In the News

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.

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.”