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UPDATE 1-California lawmakers take anti-Trump stance as session ends

Sat 16th September, 2017 11:35am
(Adds detail) 
    By Sharon Bernstein 
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept 16 (Reuters) - California lawmakers 
voted to become a sanctuary state, tussled over hot-button 
environmental issues and urged other states to refuse to 
cooperate with President Donald Trump's Election Integrity 
Commission as their legislative year ended early on Saturday.    
   
    The majority Democratic lawmakers headed back to their 
districts having positioned the state in opposition to 
conservative policies proposed by the Republican-dominated U.S. 
Congress and President Donald Trump on immigration, the 
environment and other issues. 
    "It's a purposeful positioning," said political analyst 
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the University of 
Southern California. "We have a different political path and a 
different ideological path than the Republican-controlled 
Congress and White House have." 
    This year, California lawmakers have strengthened 
protections for undocumented immigrants, increased the gasoline 
tax and extended a program aimed at compelling businesses to 
reduce air pollution, all in opposition to federal policies. 
    Early on Saturday, lawmakers gave last-minute support to a 
bill barring local governments from forcing undocumented 
immigrants to spend extra time in jail just to allow enforcement 
officers to take them into their custody. 
    The bill, a compromise from a version that sought to 
severely restrict interactions between law enforcement and 
immigration officials, does allow communities to notify the 
federal government if they have arrested an undocumented 
immigrant with a felony record. It also allows enforcement 
agents access to local jails. 
    It came a day after a federal judge barred the U.S. Justice 
Department from denying public-safety grants to so-called 
sanctuary cities in retaliation for limiting cooperation with 
the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration. 
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1LW214 
    The bill goes now to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown for his 
signature.  
    Trump issued an executive order in January targeting funding 
for cities that offer illegal immigrants safe harbor by 
declining to use municipal resources to enforce federal 
immigration laws. A San Francisco judge blocked the order. 
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1HX23B 
    Illinois' Republican Governor signed a bill last month 
protecting people from being detained because they are the 
subject of an immigration-related warrant. 
     
    FOSSIL FUELS 
    Although California lawmakers have enacted several 
environmental protections this year, a measure aimed at weaning 
the state's power grid entirely off fossil fuels by 2045 died 
for the year after lawmakers adjourned without voting on it. 
    California's three investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas & 
Electric  PCG_pa.A , Southern California Edison  SCE_pe.A  and 
San Diego Gas & Electric  SDGE.UL , said the bill does not 
protect customers from the cost of switching from fossil fuels. 
    Assemblyman Chris Holden, who held the measure in his 
Utilities and Energy Committee, said he would consider it again 
when the legislature returns in January for the second half of 
their two-year session. 
    The legislature also passed a package of bills aimed at 
increasing the availability of affordable housing in the 
notoriously expensive state, and approved a plan for spending 
$1.5 billion in income from the state's cap-and-trade air 
quality program, which raises money by selling businesses 
limited rights to emit pollutants. 
    They passed a resolution condemning the election integrity 
commission, calling it an effort to suppress the voting rights 
of minorities and others, and voted to move up the state's 
presidential primary from June to March. 
 
 (Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Nichola Groom in 
Los Angeles and Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Andrew 
Bolton) 
 ((sharon.bernstein@thomsonreuters.com;)) 
 
Keywords: CALIFORNIA POLITICS/
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