In the News

January 25, 2018

By Ben Bradford

California state Senators rushed from the State of the State address to adopt a new rule—and prevent the return of a lawmaker accused of sexual harassment.

The rule allows the five-member Rules Committee, currently led by Democratic state Senate leader Kevin De León, to extend a Senator’s leave of absence, when they’ve voluntarily taken one.

Authors of legislation usually pitch why it’s necessary, but de León introduced the resolution this way.

“I think it’s pretty self-explanatory,” said de León.

January 18, 2018

By Sarah Jones

David and Louise Turpin shackled their 13 children and starved them in filthy conditions for years, and nobody knew it until Sunday. They hid in “plain sight,” we’re told. Neighbors in Perris, California, informed The Los Angeles Times that the family seemed peculiar. According to some, they only emerged at night. Another said he could see the children circling for hours in place in front of a window.

January 17, 2018

By Michael Balsamo and Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press

City officials couldn't find any records that the fire marshal conducted required annual inspections at a California home that doubled as a private school where authorities say 13 malnourished siblings were kept captive in filthy conditions by their parents.

On Wednesday, a state lawmaker for the area said he's considering introducing legislation requiring state officials to conduct at least annual walkthroughs of schools.

January 04, 2018

By Lemor Abrams

Sexual harassment is the hot topic at the California Capitol on the second day back for lawmakers.

On their first day back, Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Los Angeles) announced he’s taking a voluntary leave of absence on Wednesday as an investigation into his behavior continues.

Now, questions are swirling around one of his colleagues accused of inappropriately hugging his coworkers: state Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-San Fernando Valley).

Some lawmakers say they want him to go too.

April 19, 2017

California is home to one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, and it is no secret that many Californians are unable to afford to rent or own a home. One-third of renters in California spend more than half their income on housing; California has 22 percent of the country’s homeless population while only 12 percent of its total population; and homeownership rates are at their lowest since the 1940s.

Access to housing is a basic human need, and ensuring Californians have access to an affordable place to live is critical to every Californian’s quality of life. That’s why I have authored Senate Bill 540, which streamlines California’s Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to spur housing construction in areas identified by cities and counties as Workforce Housing Zones.

Currently, housing construction projects are subject to individual environmental reviews even if they would be undertaken in the same underlying zone. This can result in costly project delays and serve as a disincentive to housing construction.

March 17, 2017

With a road-repair funding plan lagging in support among Democratic lawmakers, the Brown administration is stepping up pressure on them to reach a deal before the Legislature goes on spring break April 6.

A bill that would raise the gas tax and vehicle fees to provide $5.5 billion annually to fix crumbling roads and improve mass transit needs a two-thirds vote, which would require all Democratic senators to support it given that the Republicans oppose the tax increases.

But two Democrats — Sens. Richard Roth of Riverside and Henry Stern of Woodland Hills — did not vote for the bill, Senate Bill 1, in committee, and a third, Sen. Steve Glazer of Concord, indicated Friday that he is not yet on board.

March 16, 2017

Getting a bill passed to restore funding that four recently incorporated Riverside County cities lost in a 2011 state budget maneuver has proven to be a task of Sisyphean proportion.

Repeatedly, area legislators have pushed bills through the state legislature that would return the approximately $16 million per year taken from Jurupa Valley, Eastvale, Menifee and Wildomar -- only to see them vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown despite bipartisan support.

State Sen. Richard Roth, however, remains undaunted. The Riverside Democrat wrote SB 37, which, like SB 817 last year and SB 25 the year before, seeks to reverse the losses the four cities sustained when the state stripped their motor vehicle license fee revenue.

"This is an issue I have been fighting for since before I was elected to the state Senate and one I will continue to fight for until we have secured a victory," Roth said in written statement.

January 13, 2017

Officials say a fleet of new refueling tankers headed for Travis Air Force Base near Fresno will not affect March Air Reserve Base’s prospects of adding such planes to its current complement of tankers.

March has 14 KC-135 tankers assigned to its base. The planes were built in the early 1960s. They are being replaced by a new generation tanker, the KC-46A Pegasus. The planes are currently in production, with 179 expected to be rolled out in the next 15 years.

Competition for the new planes has been stiff. March missed getting any of the planes in the first round of allocations for reserve bases in 2015. It’s hoping to make the list in the next round.

Base supporters believe that if March were to secure some of the new tankers, it could protect the base from possible military downsizing in the future.

December 12, 2016

It’s a new legislative session in Sacramento, which means it’s time for state Sen. Richard Roth’s annual quest to help four Riverside County cities.

Once again, Roth, D-Riverside, has filed a bill to restore vehicle license fee funding to Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Wildomar and Menifee. The four relatively new cities lost that money 2011, when state lawmakers diverted the fees in the face a budget shortfall.

More than once, similar bills offered by Roth have sailed through the Legislature, only to be vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who cities the need to keep money in the state’s general fund.

A previous state budget forgave a Riverside County fire debt to provide financial relief for the four cities. But local officials still want their vehicle license fees, and Roth is determined to deliver.

August 31, 2016

BY JEFF HORSEMAN / STAFF WRITER

A bill by state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, that would restore vehicle license fees to the cities of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar has been forwarded to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The state Senate sent the bill to the governor Wednesday, Aug. 31, after approving it on a 39-0 vote, Roth stated in a news release. Last week, it passed the Assembly on a 77-0 vote.

The cities have been trying to get the funding restored after legislators reallocated the fees from newly incorporated cities during a 2011 budget crunch. Brown has vetoed previous bills by Roth attempting to aid the cities.