4 Hot Debates to Watch This Week

Here's a rundown of the main issues we'll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.

Is there something happening in your city we should know about? Let us know!

1. Marijuana Law Proposals Up for Decision in Santa Ana

Santa Ana city leaders are set to take further steps to place a medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot, after supporters gathered enough signatures last year to force a citywide vote.

The proposal would prohibit the city from banning medical marijuana dispensaries, prevent city police from joining federal raids on pot shops and require that the city allow at least 22 pot shops, with no maximum.

At the same time, city council members will decide whether to create a competing ballot measure that would restrict the city to having no more than eight pot shops, all of which would have to be in industrial areas, and impose a 5 percent additional tax.

Despite Santa Ana’s ban on pot shops, many continue to proliferate the city, earning Santa Ana a ranking as one of America’s “most pot-friendly places.”

At least 50 illegal pot shops operated in Santa Ana as of May 1, according to city officials.

Tuesday’s council meeting officially starts at 5:45 p.m., thought the business portion of the meeting usually doesn’t start for an hour or more after that time.

Click here to read the medical marijuana staff report.

2. Transportation Budget Gets Another Review

Orange County transportation officials are set to give another round of feedback to staffers, who have answered their initial set of questions.

Among their responses, Orange County Transportation Authority staff say their budget for the Anaheim streetcar project doesn’t include funding for purchasing right-of-way.

Additionally, the budget calls for 60 bus jobs be outsourced to a private contractor through attrition, as part of existing plans.

(Click on item 13 here to read staff’s answers.)

The discussion is scheduled for this week’s regional planning and highways committee meeting. OCTA’s public budget hearing is scheduled for next Monday, June 9.

3. Children and Families Agency Plans for the Next Year

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County is scheduled to hold its annual planning session Wednesday for a variety of programs it funds.

Up for discussion are early literacy and math programs, sustainability strategies, changes in philanthropy and a business plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 a.m. Click here for the agenda.

4. Air Pollution Agency Adopts New Budget

Officials at Los Angeles and Orange counties’ air quality agency are scheduled to adopt a new $132 million budget on Friday.

Click here for the staff report and here for the proposed budget.

The decision is scheduled for Friday morning at the agency’s headquarters in Diamond Bar.

Major Meetings This Week:






You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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