund that point to the problems Democrats have with millennials of color. Millennial voters of color interviewed in the focus groups felt “undervalued, ignored, and taken for granted,” according to the research obtained by The Hill. This is a huge problem, Belcher and others argue, since millennials of color are a growing part of the electorate.
Politico: Senate Republicans one vote away from Obamacare repeal failure
Senate Republican leaders are praying that their fragile whip count holds over the weekend, as just one more "no" vote would doom the party's Obamacare repeal effort from even coming up for debate. Two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, said Thursday afternoon they will oppose a procedural vote next week to bring the bill to the floor. GOP leaders are putting immense pressure on about half a dozen other Republican senators not to join them and topple the entire effort. Another "no" is enough to kill the bill, and would also likely lead to mass defections.
Los Angeles Times: California water bill passes the House, but Democrats vow to fight it in the Senate
Some California water decisions would be delegated to federal authorities under a bill passed in the House this week. Republicans say the bill will bring more water to the parched Central Valley. California's Democratic senators have promised to fight the bill in the Senate because it weakens California’s ability to manage its own resources. The Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, sponsored by Central Valley Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford), was approved in the House by a 230-190 vote largely along party lines.
Republicans say the bill would streamline dam construction and other water storage projects, and allow more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to be used in the Central Valley rather than flowing out to sea.“This is a reasonable approach, we’re trying to fix some real problems that need to be adjusted,” Valadao said. Democrats say it would preempt California water laws and impede the Endangered Species Act by waiving some of the most stringent environmental reviews required by the law.
Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Is the top of the California ticket finally out of reach for Republicans?
In the 2018 election for governor of California, surprised voters might well find only two Democrats to choose from in the general election – which would be a historical first in a governor’s race. Why? Because the sorely depleted California Republican Party may not be able to come up with a candidate who can make the runoff in the state’s top-two primary process. Since the voter-approved top-two primary went into effect in 2012, one governor’s race and two U.S. Senate races have been put through that sieve. The raw numbers tell a story that should not be comforting for even the most avid GOP cheerleader.
CALMatters: California's budget in a detailed visualization
Click through the link to explore the vast California state budget. Use the search tool (just for fun, enter the word "horse") to find a host of funds and monies directed at state programs.
Los Angeles Times: Emily's List endorses Democratic candidate to challenge Rep. Ed Royce
Emily's List, the national abortion-rights advocacy group focused on electing women, is backing Orange County pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran in her race against Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton). Royce represents one of several Republican-held districts where Hillary Clinton outperformed Donald Trump in last year's elections, and which Democrats have made priority targets for 2018. Tran, an immigrant who fled Vietnam as a child, spent summers picking strawberries in Oregon and later supported herself through college in part by doing janitorial work. A political neophyte, Tran told The Times last month that she was inspired to run because of Royce's vote for the GOP healthcare plan.
Orange County Register: Joel Kotkin: Is California Anti-Family?
In recent years, notably since the Great Recession and the weak recovery that followed, America’s birthrate has continued to drop, and is now at a record low. Nowhere is this decline more marked than here in California. Once a state known for rapid population growth, and above-average fecundity, the state’s birthrate is also at a historic low. The results are particularly dismal in coastal Southern California. Los Angeles’ population of people under 17 already has dropped a precipitous 13.6 percent, with drops even among Latinos and Asians, while Orange County has fallen by 6 percent since 2000. The national growth, in contrast, was up 2.2 percent. Despite claims that people leaving California are old and poor, the two most recent years of data from the IRS show larger net losses from people in the 35 to 54 age group. Net out-migration is also larger among those making between $100,000 and $200,000 annually. This is your basic child-bearing middle class.
Why is this shift to an increasingly child-free population occurring more in Southern California than elsewhere? One logical source may be housing prices, particularly near the coast, which present a particular problem for middle-class, middle-aged families. In contrast, the growth in the number of children under 17 is much higher in more affordable metropolitan areas such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina.
Housing affordability certainly drives migration. Major metropolitan areas where the cost of housing is at least four times that of annual incomes have seen a net out-migration of 900,000 since 2010. This compares to a net gain of 1.1 million in the more affordable areas. Hardest hit of all are the groups who will dominate our future — young people, minorities and immigrants.