Around The Capitol

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It's noon. It's time for a break. Here's what people are reading on today:

State GOP Puts $200,000 Into Gas Tax Repeal Campaign As Study Indicates Economic Benefits From Road Repairs
Patrick McGreevy @
The California Republican Party has donated $200,000 to an initiative drive aimed at repealing recent increases to the state gas tax and vehicle fees while the campaign is still struggling to collect enough signatures to qualify a measure for the November ballot. The infusion of cash to the group...

Spend Gas Tax Money Asap, New Caltrans Leader Says Of Directive From Gov. Jerry Brown | The Sacramento Bee
Tony Bizjak And Adam Ashton @
By Tony Bizjak And Adam Ashton

Polls Show Most Florida Voters Spurn Many Nra-backed Policies Of Gop-led Legislature

The Quinnipiac University poll began a week after 17 people were fatally shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and was finished just as state legislators approved similar House and Senate bills that called for a three-day wait and 21-year-old age limit for long gun purchases as well as programs to arm teachers and provide $400 million in spending to harden schools from attack and provide more mental health care.

California Tax Board Rejects 4-cent Increase In Gas Taxes | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
She was joined by Democrat Jerome Horton, who said the administration did not make a compelling case.

Feinstein Shakes With Glee After Trump Suggests Adding Assault Weapons Ban To Background Check Bill
Sarah D. Wire @
Sen. Dianne Feinstein shook with glee on Wednesday after President Trump suggested an assault weapons ban should be included in a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales.

California Bill Raises Age Limit To Buy Guns | The Sacramento Bee
Taryn Luna @
Portantino's limit on gun purchases in a one month period makes exceptions for firearm collectors, law enforcement, correctional facilities, private security companies, film companies or hunters with active licenses issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Senate Intelligence Leaders Say House G.O.P. Leaked a Senatorâ

In an extraordinary confrontation, the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee told the House speaker that his troops had leaked a senator’s texts with a Russia-connected lawyer.

In Public Spat, Trump Taunts Sessions, Ag Doesn't Keep Quiet | The Sacramento Bee
Harshly criticized yet again by his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday abandoned his usual stony silence and pushed back against President Donald Trump for saying Sessions' response to Republican complaints about the FBI was "disgraceful."

California Loosens Rules For Driverless Cars, Clearing The Way For Robot Taxis
Russ Mitchell @
Sometime this spring, self-driving test cars will begin appearing on California highways, with no people inside, the result of new regulations issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles this week.

Common Human Bacteria Could Protect Against Skin Cancers, Researchers Say - The San Diego Union-tribune
Bradley J. Fikes @
Bacteria commonly present on human skin secretes a substance that may help protect against skin cancer, UC San Diego scientists have found.

Coastal Commission's Preposterous Antics Go To Court, And Taxpayers Foot The Bill
Steve Lopez @
Everywhere I looked Tuesday in a downtown San Diego courthouse, I saw a former California Coastal commissioner whose conduct is under scrutiny.

Sacramento Police To Spend $2.7 Million On This Speedy New Helicopter | The Sacramento Bee
Nashelly Chavez @
Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

Why Applegate Is A Problem For Democrats In Race For Congress - The San Diego Union-tribune
Michael Smolens @

UC System's Global Rankings Slip Amid Funding Cuts, International Competition
Teresa Watanabe @
The University of California has slipped in global rankings across subject areas in a new survey, raising concerns that funding woes and growing international competition could begin to erode the nation's top public research university.

N.R.A. Logo? No. #MeToo Shirt? Maybe. Justices Weigh Political Apparel at Polls.

A challenge to a Minnesota law barring political clothing at polling places left the Supreme Court considering how to balance free speech rights with civility at the voting booth.

Strange Bedfellow Politics Of 2018 :: Fox&hounds
ron de Arakal @

Could Sacramento Host The 2030 Olympic Hockey And Speed Skating Finals? | The Sacramento Bee
Ed Fletcher @
He said the IOC is now encouraging areas to take a regional approach, rather than adding costs by building all new venues.

Spacex's Elon Musk Dares To Go Where Others Failed With Space-based Web
Todd Shields, Dana Hull, Julie Johnsson @
Billions of dollars have vanished in the quest to provide internet service from low-earth orbit. Globalstar Inc. and Iridium Communications Inc. crashed into bankruptcy but are still at it, while another effort folded despite backing from Bill Gates, Boeing Co. and others.

Democrat David Baria Enters Senate Race In Mississippi - Politico

David Baria, the state house minority leader, qualified for the ballot on Wednesday, after submitting the necessary paperwork. | Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo