SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown will propose his final state budget on Wednesday, setting out a spending blueprint that last year topped $125 billion and marking the first time the state’s coffers will be bolstered from sales taxes on marijuana.
Brown, a Democrat who is leaving office next January after four non-consecutive terms, has positioned the state as a bulwark against the conservative policies of Republican U.S. President Donald Trump.
The governor’s proposal is expected to reflect that by funding programs to combat climate change, shore up health care services and other efforts.
The 2018-2019 budget will include anticipated taxes on sales of marijuana, which became legal for recreational use Jan. 1, estimated to eventually reach $1 billion.
Continue reading Marijuana taxes and a surplus expected to boost California budget
A series of wildfires have broken out in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and continue to rage as of late in the day on Wednesday.
The three largest blazes — the Thomas Fire, the Creek Fire, and the Rye Fire — are burning around Ventura, Sylmar, and Santa Clarita, with no signs of stopping. The fires have already destroyed hundreds of homes, and prompted the evacuation of 200,000 people across region.
Because the flames have been fed by strong, dry Santa Ana winds of up to 80 mph, authorities have not been able to contain the fires.
Continue reading Horrifying video of the raging wildfires in Southern California show how rapidly destruction has spread
A gunman who killed four people on Tuesday in rural California fired into an elementary school but was stopped from entering by teachers, police say.
Staff at Rancho Tehama Reserve School went into lockdown, securing school doors after hearing nearby gunshots.
Authorities praised the teachers’ actions as “monumental” in saving “countless” lives.
Continue reading California shooting: Schoolteachers ‘saved’ children from gunman