Capitol Alert

Becerra’s new role fighting Trump provides plenty of fodder

Xavier Becerra is sworn in as California's first Latino attorney general with his wife Dr. Carolina Reyes in Sacramento, California on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
Xavier Becerra is sworn in as California's first Latino attorney general with his wife Dr. Carolina Reyes in Sacramento, California on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. hamezcua@sacbee.com

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra shouldn’t be short on talking points Monday at the Sacramento Press Club luncheon.

The former congressman’s ascension to a post as the state’s top lawyer coincided with Donald Trump’s rise to power in Washington. And so far, the new administration is keeping Becerra pretty busy.

Becerra also has to compile a record and develop a campaign to run for re-election almost immediately – the 2018 filing deadline is less than a year away. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a fellow Democrat, also plans to run for AG.

In office just five months, his recent work includes challenging the administration’s proposed travel restrictions, defending sanctuary cities and attempting to preserve the state’s energy-efficiency standards, among other actions.

Becerra has also been bulking up his team. He’s opened an office in Washington, D.C., and recently asked the Legislature for more money to fight Trump.

Gov. Jerry Brown acquiesced in a revised budget plan released Thursday, which includes $6 million and 31 positions to help Becerra “address new legal workload” related to “public safety, health care, the environment, consumer affairs and general constitutional issues.”

Becerra, a Sacramento native and Stanford graduate, said in a May news conference that he’s using the federal office, in part, to communicate more closely with his former House colleagues and the Trump administration.

“I think it’s extremely useful to have eyes and ears in Washington, D.C.,” Becerra said. “It’s helpful to continue to have that reach to my former colleagues, to continue to have someone who can, day to day, secure those types of contacts that we need.”

He’s also attempting to meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to discuss immigration enforcement and how they intend to treat ‘Dreamers,’ people brought to the country at a young age without documentation.

“There’s a very mixed message coming out of the administration and there are many people who are frightened,” Becerra said.

The luncheon begins at 11:45 at the State Building & Construction Trades Council on I Street.

WORTH REPEATING: “Can we talk about the stuff that is actually existential, or affects my everyday life?”

Doug Ose, former GOP member of the House from Sacramento, on President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey

PINK OUT: Organizers of a Planned Parenthood rally say nearly 1,000 supporters intend to flood the Capitol from across the state Monday to protect health care services for women. The goal of the lobby day is to ask legislators to increase Medi-Cal rates for reproductive health providers. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and a handful of legislators are slated to speak at a rally on the East Steps of the Capitol at 12:15 p.m.

MUST READ: Jim Miller breaks down how the governor’s proposed budget affects funding for services that matter to you.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Frogs get hopping at the Capitol.

Angela Hart of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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