Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

Calpensions: Why bankrupt San Bernardino didn’t cut pensions

San Bernardino Seal

By Ed Mendel
May 2, 2016

After reaching agreements with all major creditors, San Bernardino is moving toward an exit from a four-year bankruptcy this fall without cutting public pensions, its largest and rapidly growing debt.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 28, 2016 – 2:51 PM

  • Former Sen. Joe Dunn fired as State Bar’s boss
  • Accused of deception, he’s now suing quasi-public agency

Joe Dunn’s ears must have been burning Tuesday.

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KPBS: Deadline Passes In Probe Of Secret San Onofre Deal

Kamala Harris

Customers may now have little recourse for accountability for how they were handed a $3.3 billion bill for the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s shutdown after a radiation leak in 2012.

By Amita Sharma
Friday, April 29, 2016

Aired 4/29/16 on KPBS News.

While California Attorney General Kamala Harris gathers steam in her campaign to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, the statute of limitations has run out for her to file charges for a secret meeting in Poland that spawned a San Onofre settlement.

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The Sun: Chabot accuses Aguilar campaign of stealing signs

Pete Aguilar+Paul Chabot

Pete Aguilar, left, and Paul Chabot.

By Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/27/16 – 5:54 PM PDT |

Redlands police are investigating a report from Republican congressional candidate Paul Chabot that one of his campaign signs was stolen and replaced with a rival’s sign.

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Duncan Hunter

A photo posted on Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Facebook page about the time his campaign paid expenses on his trip to Italy.

By Morgan Cook |
April 28, 2016 – 7 a.m.

  • CREW also has concerns about oral surgery, video games, other expenses

An ethics advocacy group has filed complaints with two federal oversight agencies, asking officials to investigate what the group describes as a pattern of questionable campaign spending by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine.

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Jim Brulte

California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte addresses the group’s fall convention in Anaheim in September 2015. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Phil Willon
April 27, 2016

Lost in the excitement over the top three GOP presidential candidates dropping by this weekend’s California Republican Party convention in Northern California is a proposed rules change that could have a big impact on the party’s leadership.

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Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a gathering of political, business and community leaders at the annual California Chamber of Commerce Host Breakfast in May 2015. Brown will release his revised budget proposal next month. (Rich Pedroncelli AP)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
April 27, 2016 – 2:29 PM

  • Two-fifths of taxpayers saw gains in average real income from 1995 to 2014, new data show
  • That is an improvement over 1994-2013 span, when only top-fifth had real growth
  • Average income of top 1 percent almost doubled over past 20 years

The wealthiest Californians paid nearly half of the state’s income taxes in 2014 after seeing an uptick in their average income from 2013, according to updated income distribution data compiled by the state Franchise Tax Board.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: No wounds inflicted by California Senate debate

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 26, 2016 – 3:50 PM

  • 34 Californians running for U.S. Senate this year
  • Which two will finish 1-2 in primary and face each other?
  • Monday’s debate among five candidates left Sanchez still standing

Barbara Boxer’s decision to retire has inspired 34 men and women to seek her U.S. Senate seat this year.

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The Sacramento Bee: U.S. Senate candidates’ styles emerge in first debate

debate

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago and David Siders
ccadelago@sacbee.com
April 25, 2016 – 01:00 p.m.

Stockton–

Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez offered contrasting styles Monday in the first televised debate of the U.S. Senate contest, while a trio of Republicans leapt at the chance to participate in a bipartisan skirmish.

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U.S. Senate Sample Ballot - 060716

Sample ballot for the June 7 California Senate primary. (Los Angeles County)

John Myers
April 24, 2016

If elections officials could send just one message to California’s 17.2 million registered voters about the U.S. Senate primary in June, it would probably be this: Read the instructions carefully.

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Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez gestures on the steps of a congressional office building in Washington during orientation week for new members of Congress. (Alex Garcia / Los Angeles Times)

Phil Willon and Noah Bierman
April 22, 2016

Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s easygoing, neighborly style has won over Orange County voters for two decades, but that blessing has come with a nettlesome curse: the occasional, stinging political gaffe.

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Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown carries notebook paper after unveiling his proposed 2016-17 state budget at the Capitol on Jan. 7. Brown warned that the state is overdue for a recession and needs to build reserves to cushion the effects of an economic downturn. (Renée C. Byer – rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 22, 2016 – 2:51 PM

  • Texas shines in ability to absorb a recession
  • California and Illinois at the bottom

California, whose state budget is highly dependent on volatile income taxes, is the least able big state to withstand a recession, according to a “stress test” conducted by Moody’s Investor Service.

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Kamala Harris

Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris at a San Diego news conference. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

John Myers
April 21, 2016

A federal judge has ruled that a nonprofit backed by conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch does not have to reveal its donors to Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris in a case that pitted state law governing charities against 1st Amendment rights.

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Capitol Weekly : Poll: Trump leads in GOP primary

Capitol Weekly

By Jonathan Brown
Posted 04.21.2016

Perhaps all attention on primary night in California should be on the 33rd Congressional District – home to the Trump National Golf Club. After all, in New York, the only Congressional District that Donald Trump didn’t win was the one in which he lives.

Trump is likely to do well in California, too.

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illegal-immigrant-sign

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
April 21, 2016 – 10:00 AM

  • Immigration remains major issue for Republicans in Riverside County
  • Republican presidential candidates’ focus on immigration elevates debate
  • Candidates gearing up for critical primary in California on June 7

MURRIETA– Morning light filtered into the doughnut shop in Murrieta’s old downtown, and Bob Swinford lingered over coffee, longing for a revolution.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 21, 2016 – 2:39 PM

  • California is eliminating at-large voting in local government
  • However, it maintains winner-take-all approach in presidential voting
  • We could apportion our electoral votes by congressional district

Civil rights groups, particularly those representing California’s burgeoning Latino population, have pressed for years to do away with “at-large” elections of city council and school board members.

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PPIC

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 20, 2016 – 2:00 PM

  • Surtax on high-income Californians, school bonds headed for November ballot
  • Unions support tax extension, education groups and developers want bonds
  • Gov. Jerry Brown has not endorsed either, critical of bond issue

California voters are inclined to extend extra taxes on the state’s high-income residents to support public education and pass a new school construction bond issue, a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California has found.

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California Voter Registration Form

A California voter registration form. (Los Angeles Times)

George Skelton

George Skelton
Capitol Journal
April 20, 2016

About 400,000 Californians who might be planning to vote in the state’s pivotal Democratic presidential primary June 7 could be in for a shock.

They’ll be told, “Sorry, your vote’s no good here.”

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Chevron - Cheryl Brown Campaign Mailer

A campaign mailer, underwritten in part by Chevron, touts Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, as a champion of the environment. She failed to support major climate-change legislation last year. (Dan Smith dssmith@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
April 20, 2016 – 2:29 PM

  • California Environmental Justice Alliance condemns campaign mailer that lauds Brown’s environmental record
  • Brown’s camp defends the Democrat’s depiction as environmental advocate
  • Independent expenditure committee to support Brown’s re-election, largely supported by Chevron, paid for the advertisement

A California environmental group is crying foul after Chevron helped fund a campaign mailer casting Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown as an “environmental champion for us all.”

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calpers

Pension fund says rate hike smaller than expected

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
April 20, 2016 – 5:18 PM

CalPERS approved another round of rate increases Thursday, requiring higher contributions from state agencies and school districts for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California’s income tax refugees get shield

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 19, 2016 – 2:04 PM

  • State has pursued inventor Gilbert Hyatt for a quarter-century
  • Nevada courts said California had harassed Hyatt
  • U.S. Supreme Court upholds Nevada’s spanking of California

There is a perpetual debate in California political circles over whether the state’s highest-in-the-nation income tax rates encourage the wealthy to take themselves and their money elsewhere.

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High Speed Rail

A full-scale mock-up of a high-speed train is displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento last year. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Ralph Vartabedian
April 18, 2016

A key state legislative committee on Monday unanimously approved a Republican-led bill to strengthen oversight of the California bullet train, a sign of growing bipartisan concern about the project.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 17, 2016 – 12:05 PM

  • Legislature micromanages horse racing, liquor trade
  • Approving Arabian horse races rates an ‘urgency’ bill
  • Important issues languish in preoccupation with minor matters

One might think – or at least hope –that the men and women who occupy the state Capitol would devote themselves tirelessly to resolving complex issues of a very diverse and difficult-to-govern state.

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AIP Check Off

The American Independent Party is California’s largest third party. A poll shows 73% may be in it by mistake. Are you one of them?

By John Myers, Christine Mai-Duc and Ben Welsh
April 17, 2016

With nearly half a million registered members, the American Independent Party is bigger than all of California’s other minor parties combined. The ultraconservative party’s platform opposes abortion rights and same sex marriage, and calls for building a fence along the entire United States border.

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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who is leading a U.S. Congressional delegation to the Russian Federation speaks during a news conference in U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 2, 2013. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who led the six-person delegation this week, said at a press conference Sunday that there was “nothing specific” that could have helped April’s bombings, but that the U.S. and Russia needed to work more closely on joint security threats. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, lashed out at former county GOP chief Scott Baugh for raising money to campaign for his congressional seat, expressing concern Friday that his longtime friend would run against him. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP File)

By Martin Wisckol
April 15, 2016
Updated April 16, 2016 – 3:20 p.m.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has lashed out at former county GOP chief Scott Baugh for raising money to campaign for his congressional seat, expressing concern Friday that his longtime friend would run against him.

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KPBS-TV: Harris Questioned For Representing Gov. Brown During San Onofre Probe

Kamala Harris

California Attorney General Kamala Harris (Richard Vogel/AP)

By Amita Sharma
Friday, April 15, 2016

How does a prosecutor build a case if she’s representing a potential witness in her investigation?

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Shell

By David R. Baker
Friday, April 15, 2016 – Updated 5:04 pm

Fifteen years after blackouts swept the state, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge has found that a division of Shell Oil engaged in fraud and market manipulation during California’s energy crisis, with company traders joking on tape about burning the evidence if they were ever caught.

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American Apparel

American Apparel headquarters and manufacturing building located on Alameda Street and 7th street in Los Angeles where the clothier that was once a fashion trailblazer has taken drastic steps to stave off financial ruin. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Shan Li and Natalie Kitroeff
April 15, 2016

Los Angeles was once the epicenter of apparel manufacturing, attracting buyers from across the world to its clothing factories, sample rooms and design studios.

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Jobs

Natalie Kitroeff
April 15, 2016

California added 4,200 jobs in March, the Employment Development Department reported Friday.

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Snowpack

Frank Gehrke of the California Department of Water Resources surveys the snowpack at Phillips Station near Echo Summit, Calif. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Jason Song
April 15, 2016

The National Weather Service has confirmed what many Southern Californians suspected during a scorching February: El Niño, and its badly needed rainstorms, are pretty much kaput.

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The Sun: Proposal could increase number of Inland judges

Gavel

By Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/14/16 – 1:21 PM PDT |

A state judicial panel has proposed redistributing vacant judgeships from counties where there are too many to counties where there are too few, including Riverside and San Bernardino counties, where a lack of judges has caused hundreds of cases to be dismissed.

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Appellate Courts

Howard Blume , Joy Resmovits and Sonali Kohli
APril 14, 2016

In a major victory for unions, a California appeals court on Thursday reversed a lower court ruling that had thrown out tenure and other job protections for the state’s public school teachers.

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Cheryl Brown

Assemblymember Cheryl Brown laughs on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Sacramento, Calif. (Andrew Seng)

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
April 14, 2016 – 12:24 PM

  • Brown under fire for environmental record
  • Faces election challenge from fellow Democrat
  • A California Democrat facing a rare challenge from the left over her environmental record has gotten a $1 million boost from Chevron.

The independent expenditure on behalf of Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, should sharpen the divisions in a race showcasing liberal discontent with business-friendly Assembly Democrats. Environmental and labor groups angered by Brown’s stance on climate legislation last year have backed a challenger and fellow Democrat, attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes.

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taxifornia

Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
April 14, 2016 – 1:00 PM

  • Four out of five Republicans believe they pay too much income tax
  • Fifty-two percent of Democrats are OK with current tax rates
  • People who earn less than $40,000 were least likely to complain about high taxes

With the 2016 tax deadline on the horizon, it’s the time of year Californians grumble about Uncle Sam slashing their income.

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Conventions - 2016

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
April 13, 2016 – 10:38 AM

District-level Democratic delegates run in pre-primary caucuses; Republicans chosen by presidential candidates

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Nancy Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, from left, talks with Democratic U.S. Reps. Janice Hahn of San Pedro, Lucille Roybal-Allard of Downey and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio on the steps of the Capitol. (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Phil Willon
April 13, 2016

The calls to Encino attorney Janice Kamenir-Reznik came every few weeks, pleading for her to run for the California state Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Fran Pavley.

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Donald Trump

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
April 13, 2016 – 1:43 PM

  • Republican frontrunner joins Ted Cruz and John Kasich at gathering

Donald Trump will address California Republicans at the state party’s spring convention, joining Ted Cruz and John Kasich at the Bay Area gathering ahead of the state’s critical primary, the party announced Wednesday.

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InlandPolitics: CHP probing DUI free-pass allegations

CHP logo

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

With rumors swirling over the past six weeks, the California Highway Patrol has launched an internal affairs inquiry focused on one question.

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Mike Hestrin

The DA is returning contributions from an auto repair business that’s been penalized for fraud.

Published: April 12, 2016 – Updated: 11:02 p.m.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin on Tuesday, April 12, said he would return donations made to his campaign by Certified Tire & Service Centers and its owner, Jeffrey Alan Darrow, after news surfaced of past penalties for defrauding customers that cost the company at least $750,000.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Soda

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
April 12, 2016 – 3:27 PM

  • Latest setback for effort to limit sugary beverage consumption
  • Year after year, the campaign has met defeat in Sacramento

Elections come and go, legislative leaders rise and fall, but one constant remains in Sacramento: Soda taxes can’t get traction.

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No Money

By Dale Kasler
Business & Real Estate
April 12, 2016 3:29 PM
dkasler@sacbee.com

  • Bankruptcy judge says estate of Alfred Villalobos lacks money to pay money owed state
  • Villalobos commited suicide in January 2015
  • Villalobos’ fortune overstated

RENO —

The late Alfred Villalobos, the central figure in the CalPERS bribery case, always insisted he did nothing wrong and he didn’t owe the state of California a dime.

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Pension-Fund

Ed Mendel
April 14, 2016

CalPERS actuaries recommend that the annual state payment for state worker pensions increase $602 million in the new fiscal year to $5.35 billion, nearly doubling the $2.7 billion paid a decade ago before the recession and a huge investment loss.

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The New York Times: In California, Marijuana Is Smelling More Like Big Business

marijuana-leaf

By Ian Lovett
April 11, 2016

ADELANTO, Calif. — After decades of thriving in legally hazy backyards and basements, California’s most notorious crop, marijuana, is emerging from the underground into a decidedly capitalist era.

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CCPOA

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
April 11, 2016 – 12:19 PM

  • Tentative deal makes fitness pay pensionable
  • Some leave counts toward overtime threshold
  • State’s annual payments to union’s benefits trust fund will nearly triple to $14 million

The latest tentative labor agreement with California’s correctional officers proves that there’s more than one way to boost employee compensation without calling it a “raise.”

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The Sacramento Bee: California ballot measure signature bonanza continues

Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
April 10, 2016 – 4:30 PM

  • Campaigns paying $5 and up to get signatures, with volunteers assisting
  • Ballot measure committees raising big money in recent weeks
  • ‘Suggested’ filing deadline of April 26, qualification deadline of June 30

With a suggested filing deadline later this month, proponents of would-be November ballot measures continue to shell out big bucks to try to collect hundreds of thousands of voter signatures.

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Pensions

Ed Mendel
April 11, 2016

Gov. Brown’s plan to reduce state worker retiree health care costs got only a small nod in a tentative CSU faculty contract agreement last week. But three unions have agreed to begin paying down one of the state’s fastest-growing costs and largest debts.

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John Moorlach

Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), second from right, bids farewell to fellow lawmakers at the end of the Senate floor session in Sacramento on Sept. 11, 2015. Moorlach is a leading voice in the Legislature against skyrocketing debt being piled up by public pension systems. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

By Patrick McGreevy
April 10, 2016

Republican state Sen. John Moorlach of Costa Mesa has emerged as a leading voice in the Legislature against skyrocketing debt piled up by public pension systems.

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901 Strada LLC - LLC

In one high-profile L.A. case, there’s been a long-running dispute about the true owner of a massive home being built in Bel-Air by developer Mohamed Hadid. The site is owned by 901 Strada LLC, an entity that lists no owner. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

James Rufus Koren
April 8, 2016

Delaware and Nevada aren’t the only states where it’s possible to set up a company without saying who owns it.

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Field Poll

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
April 8, 2016 – 1:00 PM

  • 48 percent of likely voters don’t have a candidate in mind
  • Harris, Sanchez continue to hold down top two positions
  • Pollster describes ‘extremely quiet’ contest

Californians have the rare opportunity to vote for a new U.S. senator in two months – but nearly half of likely voters still haven’t settled on a candidate, according to the latest Field Poll.

Read the rest of this entry »

California State University

California State University and its faculty union jointly announced Friday a deal that will raise instructor salaries 10.5 percent over the next two years.

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
April 8, 2016 – 10:00 AM

  • Deal includes 7 percent bump this year
  • CSU chancellor says deal provides ‘breathing room’ to figure out how to pay for it
  • Strike scheduled for next week averted

Just days before California State University professors were expected to walk out on the job, Chancellor Timothy White and the California Faculty Association jointly announced Friday a tentative contract agreement far more expansive than the 5 percent raise teaching staff sought for nearly a year.

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Mimi Walters

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Sarah D. Wire
April 7, 2016

Rep. Mimi Walters’ chief of staff, David Bowser, has resigned following news of federal corruption charges related to his work in another congressional office.

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Conflict of Interest

Patrick McGreevy
April 7, 2016

The state Senate voted Thursday to expand a law that requires public officials to disclose when they have a conflict of interest and to recuse themselves from voting on a government contract involving a relative.

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taxifornia

Liam Dillon
April 7, 2016

Californians are spending $2 billion more at the gas pump because of the state’s carbon rules, according to the state’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Read the rest of this entry »

Covered California

Health & Medicine
By Claudia Buck
cbuck@sacbee.com
April 7, 2016 – 9:11 AM

  • Covered California takes first step toward enrolling undocumented residents
  • There would be no state or federal subsidies
  • Potential enrollment of undocumented residents could reach 50,000

In a move called both symbolic and practical, the Covered California board took the first step Thursday toward allowing undocumented residents to purchase health plans – with no state or federal subsidies – through California’s Obamacare marketplace.

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Cheryl Brown

Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino

April 5th, 2016 – 11:10 am ·

The signing of a bill that will gradually raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour was a cause for celebration among the state’s Democrats on Monday, April 4.

But in the race between two Democrats for an Inland Assembly seat, the new wage provided more fodder for attacks. Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, voted for the minimum wage legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

To read post by Jeff Horseman in The P-E Political Empire Blog, click here.

Elections 2016

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
April 5, 2016 – 9:14 PM

  • Secretary of State Alex Padilla seeks $32 million in additional money
  • Money needed to print large ballots, handle petition crush
  • Padilla writes Jerry Brown, asking for meeting to discuss needs

Warning of a “surge” of higher-than-usual turnout in California’s June primary election and a book-sized November voter information guide, the state’s elections chief this week requested a meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown to press his case for more money.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kamala Harris

Her office’s criminal investigation of the nuclear plant’s closure has drawn scrutiny as she runs for U.S. Senate.

By Amita Sharma
Evening Edition
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When criminal investigators with the California Attorney General’s Office searched the home of a former top utility regulator early last year, they uncovered evidence that upended a story state officials and a major electric utility had been telling consumers about the deal to pay for the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles

California’s economy will grow faster this year than the national economy, according to a new study. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Natalie Kitroeff
April 6, 2016

California’s economy will grow faster this year than the national economy, and unemployment will drop to 5% in early 2017, according to a new report by the UCLA Anderson Forecast.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Wage hike a classic Jerry Brown act

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Brown signs a minimum wage bill at the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, April 4, 2016. (Al Seib – Los Angeles Times)

.

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 4, 2016 – 2:58 PM

  • Governor opposed minimum wage boost, then embraced it
  • It’s similar to his 1978 flip-flop on Proposition 13
  • The consequences won’t be known until he’s exited

Gov. Jerry Brown joined other political figures one evening last week to raise money for a Capitol internship program and deliver a paean to political compromise.

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The Sacramento Bee: CalPERS rethinks ban on tobacco stocks

calpers

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
April 4, 2016 – 9:08 AM

  • Decision to sell stocks in 2001 has cost $3 billion, consultant says
  • Pension fund undertakes broader look at divestment policies
  • Anti-smoking group criticizes potential move

It’s been a hallmark of CalPERS policy for 15 years: no tobacco stocks.

Read the rest of this entry »

waterdrop

Matt Stevens
April 4, 2016

After nine months of fervent conservation, drought-fatigued Californians narrowly missed meeting the water-savings target set by Gov. Jerry Brown a year ago.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California gasoline refiners get their pound of flesh

Gas Prices

Monday, April 4, 2016 – 09:15 a.m.

California and Inland Empire retail unleaded gasoline prices have rocketed about 60 cents from the recent low. Just as gasoline refiners projected!

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United States presidential election, 2016

Published: April 1, 2016
Updated:   April 3, 2016 – 10:52 p.m.

Four years ago, Republicans and Democrats at the national level used California’s 41st Congressional District to fight the ongoing war for control of the the House of Representatives.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Elections

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted Apr. 3, 2016 at 3:21 PM

The California Secretary of State and San Bernardino County Election’s office released their lists of certified candidates Friday, detailing the make-up of six pivotal local races. The lists show not much changed in recent weeks with the exception of some fringe candidates not qualifying for the ballot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Minimum Wage

By Don Thompson, Associated Press
Apr. 4, 2016 – 2:59 AM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s governor is setting in motion the most populous state’s climb toward the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour to take effect by 2022.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 3, 2016 – 8:01 AM

  • Democrats Harris and Sanchez running 1-2 in polls
  • If primary ends that way, they will face each other again
  • Republican and independent voters may be decisive

Bill Carrick, the veteran political consultant who advises U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez, was obviously elated last month by a Public Policy Institute of California poll.

Read the rest of this entry »

Self-service kiosk ar McDonald's, Friargate, Preston

Sunday, April 3, 2016 – 12:00 p.m.

California is set to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022.

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Election 2016

The field of candidates for Republicans and Democrats is narrowing down in the 2016 presidential race. These front-runners have different campaign styles and carry with them their own special rally atmospheres and celebrity supporters.

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
April 2, 2016 – 5:45 AM

  • Trump, Cruz and Kasich joined by Carson and Gilmore
  • Rubio, Bush, Fiorina and Christie all removed from ballot
  • Clinton, Sanders to appear with five unknown challengers

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has certified the final list of candidates appearing on the state’s presidential primary ballot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dianne Feinstein

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, and Sen. Richard M. Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, at a meeting on Capitol Hill in February. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Cathleen Decker
March 31, 2016

Don’t ask Dianne Feinstein just yet whether she plans to run for a fifth full term in the U.S. Senate, a seat that will be on the ballot in 2018.

Read the rest of this entry »

Minimum-Wage

Liam Dillon and Patrick McGreevy
March 31, 2016

In a move that puts California at the forefront of efforts to raise wages for low-income workers across the country, the Legislature approved a sweeping plan Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years, boosting the future paychecks of millions of the state’s workers.

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State Capitol

By Don Thompson, Associated Press
Mar. 31, 2016 – 2:22 AM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California state lawmakers are poised to enact the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage on Thursday, with gradual increases to $15 by 2022.

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Up Arrow

By Hudson Sangree and Hector Amezcua
hsangree@sacbee.com
March 29, 2016 – 6:44 PM

  • Major industries affected would be farming, restaurants and retail
  • Impact could be greater in rural areas where cost of living is lower
  • Farmers who sell produce out of state could have a harder time competing

A landmark plan to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022 could create sweeping changes across the industries that rely on low-wage workers and improve the living standards for millions of Californians employed in farm fields, restaurants and retail stores.

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Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown joined legislators and labor leaders Monday in Sacramento to announce a landmark agreement that would make California the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide. (Renée C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller and Jeremy B. White
jmiller@sacbee.com
March 28, 2016 – 7:30 AM

  • Hourly wage would increase to $15 an hour by 2022
  • Announcement comes days after November ballot measure qualifies
  • Business groups call plan ‘reckless’

Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic leaders and labor leaders Monday touted an agreement that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, saying the pact should avert an expensive ballot fight this fall.

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Loretta Sanchez+Kamala Harris

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana), left, and California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris. (AP)

Phil Willon
March 28, 2016

California’s U.S. Senate campaign appears stuck in a political stasis, with nearly a third of voters still undecided about who to support in a race lost in the shadow of the nation’s presidential contest, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

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Raul Ruiz

Democratic incumbent Raul Ruiz faces a challenge from Republicans Jeff Stone and Steven Wolkowicz.

Published: March 25, 2016 – 6:03 p.m.

California’s 36th Congressional District reflects how much Riverside County’s political landscape has changed.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Calpensions: Annual state report begins showing pension debt

Pension Reform

By Ed Mendel
March 28, 2016

Following new accounting rules, the annual state financial report issued this month shows a “net pension liability” of $63.7 billion, a dramatic increase from the $3.2 billion “net pension obligation” reported last year.

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CalWatchdog: CalPERS has faith in imperiled energy status quo

calpers

Chris Reed
March 28, 2016

Is the California Public Employees’ Retirement System about to make another big mistake with a mistimed investment strategy, this time in the industrial solar sector?

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Minimum-Wage

John Myers and Liam Dillon
March 26, 2016

Lawmakers and labor unions have struck a tentative deal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 an hour next year and then gradually to $15, averting a costly political campaign this fall and possibly putting California at the forefront of a national movement.

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marijuana-leaf

California was the first state to allow medical marijuana. Now, two decades later, voters are expected to be asked whether to legalize recreational use of the drug. The legalization measure most likely to qualify for the statewide November ballot is the product of months of negotiations between groups with varying interests, from drug-law reformers, to growers and distributors, to famous financiers and politicians.

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
March 25, 2016 – 12:38 PM

  • 61 percent of Americans favor legal weed
  • A poll last fall found 58 support, tying a high

The concept of legalized marijuana is rapidly gaining in popularity, a new poll finds.

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The Sacramento Bee: Top Jerry Brown aide’s PG&E stock disclosure investigated

Nancy McFadden

Nancy McFadden, 51, executive to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday, January 5, 2011. (Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
March 24, 2016 – 5:57 PM

  • Fair Political Practices Commission looking into Brown aide Nancy McFadden
  • Notes “apparent failure” to disclose stock status
  • No conflict of interest alleged

California’s campaign finance watchdog will investigate whether a top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown accurately disclosed the status of her stock holdings in a major utility.

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High-Speed Rail

A full-scale mock-up of a high-speed train is displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
March 24, 2016 – 2:28 PM

  • 52 percent of adults and 44 percent of likely voters back rail
  • More would back project if it were cheaper than $64 billion
  • A pair of proposed initiatives would threaten rail funding

There’s been little positive buzz of late about California’s high-speed rail system.

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PPIC

Phil Willon
March 23, 2016 – 09:00 p.m.

New York billionaire Donald Trump enjoys a sizable lead over other GOP presidential candidates among California Republican voters, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.

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Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Phil Willon
March 23, 2016 – 09:00 p.m.

With just over three months to go before the state’s June primary election, Democrats Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Santa Ana have more voter support than their Republican rivals in the race for U.S. Senate, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.

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Appellate Courts

David Garrick
By David Garrick | March 23, 2016 – 8:35 p.m.

San Diego — In a decision that could have a sweeping impact across California, a new state appeals court ruling may ease approval of local tax increases if they are placed on the ballot by citizen’s initiative instead of by a government agency.

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calpers

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler

dkasler@sacbee.com
March 23, 2016 – 1:46 PM

  • Company operates big solar facilities near Palm Springs
  • Plants sell energy to utilities in California

CalPERS said Wednesday that it’s buying a significant stake in a solar energy company with operations near Palm Springs.

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