Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

The Sacramento Bee: Prosecutors’ lawsuit challenges Jerry Brown’s crime initiative

Anne Marie Schubert

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert in January 2015. She is a plaintiff in a new lawsuit challenging a ballot measure proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. (Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 12, 2016 11:38 AM

  • Lawsuit by DA’s association said Jan. 25 amendments not germane to Dec. 22 filing
  • Suit asks a judge to order that the Brown-backed proposal start over
  • Attorney general’s office scheduled to issue title and summary for amended measure this month

California prosecutors have asked a judge to block a newly amended ballot measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would make it easier for nonviolent prisoners to get parole.

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Savings

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
February 12, 2016 – 3:20 PM

  • Report says governor’s budget does not account for cost of contracting prisoners to other states

The Legislature’s non-partisan fiscal analyst believes Gov. Jerry Brown is underestimating the amount of savings from Proposition 47, the controversial ballot initiative that reduced some nonviolent drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: DAs fight governor’s measure

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 11, 2016 – 4:31 PM

  • Brown wants to overhaul criminal sentencing
  • Prosecutors say it will undermine crime-fighting
  • Other law enforcement groups still uncommitted

Wily politician that he is, Jerry Brown tried to dampen potential opposition to an overhaul of criminal sentencing laws he’ll place on the November ballot.

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BOE

From Daily Tax Report

By Laura Mahoney

Feb. 9 — A California State Board of Equalization member is backing a bill to tighten monetary contributions to—or at the request of—board members with the goal of ending perceived conflicts of interest at the only elected tax board in the country.

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Morongo Casino

The sun sets on the Morongo Casino Resort Spa in Cabazon, Calif., in 2005. The leader of the wealthy Riverside County tribe has raised concerns about fantasy sports legislation. (Glenn Koenig/AP)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 10, 2016 – 3:33 PM

  • The Morongo and San Manuel bands question the legislation’s fairness
  • Tribes suggest daily fantasy sports games are illegal
  • Assembly Bill 1437 swept through the Assembly last month

The daily fantasy sports industry’s string of easy wins in the California Legislature may be about to end.

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

Patrick McGreevy
February 10, 2016

The state’s ethics watchdog agency has launched a yearlong overhaul of California’s law governing campaign finance and lobbying with an eye toward streamlining and simplifying rules that many politicians complain are too complex, the agency’s top official said Wednesday.

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The Sacramento Bee: Keep an eye on election IE’s with new search tool

PAC

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 9, 2016 – 4:08 PM

  • Maplight, Secretary of State’s Office launch enhancement to Power Search
  • People can look up independent expenditures affecting particular candidates, ballot measures
  • Offers alternative to cumbersome Cal-Access search function

Voters trying to follow the torrent of unlimited outside spending during this year’s California campaigns now have an easier-to-use alternative to the state’s unwieldy Cal-Access system: an enhanced search tool launched Tuesday.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 9, 2016 3:25 PM

  • Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom already running
  • Treasurer John Chiang ‘leaning strongly’
  • Antonio Villaraigosa, Steve Westly and Tom Steyer are in the mix

The 2016 political campaign season has scarcely begun, so of course it’s time to begin noodling about 2018 – and particularly the governorship that Jerry Brown will finally relinquish.

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Exxon Mobil

An Exxon Mobil ship sailed for 70 days off the coast of Singapore but never picked up fuel for California from the company’s two refineries there. Above, an Exxon tanker truck. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
February 9, 2016

There’s an unusual new entry to the long list of reasons why Californians spent the last year paying significantly more for gasoline than other U.S. drivers: a mystery ship.

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calpers

CalPERS has completed the purchase of a New York office building for $1.9 billion.

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
February 9, 2016 – 10:18 AM

  • Purchase is one of largest real estate investments in fund’s history
  • Almost fully leased, building represents conservative strategy

CalPERS has completed one of the biggest real estate investments in its history, purchasing a New York office tower for $1.9 billion.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Francisco Chronicle: Lawmakers seek to loosen encryption on smartphones

Cell Phone Encryption - NSA

By Melody Gutierrez
February 8, 2016
Updated: February 9, 2016 – 7:27am

SACRAMENTO — A fight over encryption-protected smartphone data is heating up in California and New York where lawmakers and law enforcement groups are pushing bills to enable investigators to unscramble data to obtain critical evidence in human trafficking, terrorism and child pornography cases.

Read the rest of this entry »

Healthcare Tax

California
Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press
February 8, 2016 – 6:26 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

The California Legislature on Monday unveiled a bill imposing a new tax on health insurance plans that would prevent a massive $1.1 billion hole in the state budget.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Public Radio

Bob Moffitt
Monday, February 8, 2016 | Sacramento, CA

The California Petroleum Market Advisory Commission heard testimony from oil company and consumer groups today explaining why we’re paying 77 cents-per-gallon more for gas than the rest of the country.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

A variety of factors have conspired to boost California gasoline prices. A gas tax, state and local taxes and a federal excise tax are just part of the cause. (The Associated Press)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 02/08/16 – 5:56 PM PST |

California motorists have long complained about high prices at the pump, but few drivers are aware of all the factors that push gasoline prices so high.

Read the rest of this entry »

DMV

Tatiana Sanchez
February 7, 2016

Judith Benitez had gone most of her adult life without knowing how to drive.

The 35-year-old woman from Mexico who is in the U.S. illegally would ask family members for rides to pick up her children from school. Trips to the grocery store or the doctor’s office were complicated.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Francisco Chronicle: California’s $400 billion debt worries analysts

Debt

By Melody Gutierrez
February 6, 2016
Updated: February 6, 2016 – 2:53pm

SACRAMENTO — California has come a long way to dig itself out of budget deficits, but the state remains on shaky ground due to nearly $400 billion in unfunded liabilities and debt from public pensions, retiree health care and bonds, financial analysts say.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 6, 2016 3:40 PM

  • Bullet train, tunnels would be governor’s legacies
  • Both projects, however, face critical tests
  • Financing for both still very uncertain

The two immense public works projects that would be Jerry Brown legacies will soon face pivotal moments.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: ASSEMBLY: Eloise Reyes gets AFL-CIO endorsement

Eloise Gomez Reyes

Democratic Assembly candidate Eloise Reyes.

Published: Feb. 5, 2016 Updated: 1:49 p.m.

After her rival won the Democratic Party’s pre-endorsement, state Assembly candidate Eloise Reyes is striking back with the AFL-CIO’s help.

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

Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 5, 2016 7:17 PM

  • More than $2.5 million in contributions reported in month leading up to Sept. 11 recess
  • Members of Assembly raised almost all of the money
  • Despite Senate rules restricting fundraising, some members took money

California’s campaign finance disclosure calendar means the public only now is getting a look at elected officials’ fundraising and spending during the second half of 2015.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calculator

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 5, 2016 2:06 PM

  • Finance reports show lawmakers have $40 million to spend in election year
  • Legislators collectively had about $3.4 million in outstanding debt Dec. 31.
  • Searchable database shows how much each member has

Members of the California Legislature began the election year with more than $40 million cash on hand after raising about $39 million last year, according to campaign reports filed this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calstrs

.

METRO

By Daniel Borenstein
dborenstein@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 02/04/2016 06:00:00 PM PST
Updated: 02/04/2016 09:14:06 PM PST

Two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed through a 32-year plan to shore up the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

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NYSE Trading Floor

Specialist Michael Gagliano, foreground, works with traders at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. The stock market’s problems likely contributed to lower-than-estimated California income tax revenue in January, the LAO reports. (Richard Drew AP)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 3, 2016 3:53 PM

  • Preliminary income tax revenue for January $260 million less than proposed budget estimate
  • Corporation tax for month $93 million above estimates
  • LAO cautions that “continued stock market weakness” could mean lower revenue through June

It’s been a heady ride for California finances in recent years, with budget revenue outpacing estimates by billions of dollars, buoyed along by the state’s healthy economic growth in 2015.

Could that trend be coming to an end?

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Gov. Jerry Brown’s two taxes are not alike

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 2, 2016 – 3:37 PM

  • California’s governor wants new taxes for health care, highways
  • Republicans oppose any new levies
  • The two proposals, however, are different

Within the Capitol – and the media that cover it – there’s a tendency to conjoin Gov. Jerry Brown’s two tax-increase proposals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sean Flynn
Congressional candidate Sean Flynn. (Sean Flynn for Congress)

Javier Panzar
February 2, 2016

Another Republican has entered the race to challenge Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), a first-term congressman whose Inland Empire seat is considered vulnerable this fall by both national Democrats and Republicans.

Read the rest of this entry »

CCPOA

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
February 2, 2016 – 5:38 PM

At 11,459 pages, the political action committee finance statement filed by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association Monday night is a hefty tome and quite possible a record-setter for the largest disclosure ever filed by a PAC.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sierra Snowpack

Water & Drought
By Ryan Sabalow, Phillip Reese and Dale Kasler
rsabalow@sacbee.com
February 2, 2016 – 10:12 AM

  • State regulators, urging caution, extend conservation mandates through October
  • Latest tally shows Sierra snowpack above normal
  • Sacramento water officials sought more leniency on conservation

The snow keeps piling up, but the rules requiring water conservation aren’t going away.

Read the rest of this entry »

Former state Senator Lou Correa listens to Joe Dunn during a debate of candidates seeking to replace outgoing Rep. Loretta Sanchez at the League of United Latin American Citizens in Garden Grove Saturday. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: congress.1018.kjs --- Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN / Orange County Register -- 10/17/15 Coverage of a debate for candidates seeking to replacing outgoing Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Orange. 10/17/15

Former state Senator Lou Correa listens to Joe Dunn during a debate of candidates seeking to replace outgoing Rep. Loretta Sanchez at the League of United Latin American Citizens in Garden Grove Saturday. (Kevin Sullivan – Staff Photographer)

By Teri Sforza
Feb. 1, 2016
Updated Feb. 2, 2016 – 12:07 a.m.

The battle for the congressional seat being vacated by Loretta Sanchez is firming up as a faceoff between two longtime O.C. Democrats: Lou Correa and Joe Dunn.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Public Radio

Ben Adler
Monday, February 1, 2016 | Sacramento, CA

New fundraising reports show two Democrats lead the field in California’s U.S. Senate race, just as they do in recent polls.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 1, 2016 3:55 PM

  • Fuel prices drop to under $2 a gallon in some areas
  • As prices decline, gas taxes are adjusted downward
  • Meanwhile, politicians mull raising taxes for roadwork

California gasoline prices have been dropping sharply of late – below $2 a gallon in some areas.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Are California’s taxes too high or too low?

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 31, 2016 3:30 PM

  • State’s residents had nation’s sixth-highest tax burden in 2012
  • That was a drop from fourth a year earlier
  • Voters will decide this year whether to increase tax load

California’s state and local governments hit us with about $250 billion in taxes every year, $6,000-plus per Californian.

Read the rest of this entry »

The newest Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is escorted by Chief Justice John Roberts, as they step outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, for photos following an investiture ceremony with their colleagues. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Sunday, January 31, 2016 – 10:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 31, 2016 – 04:20 p.m.

The campaign finance filings for the declared California Attorney General candidates are in, and the disparate numbers speak for themselves.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cheryl Brown

Saxophonist Eddie M dances with Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, during a Sheila E. concert on the Capitol steps hosted by the Black Legislative Caucus on June 17, 2015. (Andrew Seng / The Sacramento Bee file)

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
January 30, 2016 3:23 PM

  • Assemblywoman receives 80 percent of pre-endorsement vote from local Democratic delegates
  • Brown faces controversial challenge from fellow Democrat after vote on climate change bill last session
  • In another intraparty fight, longtime Rep. Mike Honda narrowly fails to win pre-endorsement

Despite an unusual challenge from a fellow Democrat, Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown received enough support at a delegate vote in her San Bernardino-area district Saturday to secure the party’s endorsement at its upcoming convention.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eric Linder

Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, in 2013. SEIU California announced Friday that it has endorsed Linder, R-Corona, the first Republican endorsed by the union in 20-plus years. (Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
January 29, 2016 3:07 PM

  • Linder could be Democratic target in 2016
  • Union endorses some Democratic incumbents in races but not another

Assemblyman Eric Linder could be a Democratic target this year, with at least three Democrats so far announcing candidacies for Linder’s western Riverside County district.

Read the rest of this entry »

City of Industry

City of Industry City Council closes their council meeting after a closed session on Thursday, January 28, 2016. The state controller’s audit concludes “the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse of public resources was extremely high” over the past decade in the City of Industry. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
and Rebecca Kimitch, LA Daily News
Posted: 01/28/16 – 10:19 AM PST |

The state’s top fiscal officer has audited the city of Industry and concluded “the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse of public resources was extremely high” in the city over the past decade.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 28, 2016 – 4:00 PM

  • Kamala Harris silent as Legislature weighs sports betting
  • It should be a bedrock issue for an attorney general’s input
  • Her passivity raises doubts about her being a U.S. senator

California’s attorney general has responsibilities and powers second only to those of the governor, and the office’s occupant is always in position to climb the political ladder.

Read the rest of this entry »

Solar panels

By David R. Baker
January 28, 2016
Updated: January 28, 2016 – 3:44pm

The solar industry scored a major victory Thursday when a divided California Public Utilities Commission voted to keep largely intact the system that compensates solar homeowners for excess electricity that they place on the grid.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at Stanford University on Tuesday. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

John Myers
January 27, 2016

Almost four decades after he signed a law mandating strict sentences for the most serious crimes, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday moved to ease its effect, proposing inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses be given a chance at early release.

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Accounting

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
January 27, 2016 11:12 AM

  • The state’s unfunded liability grew, but more slowly than expected

California faces a $74.1 billion obligation to cover state retirees’ medical expenses over the next three decades, according to a new report released by state Controller Betty Yee.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: PUC mess: Did Brown play role?

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 26, 2016 5:09 PM

  • PUC president made secret deal on nuke plant shutdown
  • San Diego attorney hunts for connection to governor
  • Judge’s ruling could force Brown to make disclosures

Jerry Brown distances himself from embarrassing situations in the state government he ostensibly commands, never adopting Harry Truman’s “the buck stops here” attitude.

Read the rest of this entry »

Snow People

Snow people were close by as the California Department of Water Resources collected samples during the first snow survey of the season, at Phillips Station, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. (Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle)

By Peter Fimrite
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 – Updated 4:04 pm

The heavens have opened up this winter and are dumping gobs of snow on the Sierra Nevada.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Judge calls for review of CPUC emails

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Jan. 25, 2016 | Updated – 5:05 p.m.

  • Ruling: Utilities commission won’t get last word on withholding San Onofre emails

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Monday rejected the California Public Utilities Commission’s request to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at forcing regulators to release dozens of emails to and from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Standard & Poor's

Allen Young, Staff Writer
Sacramento Business Journal
Jan 25, 2016 – 2:27pm PST

Standard & Poor’s, one of the nation’s top three credit ratings services, has forecast another year of economic growth for the California economy. But in a report released Monday, the agency also warned that the growth may soon end.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 24, 2016 – 9:02 AM

  • Jerry Brown wants to sock away extra billions
  • Democratic legislators want to spend extra billions
  • Governor warns that reserves needed to cushion recession

The single most important factor in writing a new state budget is determining how much money there is to spend.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Economic health a mixed bag

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 23, 2016 – 9:55 AM

  • California ended 2015 with employment gain
  • Yet recovery from recession has been uneven
  • High-skill and low-skill jobs grow, middling jobs stagnant

Gov. Jerry Brown delivered a mixed economic message to the Legislature last week – hailing California’s strong recovery from the Great Recession but warning it could quickly turn sour.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pothole

California transportation officials plan to cut funding for road and transit projects by $754 million over the next five years.

Patrick McGreevy
January 22, 2016

Faced with plummeting gasoline tax revenue, state transportation officials have announced plans to cut funding for road and transit projects by $754 million over the next five years, the greatest reduction in two decades.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Surcharges piling up on telephone bills

taxifornia

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
January 22, 2016 – 5:56 PM

  • Total charges have gone from 2.78 percent at end of 2012 to 7.894 percent
  • Universal Lifeline program driving increase
  • Lifeline program expanded to wireless plans in 2014

If your monthly cellphone or landline bills seem higher these days, take a look at the state surcharges.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jobs

Chris Kirkham
January 22, 2016

California employers added 60,400 jobs in December, according to state data, one of the largest single-month gains in the last three years.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: As California gas prices slowly edge lower – a look at taxes

Gasoline Taxes 10-01-2015

(Source: American Petroleum Institute – 10/01/15)

Friday, January 22, 2016 – 09:30 a.m

Price Alert! The average price of unleaded gas in California has dropped to a whopping $2.701 per gallon, according to tracking website Gasbuddy.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
January 21, 2016 12:23 PM

  • Change requires groups to itemize ‘other payments to influence’
  • Lobbyists haven’t protested new rule
  • Critics warn that rules can be circumvented

The state’s political watchdog adopted a new lobbying rule Thursday intended to shine a spotlight on ex-lawmakers for hire who use their clout to influence legislation, powerful interest groups behind misleading advertising campaigns and activities currently concealed in a catch-all category of regulatory filings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

State of the State address

John Myers
January 21, 2016

In a short speech with a long view of California, Gov. Jerry Brown used his State of the State address to challenge lawmakers to better balance the cyclical nature of success and setback that has dominated state government for the better part of two decades.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 21, 2016 6:08 PM

  • Jerry Brown’s State of the State address explores no new ground
  • He appears content to check off items on political bucket list for California
  • But does he see a political role as governorship winds down?

No Latin phrases. No paeans to pioneer ancestors. No quotes from obscure philosophers. A brief reference to climate change. Just a couple of mild quips.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hand Out

By Tracy Seipel
tseipel@mercurynews.com
Posted:    01/21/2016 – 12:01:48 PM PST
Updated: 01/21/2016 – 07:01:54 PM PST

California’s four largest health plans may be on the hook for $10 billion in state back taxes — and at least $1 billion every year going forward — if a closely watched legal case does not break their way.

Read the rest of this entry »

Politico: Kevin McCarthy pulled in $11 million in 2015

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy’s successful fundraising year was, in some part, due to the idea that he could become the next speaker of the House.

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Politico

By Jake Sherman
01/20/16 – 05:18 AM EST

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy raised more than $11 million last year, a sum that places him near the top of the Republican fundraising pyramid on Capitol Hill, according to sources familiar with his operation.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California’s big benefit debt load will grow

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 19, 2016 3:42 PM

  • Unfunded retirement costs at least $200 billion
  • Latest pension reform effort collapses
  • Benefit debt is destined to grow even larger

With no thought to long-term financial consequences, California politicians, both state and local, have saddled taxpayers with hundreds of billions of dollars in debt for pensions and retiree health care.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Public Radio

Ben Adler
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 | Sacramento, CA

California voters could be asked this fall to touch what’s been an untouchable law: the property tax initiative known as Proposition 13. A potential November ballot proposal would raise taxes on the state’s highest-value properties and spend the money on anti-poverty programs.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: State’s hide-the-pea accounting practices

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 17, 2016 4:58 AM

  • Accounting method can affect budget’s bottom line
  • State has constantly shifted income-outgo systems
  • Including retiree costs would make big difference

Fair warning: This column is about state accounting practices, which means you are in danger of being stupefied.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pension Reform

Associated Press
Posted: 01/18/2016 – 10:51:49 PM PST
Updated: 01/18/2016 – 10:52:19 PM PST

SACRAMENTO — The California budget that Gov. Jerry Brown proposed this month marks a shocking financial turnaround for a state that just a few years ago faced a $26 billion deficit.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California Driver’s continue to get hosed at the gas pump

Gas Prices

Monday, January 18, 2016 – 11:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 18, 2016 – 05:00 p.m.

As crude oil prices hit multi-year lows, California continues to get hosed by gasoline refiners.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 17, 2016 – 9:06 AM

  • Millions of people in state are mired in poverty
  • Caring for their needs costs $200 billion a year
  • But politicians wrangle over whether it’s enough

Gov. Jerry Brown was still explaining his new budget to reporters on Jan. 7 when advocates for the poor, who didn’t like what he was saying, began firing email blasts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shadow Lobbying

Patrick McGreevy
January 16, 2015

The dire warning arrived in a mailer to thousands of state voters from a group called the California Drivers Alliance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 16, 2016 9:54 AM

  • California falls short in meeting housing demand
  • Shortage pushes costs, especially rents, sky-high
  • Politicians talk about it, but do little

It’s time once again for some fun with numbers, in this case the data on California’s serious – and worsening – housing crisis.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cadiz

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California Water News

By California Water News Daily
January 15, 2016

Before leaving Washington for Christmas break, nine Members of Congress sent a letter to Neil Kornze, the Director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), encouraging him to reconsider the agency’s recent guidance regarding the Cadiz Water Project.

Read the rest of this entry »

Field Poll

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 14, 2016 4:01 PM

  • Even divide over whether to speed up executions or repeal capital punishment
  • Growing proportion of voters favor replacing death penalty with life in prison
  • Issue divides along sharply partisan lines

In an ongoing shift in public opinion about the death penalty in California, the number of state voters who favor doing away with capital punishment has grown to virtually the same size as those seeking to speed up the execution process, according to a new poll.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hoover Institution

By Jessica Calefati
jcalefati@bayareanewsgroup.com
Updated: 01/15/2016 – 06:54:32 AM PST

SACRAMENTO — When Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his annual State of the State address next week, he’s expected to cheer California’s good financial fortune, continue to hail the bullet train and stress the need to tackle climate change before it’s too late.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 14, 2016 3:39 PM

  • Internal rivalries bubbling to surface
  • Enviros target moderate Democrats
  • Legislative leaders on the spot

There’s nothing like a family feud to expose jealousies and rivalries that have been percolating for years.

Read the rest of this entry »

US-ART-RAIN ROOM-MOMA

By Paul Rogers
progers@mercurynews.com
Posted: 01/14/2016 – 05:42:25 PM PST

Don’t even think about putting that umbrella away.

Read the rest of this entry »

Raul Ruiz

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert

Published: Jan. 11, 2016 – Updated: 3:11 p.m.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is calling on Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, to donating $17,600 in campaign donations he received from actor Sean Penn to heroin treatment clinics in Ruiz’s district.

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

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 12, 2016 10:46 AM

  • Effort to extend Proposition 30 taxes changed to include reserve account funding

Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown criticized a ballot measure to extend temporary tax increases for containing the “fatal flaw” of circumventing California’s budget reserve requirements, proponents of the initiative said Tuesday that they have amended the proposal to address his complaint.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Analyst calls Jerry Brown’s budget ‘prudent’

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown carries notebook paper outlining his proposed 2016-17 state budget after a news conference at the California State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. (Renee C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 11, 2016 11:38 AM

  • Legislative Analyst’s Office warns of possible economic downturn
  • Brown’s estimates for local property tax revenue about $1 billion too low

The Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst on Monday called Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal a “prudent” spending plan, while arguing he may underestimate the amount of available revenue.

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Kamala Harris

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris campaigns Sunday at the L.A. headquarters of the Building and Construction Trades Council, an organized labor group that has endorsed her U.S. Senate bid to replace the retiring Barbara Boxer. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

Kathleen Decker
January 11, 2016

The upsides of California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris’ political ambitions have been apparent as she’s climbed in politics: She charms an audience like few candidates do, speaks knowledgeably about criminal justice-related issues and stays relentlessly on message.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Tax issue nags Jerry Brown

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 10, 2016 3:30 PM

  • Brown wrestled with complex issue four decades ago
  • State has changed corporate taxation formulas several times since
  • It’s still unsettled in Brown’s second governorship

State taxation of multistate and multinational corporations is not an issue for the fainthearted.

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The Press-Enterprise: POLITICS: Jeff Stone set to challenge Raul Ruiz

Jeff Stone

Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone announced his candidacy for Congress on Saturday, Jan. 9.

Published: Jan. 9, 2016 – Updated: 9:41 p.m.

  • The 36th Congressional District race now features two well-funded politicians

Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone announced his candidacy for Congress on Saturday, Jan. 9, setting up a heavyweight contest between a veteran Inland lawmaker and a well-financed Democratic incumbent.

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

Pete Aguilar

Pete Aguilar

By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 01/09/16 – 8:21 PM PST |
REDLANDS >> There’s political experience, and then there’s political experience.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-San Bernardino, spent eight years on the Redlands City Council, including six years as mayor, but his first year on Capitol Hill was a brand-new experience, starting with his swearing-in one year ago.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Punditry grounded in myths

George Deukmejian

Republican Gov. George Deukmejian and his wife, Gloria, are seen at his 1983 inaugural ball. The election defeat of his 1982 Democratic rival, Tom Bradley, has been blamed, says Dan Walters, on an imaginary “Bradley effect” in which white voters were supposedly reluctant to admit to pre-election pollsters that they opposed Los Angeles Mayor Bradley, who was black.

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Dan Walters
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 9, 2016 4:01 PM

  • Canards abound among out-of-state observers
  • ‘Bradley effect’ one oft-cited example
  • Latest myth deals with Pete Wilson’s 1994 election

One of the more entertaining aspects of covering California’s politics is monitoring the clumsy attempts of out-of-state pundits to explain its proclivities.

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InlandPolitics: New coverage on high-profile legal case

Scales of Justice

January 9, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

A extensive hearing on the high-profile Colonies case was held in San Bernardino County Superior Court on Friday.

To read local news coverage on the proceedings, click the following links:

The Sun / Daily Bulletin: Judge in Colonies case to weigh trial or dismissing case
The Press-Enterprise: CORRUPTION CASE: Prosecution denies withholding evidence
IE Business Daily: Allegations of Prosecution Misconduct Made in Colonies Criminal Case

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown leaves a news conference where he unveiled his proposed 2016-17 state budget. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

John Myers
January 8, 2016

It was during a boisterous and brusque budget presentation when Gov. Jerry Brown offered a candid assessment of why he’s unwilling to grant too many legislative spending requests.

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The Press-Enterprise: 2016 ELECTION: Which Inland races will be extra-competitive?

Campaigns

Published: Jan. 7, 2016 – Updated: 10:24 p.m.

Most if not all of the elected offices on the 2016 Inland ballot will have a choice between two or more candidates.

But right now, a handful of races for assembly, state senate and congressional seats appear to be more competitive than others. Incumbents tend to have a big advantage because they can raise more money and enjoy greater name recognition than their opponents, and many legislative districts are drawn in a way that favors one party.

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

California

Capitol Alert
By David Siders, Jim Miller and Jeremy B. White
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 7, 2016 9:45 AM

  • Democratic governor warns of possible downturn
  • Brown will build reserves more than required
  • School funding increases also planned

Gov. Jerry Brown, issuing a $170.6 billion state spending plan Thursday, proposed billions of dollars in new funding for schools, climate change programs and services for the elderly and disabled.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 7, 2016 12:08 PM

  • Brown proposes $170.7 billion budget
  • Governor warns of new recession
  • Tells legislators to curb spending plans

Gov. Jerry Brown, warning that “the next recession is getting closer,” doubled down Thursday on holding down state spending and building reserves.

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Field Poll

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
January 6, 2016 4:01 PM

  • Two Democrats still hold top-two places
  • Twice as many GOP voters remain undecided
  • Harris does well with liberals, while Sanchez leads among Latinos

Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez continue to lead the contest to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, but the all-Democratic dynamic could change once more Republican voters begin engaging in the race, according to the new Field Poll.

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Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the 2012-13 budget in 2012. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

John Myers and Melanie Mason
January 7, 2015

In an effort to break a political and policy logjam, Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil a state budget that revamps a controversial tax on health plans to avoid jeopardizing federal healthcare dollars.

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down-arrow

Business & Real Estate
By Mark Glover
mglover@sacbee.com
January 6, 2016 12:07 PM

  • $12.86 billion in shipments is the lowest in six years
  • Analysts cite slowing economies among key trade partners
  • Year-to-date totals lag record 2014 by 4.3 percent

Sacramento —

Wavering economies among key California trading partners in the last half of 2015 landed with a thud in the Golden State in November.

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The Press-Enterprise: ECONOMY: Inland index shows marked decline

csusb_logo_new

The Purchasing Managers Index from Cal State San Bernardino scored at 42.1, down from 52.3 in November

Published: Jan. 5, 2016 – Updated: 2:40 p.m.

Weakness in new orders and production helped pull the area purchasing managers index for December to a six-year low, sparking concerns about a potential economic contraction.

To read the Staff Report in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Daily Press: Obernolte named to leadership position

Jay Obernolte

Obernolte

By Staff Reports
Posted Jan. 5, 2016

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, was named Tuesday to a leadership position in the state Assembly.

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Jeff McDonald
By Jeff McDonald |
Jan. 5, 2016 – 5:38 p.m.

The judge who has overseen the matter of the San Onofre nuclear plant failure for the California Public Utilities Commission has stepped down amid the ongoing criminal investigation at the agency.

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