Politics, government and public life for Southern California

CA Assembly approves more money to confiscate illegal guns

Bob Blumenfield

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield's website

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), seen here in a file photo, said a bill to help take weapons from unlawful owners "is not anti-gun, [it's] about enforcing current law.”

California’s state assembly voted Thursday to spend more money to enforce the state’s policy of confiscating guns from people banned from owning them. 

“This bill is not anti-gun,” said Bob Blumenfield  (D-San Fernando Valley), “this bill is about enforcing current law.”

The state Department of Justice uses its Armed Prohibited Persons System to track people who legally purchase guns and later lose the right to keep them. 

People end up on a list if they commit a felony or show a history of violence, including domestic violence. People diagnosed with certain mental illnesses also lose their right to own guns.

There are currently 20,000 names are on the state’s list of prohibited gun owners. About 3,000 names are typically added each year.

“The [Dept. of Justice] wants to go after these guys,” Blumenfield told the Assembly. “They need the money to do it.”

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Maven's Morning Coffee: acrimonious debate in Sherman Oaks, new TV ad in mayor's race, adult film permits down

Los Angeles Mayor

AP

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti told a debate crowd Wednesday that neither was qualified to oversee the Department of Water and Power.

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 Thursday, April 18, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

It was an acrimonious debate in Sherman Oaks between mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, according to the Los Angeles Times. Greuel and Garcetti accused each other of being incapable to oversee the Department of Water and Power. The controller also brought up the councilman's ethics violations for accepting free tickets to events.

The Wendy Greuel campaign released its second television ad this week, featuring Sen. Barbara Boxer, Magic Johnson and former Mayor Richard Riordan, reports KPCC.

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Lobbyists assess success crafting immigration bill

The U.S. Senate’s  “gang of eight” Wednesday released its 844-page comprehensive immigration bill. 

There have been meetings and phone calls and piles of fact sheets from lobbyists — all directed at members of Congress who are shaping immigration reform. Democrat Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles is a negotiator on the House bill, which is still being shaped. He says you know when you’re "close to something really happening when all the special interests come out of the woodwork."

Now that the Senate has introduced its bill, much of the effort is focused on the House. Becerra wouldn’t name any particular special interests, but he says if you "look at the places where there are dollars involved, principally when it comes to workers coming in the future through these guest worker programs," you can get a sense of who’s starting to lobby for or against certain things.

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New Wendy Greuel ad features high-profile supporters

Five weeks out from the election, mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel released her second television ad Wednesday, this time touting her accomplishments in various government posts. 

The commercial is narrated by three famous voices (and faces): Sen. Barbara Boxer, former Mayor Richard Riordan and former NBA superstar Magic Johnson. 

“We’ve seen Wendy Greuel lead in a crisis ... We urge you to vote Wendy Greuel for Mayor ... We need Wendy Greuel," the three supporters say in the 30-second spot. 

They also reference her work to establish the LA's BEST after-school program while serving under Mayor Tom Bradley, bringing federal dollars to L.A. after the 1994 Northridge earthquake when she was with the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and her audits of city departments as the controller. 

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Bill to boost state funds for UC Riverside Medical School heads for critical vote

z-Steve/Flickr

The medical school at UC Riverside is seeking additional state funds to help its transition to a four-year program.

California’s Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would allocate an extra $15 million annually to the UC Riverside Medical School for the next decade.

The additional state funds in Senate Bill 21, along with local government funds and donations, would make it possible for UCR to expand its two-year medical program to a full four years.

The bill’s author, Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), said that's critical. 

“In 10 years, with the fast growth of our region’s population and with the current decline in the number of doctors, we’ll be down to less than a third of the providers our residents need,” Roth said.

Roth got the votes for SB21 this round, but he’ll have to clear a higher bar when the bill goes before the state’s purse holders — the  Senate Appropriations Committee.

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