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December 3, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Putting that addition on your house is about to get more expensive. On Jan. 1, the state will require buyers of lumber and "engineered" wood products to pay a 1% assessment on the price of such building materials. Retailers and contractors will be required to collect the fee from customers and pass the money, estimated to raise $35 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year, to the state Board of Equalization. The assessment, passed into law as part of the current state budget act, is to fund programs in various state agencies charged with regulating timber harvests and preventing and fighting forest fires.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - "Too white, too right and too uptight," says a veteran political consultant. "That's why the Republican Party can't come back in California. " Strategist David Townsend is a Democrat, so that's the sort of comment you would expect from the likes of him. But there were top Republicans at the party's state convention in Sacramento over the weekend making similar observations, in softer tones and absent the negativity. They realize that to survive, the California GOP must broaden its ethnic and ideological bases and be less rigid on social issues.
WORLD
August 23, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
ECATEPEC, Mexico - At 14, Jessica Lucero had already lived a hard life. A stint in rehab, dropping out of school, making her way, day in, day out, in a terribly violent, desperately poor neighborhood. But things were looking up. She had stayed clean and was planning to resume studies. She dreamed of becoming a forensic pathologist. Then, in June, Jessica was raped by a man she later identified as a notorious neighbor, a known drug pusher. Jessica's reaction was to do something that few people twice her age have ever dared.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2013 | By Evan Halper
SACRAMENTO -- Here is how one attorney's website explains California code section 11361.5 to pot smokers: “When was the last time that you read about the law and said, 'that's awesome?'” What might be awesome to that particular group is that after two years it wipes clean any record they have of being arrested, charged and convicted for the position or transport of marijuana in California, provided the amount is less than 28.5 grams and they keep their record clean in the meantime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - With the state's finances in the black and a probable reelection bid to come, Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address Wednesday is expected to hew to a familiar theme: Stay the course. As with the budget blueprint that Brown introduced recently, his address to a joint session of the Legislature is likely to highlight the state's improving financial health and his accomplishments of the last three years. "That's his reelection message: progress," predicted Bill Whalen, a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution who was a speechwriter for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
Former state Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg can't get enough of Sacramento. Eleven years after he left the Assembly, Hertzberg said Wednesday that he has decided to run for a state Senate seat being vacated in 2014  by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) because of term limits. Hertzberg, a Democrat from the San Fernando Valley who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, has stayed active in state policy issues.  He has worked with groups including California Forward and the Think Long Committee for California to improve state government, supporting changes including open primary elections and allowing the budget to be approved by majority vote rather than a two-thirds tally.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2013 | By Anthony York
With the field in the Los Angeles mayor's race now whittled down to two, more state legislators from Southern California are taking sides. Councilman Eric Garcetti announced a trio of endorsements Monday from state Sens. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) as well as former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. “These three legislative leaders will be powerful voices in this election and will help me build support in neighborhoods throughout our city," Garcetti said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
State Controller John Chiang will conduct an investigation into the administrative and internal controls of scandal-battered Cudahy after receiving several requests from city leaders. “This is a significant milestone for the city,” Mayor Jack Guerrero said. “I'm encouraged by the news.” For several months, Guerrero and the vice-mayor made multiple requests to state officials for an audit after a federal bribery investigation last June revealed widespread corruption at City Hall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO--Secretary of State candidate Dan Schnur, denouncing lawmakers' response to the recent series of ethics scandals in the state Senate as "diffident and lackadaisical," cast his bid to be the state's top elections official as a campaign to be "California's reformer-in-chief. "  Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Schnur said "there has been almost no meaningful effort on the part of the state's political leaders to clean up the Capitol's culture of corruption. " "If you add up all the reforms that have been proposed over the last several weeks, they end up comprising almost a complete fig leaf," he added.
WORLD
December 16, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's sweeping energy reform cleared its final legal hurdle Monday when San Luis Potosi became the 17th state legislature to give rapid-fire approval to constitutional changes that will allow foreign investment into what has been a 75-year-old state monopoly. The ambitious energy bill, opening up Mexico's promising but poorly performing oil and gas industry, was approved solidly in both houses of Congress last week, amid bitter opposition by leftist parties.
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