Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA Democrat pushes White House on climate change

Redondo Beach power plant

Seadigs/ Flickr Creative commons

LA Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman wants President Obama to limit pollution at power plants.

Democratic hawks on climate change are putting pressure on the White House to use executive power to cut emissions. And L.A. Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman is doing some of the pushing.

Waxman was the author of a 2009 climate change bill that passed the House, but died in the Senate. Now that he's in the minority party, he's been frustrated trying to move similar legislation. So he and fellow Democrat, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, have been meeting with top White House staffers to discuss climate strategies President Obama can use.

Waxman says the Clean Air Act allows the Environmental Protection Agency to limit pollution from new and existing power plants and oil refineries. "The administration can insist on greater efficiency in our use of energy," he says, "not just by the government itself, but in setting efficiency standards for appliances and other items."


Feds subpoenaed records from Commerce-based water district after FBI raided Calderon's office

State Senator Ron Calderon helped open the Central Basin Municipal Water District's new headquarters in 2008.

Federal authorities subpoenaed records from the Central Basin Municipal Water District in Commerce just days after the office of state Senator Ron Calderon was raided by FBI agents, the president of the water district board confirmed Friday. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment on the subpoenas. Calderon's brother, Tom, reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultant fees from the water district over the past decade. Together, Ron and Tom Calderon donated more than $36,000 to water district board candidates over a five-year period, according to campaign finance reports reviewed by KPCC.

Related: State Sen. Ron Calderon and his brother have ties to local water district

Water district board member James Roybal confirmed the subpoenas. He was elected to the board last year and has led a reform effort that included terminating Tom Calderon's contract earlier this year.


Update: Both houses of state legislature pass $96.3 billion Democratic budget

California Budget Education

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

State Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, second from left, discusses Gov. Jerry Brown's education plans, during a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, April 25, 2013.

Update 3:52 p.m.: Budget passes both houses of legislature

After an opening fiery partisan debate, California’s legislature approved a $96.3 billion budget bill Friday and lawmakers were zipping through more than 20 trailer bills that implement the plan.

Both houses approved AB110 on party-line votes: 28-10 in the Senate and 54-25 in the Assembly.

The budget included historic reforms to public school funding and $5 billion to repay debt the state owes, including $2 billion to public schools.

Republicans in both houses criticized the plan for failing to pay down more of the state’s debt and for keeping the state’s growing pension liabilities off the ledger.

Asm. Jeff Gorrell (R-Camarillo) said the plan relied too heavily on temporary taxes voters approved with Prop 30 and that it contains additional spending that will come back to hurt the state once the higher sales and income taxes passed by voters last fall expire.


Hahn: Supreme Court port ruling will impact neighborhoods

Mercer 3383

David McNew/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that the port can not require truckers to have an off-street parking plan.

All politics are local — even when the U.S. Supreme Court is involved.

San Pedro Congresswoman Janice Hahn says the High Court's decision this week on the Port of L.A.'s clean trucks program will have a direct impact on the port's neighbors. 

The Supreme Court left intact the central part of the port's clean trucks program, which requires cargo haulers to use modern rigs that run on cleaner fuels.

But the court ruled that the port can not require truckers to have an off-street parking plan. And that, says Hahn, could make life tough for those who live near the ports. Hahn, a Democrat who also used to represent the port area as an L.A. City Councilwoman, says the city can and does enforce some regulations.

"We tried doing no parking, we've limited the streets that trucks can drive on," Hahn says. "What you find in Los Angeles, of course, is there's not all that many parking enforcement officers. It's one of the things that always seems to be getting cut."

The Supreme Court ruled that the port can not threaten fines or prison for terminal operators who hire cargo haulers who have violated parts of the clean trucks program. That authority, the court said, rests with the federal government.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Garcetti's tour of LA, a dip into water districts, a bridge for Willie Brown

Eric Garcetti Los Angeles Mayor

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti is touring LA, meeting with Angelenos before he is sworn into office on July 1.

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

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Today is Friday, June 14, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Sen. Dianne Feinstein says NSA does not need a court order to search a database of call data, according to Politico. "Feinstein said that she would be open to contemplating changes to the program, in particular legislation that would prevent contractors from handling highly classified data," according to the site.

California lawmakers are considering a proposal to name the Bay Bridge after former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, reports Capitol Alert.