| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO May 11 California governor Jerry
Brown on Thursday proposed a funding increase for the state
attorney general to create more than 30 new positions dedicated
to combating President Donald Trump's policies.
Democratic attorneys general in states across the country
have assumed lead roles in opposing some of the Republican
president's agenda. State attorneys general in Washington and
Hawaii successfully sued to block Trump's executive orders
restricting travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and
California attorney general Xavier Becerra has pledged to defend
the state's environmental standards and health care access.
Brown has been particularly outspoken against Trump's
policies. In budget revisions released on Thursday,
Brown's office proposed a $6.5 million increase for California's
Department of Justice, enough to fund 31 positions to address
"various actions taken at the federal level that impact public
safety, healthcare, the environment, consumer affairs and
general constitutional issues."
The department has expended over 11,000 hours of legal work
in response to federal issues since Trump's inauguration in
January, according the governor's office.
Brown's proposals would have to be approved by California's
legislature, which is dominated by Democrats.
At a press conference, Brown repeatedly expressed the need
to fight the Trump administration on health care reforms under
discussion in Washington. The potential loss of funds for the
state's Medicaid program alone would be enough to fund the
University of California system for a year, Brown said.
Given that backdrop, Brown said Becerra deserves "some
latitude" in pursuing litigation.
A spokeswoman for Becerra could not immediately be reached
Brown's budget also proposed a $15 million increase to
expand legal services for immigrants seeking assistance securing
legal status in the United States and fighting deportation.
(Additional reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento;
Editing by Cynthia Osterman)