Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Update: Senate passes immigration bill; House says 'not so fast'

Senate Immigration Bill Passes

Kitty Felde/KPCC

"Dreamers" celebrate the passage of the Senate's immigration reform bill on Thursday.

Senate Immigration Bill Passes

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Sen. John McCain after the Senate passed its immigration reform bill on Thursday.

Senate Immigration Bill Passes

Kitty Felde/KPCC

"Dreamer" Francis Madi after the Senate immigration reform bill passed on Thursday.

Senate Votes On Immigration Reform Bill

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) heads for the Senate floor for the vote on a comprehensive immigration bill.


The Senate has passed historic immigration legislation offering the hope of American citizenship to millions, while promising a military-style surge to secure the border.

The vote was 68-32, eight more than needed to send the measure to the House. Prospects there are not nearly as good and many conservatives are opposed.

Related: If Senate path to citizenship becomes law, how many immigrants will take advantage?

Vice President Joe Biden presided, and senators cast their votes from their desks, rising to announce their position, both steps reserved for momentous votes. There was one moment of levity: freshman Republican Jerry Moran of Kansas first voted "yes" and then quickly said "no!" as Senators chuckled. He asked again to make sure his nay vote was recorded in the no column.

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Assembly tackles Wal-Mart bill for workers' health care

Bob Blumenfield

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield's website

The Assembly is taking up a controversial bill before it loses its super-majority when Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) resigns July 1 to take his seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

The California Assembly is slated to take up a bill Thursday that fines large employers whose workers qualify for Medi-Cal.

AB880, better known as the “Wal-Mart” bill, applies to any business in California with more than 500 employees, but critics say it’s clearly crafted to force the nation’s largest company to pay a bigger share of California’s health care costs.

Here’s how it works: 

If a large company gives California workers less than full-time work that results in less than full healthcare benefits, or pays so little that those workers end up on state-subsidized healthcare, that company would pay a fee to the state: 110 percent of the average cost of health insurance provided by large employers — roughly $6,000 per an employee by one estimate.

Physicians, labor and consumer groups that sponsored the measure say it’s only fair that these companies pay a fine because the state would otherwise have to pick up the costs for their employees.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Eric Garcetti's style, LA's bicycle share program, DWP settlement in Owens Valley

MAYORALDEBATE - 9

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Is LA's next mayor as good as a Boy Scout? The LA Weekly contrasts Eric Garcetti's style with that of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Thursday, June 27, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The LA Weekly predicts Eric Garcetti will be the "Boy Scout Mayor." "The transition team seems obsessed with trying to show an uninterested L.A. — only 21 percent of residents voted in the May 21 mayoral election — that City Hall is not a vapid PR machine," according to the piece.

Los Angeles' contracts with two "street furniture" companies have created some speed bumps for bicycle sharing in the city, reports the Los Angeles Times. "To make money, the company planned to sell advertising on the 400 sleek, silver rental kiosks that it would place around Los Angeles. But a contract between the city and two media firms will almost certainly prevent that from happening, the company recently learned," per The Times.

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A look back at the money in the fight over Prop 8

DOMA/Prop 8

Kitty Felde/ KPCC

Gay rights supporters pose in front of the Supreme Court after Wednesday's decision on DOMA and Proposition 8.

As lawyers and activists analyze the Supreme Court’s ruling on California’s Proposition 8, it's worth recalling that the original 2008 campaign was an expensive battle, with more than $80 million spent by both sides combined. A combination of religion, politics, and activism motivated most of the money.

MapLight, the nonpartisan group that studies money’s influence on politics, took another look at data from California’s Secretary of State to see who the largest donors were in the effort to ban gay marriage in California.

The number one contributor to the “yes” on Prop 8 campaign was the Catholic men’s group, the Knights of  Columbus, followed by Fieldstead & Company, which manages the assets of Home Savings heir Howard Ahmanson, Jr. “as part of a Christian worldview.” The Knights of Columbus and Fieldstead each about $1.4 million.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: DOMA struck down, Schwarzenegger rehabs image, LA City Council votes on financing for developer

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Orders On DOMA And Prop 8 Cases

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Gay rights activist Vin Testa of DC, waves a flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, June 26, 2013 in Washington DC. Today the high court is expected to rule on California's Proposition 8, the controversial ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Wednesday, June 26, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this morning. Proposition 8 was dismissed on standing. KPCC, Los Angeles Times, New York Times.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is working to reinvent himself as a climate change advocate, even though he remains absent from local politics and the Republican Party, according to the Los Angeles Times. "You look back at his life story, he's someone you can't ever count out," says strategist Paul Begala.

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