This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California lawmakers have tried for 50 years to stem the state's housing crisis. Here's why they've failed.
- Gov. Jerry Brown acted Tuesday to break up the scandal-plagued state Board of Equalization.
- Progressive activists are angry with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon who shelved a proposal to creates a single-payer healthcare system in California, calling it "woefully incomplete."
Volkswagen would build more electric vehicle charging stations in disadvantaged communities under an updated plan being submitted to state regulators on Thursday.
The company’s subsidiary, Electrify America, revised its proposal after an earlier version was rejected as inadequate by the California Air Resources Board.
The proposal is the first phase of an $800-million investment in the state, one piece of a much larger settlement over Volkswagen’s cheating on vehicle emission rules.
Although the money is expected to yield hundreds of new charging stations and boost California's efforts to foster the market for electric cars, it's also been a source of controversy.
State regulators want 35% of the money to be spent in disadvantaged communities, a target endorsed by the Legislature as well. Electrify America CEO Mark McNabb said, “We will strive hard to hit it.”
The updated plan adds Fresno to the list of metropolitan areas, which already included Los Angeles and Sacramento, where charging stations would be installed.
“It made sense to get out into the Central Valley,” McNabb said. “We thought that was an improvement we could make to the plan.”