California State Senate
The state Senate has rejected a bill that would have phased out the use of single-use plastic checkout bags in grocery, drug and convenience stores.
The measure is intended to restrict dispensaries that federal prosecutors say had grown out of control in California, where voters first supported legalizing cannabis to treat illness in 1996.
A State Senate bill to keep alcohol sales flowing until 4 a.m. was shot down on a four to six vote partly because of drunk driving concerns during morning commuter hours.
Senate Democrats are beginning the new two-year session Monday with a 27-vote supermajority — instead of 29 votes — because Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino and Juan Vargas of San Diego resigned their seats last week after being elected to Congress.
With supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, Democrats have a historic opportunity to push their agenda on issues such as tax reform, workers’ rights and changing the initiative process.
Democrats have gained a supermajority in the state Assembly, giving California’s majority party complete dominance of state politics and the ability to raise taxes unilaterally if they choose.
Democrats gained a two-thirds majority in the California Senate following Tuesday’s election, bringing them close to the ability to pass tax increases without the need for Republican votes.
A majority voted “yes” on Proposition 40 on Tuesday after the original challengers dropped their opposition to the new political boundaries.
Playgrounds at fast-food restaurants will have to meet strict cleaning standards if a bill approved by the Senate becomes law.
The State Senate has convened a panel to consider whether nonprofit hospitals in California provide enough charity care to deserve the tax-exempt status that grants them huge tax breaks and subsidies.