Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

The Sacramento Bee: Legislature tries State Bar fix, but remedy falls short

Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 14, 2017 – 4:00 PM

California has a rogue’s gallery of malfunctioning state agencies, with the Board of Equalization the current poster child for disarray and miscreant behavior.

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The San Francisco Chronicle: Closer look at $175 million UC hid from the public

UC President Janet Napolitano reads her statement concerning the audit conducted Elaine Howle (right), state auditor. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press)

By Nanette Asimov and Melody Gutierrez
May 14, 2017

News that thousands of students at the University of California often go hungry because they can’t afford meals prompted a generous promise last summer from UC President Janet Napolitano: $3.3 million for more food pantries and other ways of feeding the young scholars.

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The Sacramento Bee: California’s economy growing faster than national average

By Phillip Reese
preese@sacbee.com
May 11, 2017

California’s economy grew faster in 2016 than all but a few other states, outpacing the average national growth for the sixth consecutive year, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller and Christopher Cadelago
jmiller@sacbee.com
May 11, 2017 – 10:45 AM

California Gov. Jerry Brown released a revised, $180 billion budget proposal Thursday that closely mirrors his January plan, maintaining a cautious approach amid uncertainty about the direction of the economy and possible federal actions that could hurt the state’s bottom line.

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Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 08, 2017 – 2:07 PM

Democratic legislators have counted on a revenue surge to persuade Gov. Jerry Brown to loosen up on spending – but just the opposite is occurring.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS rates are doubling, but is that enough?

Ed Mendel
May 8, 2017

Long-delayed legislation is more than doubling the CalSTRS rates paid by school districts and the state. But even if the all-important pension fund investment earnings are on target, the huge CalSTRS debt is expected to continue to grow for another decade.

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KQED: California Senate Approves Earlier Presidential Primary

By Marisa Lagos
May 4, 2017
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California is one step closer to having the third presidential primary in the nation, after the state Senate today overwhelmingly approved a bill to schedule future primary votes in March.

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By Bob Egelko
May 2, 2017 Updated: May 2, 2017 2:43pm

Prosecutors who withhold evidence that might have helped a criminal defendant will soon face the prospect of punishment by the State Bar of California, under rules already in place in every other state.

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Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 02, 2017 – 5:10 PM

Throughout California, local government and school district officials are writing new budgets and confronting rapidly rising costs of pensions.

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Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 29, 2017 – 2:00 PM

Tax more, spend more and regulate more.

As state legislators completed their initial committee reviews of bills last week, it became evident that this year’s session may be the most liberal in California history.

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Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
April 28, 2017 – 5:30 PM

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, visited The Bee Capitol Bureau on Wednesday to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the California Legislature this year. Here’s what he had to say:

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California budget
John Myers
April 28, 2017 – 4:07 p.m.

California’s most important month for collecting income taxes could end some $600 million short of official projections, based on preliminary data collected Friday.

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By Teri Sforza,
tsforza@scng.com, @ocwatchdog, terisforza on Twitter
Posted: 04/27/17 – 10:01 PM PDT |

‘Tis better to give than to receive, they say — especially when you’re giving someone else’s money.

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The measure has raised concerns, because it doesn’t specify where money to fund the program would come from.

Melanie Mason
April 26, 2017

A sweeping measure that would establish government-run universal healthcare in California cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday as scores of supporters crammed into the Capitol to advocate for a single-payer system.

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The State Worker
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
April 25, 2017 – 7:00 AM

Public employee unions presented a united front on Monday against a bill by Sen. John Moorlach that aimed to close California’s pension funding gap by eliminating cost-of-living increases and asking local governments to chip in a greater share of their revenue toward retirements.

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Early morning traffic makes its way along the 91 Freeway in Riverside County. A new report from a nonpartisan think tank finds that the recently passed $52.4 billion transportation funding bill, which raises the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon, isn’t a long-term solution for California’s transportation needs. (File)

By Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/24/17 – 7:43 PM PDT |

A newly passed transportation funding bill that raises California’s gasoline tax by 12 cents a gallon isn’t a long-term fix for the state’s crumbling roads, according to a report released Monday by a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.

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The Sun: Hidden costs of gas-tax legislation: Jon Coupal

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a press conference regarding a landmark road repair and transportation investment package on April 4, 2017 in Riverside. (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Jon Coupal
Posted: 04/21/1 – 4:11 PM PDT |

For the last three weeks this column has focused on both the policies and politics of the $5.2 billion annual transportation tax increase. In the unlikely event that some have forgotten — or were on another planet — the taxes include a substantial hike in the car tax as well as a 12 cent increase in the gas tax.

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By Mark Muckenfuss, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/21/17 – 8:08 PM PDT |

Just a year ago, the faculty of California State University was ready to walk.

After months of stalled negotiations, the California Faculty Association and its members had already planned for a weeklong work stoppage when Chancellor Timothy White stepped into the process, cut a last-minute deal and kept the system’s classrooms open.

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The Sacramento Bee: Gas tax deals illegal? ‘Preposterous,’ says Jerry Brown

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
April 19, 2017 – 11:37 AM

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday dismissed as “preposterous” suggestions that he broke the law by providing district-specific projects to lawmakers to win their support for his $52 billion road repair package with tax and fee increases.

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The bill sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League comes amid citywide debate over police discipline practices. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Liam Dillon
April 19, 2017

It would be more difficult for police departments in California to discipline officers accused of lying under under a plan proposed by a Los Angeles lawmaker.

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Associated Press: California Senate approves projects linked to gas tax hike

By Jonathan J. Cooper and Sophia Bollag
Apr. 18, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Senate on Monday approved more than $900 million worth of road and train projects that were promised to lawmakers in order to secure their support for a hike in gas taxes and vehicle fees.

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Calpensions: Another court setback for protectors of pensions

Ed Mendel
April 17, 2016

In another ruling allowing pension cuts, an appeals court last week overturned a state labor board ruling that a voter-approved San Diego pension reform was invalid because the city declined to bargain the issue with labor unions.

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By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
April 15, 2017

Blowing past state officials’ financial projections, three construction contractors submitted bids for the Oroville Dam repairs that begin at $275 million, the Department of Water Resources said Saturday.

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Capitol Alert
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
April 13, 2017 – 5:16 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday asked the state Department of Justice to investigate California’s troubled Board of Equalization and severely restricted the tax agency’s ability to do business.

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Los Angeles Times: Northern California gets its wettest winter in nearly a century

Recent record storms blanket Northstar California Ski Resort in Truckee with snow. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Sarah Parvini
April 13, 2017

A series of late-season storms has vaulted this winter into the history books, making it the wettest winter for California’s northern Sierra Nevada in nearly a century of record-keeping, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

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The Press-Enterprise: No new supervisor, no meeting for Riverside County board

A video screen contains a tribute to the late Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit.

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
April 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm

The continued lack of a fifth Riverside County supervisor has caused cancellation of a board meeting.

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Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), left, Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) were the forces pushing for a new transportation funding bill. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Patrick McGreevy, Melanie Mason and John Myers
April 9 , 2017

In one of the biggest legislative victories of his storied political career, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed through an ambitious plan last week that will increase gas taxes and vehicle fees to raise $52 billion over the next decade for the repair of California’s system of crumbling roads, highways and bridges.

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By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 04/07/17 – 6:34 PM PDT |

After a record-breaking winter rainy season, plus an impressive effort by Southland residents at conserving water in the first two months of 2017, California’s devastating five-year drought is finally over.

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Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller, Christopher Cadelago and Taryn Luna
jmiller@sacbee.com
April 8, 2017 – 12:01 AM

California drivers will begin paying 12 cents per gallon more in gas taxes later this year, the first of several tax and fee hikes contained in this week’s road-funding bill that eventually will cost the average motorist about $120 a year.

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Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna and Alexei Koseff
tluna@sacbee.com
April 6, 2017 – 7:00 PM

The state Legislature on Thursday passed a sweeping $52 billion transportation plan that will raise California gas taxes after leaders struck deals with wavering lawmakers to fund road projects in their districts.

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Chris Megerian
April 6, 2017, – 2:03 p.m.

Reporting from Sacramento—

California’s controversial cap-and-trade program, a cornerstone of the state’s battle against climate change, has been upheld by a state appeals court.

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Pay gap between men and women by industry

Natalie Kitroeff and Nina Agrawal
April 4, 2017

Today is Equal Pay Day, which was invented by an activist group two decades ago to draw attention to the wage divide between men and women.

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The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown’s gas tax increases still need more votes

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 3, 2017 – 3:22 PM

During Barack Obama’s presidency, Republican congressional leaders easily passed repeals of Obama’s landmark health insurance law, knowing they were DOA.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown discusses a plan to raise $52 billion to fix California roads, during a news conference Wednesday in Sacramento. The 10-year plan would boost the gasoline excise tax by 12 cents a gallon along with higher registration fees and a $100 charge on emission-free vehicles. Rich Pedroncelli (AP)

By Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/03/17 – 8:25 PM PDT |

Gov. Jerry Brown is bringing his pitch for a $52 billion transportation funding plan to Riverside.

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James Queally, Kate Mather and Cindy Chang
April 1, 2017

In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.

Police officers began making fewer arrests. The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department’s arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015.

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U.S. News (AP): $52B Needed to Fix California Roads, Taxes and Fees Proposed

California’s governor and legislative leaders want to raise $52 billion to fix roads through a big increase in the gas tax.

By DON THOMPSON and SOPHIA BOLLAG, Associated Press
March 29, 2017, at 9:11 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s governor and legislative leaders on Wednesday proposed raising $52 billion to fix the state’s roads through a big gasoline tax increase, higher car registration fees and a charge on emission-free vehicles.

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Frank Gehrke, right, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, plunges the survey tube into the snowpack as he conducts the third manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, near Echo Summit, Calif. The survey showed the snowpack at 179 percent of normal for this location at this time of year. The state’s electronic snow monitors say the Sierra Nevada snowpack is at 185 percent of normal. At left is Armando Quintero chairman of the California Water Commission. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli/File)

By Paul Rogers, Bay Area News Group
Posted: 03/29/17 – 5:54 PM PDT |

The biggest blizzards are over. But as state water officials head into the Sierra Nevada on Thursday for the annual April 1 snowpack reading — the most important of the year for planning summer water supplies — California still has a huge amount of snow covering its highest mountain peaks, an avalanche that has buried the state’s punishing drought.

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By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
March 25, 2017 – 1:30 PM

There’s a saying among Capitol insiders about legislation: You shouldn’t amend a bad bill.

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Natalie Kitroeff
March 24, 2017

California’s unemployment rate ticked down to 5% in February, reaching a 10-year low on eight consecutive months of job growth.

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Los Angeles Daily News: Here’s how California ended up with too much solar power

By David Danelski, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 03/18/17 – 2:47 PM PDT |

California’s power-grid operators are dealing with a glut of daytime electricity produced by household, government, business and industrial solar installations.

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The Statehouse Capitol, in Sacramento. (Los Angeles Times)

Patrick McGreevy
March 16, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.

In a rare bipartisan agreement, the leaders of the Democratic and Republican caucuses of the state Senate and Assembly have united to fight a proposal by the state’s campaign watchdog agency to change the test for when a candidate controls a political committee.

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Los Angeles Times: Trump budget would reignite California’s financial strains

Protesters rally in 2013 against cuts to Medi-Cal. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Evan Halper and Sarah D. Wire
March 16, 2016

President Trump’s budget would deliver a painful financial blow to California, with the potential to push a state that has struggled for years to keep its books balanced back into the kind of red ink that consumed it after the housing market collapse a decade ago.

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Los Angeles Daily News: California’s property tax burden 10th worst in nation

California’s 0.81 percent effective rate, by WalletHub math – that’s 81 cents per $100 of assessed value – was tied for 17th lowest among the states. (Register file photo)

By Jonathan Lansner,
jlansner@scng.com
Posted: 03/12/17 – 10:17 PM PDT |

Warning: Property taxes are due April 10.

Before you search for the bill and the checkbook – and perhaps express a few choice nasty words aloud about the financial pinch – let me make you extra grumpy.

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Associated Press: California State Bar bans sex between attorneys and clients

AP Nation / World
By Sudhin Thanawala
Associated Press
Mar 10, 2017 – 6:56 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The State Bar of California approved an ethics rule that would subject lawyers to discipline for having sex with their clients.

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Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
March 8, 2017 – 5:37 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown will have another opportunity to shape the state’s highest court after Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar announced Tuesday her plans to retire later this year.

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The Sacramento Bee: CalPERS set to slash pensions for nearly 200 workers

Capitol Alert
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
March 7, 2017 – 4:41 PM

For the second time in four months, CalPERS is preparing to slash benefits for a group of retirees whose former employer stopped cutting checks to fund their pensions.

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Daily Press: Lovingood fined $6K for failing to disclose business interests

Lovingood said Monday that the violations stemmed from a “disagreement centered on the definition of the word ‘income'” — or net versus gross revenue, of which he believed rules were framed by the former, and the Fair Political Practices Commission, the latter.

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted:     Mar 6, 2017 at 6:07 PM
Updated:  Mar 6, 2017 at 7:04 PM

San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood violated Fair Political Practices Commission rules by failing to timely disclose income sources of $10,000 or more to his staffing company in 2013 and 2014. He was fined and paid $6,000 to settle four counts lodged against him.

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Esmeralda Bermudez
March 6, 2017

A San Bernardino County supervisor has agreed to pay a $6,000 fine for not disclosing part of his earnings in state filings.

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California saw a net gain of 9,700 jobs in January while its unemployment rate fell to 5.1%. (Source: Employment Development Department and Los Angeles Times graphics)

Natalie Kitroeff
March 3, 2016

The California economy started 2017 on a strong note, with employers adding a net 9,700 jobs in January and the unemployment rate dropping to 5.1%, according to data released by the Employment Development Department.

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Associated Press: Court: Officials’ emails on private accounts are public

By Sudhin Thanawala
March 03, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Government employees in California cannot keep the public from seeing their work-related emails and texts sent on personal devices and through private accounts, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday, closing a loophole that justices said could have allowed the “most sensitive and potentially damning” communications to be shielded.

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By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
March 2, 2017 – 3:59 PM

Late Wednesday, the California High-Speed Rail Authority dispatched a report to the Legislature, crowing about progress in building a statewide bullet train system.

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Calpensions: CalPERS investment priority shifts to avoiding loss

Ed Mendel
February 27, 2017

Despite a low funding level little changed since massive investment losses nearly a decade go, CalPERS is focusing on avoiding another big loss, not risky attempts to maximize investment earnings.

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California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, seen during a confirmation hearing in January, has emerged as the leading candidate for the post in the 2018 election. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Patrick McGreevy
February 26, 2017

The race for California attorney general in 2018 has been shaken up by the so-called “Trump factor,” with the state’s newly appointed top lawyer, Xavier Becerra, seeing his profile boosted to the national stage by legal challenges to the Republican president.

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The Sacramento Bee: Once again, poll finds voters are ignorant on budget

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 19, 2017 – 4:00 PM

It’s been said that ignorance is bliss.

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Department of Water Resources personnel, left, inspects a hole was torn in the spillway of the Oroville Dam while releasing approximately 60,000 cubic-feet-second of water in advance of more rain on February 7, 2017 in Oroville, California. (Photo: Max Whittaker/Prime, Special To The Chronicle)

By Joaquin Palomino and Cynthia Dizikes, San Francisco Chronicle
February 19, 2017
Updated: February 19, 2017 – 12:05pm

The dam burst on a warm afternoon, unleashing nearly 300 million gallons of muddy water on a Los Angeles neighborhood. Five people died and dozens of homes were swept off their foundations and destroyed.

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Water & Drought
Sacramento Bee Staff
February 18, 2017 – 10:20 AM

These three graphs show key California reservoir conditions and river stages for the upper and lower Sacramento Valley for Saturday, February 18, 2017. The images are from the California Department of Water Resources’ Data Exchange Center and the National Weather Service.

To read expanded article, click here.

By Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle
Published: February 16, 2017
Updated:   February 16, 2017 – 6:34pm

California legislators are fighting a resolution in Congress that could derail plans to create a state-run retirement plan for private-sector employees who don’t have one at work.

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Christine Mai-Duc
Feb. 15, 2017 – 1:55 p.m.

The Republicans have named their top 10 most vulnerable incumbents in Congress, and three Californians are among them.

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Paige St. John
Feb. 14, 2017 – 4:59 p.m.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for assistance in dealing both with the Oroville Dam crisis and damage from record storms that hit the state in January.

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The Sacramento Bee: Feds order independent review of Oroville Dam spillway problems

By Ryan Sabalow
rsabalow@sacbee.com
February 13, 2017 – 6:56 PM

The federal agency that issued the license for the troubled Oroville Dam on Monday ordered state officials to convene an independent panel of five experts to assess the damaged dam and issue recommendations.

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The Sacramento Bee: Millions spent on California politics, but it’s just chicken feed

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 12, 2017 – 4:00 PM

After last November’s elections were over, the combatants filed year-end reports on what they had spent for and against legislative candidates and ballot measures and it was close to $700 million – nearly two-thirds more than spending during the previous election cycle.

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CalPERS is one of a handful of California government departments that in 2012 added more staff than usual in the last week of the year. Those new hires were the last to accrue pension benefits under a generous formula that the state began to phase out on Jan. 1, 2013.

By Adam Ashton and Phillip Reese
aashton@sacbee.com
February 12, 2017 – 12:01 AM

On the eve of major pension changes that would crimp retirement benefits for new hires, a handful of California government agencies went on a holiday hiring spree.

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The Sacramento Bee: Brown’s big legacy projects could be Trump’s targets

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 9, 2017 – 2:51 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown devoted most of last month’s State of the State address to excoriating Donald Trump, who had been president for just four days.

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Xavier Becerra (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Patrick McGreevy
Feb. 9, 2017 – 9:40 a.m.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Thursday formally announced his bid to run for election to the post in 2018, telling supporters he is ready to continue to battle the Trump administration when he thinks the president is trampling on rights.

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The Sacramento Bee: State Bar settles one fight, but is embroiled in another

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 7, 2017 – 6:03 PM

The legislative skirmishing over the future of the State Bar appears to be nearing an amicable resolution.

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The Sacramento Bee: Trump threatens to defund ‘out of control’ California

In this Jan. 26, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia. . (AP Photo/Matt Rourke File)

Politics & Government
By Sean Cockerham
scockerham@mcclatchydc.com
February 5, 2017 – 5:17 PM

Washington —

President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funds from “out of control” California if the state declares itself a sanctuary state.

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John Myers
February 5, 2017

During the depths of California’s budget crisis, talk in Sacramento about how many tax dollars were sent to Washington, compared with what the state received in services, generally sparked anger. But these days, it’s triggered fear.

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The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown, legislators headed for budget clash?

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 2, 2017 – 4:52 PM

State budgets have been easy-peasy political exercises in recent years, thanks to hefty increases in revenue from an expanding economy.

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The Sacramento Bee: Acknowledging lower returns, CalSTRS drops investment forecast

Business & Real Estate
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
February 1, 2017 – 5:50 PM

The fund that manages pensions for California teachers on Wednesday voted to lower its investment forecast by half a percentage point, a decision that will have many educators stepping up their payroll contributions for their retirement plans by several hundred dollars a year.

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Snow covers the Sierra Nevada and the shoreline of Lake Tahoe on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, near Memorial Point, Nevada.

By Paul Rogers | progers@bayareanewsgroup.com |

PUBLISHED: February 1, 2017 at 5:00 am |
UPDATED: February 2, 2017 at 5:15 am

  • California Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t likely to amend or rescind the state’s emergency drought declaration until April

After a month of huge blizzards and “atmospheric river” storms, the Sierra Nevada snowpack — source of a third of California’s drinking water — is 177 percent of the historic average, the biggest in more than two decades.

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Marv Owen, a delegate from Los Angeles, left, listens to state GOP Chairman Jim Brulte at the California Republican Convention at the Hyatt Hotel in Sacramento in 2013. Randall Benton RBenton@sacbee.com

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
January 30, 2017 – 2:19 PM

For Democrats enraged and taking official action Monday to denounce President Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte has a message: “This is purely hypocritical, political posturing.”

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Calpensions: Government policy hurts pensions: low interest

By Ed Mendel
January 30, 3016

The two big state pension funds have been on very different paths since both had large surpluses in 2000. But they will have identical funding levels if CalSTRS, like CalPERS last month, adopts a recommended lower investment earnings forecast this week.

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Associated Press: California looks to build $7 billion legal pot economy

By Michael R. Blood and Don Thompson
Associated Press
Jan 29, 2017 – 3:00 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The future of California’s legal marijuana industry is being shaped in a warren of cubicles tucked inside a retired basketball arena, where a garden of paper cannabis leaves sprouts on file cabinets and a burlap sack advertising “USA Home Grown” dangles from a wall.

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The Sacramento Bee: Memo to politicians: Don’t ignore California problems

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 26, 2017 – 2:22 PM

By devoting most of Tuesday’s State of the State address to denouncing Donald Trump and his policies, Gov. Jerry Brown fed rhetorical red meat to fellow Democrats.

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Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
January 25, 2017 – 1:52 PM

California faces a $76.67 billion cost to provide healthcare and dental benefits to retired state employees, state Controller Betty Yee reported Wednesday, an increase of $2.49 billion over the previous year’s estimate.

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Associated Press: When will soggy California drop water restrictions?

AP Nation / World
By Scott Smith
Associated Press
Jan 25, 2017 – 1:59 AM EST

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Much of California has gone from withered to water-logged this winter, but the state’s top water regulator is not ready to lift emergency conservation measures enacted during the height of the drought.

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Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago and Alexei Koseff
ccadelago@sacbee.com
January 24, 2017 – 10:44 AM

Gov. Jerry Brown, plunging into position as a Democratic bulwark against Donald Trump’s presidency, warned Tuesday of looming battles with Republican-controlled Washington, using his State of the State address to assuage fears that California would turn its back on progressive policies.

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The Sacramento Bee: Feel-good efforts won’t solve California’s housing crisis

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 23, 2017 – 12:01 AM

Two new documents – a report by the state housing agency and Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2017-18 budget – focus harsh economic reality on fanciful political “solutions” to the state’s severe housing crisis.

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The Public Eye
By Brad Branan
bbranan@sacbee.com
January 21, 2017 – 1:17 PM

In South Lake Tahoe, roads are crumbling, and the city is struggling to find ways to repair years of damage caused by harsh weather and snowplows. Orangevale residents worry that fire crews won’t arrive quickly enough in an emergency after their local fire station was closed during the recession.

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California employers added just 3,700 jobs in December, according to the state Employment Development Department. That was less than a third of the 13,600 jobs that were added the previous month. (Photo by Neil Nisperos, SCNG/File)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 01/20/17 – 11:38 AM PST |

California employers scaled back their hiring in December with just 3,700 jobs added, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

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Water & Drought
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
January 18, 2017 – 12:16 PM

With rivers roaring and more rain coming, California’s drought cops are wrestling with a complicated question: Should they keep patrolling the beat?

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Calpensions: State pension costs doubled after rate increases

By Ed Mendel
Monday, January 17, 2017

State payments to CalPERS next fiscal year are expected to total $6 billion, nearly double the $3.2 billion paid six years ago before a wave of employer rate increases.

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Politico: Peter Thiel considering bid for California governor

The outspoken Silicon Valley billionaire and Trump supporter has been discussing a prospective run with advisers.

By Alex Isenstadt
01/14/17 – 06:25 PM EST

Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire and outspoken Donald Trump supporter, is considering a 2018 bid for California governor, according to three Republicans familiar with his thinking.

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California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more – according to a confidential federal report obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Ralph Vartabedian
January 13, 2017

California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Associated Press
January 13, 2017 – 11:05 AM

The first chamber of the California Legislature has confirmed U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra to be the state’s next attorney general.

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