Andrew Seng/ aseng@sacbee.com
A Citrus Heights man fishes for bass under an overcast sky at Willow Creek on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014.

California fishermen might need to swap out the content of their tackle boxes, depending on the progress of a proposed state regulation targeting what are considered chemically hazardous weights and sinkers.

Fishing tackle has landed on a list of potentially perilous product categories released by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control. In compiling the list, the state agency has launched what will likely be a years-long process that could lead to certain products being labeled, restricted, or banned outright.

Lead products that anglers cast into lakes and streams are particularly harmful to wildlife, according to a department draft document estimating that “hundreds of tons” of fishing products end up in the environment.

“Poisoning associated with the ingestion of lead fishing weights has been well documented in a variety of bird and animal species around the world, including swans, waterfowl, gulls, turtles, cranes, herons, pelicans, and others,” the document states.

Randy Pench/ rpench@sacbee.com
Workers drill a 1,000-foot test well in search of water for surrounding wine grapes near Chowchilla on March 4, 2008.

As this year’s legislative session drew to a close, groundwater regulation – and whether California would become the last state in the West to implement oversight for drilling and pumping wells – emerged as one of the major policy issues.

Driven by concerns over an increasing reliance on groundwater sources during the state’s severe drought, which has resulted in depleted aquifers, sinking land and damaged infrastructure, a package of bills establishing historic management of groundwater extraction flew through the Legislature.

Despite strong objections from Central Valley lawmakers and agricultural groups, who argued that it would create burdensome and costly requirements, Gov. Jerry Brown is now poised to sign the legislation during a ceremony in his office at the Capitol at 10 a.m.

Matt Weiser has an in-depth look at what’s to come.

Rich Pedroncelli/The Associated Press
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper presents boxes of petitions for his Six Californias initiative to the Sacramento County Registrat of Voters on July 15, 2014.

Even in failing to qualify for the ballot, the Six Californias initiative performed a service by exposing the state's economic divides, Dan says.

Have a question you’d like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

Rich Pedroncelli/The Associated Press
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper presents boxes of petitions for his Six Californias initiative to the Sacramento County Registrat of Voters on July 15, 2014.

Even in failing to qualify for the ballot, the Six Californias initiative performed a service by exposing the state's economic divides, Dan says.

Have a question you’d like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

Rich Pedroncelli/ AP
State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, thanks Gov. Jerry Brown for his comments about about him during a ceremony honoring Steinberg, who is leaving the Senate due to term limits, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation repealing from state law unenforceable provisions of Proposition 187, the 1994 initiative later overturned by the courts, to restrict public services to undocumented immigrants.

Senate Bill 396, by Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, is a largely symbolic measure. Coming 20 years after the passage of Prop. 187, the legislation will remove passages of law created by the ballot initiative from the state’s education and welfare codes.

The bill was one of 28 measures Brown announced signing Monday. He signed legislation to increase the prevalence of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, in California schools.

Senate Bill 1266, by Senate Republican leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, will require public schools to stock single-use EpiPens. Among proponents of the bill were the parents of Natalie Giorgi, who died from an allergic reaction after biting into a Rice Krispies treat at Camp Sacramento.

Nick Ut/ The Associated Press
California state Sen. Rod Wright appears at a Los Angeles courthouse on Sept. 3.

Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright, sentenced to jail Friday for being convicted of perjury and voting fraud, resigned from the California Senate on Monday but plans to stay on the payroll for one more week.

Wright sent Senate officials a resignation letter Monday stating that he’s stepping down effective Sept. 22.

“My Senate career is over. My legislative career is over,” Wright said in a phone call with The Sacramento Bee. “I don’t believe now that I did anything wrong. Certainly nothing criminal. But a jury saw differently, and we did not defend ourselves well enough to win that case. So I have to live with that.”

Wright said he plans to return to Sacramento to clean out his office before he begins his 90-day jail sentence on Oct. 31.

Monday, September 15 2014
State’s finest honored for valor
Hector Amezcua/hamezcua@sacbee.com
Hector Amezcua/hamezcua@sacbee.com
Shasta County Correctional Officer John Zufall, who risked his life in an attempt to save a fellow diver 172 feet down at Lake Shasta gets a hug from his 10-year-old daughter Jordan after he received the Medal of Valor from Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.

Fourteen law enforcement officers, including three from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department who were involved in a deadly shootout with cop killer Christopher Dorner last year, were honored by Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris on Monday.

Speaking at the Capitol, Brown said the Medal of Valor awards are about “recognizing the absolute human necessity of duty, of courage and of solidarity, so our community, from the bottom up, gets stronger and stronger.”

Others who were honored included officers who stopped shooting rampages in Santa Monica and at Los Angeles International Airport, another San Bernardino deputy who saved an adult and four children from a fire and a Shasta County cop who rescued a fellow diver during a 2013 operation at Lake Shasta.

Brian Baer/ Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles, at the state Capitol, Monday May 7, 2007.

Supporters of a Nov. 4 ballot initiative to increase medical malpractice awards blasted a Los Angeles County supervisor Monday for scheduling a board vote to oppose the measure after a group he founded accepted a $75,000 donation from opponents.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas called for the vote Tuesday, three months after the African American Voter Registration, Education and Participation Project received the contribution from No on Proposition 46.

Proponents of the measure cast the supervisor’s request as an “unethical, sneak attack on patient safety” that amounts to a conflict of interest. Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said Ridley-Thomas should withdraw his motion and recuse himself from any future board deliberations on the topic.

“There’s no precedent we know of for an elected official taking a contribution from a ballot initiative committee then using their official office to instigate a vote on behalf of that committee to side with the initiative sponsor,” Court said. By using his official position to ask the Board of Supervisors to oppose Proposition 46, Ridley-Thomas is “abusing (his) office and the trust placed in it by the voters of the Second District.”

J. Scott Applewhite/ The Associated Press
Already sour on Congress, California voters now having a dimming view of their own House representative as well.

As voters across the country have for years, Californians harbor an overwhelmingly negative view of Congress. But a new Field Poll reveals that voters have also begun to sour on their own House representatives, who were largely buttressed against Congress’ dismal approval ratings until now.

Three-quarters of California voters disapprove of Congress’ job performance, compared to only 13 percent who approve, according to the latest poll, a low mark that has stayed fairly consistent since early 2010.

However, voters’ opinions of their own representative have dropped dramatically this year, to 36 percent approval and 40 percent disapproval. That’s a sharp 15-point swing from April, when 44 percent of voters approved of their representative and 33 percent disapproved.

Sinking popularity could spell trouble for several California Democrats who are facing tough re-election battles this fall. Christopher Cadelago has more on those races in today’s paper.

Nick Ut/ The Associated Press
State Sen. Rod Wright was sentenced to 90 days in jail for lying about his residency.

While plenty of California legislators face questions over their residency, they are unlikely to be prosecuted like Sen. Rod Wright, Dan says.

Have a question you’d like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

Courtesy of Nossaman, LLP/
Former California state Sen. John Foran.

John Francis Foran, a fixture in San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento politics for more than 40 years, died Thursday night.

Foran, his family said, succumbed to bladder cancer in a Bay Area hospital. He was 84.

Foran was first elected to the state Assembly in 1962 after a stint as a deputy attorney general, and he later helped his high school friend Leo McCarthy also get elected to the Assembly. McCarthy later become speaker of the Assembly and lieutenant governor.

As young men in 1953, McCarthy and Foran, his leg in a cast, were kidnapped at gunpoint by Harold Miller, who had just shot a policeman near Foran’s San Francisco home.

David Siders/ The Sacramento Bee
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters before leaving an event in San Francisco on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.
Cathleen Allison/AP

Less than 24 hours after Nevada lawmakers approved a package of tax incentives to persuade Tesla Motors Inc. to build a battery factory in that state, California Gov. Jerry Brown, who has been criticized for failing to get the factory, said Friday that “Nevada’s tax breaks are California’s benefit” if they put electric cars on California roads.

“I just hope they can make the batteries come down 30 percent, because the only way we can really meet our electric car goals (is) if the batteries are made cheaper,” Brown told reporters after speaking in San Francisco. “So whether they’re made in Reno or wherever, the real challenge is the investment capital and the technological prowess to get our batteries cheaper so ordinary people can buy electric cars.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a package of incentives Thursday night estimated at more than $1.2 billion to bring a $5 billion Tesla “gigafactory” and about 6,500 employees to Nevada.

Brown’s Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race, Neel Kashkari, has criticized Brown for failing to land the deal.

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