Assemblymember Pedro Nava has been chosen by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass to join the seven-member California Coastal Conservancy, a public body charged with buying, restoring, and protecting coastal resources to enhance public access. Nava previously served eight years on the California Coastal Commission. The conservancy, with an annual budget of roughly $140 million, has taken on more than 1,800 coastal projects in its 33 years of existence.
Santa Maria’s Republican State Senator Abel Maldonado broke with his party to end a 105-day deadlock in voting for a California budget that calls for $12 billion in new taxes. While Democratic party leaders capitulated to Maldonado’s demand that an “open primary” measure be placed before state voters in 2010 and struck a 12-cents-per-gallon gas tax, Maldonado has nonetheless been reviled by Republicans for breaking a “no new taxes” pledge and a recall effort has been mounted against him. (/maldonado226)