Sen. Joel Anderson is fired up about the slate of gun-control measures before the Legislature this session.
Anderson is vice chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, which heard several measures Tuesday that would tighten gun regulations, including bills that would ban large-capacity magazine sales, expand the definition of assault weapons, limit ammunition sales, require reporting of lost or stolen guns, require identifying info on assembled weapons and one that would establish a firearms research center.
Anderson voted no on each of them – but they all passed out of committee.
In an interview, Anderson spoke out at length against the magazine bill in particular, and Democrats’ approach to gun control in general.
He said that limiting the number of rounds someone can fire would ultimately limit “the ability of people to protect themselves in their homes.”
In rural Alpine, where Anderson lives, “the sheriffs do a terrific job, but it may take them 10, 15 minutes (to arrive), and then what happens?” he said.
The bill’s author, Sen. Lori Hancock, says the measure would help prevent mass shootings like those in San Bernardino and Aurora, Colo.
“High-capacity magazines are military designed devices, designed for one purpose only — to allow a shooter to fire a large number of bullets in a short period of time. They are used to fuel the firepower in mass shootings. High-capacity magazines have no place in civil society,” she said in a statement after the hearing.
Anderson offered a big-picture critique of gun measures that’s become standard for Republicans: Criminals will commit crimes no matter how many laws exist.
“We’re not stopping the real problem, we’re just giving people a placebo and pretending that we’re addressing the problem in a meaningful way,” he said.
Still, Anderson said testimony on gun issues tends to get “very, very emotional” and that it’s important to give all the voices in the debate “as many opportunities as we can to weigh in.”
CalMatters did a good analysis late last year of why gun-control measures can be a heavy lift even in deep-blue California:
Yet even in a state as blue as California, Democrats in the Capitol can defy expectations when it comes to guns. Though many gun-control bills have broad support, some have been vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. Others fall flat in a Legislature where some Democrats – particularly those from inland California – are sensitive to gun owners and their grassroots lobbying campaigns.
Atkins Takes Another Crack at Low-Income Housing Bill
Assemblywoman Toni Atkins has another plan to spend more money on low-income housing.
The former Assembly speaker has introduced a bill to spend some of the money California saved by ending its tax-funded redevelopment program on low-income housing. The money would otherwise go to the state’s general fund.
She’s not the only person with a plan for that money. Three Democrats on San Diego’s City Council have proposed taking some of the money the city is saving from the end of the program and spending it on projects that might revitalize blighted areas.
Atkins’ push comes after she last year failed to create a new, long-term way for the state to fund the construction of more low-income homes. Her bill last year would have charged a fee on property transfers to create the new funding source, but it died in the state legislature.
The new plan, AB-2734, would make half of the state’s savings from the end of redevelopment available to low-income housing. That money would then be split evenly between the state, to be spent on its various housing programs, and agencies across the state that build low-income housing on behalf of cities.
The amount split between the state and local agencies each year would be capped at $1 billion.
It’s unclear at this point whether the bill will pick up political support among the Democratic caucus. It’s making its way through Assembly committees now. It’s the support ofvarious organizations and agencies, including the statewide building industry group and the San Diego Housing Federation, a group that advocates for local low-income housing developers.
Atkins has said many times that creating long-term funding sources for low-income housing is her top priority.
That makes this proposal to shift redevelopment savings to low-income housing programs among her top priorities as she runs for the State Senate seat that Sen. Marty Block is vacating.
Melton: I’m the ‘Crossover Candidate’ in the 78th
Kevin Melton, a Republican who’s running for the 78th Assembly District being vacated by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, appeared on the latest San Diego Decides podcast to talk about his candidacy and why he doesn’t consider himself an underdog even though his opponent, Democrat Todd Gloria, is well-known, well-funded and has a long list of endorsements.
Melton said that he, too, has some “major” endorsements secured from four people in the city but that he can’t reveal who they are for now. Some of his endorsements, like from County Supervisor Bill Horn and Assemblyman Brian Jones, aren’t secret.
“In the past, Republicans have not had a crossover candidate such as myself. I’m able to relate with all sides and all people,” Melton said.
Lori Saldaña, who’s running for mayor, also discussed her surprise Assembly win in 2004 against two other Democrats considered at the time to be far more likely to win. (Saldaña has since left the party.)
“People said it was a circular firing squad of Democrats in that primary and I ducked,” she said.
Golden State News
• Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is parting ways with many state Democrats, including Gov. Jerry Brown, when it comes to education. He told CALmatters this week that the state should do more to hold local schools accountable and do more to close the performance gap between African Americans and Latinos and other groups of students.
Among his statements in his CALmatters interview:
“I hear all the time, ‘Well, that’s just the way it is and that’s the way it’s always been,’ ” said Villaraigosa, who was kicked out of a Catholic high school and credits public schools for a second chance. “But that’s just not true. When you hear people make excuses and say, ‘Oh these kids are poor, their parents are English-language learners, they’re foster kids, their parents haven’t gone to college,’ your kind of describing the whole lot of us. I can read and write.”
• This great investigation reveals the many ways an online charter school is failing California students and taxpayers. (Mercury-News)
• An analysis of the impact of the Affordable Care Act shows that the law has had outsize impact in California, especially among minorities. (New York Times)
• Oops: Many folks register for the American Independent Party thinking it means they’re an independent voter. The party is actually ultra conservative. (L.A. Times)
“It’s very safe for corgis.”
– California Government Operations Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer on the renovated Governor’s Mansion, which Gov. Jerry Brown plans to move into with his wife, and corgis Sutter and Colusa Brown.