Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Antonio Villaraigosa says goodbye, Eric Garcetti waves hello, Metro approves new light rail line

Antonio Villaraigosa Gala

Pool/Getty Images

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks with chief of police William Bratton during his black tie Inaugural Gala held at the Dorothy chandler Pavilion June 30, 2005. His last day in office is Sunday.

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.

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Today is Friday, June 28, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in his final days in office. He is on a 24-hour bus tour of Los Angeles today. He also did exit interviews with NPR and the Los Angeles Times.

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti will attend his final meeting of the Los Angeles City Council this morning. He's spent six weeks preparing for his role as mayor by embarking on a listening tour and sorting through 2,000 job and commission applications, reports KPCC.

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Eric Garcetti transitions into his new role as mayor of Los Angeles

Nowruz celebrations 2013

Shahrouz Khalifian/ KPCC

Eric Garcetti will be sworn in as mayor on Sunday.

Sunday evening, Eric Garcetti will be sworn in as mayor of Los Angeles. He's been fairly quiet since his May election, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been working behind the scenes on the transition into his new role. 

For six weeks, a tight knit circle of advisers has been preparing Garcetti. They’ve pored over 2,000 applications for jobs and commission appointments, and they’ve held listening tours throughout the city. 

"There’s learning that goes on during the transition. Not just planning, but also a tremendous amount of learning," said Robin Kramer, who served as chief of staff to mayors Richard Riordan and Antonio Villaraigosa. 

The transition is an important time because it allows a mayor-elect to think about the culture of his office, according to Kramer. 

RELATED: Tell the mayor what you'd like him to deal with first

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CA Legislature approves Governor’s plan to dismantle enterprise zones (Updated)

Jerry Brown Delivers California State Of The State Address

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Assembly Speaker John Pérez (L) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (R) rustled up enough votes to enact changes that Gov. Jerry Brown wanted in the state's enterprise zone program.

The California Assembly voted Thursday to scrap the state’s 40 enterprise zones, including several in Southern California.

AB93 phased out a tax credit for businesses that invest and hire in areas designated as economically depressed, and replaces it with broader tax credits for businesses that hire people who’ve have a tough time finding or keeping a job, including former inmates. There’s also a tax credit for manufacturing and technology purchases.

In a statement, Governor Jerry Brown called the vote "a big, bipartisan win for California businesses and working people."

Brown has been pushing to eliminate the enterprise zones as part of this year’s budget. He says the $750 million dollar annual tax credit the program enjoys has been squandered on beneficiaries that include strip clubs and casinos.  

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State Assembly kills so-called Wal-Mart bill

US-RETAIL SALES-HOLIDAY

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

The so-called "Wal-Mart bill," which would have fined large employers whose workers end up on Medi-Cal, failed to pass the state Assembly.

The California Assembly voted down a bill Thursday that would have fined large employers whose workers end up on Medi-Cal — the state subsidized health care program for low-income residents.

AB880, better known as “the Wal-Mart bill,” fell nine votes short of passage. Democrats in the Assembly were hoping to pass the bill while they still have a super-majority, which ends July 1 when Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) resigns on July 1 to take his seat on the L.A. City Council.

The bill’s author, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-LA), warned without it there would be nothing to deter companies from cutting workers hours in order to sidestep the Affordable Care Act requirements to provide insurance to full-time workers. 

“If their employees in the inverse end up on Medi-Cal, and we don’t recoup some of those costs, it is a de-facto subsidy for those companies,” Gomez said.

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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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