Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council OKs third ballot measure on medical marijuana

A third measure regulating medical marijuana clinics will appear on the May ballot thanks to a vote of the Los Angeles City Council.
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It’s official: a third medical marijuana measure is headed to the City of L.A.'s May ballot.

The proposal from L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz would limit the operation of storefront clinics to those stores that opened prior to the city’s marijuana moratorium in September of 2007. It would increase the taxes paid by clinic owners, from $50 per $1,000 of gross receipts to $60, and place restrictions on operating near schools and libraries.

The measure is backed by a coalition made up of Americans for Safe Access and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. That group has its own measure on the May 21 ballot. However, organizers hope voters will see the City Hall proposal as something of a compromise. A third measure on the ballot, from Angelenos for Safe Access, would increase the tax on shops but not limit the number that can operate in the city.


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California House members stake out positions on immigration reform

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., argued on behalf of state agriculture interests during Tuesday's immigration reform hearing before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
AP / Alex Brandon

A bipartisan group of U.S.  House members has been meeting to work out an immigration reform bill both sides can support. Exactly what’s in that plan is still up in the air. But the first House immigration hearing makes it clear where both sides agree…and where they do not.

The line in the sand for Democrats is citizenship, not legalization — what they see as second class status — for the estimated 11 million people who illegally reside in the United States.

Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of San Jose is a member of the bipartisan group looking for compromise.  "With the exception of slavery and the Chinese exclusion act," she said,  our laws have never barred persons from becoming citizens. "And we should not start now."

But Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee nearly unanimously say legalization should be enough. Several pointed to belief in the rule of law as the opposite of granting citizenship to people who broke the law to get here. GOP Representative Blake Farenthold of Texas worried what message it would send to the next wave of immigrants who want to illegally cross the border. Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus called citizenship the "toxic" issue that could derail the prospects of passing an immigration reform bill.


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LA Mayoral Race 2013: Wendy Greuel wants to increase LAPD, LAFD ranks without new taxes (updated)

Controller Wendy Greuel says that as mayor, she will increase the size of the LAPD to 12,000 officers and LAFD to 4,000 firefighters and paramedics.
Alice Walton/KPCC

The unions that represent police officers and firefighters endorsed Wendy Greuel for L.A. mayor and on Tuesday, she announced a plan to increase their ranks by the year 2020.

Standing outside the headquarters of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Greuel pledged to increase the Los Angeles Police Department’s ranks to 12,000 officers by 2020. LAPD crossed the 10,000 cops threshold last month when it folded General Services officers into the department. The Greuel campaign also called for hiring about 1,000 paramedics and firefighters to get the Fire Department to 4,000 personnel.

“L.A.’s police officers and firefighters understand that keeping our city safe isn’t just about getting tough on crime. It’s about giving our first responders the resources and technologies they deserve,” Greuel said.


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Maven's Morning Coffee: the legacy of Roger Mahony, a challenger to Sheriff Baca, a sidewalk plan in the San Fernando Valley

Which Way, LA? looks at the legacy of Cardinal Roger Mahony now that he has been stripped of his public duties.
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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, Feb. 5 and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Texas Gov. Rick Perry is voicing ads in California, urging businesses to move to Texas, reports KPCC. California Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed the ads as a "few tricks," telling Capitol Alert, ""Of course they're coming here. So are the British coming here, so are the French, so are the Russians, so are the Chinese. Everybody with half a brain is coming to California. So Texas, come on over!"

Which Way, LA? looks at the legacy of Cardinal Roger Mahony.


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Audit: General Services spent $800K on equipment it rarely used

Controller Wendy Greuel released an audit Monday that shows the General Services Department spent more than $800,000 on equipment that it didn't use.
Rebecca Hill/KPCC

Officials with the General Services Department spent more than $800,000 on two pieces of equipment that, once purchased, were rarely used, according to an audit released Monday.

City Controller Wendy Greuel (who is also a mayoral candidate) found GSD spent $518,016 on a mobile lab in 2008. The lab should have been used to test materials on city job sites. Instead, it was driven 402 miles in 5 years – though the warranty covered it for 36,000 miles.

That same year, the department bought a Geoprobe Drill Rig for $329,231 to test soil samples in real time. It went unused for the first 18 months the city owned it, and has only been used sporadically since then, according to the audit.

“It is inexcusable that the Department of General Services spent nearly $850,000 on specialized equipment without a plan to utilize it,” Greuel said in a statement. “The department must take immediate steps to prevent this kind of failure in the future.”


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