Politics, government and public life for Southern California

House plays chicken with farm bill

Michele Bachmann Joins For Americans For Prosperity Rally Against Big Gov't

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Jeff Denham (R-Fresno) is trying to protect the state's egg producers in a House agriculture bill.

The House of Representatives is debating a farm bill this week. One portion of that $940 billion measure could scramble California's egg industry. The fight is both about state's rights and hens' quality of life. 

California's Proposition 2, passed in 2008, requires hens to have enough room in their cages to stand up and spread their wings. But an amendment to the House farm bill by Iowa Republican Steve King would put a crimp in that law.

California would still be able to regulate egg farming here, but not forbid the sale of eggs from states that do not have rules on more humane cages. King calls it trade protectionism.

The battle isn't the traditional party line fight between Democrats and Republicans. Last year, a similar fight over last year's farm bill in the Senate had Democrat Dianne Feinstein defending California's law. This year, it's Fresno Republican Congressman Jeff Denham. Both cite an agreement between the Humane Society and the United  Egg Producers — which represents 90 percent of America's egg producers — to phase in larger cages over 15 years.


LA City Council honors Jan Perry with fanfare

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

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L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry is leaving office after 12 years. Following her failed mayoral bid, it's unclear what she'll do next.

After 12 years in office, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry was celebrated by her colleagues Tuesday in a ceremony that included a vote to name a beloved South L.A. project in her honor. 

Perry is termed out of her Ninth District seat. She will be replaced on July 1 by state Sen. Curren Price. 

"We have enjoyed unprecedented growth and job creation and new schools, improved parks, new wetlands and thousands of units of affordable housing," Perry said of her district, which stretched from downtown to Skid Row to Little Toyko and down to South L.A. before redistricting. 

On a 13-0 vote, the city council voted to name the South Los Angeles wetlands in Perry's honor. Using $26 million in Proposition O funds, Perry was able to turn an old MTA bus yard into a nine-acre park. 

The celebration of Perry kicked off with a performance by the USC marching band. A video of her accomplishments, with testimonials from downtown developers and nonprofit leaders, was also shown to a packed Chamber. 


With the budget settled, what's next for Calif. legislature?

California state capitol

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Sacramento lawmakers will tackle hundreds more bills in this legislative session.

With the passage of the state budget last week, the legislature shifts focus to hundreds of remaining policy bills.  Here are a few we'll be watching:

Prisoner Reductions: The Brown Administration has promised to develop “legislative language” to reduce the state prison population by 10,000 inmates to comply with a federal court order.

Enterprise Zones: The governor and some lawmakers want to pass a budget trailer bill that dismantles the state’s 40 enterprise zones and redirects $750 million in tax breaks.

Gun control: Lawmakers will vote on dozens of bills to further restrict the types of ammunition and guns allowed in California, and bills that increase state monitoring of arms and safety requirements.  Click here for KPCC's database on gun control bills.

Protections for school children: Assembly Bill 375  makes it easier and faster to suspend or dismiss a teacher, and increases the types of drug offenses that warrant disciplinary action; AB349 would create a statewide database to track dismissal or suspension of other school employees. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: a challenge to public records, a look at Eric Garcetti's style, Long Beach sues LA over port project

CA Gov. Brown Joins Hundreds Of Scientists Calling For Action On Climate Change

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Gov. Jerry Brown could sign a state bill that would exempt local government agencies from key provisions of the California Public Records Act.

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.

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

Today is Tuesday, June 18, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


A new state bill would exempt local government agencies from key provisions of the California Public Records Act, reports KPCC. State officials claim the move is intended to save money.

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti is setting the tone for a more low-key administration, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The understated approach stands in contrast to (Antonio) Villaraigosa, who quickly infused City Hall with a sense of drama eight years ago," per The Times. Garcetti also named long-time aide Ana Guerrero as his chief of staff, reports KPCC.


Changes to Public Records Act stir controversy

Glendale City Hall

Flickr/ T.Hoffarth

Image of Glendale City Hall.

If, as expected, Governor Jerry Brown signs Senate Bill 76 this week, local government agencies will no longer be required to follow key provisions of California’s Public Records Act. The bill was part of the budget state lawmakers enacted over the weekend.

California law requires local governments to respond to public requests for information within 10 days. For example, a citizen could ask to see contracts that a city awards an independent contractor. If the municipality is unable to meet such a request, or if they reject it, they have to explain why. Both those requirements are about to be suspended for local governments. 

The state maintains this is a budget move, because it has to reimburse local governments for complying with some aspects of records requests. The Department of Finance estimates that exempting local governments from those requirements could save the state tens of millions of dollars a year.