Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Loretta Sanchez

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

Phil Willon, Jazmine Ulloa
July 22, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Jobs

Natalie Kitroeff
July 22, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Shadow Lobbying

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Capitol Weekly

By Cosmo Garvin
Posted 07.21.2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

California Supreme Court

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Ann-Coulter

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

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

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

Sandusky, Ohio —

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

Read the rest of this entry »

California

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

SBCO

By Mark Gutglueck
Posted on July 16, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Covered California

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

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Hedge Fund

By Ed Mendel
July 18, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

CTA

John Myers
July 14, 2016 – 4:20 P.M.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Sharon Runner

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Kamala Harris

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

Phil Willon
July 13, 2016 – 9:51 P.M.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Up Arrow

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

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

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

Yet the market seems distinctly unimpressed.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Elections

John Myers
July 10, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: KTTV coverage of San Bernardino County CFS scandal

Saturday, July 9, 2016 – 09:30 a.m.

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

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

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

San Onofre

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

Ivan Penn
July 7, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: California ballot measures get their November numbers

Ballot Measures

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

No Guns

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Prison

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Hand Gun open carry

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

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

Ivan Penn
July 1, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

San Onofre

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

Jeff McDonald
June 29, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

CPUC

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Ballot Measures

By Martin Wisckol / Staff Columnist
June 23, 2016

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

Not this time.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBCO

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

U.C. Irvine

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Loretta Sanchez+Kamala Harris

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California AG announces San Bernardino County CFS probe

image description

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 – 10:00 a.m.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

fppc logo

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County loses dispute with union

SBCO

Tuesday, June 21, 2106 – 10:30 a.m.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Medical Marijuana

Phil Willon
June 19, 2016 – 2:05 P.M.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Inland Empire governments renewed financial worries

Budget Woes

Sunday, June 19, 2016 – 12:00 a.m.

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Death Penalty

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Jobs

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

Natalie Kitroeff
June 17, 2016

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Pension fund resorts to 30 year performance measure

SBCO

Thursday, June 16, 2016 – 12:00 p.m.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

California Budget

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

California Capitol

California State Capitol in Sacramento.

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

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

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

The timing could not have been more perfect.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »