In the News

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.

September 11, 2017

By Chris Megerian

California will use cap-and-trade revenue for a massive investment in clean trucks, buses, cars and other vehicles, according to details of an agreement obtained by The Times on Monday evening.

The $1.5-billion spending plan comes less than two months after lawmakers extended the state’s cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to emit greenhouse gases, until 2030.

August 29, 2017

By Chris Megerian

A cadre of Democratic state senators are pushing to spend nearly $1 billion over the next year to replace diesel trucks, buses and other vehicles with cleaner versions.

A chunk of the money would come from California's cap-and-trade program, which lawmakers agreed to extend last month. The program requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases, and the state can use the revenue on initiatives that further reduce emissions.

August 27, 2017

By Frank Bruni

There’s no such thing as L.G.B.T. life in America, a country even more divided on this front than on others. There’s L.G.B.T. life in a group of essentially progressive places like New York, Maryland, Oregon and California, which bans government-funded travel to states it deems unduly discriminatory. Then there is L.G.B.T. life on that blacklist, which includes Texas, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota.

August 25, 2017

By Matt Hoffman

California lawmakers were in Hillcrest on Friday at the San Diego LGBT Center drumming up support for the Transgender Work Opportunity Act.

Introduced by State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, the proposed legislation is designed to do three things:

–Include gender identity and sexual orientation training for supervisors.

–Require businesses to post transgender worker’s rights.

–Enroll transgender workers in job training programs.

August 24, 2017

By Katy Murphy

SACRAMENTO — After the swift rise and sudden crash of California’s ambitious single-payer legislation, complete with melodramatic fallout, universal health care is back — not on the floor, but on the table.

Senator Ricardo Lara said the select committee was key to “getting SB 562 back on track for debate in the Assembly.”

“The conversations I have had with my friend Speaker Anthony Rendon show he is committed to healthcare for all,” Lara said, “and the Select Committee is a tangible product of that commitment.”

July 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Five years ago, the nation's high court banned mandatory life-without-parole sentences for those under 18 convicted of murder. Last year, the court said the ruling was retroactive for the more than 2,000 offenders serving such sentences nationwide, and that all but the rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects "permanent incorrigibility" should have a chance at parole one day.

July 31, 2017

By Taryn Luna

The letter begins with “Dear Corrupt Mexican” and ends with “hurry up and die.” It’s signed “White Power.”

The words were typed on a note card and sent to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s Capitol office earlier this year. His staff members put the letter in a file now full of racist and threatening mail in the receptionist’s desk.

Senator Ricardo Lara expects disagreements over his policy perspectives. He believes the behavior is an attempt to intimidate him from doing his work.

June 20, 2017

By Scott Shafer

South Bay Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) and Los Angeles Sen. Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) were in a mischievous mood when they stopped by KQED’s Sacramento bureau recently to talk about their paths to the State Legislature as openly gay men.

Low is chair of the Legislature’s LGBT caucus and Lara is vice chair....

June 17, 2017

By Jazmine Ulloa

California took another major step this week to protect immigrants, preventing detention centers from adding more beds and pledging to spend $1 million to make sure people have proper access to food, medical care and lawyers.

Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra announced that he would use the resources to launch a formal review to ensure all immigrants civilly detained in California are treated humanely and that their rights are respected.