POLITICAL INSIDER: The President, Polls & Pay Raises

Summer is the season for easy reading.

So, here's a couple of quick political appetizers to chew on when you're at the beach, lake or poolside.

Justice Kennedy Retiring

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who just announced his retirement from the nation's top court has strong ties to California.

He's a native Californian, born in Sacramento. Kennedy graduated from Stanford and the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law and served in the California Army National Guard.

He became the youngest federal appeals court judge when he was appointed to the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.

President Ronald Reagan nominated Kennedy to the U.S Supreme Court.

The two men had developed a close working relationship when Reagan was Governor of California.

RELATED: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy says he is retiring

Better Off

AP Photos/Matt Rourke & John Minchillo

A majority of Americans believe the country is better off with Donald Trump in the Oval Office and not Hillary Clinton.

That's the findings of a recent Rasmussen poll.

47% of those polled say the country would not be better off if Hillary Clinton had been elected President in 2016. 40% disagree and 13% are undecided.

LINK: Read the complete Rasmussen poll

Republican Immigration Bill Rejected

FILE - In this April 19, 2011, file photo, a member of the National Guard checks on his colleague inside a Border Patrol Skybox near the Hidalgo International Bridge in Texas

AP Photo/Delcia Lopez

Despite an endorsement from President Trump, the House rejected a "compromise" immigration bill on Wednesday (6/27) by a vote of 301 to 121.

The bill funded the President's Border Wall and provided a path to citizenship for the so-called "Dreamers".

Here's how Valley Congressional members voted:
  • YES: Denham, McCarthy, Nunes, Valadao
  • NO: Costa, McClintock

RELATED: House rejects Republican immigration bill

Gas Tax Repeal Heads to Voters

FILE - A man pumps gas into his pickup truck at a gas station

AP Photo/Grant Hindsley

A repeal of the state gas tax has qualified for the November ballot.

If approved, it would eliminate the 12-cent per gallon gas tax and the hike in vehicle registration fees, but perhaps more significantly, it would require voter approval for any such future tax increases.

Pay Raise for Gov. Brown

FILE - Gov. Jerry Brown at a news conference in Sacramento

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

For the sixth straight year, California's elected officials including the Governor are getting a 3% pay raise.

This week, a state board that reviews those salaries approved the pay hikes which take effect in December.

California lawmakers remain the highest paid in the U.S.

After a record four terms as Governor, Jerry Brown signed his 16th State Budget this week.

According to an LA Times report, state spending during Brown's past eight years as Governor has increased 53%.
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