Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

Prosecutorial-Misconduct1

Saturday, August 27, 2016 – 10:00 a.m.

A bill imposing criminal penalties on prosecutors who withhold or hide evidence in criminal cases cleared the California Senate this week and is already headed to Governor Jerry Brown for his consideration.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Assembly
Republican Assembly members Don Wagner, of Irvine, Beth Gaines, of Roseville, center, and Shannon Grove, of Bakersfield, in September 2015 as the legislative year came to a close. The current two-year legislative session ends Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
August 25, 2016 – 7:07 PM

There’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.

That chestnut of time management holds particularly true for the California Legislature. In session for about eight months each year, the Legislature goes into overdrive in the days leading up to committee and floor deadlines.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 25, 2016 – 4:27 PM

As the Legislature begins the last few days of its biennial session, hundreds of measures are pending – not counting, of course, “mushroom bills” that will sprout in the dead of night and pass before anyone outside the Capitol can react.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money

Patrick McGreevy
Aug. 22, 2016 – 4:43 p.m.

In the continuing fallout from the city of Bell’s financial scandal, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring city councils and county boards of supervisors to publicly announce pay and benefit increases for government executives before they are approved by a vote.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Supreme Court

Howard Blume and Joy Resmovits
August 23, 2016

Monday was the end of the line for a landmark California case challenging tenure and other traditional job protections for teachers — and the teachers won.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calpensions: Court pension decision weakens ‘California rule’

Pensions

Ed Mendel
August 22, 2016

The one thing some pension reformers say is needed to cut the cost of unaffordable public pensions: give current workers a less costly retirement benefit for work done in the future, while protecting pension amounts already earned.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aedes aegypti mosquito

In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 08/19/16 – 2:15 PM PDT |

California health officials on Friday urged travelers returning home from the Olympics as well as countries where Zika is spreading to continue to wear insect repellent and to practice safe sex for several more weeks, to help prevent the spread of the virus in the Golden State.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California Senate set to pass prosecutorial misconduct legislation

Prosecutorial-Misconduct1

Friday, August 19, 2016 – 08:45 a.m.

The California legislature is set to forward legislation targeting prosecutor misconduct to Governor Jerry Brown.

Read the rest of this entry »

democrat_donkey

Associated Press
Posted:    08/18/2016 – 02:07:36 PM PDT
Updated: 08/18/2016 – 02:10:22 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — New data show nearly 18.1 million Californians are registered to vote, the second-highest statewide voter registration total ever.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: Whose poll is it anyway in Pete Aguilar vs. Paul Chabot race?

Paul Chabot

Republican congressional candidate Paul Chabot.

By JEFF HORSEMAN / STAFF WRITER
Published: Aug. 17, 2016 Updated: 4:05 p.m.

Unless it’s an ultra-competitive toss-up race, there’s typically not a lot of publicly available polling for congressional elections.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Bill to allow more felons to vote heads to Jerry Brown

I Voted

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
August 16, 2016 – 12:44 PM

California could soon restore voting rights for tens of thousands of felons who are not serving their sentences in the state prison system.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Francisco Chronicle: The mystery behind California’s high gas prices

Gas Prices

Taxes on gasoline in the Golden State tend to be among the country’s highest.

By David R. Baker
August 15, 2016
Updated: August 15, 2016 – 4:47pm

Gasoline is cheap in California compared to a year ago.

But it’s nowhere near as cheap as it could be.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calpensions: Dissident actuaries want to show big pension debt

calpers

Ed Mendel
August 15, 2016

Two actuarial associations did not publish a controversial paper by their joint task force, reflecting a split in the profession over whether public pension debt should be measured with risk-free bonds or the earnings forecast for stock-laden investment funds.

Read the rest of this entry »

Medical Marijuana

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
August 11, 2016 – 10:42 AM

The Obama administration’s decision Thursday to keep marijuana classified among the nation’s most dangerous drugs divided campaign operatives in California’s cannabis legalization debate.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

Beach-goers walk on the sand near the San Onofre nuclear power plant in San Clemente. A report from Consumer Watchdog alleges that Southern California Edison, which operated the plant before it was shuttered, donated $130,000 to the California Democratic Party on the same day a Public Utilities Commission official cut a deal to make ratepayers — not shareholders — cover 70 percent of the $4.7 billion cost to close the fatally flawed facility. (AP Photo, Lenny Ignelzi)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/10/16 – 10:54 AM PDT |

Twenty-six energy companies with business before the state donated nearly $10 million to Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Democratic Party over the past eight years — donations that often were made within days or weeks of winning favors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Logistics

California’s costly tax and regulatory policies have driven scores of businesses to leave the state, reduce their operations or curtail plans to locate here, according to a report from Spectrum Location Solutions. (Photo by John Valenzuela/The Sun)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/09/16 – 1:54 PM PDT |

California’s costly tax and regulatory policies prompted more than 10,000 businesses to leave the state, reduce their operations or curtail plans to locate here between 2008 and 2015, according to a report from Spectrum Location Solutions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Bulletin: Few Inland public worker pensions among highest

Pensions

By Alicia Robinson, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 08/08/16 – 7:54 PM PDT |

High-earning state and local government retirees are scattered around the state, with no one city or agency dominating the list of the biggest pension payouts in 2015, data from an open records advocacy group show.

Read the rest of this entry »

Goodwin Liu

California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, shown in 2011, argued in a dissent that California officials’ public votes are not protected under state and federal free speech laws. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)

Maura Dolan
August 8, 2016

The California Supreme Court decided Monday that the votes of elected officials are protected free speech.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 7, 2016 – 4:46 PM

When Kevin de León talks about creating pensions for low-income workers, he cites his aunt, a housekeeper for many years, as an example.

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

By Jordan Graham / Staff Writer
Updated Aug. 6, 2016 – 8:25 a.m.

The state’s political watchdog has launched an investigation into whether Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas violated the Political Reform Act by failing to report charitable donations he used his influence to solicit, and by approving public funds to be spent promoting his chief of staff’s business partner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

Gasoline prices are falling, but a consumer advocacy group contends that energy companies are profiting unfairly. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
August 4, 2016

A consumer advocacy group accused oil refiners of intentionally keeping California’s gasoline prices higher than in the rest of the nation to bolster profits, despite growing inventories and falling wholesale prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

California’s political cognoscenti took notice this week when state Treasurer John Chiang reported raising $2.3 million in the first 45 days of his campaign for governor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 2, 2016 – 4:28 PM

It’s been painfully evident for years, if not decades, that the State Bar – the quasi-public organization that licenses lawyers and is supposed regulate their conduct – is an institutional disaster zone.

Read the rest of this entry »

red-ink

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 1, 2016 – 6:00 AM

  • California’s state and local public employee pension systems are caught in a vicious circle of rising outlays to retirees, very low pension fund earnings, higher unfunded liabilities and rising demands for more tax dollars.

Ron Seeling, the California Public Employees Retirement System’s chief actuary, believed he was speaking to a closed-door seminar in 2009 when he warned that public employee pension costs were becoming “unsustainable.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Calpensions: CalPERS funding gap may grow under new trend

calpers

By Ed Mendel
Monday, August 1, 2016

Twice in recent decades CalPERS fell below 100 percent of the funding needed for promised pensions, and twice CalPERS climbed back. But since a $100 billion investment loss in 2008, the CalPERS funding level has not recovered.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 31, 2016 – 6:00 AM

Writing a new state budget in June turned out to be, in an old saying, easy-peasy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pay Raise

The State Worker
By Rachel Cohrs
rcohrs@sacbee.com
July 29, 2016 – 10:17 AM

The state has offered a nearly 12 percent general salary increase for SEIU Local 1000 employees spread out over four years, or a 9 percent increase over three years.

Read the rest of this entry »

Loretta Sanchez+Kamala Harris

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, left, and California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris. (Associated Press)

Phil Willon
July 27, 2016 – 9:00.P.M.

Half of California’s likely Republican voters and a third of independents said they wouldn’t vote for either candidate in the state’s U.S. Senate race this November, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 26, 2016 – 6:54 PM

The California Assembly has shown a certain appetite for institutional reform this year – noteworthy because it happens so rarely in the Capitol.

Read the rest of this entry »

Patrick McGreevy
July 26, 2016 – 11:28 a.m.

A political committee funded by oil companies has launched ads on the Internet attacking state Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino for opposing the reelection of Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown of San Bernardino, a fellow Democrat, and questioning Levya’s party loyalty.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 24, 2016 – 2:02 PM

  • One-percenters pay half of state income taxes
  • Temporary tax hikes didn’t spur mass exodus
  • Would extending them have different effect?

When voters passed Gov. Jerry Brown’s “temporary” tax increase in 2012, they gave California the nation’s highest marginal income tax rates, topping out at 13.3 percent.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 23, 2016 – 2:00 PM

  • Pension problems stem from 1999 benefit boost
  • Unemployment insurance ills rooted in 2003 benefit boost
  • Stockton violates austerity budget to reopen library

One day last week, Daniel Borenstein, a columnist for newspapers in the Bay Area News Group, published a critical analysis of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s long-term finances.

Read the rest of this entry »

Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Orange). (Tomas Ovalle / For The Times)

Phil Willon, Jazmine Ulloa
July 22, 2016

Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez said in an interview with a Spanish-language television station that she believes President Obama may have endorsed rival Kamala Harris in California’s U.S. Senate race because they are both black, injecting a dose of racial politics into a historic contest that in November will elect the state’s first African American or Latino senator.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jobs

Natalie Kitroeff
July 22, 2016

Defying critics of new state regulations, California continued to pad its hefty payrolls in June. Employers added a net 40,300 jobs over the month, the state reported Friday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shadow Lobbying

Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
July 21, 2016 – :33 PM

  • Ethics panel concerned lobbyists working without proper disclosure
  • New rule aimed at requiring paper trail to ease enforcement
  • Some political attorneys complain that rule creates presumption of guilt

California’s political watchdog approved a regulatory change Thursday aimed at encouraging shadow lobbyists to disclose their efforts to influence legislation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Weekly

By Cosmo Garvin
Posted 07.21.2016

When California introduced its Cal-Access campaign finance website, “There was nothing like it in the country,” said Rob Lapsley, who was under-Secretary of State in 2000, the year the campaign disclosure tool made its debut.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Supreme Court

By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 07/20/16 – 5:40 PM PDT |

UPLAND >> Was Upland correct in deciding to delay a citizen-backed initiative until the general election because officials believed it was a tax?

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

By Alison Noon, Associated Press
Jul. 21, 2016 – 2:17 AM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s top political watchdog is championing a bid to crack down on lobbyists who fail to disclose efforts to influence government officials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ann-Coulter

Ann Coulter likens Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick to friend who ‘gets engaged to a loser.

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
July 20, 2016 – 10:20 AM

  • Conservative author tells California Republicans she hasn’t seen “one minute” of Republican National Convention
  • Coulter selling a book, speaking to California delegates far from Cleveland
  • U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton expected to address delegates on Thursday

Sandusky, Ohio —

What kind of crowd-seeker will make the 60-mile slog from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to address the California Republican Party at its daily breakfasts here?

Read the rest of this entry »

California

A new CNBC report ranks California as the nation’s least business-friendly state.

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 07/19/16 – 6:00 PM PDT |

If you think California is a tough place to do business, you’re not alone.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sentinel: Evidence DA, Grand Jury Adviser obstructed investigation growing

SBCO

By Mark Gutglueck
Posted on July 16, 2016

A backlog of evidence and witnesses being accumulated by investigators with the California Attorney General’s Office looking into criminal acts and negligence in San Berardino County’s Children and Family Services Department implicates San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos and one of his employees, deputy district attorney Michael Dauber in an effort to obstruct justice, information provided by some of those witnesses shows.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 18, 2016 – 4:03 PM

  • Big public employee pension fund gained just 0.61 percent last year
  • With low earnings, its unfunded liability for benefits grows
  • Maintaining 7.5 percent earnings assumption doesn’t make sense

You can smear lipstick on a pig, but that doesn’t change its innate porcinity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Covered California

Monthly premiums in California’s health insurance exchange will increase by more than 13 percent on average next year after two major insurers requested large rate increases, officials said Tuesday.

By Jonathan J. Cooper,  Associated Press
July 19, 2016 – 1:01 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

Monthly premiums in California’s health insurance exchange will increase by more than 13 percent on average next year after two major insurers requested large rate increases, officials said Tuesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
July 18, 2016 – 9:11 AM

  • Pension fund’s investment gains well below target
  • Poor stock market showing drives weak results

CalPERS reported a 0.61 percent gain in investments in its latest fiscal year, the second straight year of subpar results for the big California pension fund.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 17, 2016 – 5:00 PM

  • Property taxes will top $60 billion this year
  • San Francisco leads with 8.8 percent increase
  • Property taxes continue to outpace state levies

County property tax assessors are reporting strong upticks in taxable values for the 2016-17 fiscal year that began July 1.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hedge Fund

By Ed Mendel
July 18, 2016

The two big California public pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, are going opposite ways on a controversial investment strategy, hedge funds, that is under fire from a powerful teachers union.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles

Southland economist Christopher Thornberg says California’s economy is solid, with healthy gains in employment and the housing market. Thornberg spoke Friday at a Mid-Year Economic Forecast & Trends Breakfast in Los Angeles. (File Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 07/15/16 – 6:15 PM PDT |

The U.S. economy is in far better shape than many might think.

Read the rest of this entry »

CTA

John Myers
July 14, 2016 – 4:20 P.M.

Backers of the effort to extend the lifespan of California’s tax rates on the most wealthy boosted their campaign coffers Thursday, with a $10-million contribution from the California Teachers Assn.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sharon Runner

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
July 14, 2016 – 8:58 AM

  • Runner underwent a double lung transplant
  • Runner said earlier this year she wouldn’t seek re-election

California Sen. Sharon Runner, who returned to the Legislature last year following a double lung transplant, died Thursday. The Lancaster Republican was 62.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kamala Harris

State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Phil Willon
July 13, 2016 – 9:51 P.M.

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday said that Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last week, would be alive today had he been white.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 12, 2016 – 3:04 PM

  • California Public Employees’ Retirement System lost money
  • Fund is now well short of what’s required to cover pensions
  • CalPERS demands more from governments to cover outlays

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System – the nation’s largest pension trust fund – took a beating during the Great Recession, dropping nearly $100 billion in value.

Read the rest of this entry »

Up Arrow

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 11, 2016 – 2:32 PM

  • Strong real estate market, construction add to property tax rolls
  • Taxable values estimated to hit $5.5 trillion

A strong surge in real estate transactions, new commercial and residential construction and rising housing prices should generate a $3-plus billion increase in property tax revenues for schools and local governments during the current fiscal year.

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

By Teri Sforza / Staff Writer
July 12, 2016 – Updated 7:37 a.m.

Public workers are pumping more money into retirement funds. Public agencies are pumping more money into retirement funds.

Yet the market seems distinctly unimpressed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: ‘Confusing’ California primary ends on sour note

Elections

John Myers
July 10, 2016

State officials will write the June 7 primary’s final chapter this week by certifying that more than 8.5 million ballots were cast, though it’s unlikely to assuage voters or local elections officials who complained that overlapping and confusing rules left them with a lingering political hangover.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 9, 2016 – 4:44 PM

  • State’s $2.5 trillion economy now world’s sixth largest
  • However, recovery from recession has downside
  • Income gap widens, state moves toward two-tier society

The revelation that California’s $2.5 trillion economy is now the world’s sixth largest is a source of tub-thumping pride for the state’s politicians.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: KTTV coverage of San Bernardino County CFS scandal

Saturday, July 9, 2016 – 09:30 a.m.

Here’s a clip from Los Angeles-based Fox News Affiliate KTTV-11 on their latest coverage of the San Bernardino County Children and Family Services scandal.

This latest segment is focused on the watered-down Civil Grand Jury Report released on June 30.

The “window dressing” Grand Jury Report, for whatever it’s worth, should have been released one year ago. However that endeavor was cut-off.

San Onofre

Southern California Edison argued in a filing with state regulators that a settlement agreement over the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant was fair and reasonable. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Ivan Penn
July 7, 2016

Southern California Edison on Thursday warned that its customers could face higher costs related to the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant if regulators overturn a settlement agreement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 4, 2016 – 6:39 PM

  • State Bar both regulator of lawyers and trade association
  • Its shortcomings have been well known for years
  • Reform bill stalled in the state Senate

Somehow, you knew it was too good to be true.

It’s been evident for years that the State Bar – the quasi-public agency that licenses lawyers – is an organizational mess.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: California ballot measures get their November numbers

Ballot Measures

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
July 1, 2016 – 3:21 PM

  • Propositions 51 to 67 assigned to measures qualified as of Thursday
  • The Legislature could add more initiatives after summer recess
  • Advocates have until later this month to turn in ballot arguments

The 17 ballot measures set to go before voters Nov. 8 will number 51 through 67, the secretary of state’s office announced Friday, the day after the qualification deadline.

Read the rest of this entry »

No Guns

Patrick McGreevy
July 1, 2016 – 10:36 A.M.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed six gun-control bills into law, including a requirement that ammunition purchasers undergo background checks. The governor vetoed five other measures, including an expansion of the use of restraining orders to take guns from people deemed to be dangerous.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown’s parole measure makes November ballot

Prison

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
June 30, 2016 – 3:47 PM

  • Secretary of State’s Office announces that constitutional amendment qualified by random sample
  • Supreme Court gave the measure the go-ahead earlier this month
  • Constitutional amendment would make some nonviolent felons eligible for early release

Gov. Jerry Brown’s constitutional amendment to make some nonviolent felons eligible for early parole qualified for the November ballot on Thursday – the statutory deadline – after a harried signature-gathering effort and intervention from the California Supreme Court.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hand Gun open carry

Jazmine Ulloa
Patrick McGreevy
June 30, 2016 – 2:25 P.M.

Spurred by outrage over recent mass shootings, California lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a sweeping package of gun control bills, including a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, background checks for those buying ammunition and new restrictions on homemade firearms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

Gasoline prices are displayed at a California service station in May 2015. (Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
July 1, 2016

State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has issued subpoenas to oil refiners as part of an investigation into unusually high gasoline prices in California during the last year.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre

An independent audit found problems with the California Public Utilities Commission’s hiring of private law firms in connection with investigations on how the commission handled the San Onofre nuclear power plant’s emergency shutdown in 2012. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Jeff McDonald
June 29, 2016

Major reforms may be coming to the California Public Utilities Commission, but the agency still has plenty of room for improvement, auditors said Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 28, 2016 – 5:59 PM

  • Public Utilities Commission, Coastal Commission under fire
  • Critics say insiders have too much access to members
  • New bills would place limits on ‘ex parte’ communications

Lawyers love to sprinkle their discourse with Latin phrases, thereby giving them a veneer of erudition.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 27, 2016 – 3:29 PM

  • Competing measures would require more notice on bills
  • Each side says the other’s proposal is flawed
  • Deadline for November ballot looms this week

It’s showdown time for two fiercely competitive measures that would give the public more time to see legislative bills before they are passed.

Read the rest of this entry »

CPUC

On Monday, June 27, 2016, the day Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced a deal to overhaul the troubled California Public Utilities Commission.

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
June 27, 2016 – 11:19 AM

  • Embattled regulator has faced regular criticism
  • Influencers will need to register as lobbyists
  • Companies such as Uber, Lyft no longer in agency’s enforcement purview

A deal between Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced Monday will bring major changes to the oft-criticized California Public Utilities Commission, including removing the regulator’s enforcement authority over ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Orange County Register: Hot-button initiatives fill November ballot

Ballot Measures

By Martin Wisckol / Staff Columnist
June 23, 2016

A list of 20 or so ballot measures can turn into a mind-numbing journey to obscure corners of government financing and bureaucracy.

Not this time.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBCO

The state Attorney General’s Bureau of Children’s Justice announced Wednesday morning its investigation into San Bernardino County’s Department of Children and Family Services and allegations that children are repeatedly placed into abusive homes, where they have been severely abused, some to the point of death.

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 06/22/16 – 12:05 PM PDT |

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Wednesday her office is investigating allegations of systemic failures in San Bernardino County’s Department of Children and Family Services, prompted by horrific tales of children repeatedly being placed into abusive homes where they died or were severely abused.

Read the rest of this entry »

U.C. Irvine

By Roxana Kopetman / Staff Writer
June 22, 2016 – Updated 10:38 p.m.

IRVINE – The College Republicans at UCI was banned from meeting on much of the campus – hours after university administrators learned that the Republican youth plan to bring back a controversial speaker to campus before the November election.

Read the rest of this entry »

Loretta Sanchez+Kamala Harris

U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez left. California Attorney General Kamala Harris right.

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
June 22, 2016 – 2:20 PM

  • Ex-Los Angeles mayor calls her an ‘independent thinker’
  • Sanchez: ‘I will work with leaders across the aisle’
  • Harris has strong support from Democrats and leads in poll

Democrat Loretta Sanchez’s gambit to attract dissident Republicans to her U.S. Senate campaign received a shot of encouragement Wednesday with the endorsement of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California AG announces San Bernardino County CFS probe

image description

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 – 10:00 a.m.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, in a Wednesday morning presser, announced that a “probe” is underway into negligence allegations against San Bernardino County Children and Family Services (CFS).

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
June 21, 2016 – 4:05 PM

  • Loopholes allow consultants to influence legislation without registering with the state
  • FPPC held a public meeting Tuesday to gather comment on the proposed change

California’s political watchdog is considering a regulatory change to draw “shadow lobbyists,” consultants paid to influence legislation, into the public eye.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County loses dispute with union

SBCO

Tuesday, June 21, 2106 – 10:30 a.m.

A long-running and costly legal battle between San Bernardino County, it’s Office of the Public Defender, and the San Bernardino County Public Attorney’s Association just ended with the county getting slammed by a state agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 20, 2016 – 4:12 PM

  • May’s auction realized just 2 percent of expected revenue
  • Analysts believe conditions bode ill for future offerings
  • Auction meltdown has placed hold on billions in spending

When California’s “cap-and-trade” auction of carbon emission allowances imploded a month ago, it clobbered ambitious plans by Capitol politicians to spend many billions of dollars.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: Democrats back pot legalization, repeal of death penalty

Medical Marijuana

Phil Willon
June 19, 2016 – 2:05 P.M.

The California Democratic Party on Sunday stayed true to its left-leaning political ideals, voting to support ballot initiatives to legalize pot and repeal the death penalty.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Inland Empire governments renewed financial worries

Budget Woes

Sunday, June 19, 2016 – 12:00 a.m.

The economy is supposed to be doing just fine. Property taxes have all but fully recovered along with real estate prices.

But Inland Empire governments are expressing caution when discussing their finances.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 18, 2016 – 2:00 PM

  • Harris vs. Sanchez will be first statewide top-two test
  • What happens will set template for future contests
  • Sanchez hopes Republicans, independents help her

California has had its brief moment of semi-relevance in this year’s wild and woolly presidential contest and Hillary Clinton can now safely count on its 55 electoral votes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Death Penalty

By Don Thompson, Associated Press
Jun. 18, 2016 – 12:24 AM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California voters will be asked to do away with the nation’s largest death row after the secretary of state’s office said the repeal measure qualified for the November ballot on Friday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jobs

Health services was one of the industries that added the most jobs in May.

Natalie Kitroeff
June 17, 2016

California’s job growth continued in May as employers added 15,200 people to their payrolls, according to a state data release.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 16, 2016 – 3:51 PM

  • Budget total remained same, despite new spending
  • Shift to bonds for jails lubricated negotiations
  • Borrowing undercuts Brown’s stance on debt

The state budget that’s sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk – $122 billion in general fund spending – is almost exactly the dimensions of what he had proposed in January and revised slightly in May.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Pension fund resorts to 30 year performance measure

SBCO

Thursday, June 16, 2016 – 12:00 p.m.

You know things are getting tough when a pension fund starts mentioning its 30-year average average return in its investment reports.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee (AP): California Budget: By the numbers

California Budget

California
The Associated Press
June 15, 2016 6:44 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

California lawmakers have approved a $122.5 billion budget that funds state government for 2016-17. The budget was negotiated by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, and the top two legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Paramount and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, of Los Angeles.

Here’s a look at what’s in it, and some things that are not.

Read the rest of this entry »

Associated Press: Lawmakers to vote on $122 billion California budget

California Capitol

California State Capitol in Sacramento.

By Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press
Jun. 15, 2016 – 1:24 AM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a state budget that boosts funding for safety net programs while socking away billions of dollars to prepare for a recession.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 14, 2016 – 3:52 PM

  • Capitol politicians sneak measures through process
  • Ballot measure would require waiting period
  • Legislature responds with its own proposal

The timing could not have been more perfect.

As dozens of state budget “trailer bills” were being given their first public airing Monday, in another part of the Capitol legislators were mulling whether the public should be given more time to review legislation before it is passed.

Read the rest of this entry »