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California Lawmakers Extend Contract With Eric Holder's Firm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California Legislature has extended its contract with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's law firm through the end of May.

The Legislature is paying Holder's firm Covington & Burling $25,000 per month out of the Assembly and Senate's operating budgets.

Legislative leaders are extending the contract because Holder's firm has been working on several projects that they want to see through, Kevin Liao, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, said Tuesday. The speaker has found legal advice from the firm to be worthwhile, Liao said, adding that lawmakers will reevaluate whether to extend the contract further at the end of the month.

The firm will be working on an amicus brief in support of Santa Clara County's lawsuit against President Donald Trump's executive order targeting funding for communities that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials, Liao said.

In April, a federal judge blocked the order - which attempted to withhold funding from such communities - while the lawsuit by Santa Clara County and another by the city of San Francisco work their way through court.

Holder's firm has also advised the Legislature on SB54, which would prevent law enforcement across the state from cooperating with federal immigration officials. The state Senate approved the bill in April, sending it to the Assembly.

The firm is also advising the Legislature on other legal issues related to environmental, immigration and health care policy.

The Legislature's initial contract with Holder's firm began in February, shortly after Trump was sworn into office. Lawmakers hired the firm to help them develop strategies "regarding potential actions of the federal government that may be of concern to the state of California," according to the contract.

Holder served as attorney general under former President Barack Obama.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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