Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

The Press-Enterprise: UCR: Study calls warehouse jobs low-paying

Logistics

UC Riverside researchers call for better pay and health care for warehouse workers.

Published: July 30, 2015 – Updated: 11:02 p.m.

  • Average hourly pay for blue-collar warehouse employee: $10.05
  • Employed through temporary staffing agency: 63 percent.
  • Average length of employment: 28 months.

While Inland cities are increasingly looking to the logistics industry for economic growth, two recent studies by University of California, Riverside researchers say the mainly blue-collar employees who work at warehouses are paid poorly and lack proper access to health care.

To read expanded article by Imran Ghori in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Photo: Valero refinery

Valero Energy said operating income from its two California refineries soared to $295 million in the second quarter, or more than 11 times the $24 million earned a year earlier. (Christina House / For The Times)

By Ivan Penn
July 30, 2015

California’s sky-high gasoline prices translated into a big second-quarter profit for refiner Valero Energy Corp.

Read the rest of this entry »

waterdrop

Water & Drought
By Phillip Reese and Dale Kasler
preese@sacbee.com
July 30, 2015

  • June was first month to count toward mandated conservation targets
  • Sacramento-area water agencies cut use about 35 percent
  • Sixteen water agencies statewide missed their conservation target by at least 15 percentage points

California residents reduced their water use 27 percent in June, beating a state-mandated target during the crucial first month of summer, according to figures released Thursday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
July 29, 2015

  • Nonprofits, schools, businesses received donations during first half of year
  • San Diego’s Maritime Museum, Oakland Military Institute among top recipients
  • Businesses, unions, government agencies top sources

California lawmakers and other state officials arranged for donors, many with business at the Capitol, to contribute $28 million to nonprofit organizations, local museums and other favored causes during the first half of the year, according to the most recent filings with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jon Ortiz

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
July 29, 2015

  • Plan lowers cost of traditional pension plans, retiree health care
  • Creates ‘offsetting’ costs to close pension plans, pressure to increase pay
  • Voter approval for compensation will mean ‘different outcomes at the bargaining table’

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said this week he doesn’t know what would happen if a new public pension ballot proposal becomes law.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: ELECTIONS: Statewide voter database starting its rollout

Vote

Published: July 27, 2015
Updated: July 28, 2015 – 10:41 a.m.

California is moving closer to have a statewide voter registration database, a step intended to modernize how elections and voting are handled.

To read expanded article by Jeff Horseman in The Press Enteprise, click here.

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | July 27, 2015 – 5:09 p.m.

State regulators do not appear ready to comply with a July 31 deadline to release thousands of emails requested by the chairman of the Assembly committee overseeing the California Public Utilities Commission.

Read the rest of this entry »

Appellate Courts

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dalters@sacbee.com
July 27, 2015

  • Most appellate court decisions are not published
  • They cannot be cited by parties in other cases
  • The result is uneven judicial policy around the state

The Sacramento region’s state appeals court declared three decades ago that when a corporation hires lobbyists to pass a bill, it loses its claim of privacy in a libel action.

Read the rest of this entry »

El Nino Heat Map

The present El Niño formation has the potential to become the strongest on record. The yellow areas indicate concentrations of warming water. (Photo: Earth.nullschool.net)

Mike Moffitt
Monday, July 27, 2015 – Updated 11:45 am

New computer models suggest that the current El Niño formation brewing in the Pacific could become the strongest in recorded history.

Read the rest of this entry »

Covered California

AP California News

By JUDY LIN
Associated Press
Jul 27, 2015 – 9:14 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The cost of private individual health plans on California’s state-run market will increase about 4 percent for the second straight year, evidence the strategy of forcing insurers to compete is controlling costs, program officials said Monday.

Read the rest of this entry »

METRO

By Daniel Borenstein, Staff Columnist
Posted: 07/24/2015 – 04:00:00 PM PDT

Although public employee pension plans across California are badly underfunded, union leaders have expressed little concern about the security of workers’ retirement pay.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Average California Gas Price falls .001 cents in two days

Gas Prices

Sunday, July 26, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.

Sure! California gasoline prices really are falling. At least that’s what the newspaper headlines say.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 25, 2015

  • Two proposed ballot measures use same strategy
  • They are aimed at voter approval for pensions, Delta tunnels
  • Opponents would be forced to argue public shouldn’t have a vote

It’s no secret that the Legislature’s dominant Democrats want to make it more difficult to place initiative measures on the statewide ballot.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Really! Another healthcare giant?

AnthemBlueCrossLogo

Saturday, July 25, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

Really! Another larges-scale merger, this time in the healthcare industry, and it’s supposed to be a good thing.

Read the rest of this entry »

IE Business Daily

By IE Business Daily
July 25, 2015

In a stunning rejection of the wishes of California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Governor Jerry Brown, the California State Supreme Court this week refused their unusual request to “depublish” a 4th District Court of Appeals decision that applied Proposition 218 limits to tiered water rates.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kamala Harris

California Attorney General Kamala Harris agrees to look into allegations raised by House Democrats | Damian Dovarganes AP

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
July 24, 2015

California Attorney General Kamala Harris will review whether the nonprofit organization behind controversial Planned Parenthood videos violated state law, her office said in a letter Friday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

Lydia Holland replaces the gas nozzle after filling up at a Sacramento gas station in 2014. The Tax Foundation says in a new report that California’s gas tax, which recently dropped by 6 cents a gallon, is now the nation’s fourth highest. | Rich Pedroncelli AP

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 24, 2015

  • Pennsylvania has nation’s highest gas tax
  • California would have been No. 2 without recent cut
  • Alaska has the lowest tax on auto fuel

Both Congress and the California Legislature are noodling over whether to raise fuel taxes to pour more money into highway projects.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Crude oil continues fall, California gas prices barely move

Gas Prices

Friday, July 24, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

Crude oil prices continued falling on Friday morning, with the price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil hitting a low of $47.96.

However, California retail gasoline prices have barely budged.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Fresh snow coats peaks in the Sierra Nevada on July 9. The strange weather is thought to be related to El Nino. (Bartshe Miller / Mono Lake Committee)

By Hailey Branson-Potts and Rong-Gong Lin II
July 23, 2015

It’s the middle of the summer, but it felt a bit like winter in the Sierra this week as a storm dumped four inches of hail on Interstate 80 around Donner Summit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lou Desmond

Thursday, July 23, 215 – 5:00 p.m.

The Lou Desmond and Company Show is coming to you from the Toyota of San Bernardino Recording Studios!

Tonight on the show, Ed Hoffman joins us to talk about The Boot Campaign, which he is holding a fundraiser for this weekend. Then, Ralph Rossum joins the show to talk about the young man exposing Planned Parenthood. He is a former student of Ralph’s, and is making big news.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bob Huff

Sen. Bob Huff says Republicans in the California Legislature are open to raising motorist fees to pay for road repair and construction. But GOP lawmakers will demand reforms in exchange.

Allen Young, Staff Writer
Sacramento Business Journal
Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015 – 1:48pm PDT
Updated Jul 22, 2015, 3:58pm PDT

When the California Legislature reconvenes next month for a special session on road funding, Republicans will be in the front seat — because Democrats need GOP support to impose new taxes or fees.

Read the rest of this entry »

Scott Walker

FILE – In this July 14, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a campaign event at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Las Vegas. Walker is scheduled to address an annual showcase of conservative activists, Thursday, July 23, in San Diego. | John Locher AP

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
July 22, 2015

  • Wisconsin governor and presidential candidate a conservative firebrand
  • GOP chairman says Walker an ‘inspirational voice’ for California

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose successes curtailing the political might of labor unions have earned him admirers in solidly blue California, will address the state Republican Party at its fall convention, officials announced Thursday.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Where’s the gasoline shortage?

Refinery

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 – 04:30 p.m.

New data from the California Energy Commission begs the same question we’ve been asking all year.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Supreme Court

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 – 04:15 p.m.

The California Supreme has denied a request to depublish a pivotal water rate ruling, by the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which found that tiered water rates violate Proposition 218.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 – 08:00 a.m.

An uptick in crude oil inventory and the impending sale of Iranian oil on the global market has kept downward pressure on prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 21, 2015

  • Democrats won legislative supermajorities in 2012
  • However, they vanished in subsequent elections
  • Big legislative duels now Democrat vs. Democrat

Three years ago, in new districts drawn by an independent commission, Democrats won – barely – two-thirds supermajorities in both legislative houses.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money

By Ivan Penn and Samantha Masunaga
July 21, 2015

As Los Angeles drivers shelled out more than $4 a gallon at the pump in recent weeks, the state’s oil refineries pocketed record amounts of money — as much as $1.17 a gallon in gross profits.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors would grow to seven members under Senate Constitutional Amendment 8.

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 07/20/15 – 1:10 PM PDT |

Proposed legislation that would require San Bernardino County and other California counties with populations of 2 million or more to increase their number of elected supervisors from five to seven is gaining momentum in the state Legislature.

Read the rest of this entry »

Marc Steinorth

Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

Published: July 20, 2015 – Updated: 4:07 p.m.

It’s a supercalifragilisticexpiali-political fundraiser.

Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, is using the Tuesday, July 21, production of “Mary Poppins” at the Redlands Bowl to raise money for his 2016 re-election campaign. Donors will join the first-term assemblyman for a dinner prior to the performance.

To read expanded brief, click here.

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 20, 2015

  • Labor biggest donor to legislative campaigns
  • Dozens of union-backed bills await final action
  • One major measure would enhance contract secrecy

Only a sixth of California’s wage earners are members of labor unions, but they carry a very big stick in politics.

Read the rest of this entry »

"Crews prepare to tow away burned out cars on the southbound 15 freeway after the North Fire burned its way through in the Cajon Pass, CA, Friday, July 17, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)"

Crews prepare to tow away burned out cars on the southbound 15 freeway after the North Fire burned its way through in the Cajon Pass, CA, Friday, July 17, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

By Doug Saunders, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 07/19/15 – 12:52 PM PDT |

CAJON PASS >> Angry owners flooded social media with complaints over the weekend that they had been charged $1,000 or more in towing fees after being forced to abandon their cars caught Friday in the 15 Freeway firestorm.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 19, 2015

  • Media reports on budget’s size vary widely
  • Their numbers are correct up to a point
  • Official numbers far less than total spending

It’s time again for some more fun with numbers – big numbers.

They’re the numbers associated with the 2015-16 state budget, which the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown enacted last month.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Gas prices start to “inch” down

Gas Prices

Sunday, July 19, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

California wholesale gas prices have fallen about 50 cents a gallon in the past 48-hours. But don’t wait for pump prices to fall significantly anytime soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 18, 2015

  • California’s official poverty rate isn’t bad
  • Its real poverty rate is among nation’s highest
  • More jobs would be the best cure for malady

When the Census Bureau began calculating poverty a half-century ago – as a “war on poverty” became a hot issue in Washington – it devised a rather simple formula.

Read the rest of this entry »

METRO

By Daniel Borenstein, Staff Columnist
Posted: 07/17/2015 – 04:00:00 PM PDT

Organized labor has lined up behind legislation purporting to promote government contract transparency. It’s a sham.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Morain

By Dan Morain
dmorain@sacbee.com
July 18, 2015

  • California Teachers Association faces a major test in the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Conservatives shift their assault on CTA and other unions to the courts
  • Same-sex marriage, Democratic politics are implicated in Friedrichs v. CTA

For decades, organized labor, particularly the union that represents public school teachers, has been checking off boxes in California.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

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IE Business Daily

By IE Business Daily
Saturday, July 18, 2015

Anyone notice the price of gasoline this week? Of course, if you are like most Californians who have to drive to live (instead of living to drive like the car ads), you have noticed that the price of gas is up 80 cents a gallon in many locations. In some locations, the price is above five dollars a gallon!

Read the rest of this entry »

ExxonMobil

Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Torrance currently operates at less than 20% of its capacity after a February explosion. (Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

By Ivan Penn
July 17, 2015

The refinery that has historically produced about a fifth of Southern California’s gasoline has been crippled since a February explosion — and may stay that way for months to come.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
July 17, 2015

  • Various campaign committees collected about $102 million in 2013-14
  • Labor unions were top category of giver, mainly to Democrats
  • Fundraising filings for the first half of 2015 are due July 31

California’s 120 lawmakers reflect a variety of life experiences, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and types of districts they represent. There also are differences in where they raise their campaign money.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | July 17, 2015

The chairman of the Assembly committee that oversees the California Public Utilities Commission has given the agency until the end of this month to secure and turn over certain emails and other documents from Southern California Edison.

Read the rest of this entry »

unemployment down

By Tiffany Hsu
July 17, 2015

  • Job Reports and Statistics Jobs and Workplace Job Market Unemployment and Layoffs

Job growth in California continued to hum along in June as employers added 22,900 nonfarm payroll positions from the previous month.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Time for California legislators to give up free gas cards

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Friday, July 17, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

California legislators apparently could give a gee-whiz about the sky-high gasoline prices sucking millions out of their constituents pockets.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Still waiting for the gas shortage

A gas pump hozzle is shown in Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010, in Portland, Ore.  Oil prices slipped toward $82 a barrel Thursday, pausing from a rally that lifted the commodity to a three-month high this week amid a weakening dollar and positive corporate earnings. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Friday, July 17, 2015 – 09:30 a.m.

Let’s just cut to the chase.

Where’s the expected major drop in California crude oil and refined gasoline production and stockpiles?

Read the rest of this entry »

judges-gavel

Two will serve in Riverside County and two in San Bernardino County. They fill vacancies created when judges retired

Published: July 16, 2015 Updated: 10:03 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointments to fill retirement-created judgeship vacancies in Inland area Superior Courts on Thursday, July 16, comprise state and federal prosecutors, a public defender administrator and a sitting court commissioner.

To read expanded story by Gail Wesson in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Steve Knight

Rep. Steve Knight (shown at right in 2014, when he was in the state Legislature, with State Sens. Andy Vidak, left, and Jerry Hill) has raised $432,640 as of June 30, much more than his three Democratic challengers. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

By Jean Merl
July 16, 2015

The elections are more than a year away, but already, front-runners are emerging in some key California congressional contests, and most endangered incumbents are well ahead of their challengers in fundraising, campaign filings show.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
July 16, 2015

  • Kamala Harris has nearly $3 million, tripling Loretta Sanchez
  • Sanchez needs to step up to mount sustained TV ad campaign
  • Consultant says Republican stumbles could send her into runoff, anyway

Kamala Harris fortified her front-runner status this week when her latest report showed she’s raised $4.1 million since entering the U.S. Senate race in January, bringing her cash on hand to nearly $3 million roughly a year ahead of the primary.

Read the rest of this entry »

Home for sale

By Andrew Khouri
July 16, 2015

The Southern California housing market, known for its dramatic swings, is settling into a more normal, healthy pattern.

Read the rest of this entry »

Riverside-County-Seal

$1.285 billion: The estimated value of the county’s unfunded pension liability. More than 80 percent of the county’s pension obligations are already funded.

Published: July 15, 2015 – Updated: 10:42 p.m.

Riverside County officials say changes to the county’s public employee pension system have saved money, but that the county will still pay millions of dollars more to the statewide pension network.

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

Uber

Uber headquarters in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

By Laura J. Nelson, Andrea Chang and Paresh Dave
July 15, 2015

Uber — plagued by problems with regulators, drivers and taxi unions around the world — took a big blow in its home state Wednesday when an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: CONGRESS: Kerri Condley running again in 42nd district

Yawn

Published: July 13, 2015 – Updated: 1:11 p.m.

The 2016 election is shaping up as a rematch of 2014 in California’s 42nd Congressional District, with the same Democratic challengers taking on Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona.

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

California Governor Jerry Brown waits to speak during a news conference at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

California Governor Jerry Brown waits to speak during a news conference at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California March 19, 2015. (Reuters/Max Whittaker)

Politics | Tuesday, July 14, 2015 – 7:17am EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. | By Sharon Bernstein

After years of fiscal and policy restraint by California Governor Jerry Brown, a new crop of legislative leaders are trying to push the state further to the left, with mixed results.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calpers

Mary Childs and Alison Vekshin
July 14, 2015 -3:51 PM PDT

  • The $300 billion fund says it earned 2.4 percent in the last fiscal year, below its 7.5 percent target rate.

The chief investment officer of the biggest U.S. pension fund is most worried about low interest rates as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System struggles to earn enough money to pay beneficiaries.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown signs bill prohibiting fines for brown lawns

Jerry Brown

This May 28, 2015 file photo shows Gov. Jerry Brown speaking at a gathering of political, business and community leaders at the annual California Chamber of Commerce Host Breakfast in Sacramento, Calif. | Rich Pedroncelli AP

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
July 13, 2015

  • Legislation comes as California suffers through fourth year of drought

With California suffering through a fourth year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation prohibiting local agencies from fining homeowners who let their lawns go brown, his office announced Monday.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Seal

AP California News
By JUDY LIN
Associated Press
Jul 13, 4:59 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California can proceed with setting up a state-run savings program for private-sector workers who don’t have access to retirement plans at work, under a rule change ordered by President Barack Obama on Monday.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Pensions fight gets new ammo

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 13, 2015

  • Ballot measure seeks to curb pension spending
  • Both sides gearing up for a big fight next year
  • Paltry earnings by CalPERS provide fuel

It’s likely that California voters will be treated – or subjected – next year to a vitriolic campaign over public employee pensions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Darrell Issa

By Jake Sherman
7/13/15 – 3:51 PM EDT
Updated 7/13/15 – 9:51 PM EDT

Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the richest members of Congress, is worth as much as $768 million, according to a financial disclosure report he filed last week.

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

By Dean Starkman
Monday, July 13, 2015

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System said it missed its return target by a wide margin, hurt by a sluggish global economy and an under-performing private equity portfolio.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California leads gas price ranking and it’s not even close!

 Gas Prices

Monday, July 13, 2015 – 08:45 a.m.

California has skyrocketed back to the number one position on the highest gas prices in the country list.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Is gas pump price spike criminal?

A gas pump hozzle is shown in Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010, in Portland, Ore.  Oil prices slipped toward $82 a barrel Thursday, pausing from a rally that lifted the commodity to a three-month high this week amid a weakening dollar and positive corporate earnings. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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Related Content:
InlandPolitics: Oil Companies stick it to California driver’s again
InlandPolitics: More gas price manipulation: This time it’s creative!

Sunday, July 12, 2015 – 11:30 a.m.

In the past 72-hours the retail price of unleaded gasoline in the Inland Empire has spiraled out of control. It’s what happens when only four companies control the gasoline refining capacity for the entire state.

Read the rest of this entry »

Court Filings

Saturday, July 11, 2015

SAN DIEGO (CN) – Major oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell conspired to create false gasoline shortages in Southern California and gouge prices, an Escondido gas station claims in an antitrust class action.

Read the rest of this entry »

Inland-Empire-Political-News-Political-Whispers

By IE Business Daily
Saturday, July 11, 2015

The State of California just passed a $125 Billion State budget which increases funding for education, welfare programs, and expands Medi-Cal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Immigration

Supporters with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles gather outside the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Bel-Air on Friday evening to protest GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Marcus Yam, Los Angeles Times)

By Michael Finnegan
July 11, 2015

More than two decades have passed since Republican Gov. Pete Wilson aired a television ad showing Mexicans scurrying across the border as an announcer declared, “They keep coming: 2 million illegal immigrants in California.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Delta Tunnels

An aerial photo from 2013 shows the region to be affected by the Delta water tunnels and intakes near Walnut Grove. | Randall Benton Sacramento Bee file
Water & Drought

By David Siders and Ryan Sabalow
dsiders@sacbee.com
July 11, 2015

  • Wealthy Stockton-area farmer’s initiative expected to qualify for 2016 ballot
  • Measure would force vote on some projects costing more than $2 billion
  • Initiative backers have poured $2 million into effort, alarming tunnels proponents

Amid long-standing controversy surrounding Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two tunnels to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the south, one advantage the project appeared to hold was that Brown could forge ahead without a public vote.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Fix state? Here are 16 ideas

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 11, 2015

  • Silicon Valley tycoon Tim Draper wants to ‘Fix California’
  • He asked public to submit ideas for reform
  • List has been narrowed to 16

Silicon Valley tycoon Tim Draper’s quixotic campaign to reassemble California into six new states didn’t go anywhere, so he shifted into soliciting ideas to “Fix California.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Malibu Pier

Christian Rodriguez, 19, of Santa Barbara skimboards at the Malibu Pier with low clouds in the background on Thursday, June 11, 2015 in Malibu, California. Forecasters say chance for strong El Nino increased to more than 90%. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

By Veronica Rocha
July 11, 2015

Californians should brace themselves for one of the strongest El Niño events to hit the Pacific Ocean in years.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Oil Companies stick it to California driver’s again

Smoke and Mirrors

Related: InlandPolitics: More gas price manipulation: This time it’s creative!

Saturday, July 11, 2015 – 11:30 a.m.

California regulators and politicians talk a good game. Especially when constituents become heated over high gas prices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hmmm

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
July 10, 2015

  • The attorney general approved title and summary Friday
  • Three-quarters of the money would go to healthcare programs
  • The initiative says raising reimbursement rates should be a priority

A tobacco-tax initiative proposed for the November 2016 ballot would raise as much as $1 billion to increase reimbursement rates for healthcare providers, about three-quarters of the estimated revenue that would be generated by the $2-per-pack tax hike.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union Tribune: Edison sued over secret Poland talks

Michael Peevey

The Hotel Bristol Warsaw, where state regulators met with a utility executive.
Shareholder says company erred in not disclosing

By Morgan Lee | 6:13 p.m. July 9, 2015

A federal lawsuit filed this week accuses two top Edison International executives of harming shareholders by failing to disclose secret meetings with California regulators regarding a $4.7 billion settlement of costs for the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Courts of Appeal

AP California News
By Brian Melley
Associated Press
July 9, 2015 – 6:15 PM EDT

To read opinion, click the following link: G048375

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California appeals court overturned a jury verdict because of egregious misconduct by a state Department of Transportation lawyer who portrayed an injured motorcyclist minister as a low-life Nazi biker.

Read the rest of this entry »

Taxes

Capitol Alert
By David Siders and Jim Miller
dsiders@sacbee.com
July 9, 2015

  • Jerry Brown, Democratic lawmakers seek funding for roads, health care
  • Billions of dollars in unfunded maintenance plagues California roadways
  • Health funding more politically difficult than roads, but both efforts uncertain

Inheriting a budget deficit when he took office in 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown tried for months – and failed – to reach agreement with Republicans to put a tax measure on the ballot. He finally bypassed the Legislature and went directly to voters himself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Photo: Valero refinery

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 07/09/15 – 7:57 PM PDT |

California refineries support 2.4 million jobs that depend on the petroleum-based products they produce but increasing regulatory demands are jeopardizing their ability to continue operations in the state, according to a report released this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

El Nino Heat Map

By Paul Rogers
progers@mercurynews.com
Posted: 07/10/2015 – 06:38:27 AM PDT

As Pacific Ocean temperatures continue to warm and trade winds shift, federal scientists now say that the El Niño weather event that’s emerging could be one of the strongest on record.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: More gas price manipulation: This time it’s creative!

Gas Prices

Thursday, July 9, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

There’s some new spin on a now expected rise in California gasoline prices. That’s even though the price of crude oil has taken a steep fall in the past week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Chabot+Pete Aguilar

31st Congressional District candidates D-Pete Aguilar (left) and R-Paul Chabot (right) shake hands at center stage prior to a debate on October 20, 2014 in Memorial Chapel on the University of Redlands campus. (Staff file photo by Will Lester)

By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 07/08/15, 3:26 PM PDT |

Nothing will be decided until Nov. 8, 2016, but Election 2016 is already underway in the 31st Congressional District.

Read the rest of this entry »

Campaigns

Latinos made up 39% of California’s population last year, but a new report says just 10% of county supervisors and 15% of city council members are Latino.

By Michael Finnegan
July 8, 2015

Latinos’ emergence as California’s largest ethnic group is casting new light on an enduring paradox: Many do not vote, limiting their influence on government decisions that have a profound impact on their lives.

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Debra J. Saunders

By Debra J. Saunders
Published: Wednesday, July 8, 2015 – 5:00 pm

Democrats now will say anything to distance themselves from sanctuary city policies, even though they have supported these policies for years. In an exclusive CNN interview Tuesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked about San Francisco’s refusal to hand over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement seven-time convicted felon and five-time deportee Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. He stands accused in the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle as she took an evening stroll on Pier 14 last week. (After telling a local TV station he shot Steinle by accident, Lopez-Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to murder.) Clinton answered, “The city made a mistake not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported. So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”

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The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Tax surge a problem for Dems

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 7, 2015

  • Several big tax increases in the mill
  • California already seeing extra revenue
  • Revenue wave aids anti-tax groups

The Legislature’s Democrats were miffed when Gov. Jerry Brown insisted on using his revenue estimates as the basis for the 2015-16 state budget, rather than a higher number calculated by legislators’ budget adviser.

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California Supreme Court

California
July 7, 2015
By Sudhin Thanawala, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO —

The California Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors aren’t required to help defendants fight their criminal cases by reviewing the personnel files of police officers serving as witnesses.

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The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: Road deal won’t be easy ride for California

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 6, 2015

  • California’s highways are in bad shape
  • State wants $6 billion more a year to fix them
  • Can two differing approaches be melded?

The Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown have passed a new state budget, and that’s that, right?

Not on your sweet bippy, to channel comedian Dick Martin.

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California Department of Justice

Agents seek documents at headquarters for Edison, utilities commission
Read: Search warrants for Edison and CPUC
Download .PDF

By Jeff McDonald | July 6, 2015 – 06:00 a.m.

The criminal investigation of the California Public Utilities Commission appears to be intensifying, with state agents serving a fresh round of search warrants at the regulators’ headquarters in San Francisco and at Southern California Edison offices outside Los Angeles.

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Gas Prices

Consumer advocates say that oil refineries’ price manipulation are to blame for California’s high oil prices. (James Quigg / AP)

By Tiffany Hsu
July 6, 2015

Filling up at the pump is often painful in California, where drivers tend to pay more for gasoline than in most other states.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 5, 2015

  • Capital appreciation bonds accumulate interest costs
  • Los Angeles district wants to change low-bid rules
  • Leaseback court ruling could undo deals

One might think that school construction would be about as simple and straightforward as anything government does.

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The Sacramento Bee: Opinion: California’s leadership structure is weak

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
July 4, 2015

  • When civic leaders are effective, government functions well
  • Los Angeles is trying to re-establish civic cadre
  • San Francisco has one; other areas trying

Civic leadership is one of those intangibles whose existence is difficult to define, much less prove.

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Arrow

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
July 3, 2015

  • Biggest restructuring in 14 years for electricity ratepayers
  • Move affects PG&E, Edison, San Diego
  • Higher rates for up to 40 percent of customers

Regulators overhauled the state’s system for pricing electricity for millions of Californians on Friday in a move that they said will simplify the structure and bring rates closer in line with costs. Many customers who use the least amount of energy will probably see rate increases, but regulators said the system will be more fair.

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California Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
July 2, 2015

  • Personal income, corporate tax collections look to be $541 million above 2014-15 revenue estimates
  • California state budget approved last month reflected governor’s revenue numbers
  • Sales tax, other revenue totals for June still being compiled

The 2014-15 fiscal year came to an end this week, and it will be a long time before officials finish closing the books. Early signs, though, are that revenue for the just-completed fiscal year will exceed estimates in the newly minted state budget by hundreds of millions of dollars.

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