In the News

February 21, 2018

By Gary Warth

An assembly bill that would provide about $1.5 billion for housing and services for homeless people was introduced Wednesday in a Sacramento ceremony that included a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers and 11 California mayors, including Kevin Faulconer.

Assembly Bill 3151, authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, calls for 25 percent of the state’s $6.1 billion budget surplus to address homelessness. Municipalities would get money as a matching fund to what they spend locally on existing or new programs.

February 02, 2018


A Los Angeles-area lawmaker said Friday it is time for the state to step in, after cities have dragged their feet on efforts to legalize and regulate street-vending activity.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said his bill, SB 946, was prompted by slow action by local cities, including Los Angeles. Speaking during a news conference on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, Lara said the city is now “moving in the right direction” toward legalizing vending.

February 02, 2018


Los Angeles lawmakers have wrestled for years with how to legalize and regulate the vendors who sell food and goods on the city's sidewalks.

Now a state legislator is championing a bill that could take some of those decisions out of the city's hands. Under a proposal from Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), California cities would not be able to regulate or ban vendors unless they have a licensing system that meets several requirements.

January 04, 2018

By Kimberly Veklerov

The California insurance commissioner and a state legislator running to replace him have released competing proposals for how to solve the problem of insurance availability and affordability in fire-prone developments abutting wildland.

The two plans would add regulations to the industry in an effort to help homeowners keep their residential insurance policies or find new ones at low rates. They come after a record wildfire season destroyed or damaged more than 20,000 homes and buildings across the state.

December 20, 2017

By Lemor Abrams

This is going to be a problem that’s going to continue to persist,” said Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).

Lara says he’s heard from hundreds of homeowners when their insurance companies bail. Now he’s proposing legislation that bans those insurers from denying coverage in disaster areas.

Click here to read more.

December 20, 2017


As one of California's largest wildfires in modern history stretches into its third week, state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has introduced legislation to protect residents from canceled insurance policies.

Lara announced the Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act on Wednesday morning. The senator said he hopes that, after going through the legislative process, his proposal could become law by 2019.

December 04, 2017

By Nathanael Johnson

For years, environmental justice advocates have been saying that it’s time to shift the focus of the environmental movement from beautiful landscapes and big animals to the people choking on black carbon or poisoned by lead in their water.

Now, some of those people who grew up in dumping grounds have come into power and are shaping politics on the world stage. And when California sent a delegation to the U.N. climate conference in Bonn a few weeks ago, it was packed with members of the movement, including state Senator Ricardo Lara.

December 01, 2017

By Joanna Nix 

Peruse the ingredients list of your air freshener, floor polish, or multi-surface cleaner, and you’ll likely come across an “f” word: fragrance. You know what it means—whatever the manufacturer added to make your house smell nice—but what does it stand for?

November 09, 2017

By Oliver Milman and Jonathan Watts

Deep schisms in the US over climate change are on show at the UN climate talks in Bonn—where two sharply different visions of America’s role in addressing dangerous global warming have been put forward to the world.

Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement has created a vacuum into which dozens of state, city and business leaders have leapt, with the aim of convincing other countries at the international summit that the administration is out of kilter with the American people.

September 11, 2017

By Adam Ashton

Schools and state-owned buildings would be off-limits to federal immigration agents under a California bill that would force officers to get warrants before they visit public sites for surveillance or arrests.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, submitted the bill last week, three days after President Donald Trump announced that he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects some young immigrants from deportation. He plans to move it forward in January, after the end of the current legislative session.