State Senator Leland Yee has been released from federal custody after posting $500,000 bail. But the troubles are just beginning for the Bay Area lawmaker. Yee was arrested yesterday and charged with public corruption and conspiring to traffic in firearms. The accusations throw into doubt Lee’s campaign for Secretary of State, his legislative career, and his freedom. They also further hamper Democrats’ efforts to regain a two-thirds majority in the State Senate. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg says Yee must resign immediately or face suspension from the Senate. Yee and an intermediary allegedly met repeatedly with an undercover FBI agent, soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for setting up a meeting with an international arms dealer.
California’s health insurance exchange will give people an extra couple of weeks to finish signing up for coverage – if they start filling out their application by next Monday night. Covered California says the grace period is not an extension of the March 31st enrollment deadline, but rather a way to help people who have started the process cross the finish line. Meanwhile, Covered California’s Executive Director Peter Lee says the exchange is seeing a big jump this week in the number of people starting the application process, including nearly 40,000 on Monday and Tuesday alone. The high traffic is slowing down the website. Lee recommends getting help from an enrollment counselor or insurance agent.
Attorneys in L.A. will make closing arguments today in a case aimed at changing California’s teacher-tenure law. Public-school students who brought the lawsuit say lifetime teacher tenure has made it all but impossible for school districts to get rid of incompetent instructors. The lawyers say that deprives students of their rights to a good education. But attorneys for the state and the teachers unions say the burden rests on school administrators to recognize and rid their districts of incompetent employees. They say the current 18-month probationary is long enough to weed out incompetent instructors.
Authorities are targeting a criminal gang they say is responsible for stealing luggage and cargo from LAX. Airport Police and the LAPD served more than two dozen search warrants last night in various parts of Southern California, including South L.A., Paramount and the airport itself. Police say there have been several arrests. The suspects are primarily workers contracted by the airport – and not airport workers themselves.
The UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team will try to get past top-ranked Florida tonight in the NCAA Tournament. A win gives the Bruins a shot at making the Final Four on Saturday. The same goes for San Diego State, which plays Arizona tonight in Anaheim. Meanwhile, the Dodgers and the Angels face off tonight at Dodger Stadium in the first game of the annual three-game Freeway Series exhibition. The Dodgers got an early start on the regular season when they traveled to Australia to play the Arizona Diamondbacks. They won both games Down Under. Their season starts up again Sunday in San Diego. The Angels open their regular season Monday against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim.