Brown’s climate change agenda hits Capitol roadblock

Electric CarsIt’s been a hectic and eventful week at the State Capitol.

With lawmakers facing a deadline tomorrow to pass bills in the current legislative session, a slew of important measures have been considered, some making it to the governor, and others getting shot down.

One of the biggest stories to come out of the session is the setback delivered to a key component of Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious climate change agenda.

Brown and Democratic leaders could not overcome fierce opposition campaign by the oil and gas industry and they’ve grudgingly agreed to scale back a proposal to cut the state’s petroleum use in half.

jerry-brown-Brown was defiant in defeat. He said California will continue to lead the fight in curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The only thing different is my zeal has been intensified to a maximum degree,” Brown said. “And nothing, nothing is going to stop this state from moving forward on our low carbon fuel standard and our cap and trade and our electric vehicle mandate and all the rest.”

Meanwhile, Brown and Democratic leaders are facing the prospect of another setback on road repairs. The current special session of the legislature was called in part to focus on transportation issues. But with just two days left, no deal has been struck. And Gov. Brown is facing stiff resistance from Republicans on his proposal to raise vehicles fees and gas and diesel taxes to pay for the much-needed fix.

There’s been lots of other action as well:

•The Assembly passed a “right to life” bill that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients. The measure now goes back to the Senate, which approved an earlier version. Gov. Brown hasn’t said if he will sign the bill.

Protest over Zimmerman verdict: Documenting•Lawmakers approved a pair of bills aimed at curbing police abuses. One would tackle racial profiling by requiring agencies to keep records of the race and ethnicity of the people they stop. The other requires police to turn in yearly reports on use-of-force incidents that result in injuries or death.

•Gov. Brown vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for drones to fly lower than 350 feet above private property. Supporters said the bill would keep drone cameras from peeping into people’s windows. But it was opposed by news organizations, who said it could interfere with their reporting.

•And Gov. Brown signed a bill that expands so-called “revenge porn” enforcement to include the posting of another person’s sexually explicit selfies.