Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Press-Enterprise: COURTS: Inland judgeships stalled by state

gavel

Governor wants to shift positions; Legislature wants more spots. Either way, Inland Empire loses.

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: June 13, 2016
Updated:   June 14, 2016 – 9:12 a.m.

The Inland region’s chronic shortage of judges is now caught in a political tug-of-war between a plan favored by Gov. Jerry Brown and another favored by Democratic lawmakers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Donnelly

8th Congressional District candidate Tim Donnelly. (James Quigg, Daily Press)

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted: Jun. 13, 2016 at 5:39 PM
Updated: Jun 13, 2016 at 5:40 PM

  • Former Assemblyman behind 847 votes to Ramirez as of Monday

Former Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly carved ever so slightly into Democrat Dr. Rita Ramirez’ second-place edge Monday in the 8th Congressional District race, but the window to catch up continued to tighten.

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Clock Strikes Twelve

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
June 13, 2016 – 3:28 PM

  • Measure would ax daylight saving time in California
  • Author notes lack of energy savings, workplace accidents
  • Voters would need to approve change

With little debate, a bill to end California’s observance of daylight saving time cleared its first committee on Monday.

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The Sacramento Bee: California budget deal builds reserve, changes welfare rule

Calculator

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
June 9, 2016 – 5:01 PM

  • It would repeal limit on welfare payments for people who have more children
  • Deal boosts state’s rainy-day reserve by $2 billion
  • Wednesday is deadline for lawmakers to pass a budget

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature have reached agreement on a budget for the coming fiscal year that repeals a long-criticized rule limiting welfare payments for people who have more children, as well as making an optional $2 billion deposit into the state’s rainy-day reserve.

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Loretta Sanchez+Kamala Harris

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez left. California Attorney General Kamala Harris right.

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
June 8, 2016 – 5:51 PM

  • Harris more than doubled Sanchez’s vote percentage
  • Sanchez will have to increase fundraising clip to compete
  • Republican donors are considering financial support

State Attorney General Kamala Harris carried at least 50 of 58 California counties in the U.S. Senate primary Tuesday, collecting twice the percentage of votes that went to fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez.

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Bullet Train

A bullet train passes over Yongdinghe Bridge in Beijing. (Jiao Hongtao / Xinhua /AP Photo)

Julie Makinen
June 8, 2016

Nine months after announcing that China would help build a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the private U.S. company behind the plan said late Wednesday that the deal was off.

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Must be 21

Smokers have to be 21 and older to buy tobacco products in California under a new law that takes effect Thursday.

By Alicia Chang, Associated Press
June 8, 2016, at 8:31 p.m.

The Associated Press —

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Rodriguez was 15 years old when he smoked his first cigarette. He knows how addictive smoking can be and hopes a new California law raising the smoking age will discourage young people from taking up the habit.

Read the rest of this entry »

U.S.-District-Court

By Mike Sprague, Whittier Daily News
Posted: 06/06/16 – 3:48 PM PDT |

Former state Assemblyman Tom Calderon on Monday pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering as part of a plea deal in a federal corruption case before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder. Calderon also implicated his brother, who still faces federal corruption charges.

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Pay Cut

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 06/05/16 – 4:00 PM PDT |

A funding cut of $754 million statewide means the loss of half of all annual state transportation funds for projects — some underway — in the San Bernardino region, officials said.

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Calpensions: CalPERS ex-CEO sentenced, but probe continues

calpers

By Ed Mendel
June 6, 2016

A former CalPERS chief executive officer, Fred Buenrostro, was sentenced to 4½ years in prison last week for taking bribes, including $200,000 in cash, from a former CalPERS board member, Alfred Villalobos, who collected about $50 million in fees from private equity firms for helping them get investments from the big pension fund.

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InlandPolitics: Primary election outcomes into focus

United States presidential election, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016 – 03:30 p.m.

Well the much talked about California Primary Election is before us.

Then things will get dull until the presidential nominating conventions. One can expect more policy speeches and sniping between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBCO Seal

Posted by Katy Grimes
June 01, 2016 – 06:43 am

A legal tale of drama rivaling the magnitude of the infamous 2006 Duke Lacrosse rape case, has been dragging on in California courts for more than seven years. But the case could now be tossed out, on charges that prosecutors with the State Attorney General’s office destroyed the evidence they had been withholding from an indicting Grand Jury.

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Elections 2016

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
June 3, 2016 – 6:17 PM

  • More than 646,000 people added to rolls since early April
  • Democrats represent three-quarters of increase as Clinton and Sanders battle for state’s support
  • Republicans also showed an increase, but party’s proportion of the electorate fell to 27.29 percent

Almost 18 million Californians can participate in Tuesday’s election, according to updated registration numbers released Friday, which show that the state’s voter rolls grew by almost 646,000 in the weeks before last week’s registration deadline.

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State Bar of California

John Myers
June 2, 2016 – 4:50 P.M.

Two days of private negotiations among lawmakers resulted Thursday in brand-new legislation that would change the State Bar of California’s governing board and examine the idea of a major overhaul of the quasi-state agency.

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Money

Phil Willon and Maloy Moore
June 1, 2016

The top two Democrats in California’s U.S. Senate race have raised more than a combined $12 million for their campaigns, but many of the state’s most generous and loyal campaign donors have yet to crack open their wallets.

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Attorney General Kamala Harris is in favor of renewing the ban on assault rifles. She addresses a crowd of about 120 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Laguna Beach. Harris and Loretta Sanchez are campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Harris.0129.cy 01/28/16– CINDY YAMANAKA, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER Attorney General Kamala Harris hugs supporters as she makes a campaign stop in Loretta Sanchez's backyard at the Unitarian Univeralist Fellowship in Laguna Beach.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is talking a lot these days in her bid to become a U.S. senator, but one subject she’s not mentioning is her complex role in Orange County’s highest-profile criminal case – the penalty phase in the trial of confessed mass murderer Scott Dekraai. (Cindy Yamanaka – File)

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
June 1, 2016 – Updated 10:10 p.m.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is talking a lot these days in her bid to become a U.S. senator, but one subject she’s not mentioning is her complex role in Orange County’s highest-profile criminal case – the penalty phase in the trial of confessed mass murderer Scott Dekraai.

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Debra J. Saunders

By Debra J. Saunders
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 – Updated 4:23 pm

California lawmakers seem intent on making Sacramento the place where reasonable reforms, much like runaway trains, jump the tracks. In that no-speed-limit spirit Tuesday, the California Assembly voted 41-37 to allow convicted felons to vote in jail. (Yes, you read that correctly — in jail.) If Assembly Bill 2466 becomes law, the ACLU estimates that 50,000 adults will be able to vote behind bars. The state doesn’t trust these people on the streets, but they are welcome in the voting booth.

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The Sacramento Bee: California Assembly kills bill overhauling State Bar

State Bar of California

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
May 31, 2016 – 3:39 PM

  • Critical audit cited backlog of discipline cases
  • Assembly Bill 2878 would have altered make-up of board
  • Lawmakers said more changes are needed

In a clear rebuke to California’s system for regulating attorneys, the Assembly on Tuesday decisively rejected a bill that sought to overhaul the State Bar.

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Covered California

Noam N. Levey
May 31, 2016

Health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, which sat out California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act until this year, will not sell health plans on the state’s insurance marketplace in 2017, state and company officials said Tuesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 29, 2016 – 3:05 PM

  • Initiatives must now go on November ballot
  • Top-two primary system also reduces impact
  • Next week’s ballot has just one statewide proposition

Incremental changes in California’s electoral system in recent years have had the effect – intended or inadvertent – of making its June primary elections less decisive.

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The Sacramento Bee: California carbon emission auction proceeds fall short

Oops!

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 25, 2016 4:34 PM

  • State had anticipated more than $500 million from sale of allowances
  • The state will see just $10 million from latest auction
  • Shortfall could affect ambitious spending plans, including high-speed rail

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature got some bad news Wednesday about plans to spend more than $3 billion in proceeds from the state’s “cap-and-trade” auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances.

Read the rest of this entry »

Red Flag

By Jeff McDonald | May 25, 2016 – 9 p.m.

  • CPUC worked with utility on legal strategy during San Onofre investigation

Even as it was preparing to review a $4.7 billion deal settling costs for the failed San Onofre nuclear plant, the California Public Utilities Commission was working behind the scenes to draft and send subpoenas on behalf of plant owner Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

Politico: Brown’s endorsement of Harris raises a scenario involving his wife

Politico

By Carla Marinucci |
May. 24, 2016 – 7:47 a.m.

SACRAMENTO — With his endorsement of California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate race on Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown will likely fuel the growing buzz in Sacramento about a “musical chairs” scenario: will Brown consider appointing his wife and chief counsel, Anne B. Gust, to fill Harris’ shoes?

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California State University

Rosanna Xia
May 24, 2016

The Cal State Board of Trustees approved a plan Tuesday to raise faculty salaries by 10.5% over three years, capping a long-running dispute over pay that threatened to wreak havoc on the nation’s largest public university system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gets a round of applause during a rally at Lincoln Park in East Los Angeles. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Cathleen Decker
May 23, 2016

California, the state with a well-earned reputation for disinterest in things political, has been overrun by a vast and historic burst of new voters.

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The much-anticipated Newport Beach Civic Center has its grand opening to the public this Saturday. Event will include tours and open house. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: nb.cityhallpreview.0503 - 5/2/13 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER -- Picture made at Newport Beach City Hall in Newport Beach Thursday, May 2, 2013.

The heaviest loads in Orange County are in older cities, such as Newport Beach, that have had their own in-house police and fire departments for decades. Public safety workers usually get the most expensive pensions. (Joshua Sudock – File Photo)

By Teri Sforza / Staff Columnist
tsforza@ocregister.com
May 23, 2016 – Updated: 6:36 a.m.

So if you don’t live in Irwindale, rejoice: There, even when you look at it through rose-colored glasses, public pension liabilities equal $32,447 for each and every household in the city.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pensions

By Ed Mendel
May 23, 2016

Annual rates paid by employers to CalPERS and CalSTRS are going up, pension funding levels haven’t recovered from a big drop during the recession, and Gov. Brown’s pension reform put a lid on pension increases.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown hopes to leave on high note, but fears downturn

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 21, 2016 – 1:59 PM

  • Governor reveals concerns about how he will leave
  • Budget looms as the greatest threat to his legacy
  • He shuns tax reform, pins hopes on a small reserve

Obliquely and perhaps unwittingly, Jerry Brown has acknowledged that as his remarkable political career nears an end, he’s concerned with how history will remember him.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: Gov. Brown turns in signatures on parole ballot measure

Ballot Measures

John Myers
May 20, 2016 – 10:56 A.M.

Gov. Jerry Brown, still awaiting word on the legality of his plan to revamp the state’s parole laws, nonetheless submitted petition signatures on Friday to earn the measure a spot on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Up Arrow

Job growth picks up in April.

Natalie Kitroeff
May 20, 2016

California employers picked up hiring in April, adding 59,600 jobs during the month, according to state data released Friday.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: Colonies defense attorney alleges prosecutors destroyed evidence

Delete

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 05/19/16 – 5:07 PM PDT |

To read filing, click the following link:
Motion to Dismiss – Destruction of Evidence by Attorney General

A defense attorney in San Bernardino County’s Colonies corruption case has filed a motion in Superior Court seeking dismissal of the case on grounds that prosecutors destroyed evidence.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pay Cut

The Associated Press
May 19, 2016 – Updated 5:12 p.m.

SACRAMENTO – The California Transportation Commission has adopted more than $754 million in cuts to planned highway, transit and other projects because of falling tax revenues tied to gas prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Voter Registration Form

John Myers
May 19, 2016

A new analysis finds nearly 32,000 voters in California’s American Independent Party changed their official registration and left the party in the two weeks after a Los Angeles Times investigation identified widespread confusion among the party’s members.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 19, 2016 – 3:19 PM

  • Those who don’t follow popular opinions face harassment
  • Rush to enact new gun laws shows trend
  • Another bill would punish free speech

Those who, by word and deed, are out of sync with California’s deeply blue political ethos risk social ostracism.

Read the rest of this entry »

Death Chamber

By Bob Egelko
May 19, 2016 Updated: May 19, 2016 5:38pm

Death-penalty supporters submitted signatures on a ballot measure Thursday aimed at speeding up executions in California, setting the stage for voters to decide in November whether to retain and overhaul the state’s death penalty or abolish it.

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
May 19, 2016 – 11:59 AM

  • The former legislator admitted his part in a campaign finance scheme
  • The Fair Political Practices Commission lowered Strickland’s fine to $40,000
  • Strickland currently serves as the California chairman of the Committee for American Sovereignty, a new pro-Trump super PAC

Former Republican lawmaker Tony Strickland will pay a $40,000 fine under a settlement with campaign finance regulators approved Thursday, with the former lawmaker admitting that he arranged for supporters to bypass voter-approved contribution limits during his 2010 race for state controller.

Read the rest of this entry »

Inland Regional Center

Flowers and American flags honoring the victims of the San Bernardino attack a few days after the assault are placed outside the Inland Regional Center where the fatal shooting took place. (Nick Ut / Associated Press)

Patrick McGreevy
May 19, 2016

The state Senate on Thursday approved sweeping new restrictions on using guns in California in response to the December mass shooting by two terrorists that left 14 dead in San Bernardino.

Read the rest of this entry »

Child Abuse

Gabriel Fernandez was killed after breakdowns by Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. (Family handout)

Garrett Therolf
May 18, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has quietly drafted a bill that would gut key portions of the state’s landmark law requiring child protective services agencies to release records when a youth dies of abuse or neglect. A vote is expected within the next week.

Read the rest of this entry »

High-Speed Rail

The supports for a 1,600-foot viaduct to carry high-speed rail trains across the Fresno River are seen under construction near Madera in February. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Ralph Vartabedian
May 18, 2016

The Obama administration threw the California bullet train project another lifeline Wednesday, extending the schedule by four years for construction of 118 miles of rail through the Central Valley, according to congressional officials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Power Lines

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s electric grid, said Tuesday the summer electric supply should meet demand for most of the state but Southern California might lack needed natural gas. (Henry A. Barrios / Associated Press)

Ivan Penn
May 18, 2016

The manager of the state’s electric grid expects current power supplies to meet summer needs for keeping the lights and air conditioning running, except in Southern California, where power plants might lack the needed natural gas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Weekly: Politico sets sights on Sacramento

Politico

By John Howard
Posted 05.18.2016

Politico, a Washington, D.C.-based news outlet, plans to expand its California presence by adding 34 full-time employees by the end of next year and an additional seven by 2020, according to state business officials.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Moody’s dings Southern California Edison

San Onofre

Reopening San Onofre nuclear settlement a ‘credit negative’

By Rob Nikolewski |
May 17, 2016 – 2:35 p.m.

It’s not a ratings downgrade, but Moody’s Investor Service on Tuesday called reopening the financial details of the San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown a “credit negative” for the plant’s operator, Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

Debt

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 17, 2016 – 12:03 PM

  • Pew Charitable Trusts pegged state’s debt at $344.7 billion
  • Most of the debt was for future state employee pensions
  • Unfunded health care and bonds made up the remainder

As a proportion of personal income, California had the nation’s 11th highest long-term state debt in 2013, a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts says.

Read the rest of this entry »

Taxes

California Elections
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 16, 2016 – 1:36 PM

  • 90 tax measures, 57 bond issues on June primary ballot
  • School bonds would total $6.2 billion if passed

California voters will face just one statewide measure on the June primary ballot, but they will pass judgment on at least 165 local government proposals, according to a compilation by government finance tracker Michael Coleman.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Donnelly

Former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly goes over strategy of campaigning door to door on April 23. Donnelly is now running for Congress. (Photo by Sarah Alvarado)

By Beau Yarbrough, The Sun
Posted: 05/15/16 – 7:34 PM PDT |

HESPERIA >> On a recent Saturday morning, former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly rallied the troops — in this case, seven volunteers — just off the 15 Freeway.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vote

John Myers
May 15, 2016

California voters this fall will likely wade through the longest list of state propositions since Bill Clinton was president, a sizable batch of proposed laws that is likely to spark a record amount of campaign spending.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

Dan Walters
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 15, 2016 – 6:00 PM

  • Developers push $9 billion bond issue despite governor’s criticism
  • Contractors seek to keep payments for illegal contracts
  • Schools, county treasurers joust over control of bond funds

The seemingly mundane matter of issuing bonds to build and fix schools has suddenly morphed into a bubbling stew of highly contentious politics.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 14, 2016 – 1:54 PM

  • State’s economic recovery is beginning to cool off
  • Governor cuts revenue estimate in revised budget
  • ‘Very resolute’ attitude means conflict with liberals

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his revised budget on Friday the 13th, which implies that he’s not superstitious.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kamala Harris

At this past week’s Senate debate, Kamala Harris said of the utilities commission, “We are concerned about what’s going on there, that’s why there’s an active criminal investigation. And the bottom line is this: We are going to go where the facts lead us.” — (Hayne Palmour IV)

By Jeff McDonald |
May 14, 2016 – 8 a.m.

  • Reports of missed deadlines are ‘absolutely incorrect,’ Harris says

Eighteen months ago, when the Attorney General’s Office served a search warrant on the California Public Utilities Commission headquarters in San Francisco, agents carted away computers, files and other materials by the armful.

It was more than a raid. It was a dramatic message to utility regulators: Attorney General Kamala Harris was serious about investigating government corruption.

Read the rest of this entry »

Loretta Sanchez+Kamala Harris

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

By Joe Garofoli
May 13, 2016
Updated: May 13, 2016 – 2:57pm

California’s U.S. Senate race has been overshadowed by the high-profile presidential campaign but that might change a bit Friday when Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez launched TV commercials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Veto

Patrick McGreevy
May 13, 2016 – 1:24 P.M.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday vetoed a bill that would have expanded the disclosure of lobbying activities to include those who seek to influence state officials on government procurement decisions. He said it is not necessary.

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Calculator

May. 13, 2016 – 6:54 PM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $122.2 billion general fund spending plan Friday that sets the stage for a months-long debate with the Legislature over budget priorities.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers in Brown’s plan:

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taxifornia

John Myers
May 11, 2016 – 2:07 P.M.

When Gov. Jerry Brown asked California voters to raise taxes in 2012 , he made clear that it was temporary, revenues needed to balance the books for only a few years.

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Smoke and Mirrors

Public records show that Brown has financial ties to a company that could profit greatly from shipping coal through Oakland.

Mike Rosati
May 12, 2016

During a high-profile speech last July in Vatican City, Governor Jerry Brown told Pope Francis that “90 percent of the coal” reserves worldwide “can never be taken out of the ground” if the planet is to avoid a climate catastrophe. Brown’s remarks, which are posted on the governor’s official website, were hailed by climate change activists around the globe and further positioned Brown as a world leader in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Pay Raise

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
May 11, 2016 – 11:58 AM

  • Three-year deal includes salary increases
  • Employees to begin contributing to retiree medical benefit
  • Pay for medical checkups now pensionable

California’s correctional officers will see a raise on their July paychecks under terms of a new contract they overwhelmingly ratified, the union announced this week.

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Healthcare Tax

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 11, 2016 – 12:15 PM

  • Pew report says California owes $80.3 billion for retiree health
  • Covering obligation would more than triple current spending

California is spending more than $2 billion a year on health care for retired state employees – up more than 80 percent in the last decade, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget.

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Covered California

By Chad Terhune
California Healthline
May 11, 2016

California’s health insurance exchange estimates that its Obamacare premiums may rise 8 percent on average next year, which would end two consecutive years of more modest 4 percent increases.

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Cheryl Brown

Published: May 9, 2016
Updated:   May 11, 2016 – 6:45 a.m.

Critics of San Bernardino Democrat Cheryl Brown have a new nickname for the Inland assemblywoman – “Chevron Cheryl.”

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U.S. Senate Debate - 051016

Phil Willon, John Myers
May 10, 2016

U.S. Senate hopeful Kamala Harris found herself under attack Tuesday night during a fiery debate where she was accused of putting her political ambitions ahead of serving Californians as state Attorney General and pressed about why she hasn’t investigated police shootings.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 10, 2016 – 3:33 PM

  • San Onofre nuclear power plant shut down
  • Secret deal stuck ratepayers with most costs
  • As probe continues, PUC reopens the case

The long-simmering scandal in the state Public Utilities Commission over a secret deal to stick ratepayers with most of the costs of shutting down the San Onofre nuclear power plant just got more interesting.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: State to reopen $4.7 billion San Onofre deal

CPUC

Deal left ratepayers to pay most of cost for premature shutdown of failed nuclear power plant

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald |
May 9, 2016 – 4:55 p.m.

State utility regulators on Monday reopened the agreement they approved in 2014 that assigned ratepayers the lion’s share of the multibillion-dollar cost for premature shutdown of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant.

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fppc logo

Patrick McGreevy
May 9, 2016 – 2:01 P.M.

California enforcement officials are proposing $80,000 in ethics fines against former state Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Camarillo).

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Calculator+Finance+Budget

By Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press
May 10, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to release his revised state budget this week, he’s hearing a chorus of calls from Democratic lawmakers, liberal interest groups and even some Republicans urging him to significantly boost spending to help California’s poorest residents.

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Restaurant Worker

Restaurant workers, cashiers, parking lot attendants and other low-paid workers will benefit when California’s wage begins rising. But many business owners will be grappling with increased costs, leading to price hikes, reduced hours, increased automation or layoffs. (File)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 05/07/16 – 5:55 PM PDT |

California’s new minimum wage requirements are being hailed by supporters who say workers must earn a “living wage,” but others fear the pay hikes will fuel layoffs, higher prices and more automation as businesses scramble to offset increased costs.

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