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.
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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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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.
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.
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.
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.