California Governor Jerry Brown has hit a bit of a rough patch.

The first bump: A tense visit from groups who usually have the support of progressives like Brown.

Occupiers from Black Lives Matter and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) descended upon California’s capitol Wednesday by the hundreds, demanding state legislators pass a new bill on racial profiling, and calling on Governor Jerry Brown to sign it.

Senate Floor Analysis notes that the bill, AB 952, would require peace officers conducting “stops” to begin reporting the “perceived race or ethnicity, gender, and approximate age of the person stopped.”

One of the chants used by the activists even drew a comparison to ancient Egyptian tyrants: “This is what a Pharaoh looks like!”

The second bump occurred while promoting his newest proposal for road repair. After contending with the latest flavor of progressive nuttiness, Brown was poised to market a plan featuring the implementation of new taxes:

Gov. Jerry Brown has ramped up his efforts to reach a deal on funding road repairs, dispatching a top administration official to present a new proposal to Republican leaders on Thursday morning..

The proposal would provide $3.6 billion annually for transportation and includes a new $65 fee for vehicle owners, an 11-cent increase in the diesel tax and a 6-cent hike to the gas tax.

However, it appears the state’s Republican representatives may have found their missing backbones:

Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto said the plan rightly includes many of the reforms her party has called for, including improved hiring at Caltrans to eliminate waste. But, she added, the GOP doesn’t agree with “more than doubling the vehicle registration fees and raising the price of fuel on all Californians.”

“Funds exist to fix our roads,” Olsen said. “It’s up to the majority party to recognize this.”

Republican support is critical, because two-thirds approval is required for raising taxes. Shockingly, the state’s Republican representatives have resisted efforts to generate more funding with taxes or fees…so far.

It is good to see that Sacramento hasn’t completely lost its collective mind. Despite the seemingly rosy employment news being touted, analysts now recognize the prevalence of “labor underutilization,” which means that the California employment situation is far weaker than has been reported. Raising taxes on struggling citizens seems unwise.

Given all the turbulence, perhaps it is understandable that another of Brown’s proposals focuses on something slightly more soothing. Brown’s team is trying to end nearly two decades of clashing interpretations and court battles over the state’s medical marijuana rules.

With the Legislature scheduled to leave town next week, Brown’s office is said to be bearing down on the details of a compromise medical cannabis measure, legislation that would have implications for the push to place a recreational marijuana legalization initiative on the 2016 statewide ballot.

While Brown’s office is not commenting, legislators and groups with a stake in the issue confirmed over the last week that the Democratic governor’s administration has stepped in to help develop a bill. Last week, legislative leaders stripped the contents of several medical marijuana-related measures and linked them with boilerplate language, establishing a new entry point for Brown’s aides.

I foresee the recreational pot measure would be a landslide winner if it gets on the ballot. Who would want to remain in California completely sober?


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