Archive for the ‘ State of California ’ Category

Los Angeles Times: In strategy shift, CalPERS looks to cut financial risk

calpers

Under a proposal, CalPERS would begin slowly moving more money into safer investments such as bonds.

By Melody Petersen
August 30, 2015

California taxpayers have never paid more for public worker pensions, but it’s still not enough to cover the rising number of retirement checks written by the state’s largest pension plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

By Erik Eckholm
August 29, 2015

Whether California’s application of the death penalty is so drawn out and arbitrary that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment will be argued on Monday before a federal appeals court in Pasadena.

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Daily Bulletin: California keeps on saving water, reduces use by 31% in July

Drought

Rings around Morris Dam in the Angeles National Forest show the declining water level from past years in this Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 photo. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/27/15 – 10:48 AM PDT |

California residents reduced water consumption by 31 percent in July, the largest savings in one month since the state began tracking urban water use more than a year ago, state officials announced Thursday.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California has other calamities to worry about

Dan Walters

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

  • Gov. Jerry Brown talks about climate change
  • But there are warnings about other disasters
  • Earthquakes, budget meltdown also threaten

Gov. Jerry Brown says California’s drought and the wildfires it has spawned are wake-up calls about the potentially cataclysmic effects of climate change.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stock Market Plunge

By Chris Megerian and Phil Willon
August 24, 2015

Gyrations in the stock market have taken California’s fragile finances for a ride before — when the dot-com bubble burst, when the Wall Street crash sank the national economy less than a decade ago.

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Lou Desmond

Monday, August 24, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

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

On the show today, Estimable Economist Jay Prag joins the show to discuss the rollercoaster ride that the stock market has been. At one point today it was down over 1,000 points. What does he predict in the coming months?

Read the rest of this entry »

Calpensions: Brown aides urge CalPERS to speed up rate hike

calpers

By Ed Mendel
August 24, 2015

CalPERS took another step last week toward a gradual long-term rate hike, a move to lower the risk of big investment losses as the maturing pension system enters a new era.

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InlandPolitics: California Democrats want more tax money

Taxes

Saturday, August 22, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

Democrats in the California Legislature want to pick your pockets again!

Read the rest of this entry »

License Plate Scanner

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/21/15 – 10:11 PM PDT |

Two advocacy groups suing the Los Angeles Police Department and the LA County Sheriff’s Department for access to data from automated license plate readers have won a chance to argue before the California Supreme Court.

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Ashley Madison

The infidelity website was hacked by a group called Impact Team. (Google Images)

By Patrick McGreevy and Abby Sewell
August 21, 2015

Anxiety was high Friday in state, county and city offices after hackers released lists of dozens of government email addresses in California that were used to access the Ashley Madison online dating site for married people.

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InlandPolitics: California gasoline inventories climbing

Gas Prices

Friday, August 21, 2015 – 01:30 p.m.

California gasoline stockpiles at in-state refineries are climbing.

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Cheryl Brown

Cheryl Brown represents California’s 47th State Assembly district and is seeking reelection in the June primary elections. (Courtesy photo)

By Beau Yarbrough and Ryan Hagen, The Sun
and Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 08/19/15, 12:57 PM PDT |

California’s legislators returned to work in Sacramento on Monday, poised for the battle to get their legislation approved before the 2015-16 session ends on Sept. 11.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Home Construction

Workers build single-family homes at the Rosedale housing project in Azusa in this Feb. 26, 2013 file photo. (SGVN/Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 08/20/15 – 6:34 PM PDT |

Rising home prices across California have eroded affordability to the point that only seven counties, including San Bernardino, have housing that a family earning the median income can afford to buy, according to a study released Thursday.

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SCE

Pressure is building to reopen the agreement that saddles Southern California consumers with more than $3 billion in costs for shuttering the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

By Teri Sforza / Staff Columnist
Updated Aug. 21, 2015 7:18 a.m.

Southern California Edison did its very best to figure out which chitchats between its executives and state regulators were “substantive” enough to require disclosure to the rest of the world, it argued in a legal filing Thursday. But those rules are murky, people’s recollections change, and Edison has beefed up tracking company communications with state regulators as a result, to better sort the wheat from the chaff.

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California Taxes

By Jessica Calefati and Josh Richman, Staff writers
Posted: 08/20/2015 – 06:23:45 AM PDT

SACRAMENTO — State lawmakers on Wednesday took the first steps toward raising taxes and fees on motorists and further restricting Californians’ tobacco use as the Legislature convened special sessions aimed at solving the state’s transportation and health care funding crises.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 17, 2015

  • Roadwork, Medi-Cal and carbon fees big issues
  • Taxes for transportation and health care need GOP votes
  • Republicans, pressured by anti-tax groups, are leery

The Legislature reconvened Monday after a monthlong summer recess and immediately focused on what most members like best: spending money.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lou Desmond

Monday, August 17, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

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

On the show today, Estimable Economist Jay Prag joins Lou on the show. First, NPR featured a story about children in San Bernardino who grow up in motels described as “meth addict summer camp.” What do stories like these do for the city’s image?

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Inland Empire warehouse addiction continues

Howard Warehouse - Redlands

Monday, August 17, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

The non-stop construction of warehouse properties in the Inland Empire is moving at a break-neck pace.

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Pothole

A backlog of highway repairs is just one of the funding challenges that have state lawmakers looking for new revenue sources. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

By Chris Megerian and Patrick McGreevy
August 15, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers will start tackling some of the state’s toughest challenges this week, and the solution to many of them may be new taxes and fees for Californians.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald | Noon Aug. 15, 2015

When Southern California Edison replaced the steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear plant, state regulators allowed the utility to start billing customers for the upgrade without the benefit of what’s called a “reasonableness review.”

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InlandPolitics: Gas Prices: Oil companies just can’t help themselves

Gas Prices

Friday, August 14, 2015 – 08:30 a.m.

Oil companies just can’t help themselves when it comes to sticking it to Southern California drivers.

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Dan Walters

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

  • Proposal would let voters decide on new pension benefits
  • But summary says it would affect current pensions
  • Harris’ action sets stage for political battle next year

Kamala Harris is not only California’s attorney general, but a very ambitious politician who hopes to become a U.S. senator.

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

calstrs

By Dean Starkman
August 13, 2015

California’s two major public pension funds, the biggest in the nation, lost a total of more than $5 billion on energy-related investments for their fiscal years, ended June 30, according to a new report.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: FPPC fines two top elected San Bernardino County officials

fppc logo

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 08/12/15 – 4:56 PM PDT | U

The state Fair Political Practices Commission has fined San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and 4th District Supervisor Curt Hagman each $1,500 for campaign finance reporting violations during the 2014 election cycle.

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Raul Ruiz

Rep. Raul Ruiz

Published: Aug. 12, 2015 – Updated: 9:58 a.m.

The lack of a big-name challenger to Rep. Raul Ruiz has convinced one professional observer of political races to put the Palm Desert Democrat in the “Safe Democrat” category.

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

El Nino Heat Map

A comparison of the November 1997 and July 2015 El Niños in the Pacific Ocean west of Peru. Areas of warm water, shown in red, in 1997 contributed to relentless, damaging storms in California that winter. Note: This image has been edited to add a key and to express degrees in Fahrenheit. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Environmental Visualization Laboratory)

By Rong-Gong Lin II
August 12, 2015

For months, scientists have been saying that the El Niño weather pattern this winter could finally put a dent in California’s four-year drought.

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Currency exchange board showing cross rates between various countries

By Shan Li, Samantha Masunaga and Andrew Khouri
August 12, 2015

At the Beverly Center on Wednesday, a clutch of Chinese tourists spilled out of a bus and into the upscale mall, ready to snap up Gucci purses and Nike sneakers.

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Ballot Measures

Judy Lin, Associated Press
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 – Updated 11:14 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Proponents of a California pension initiative said Tuesday that state Attorney General Kamala Harris is once again favoring labor unions by using the same words she used to describe their previous failed bid to limit taxpayer spending on public pensions.

Read the rest of this entry »

california_state_flag

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

  • California has relied on revenue anticipation notes every year since 2000-01
  • The short-term loans help smooth out revenue and expenses
  • About $26 billion is available for internal borrowing to avoid RANs in 2015-16

California can handle all of its cash flow needs in-house, State Controller Betty Yee said Monday, the first time since before the dot-com bust that that the state will make it through a fiscal year without turning to Wall Street for short-term loans to smooth the ebb-and-flow of tax revenue.

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Pensions

Ed Mendel
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The authors of an initiative giving voters the power to decide whether new government employees get pensions said they will “commission a legal review” of the ballot summary issued yesterday by Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Read the rest of this entry »

Under Employed

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 11, 2015

  • Unemployment rate has climbed out of the cellar
  • However, by other measures state still lagging
  • Los Angeles County labor picture especially dark

Although California’s official unemployment rate climbed out of the cellar during the year that ended June 30, it still had the nation’s second highest rate of total “labor underutilization,” according to a new federal government report.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lou Desmond

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

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

On the show today, Paul Chabot and Cliff Cummings join the show to talk about an idea floating in California: a per-mile gas tax to pay for infrastructure upgrades. Couldn’t the money come from somewhere else? (Like the Bullet Train.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff McDonald

By Jeff McDonald
Aug. 10, 2015 – Updated –  5:07 p.m.

  • State office says customers are not getting fair shake from utility commission judge

Another consumer group that negotiated the $4.7 billion settlement of San Onofre shutdown costs backed away from the agreement Monday, withdrawing support from the deal that charges customers 70 percent of the tab for the nuclear plant’s failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 10, 2015

  • California has nation’s second-worst pavement conditions
  • New coalition wants $6 billion a year for maintenance
  • Republicans hold key, generally oppose added taxes

Special legislative sessions aren’t bound by the time limits of regular sessions, so one on financing road maintenance could run another 15-plus months.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mileage Tracker

This undated photo released by the Oregon Department of Transportation shows a display device on the dashboard that indicates how many and what kind of miles a driver has driven. Proponents of a California transportation funding approach excluded mileage-tracking systems from its suggested revenue sources. AP

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

  • California budget includes $10.7 million for mileage tracking pilot study
  • Some say motorists should pay by miles driven, not gasoline pumped
  • Backers of Monday’s $60 billion plan say such a system still years away

Higher gas and diesel taxes, revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program, and increased vehicle license and registration fees are among the possible sources of new revenue included in a transportation-funding package of principles put forward Monday by a coalition of local government, business and labor groups.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: To sum it up – Gas prices were manipulated

Gas Prices

Sunday, August 9, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.

The California Energy Commission issued its latest refinery activity report on Wednesday, and it was essentially the same as the past four weeks.

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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

IE Business Daily

August 8, 2015

Why don’t our elected officials or the media care?

The shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation plant permanently eliminated over 2000 Megawatts of electrical power from California’s electricity supplies. This is approximately 20 percent of Southern California’s total electrical energy supply.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 8, 2015

  • California needs at least 150,000 new units a year
  • Current production is just two-thirds of that
  • Should developers be required to provide low-income housing?

California’s severe housing crisis is easy to describe – supply too low, prices too high.

Read the rest of this entry »

Traffic comes to a complete standstill on the  southbound 55 freeway just north of the 22 freeway as California Highway patrol officers created a traffic break to remove a four-vehicle collision from lanes at about 7:15 a.m. ///ADDITIONAL INFO:  - Photo by BRUCE CHAMBERS, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - photos taken 04/01/09 -  ORANGE – Four vehicles have crashed at the southbound 55 freeway just north of the 22 freeway, one vehicle apparently has caught fire, and the wreckage has two lanes blocked, the California Highway Patrol says. At 6:26 a.m., the CHP got reports that a solo vehicle had spun out and was facing the wrong way, blocking the No. 1 lane. The CHP now says at least two vehicles are disabled in the center divider, blocking the carpool and No. 1 lane. Two other vehicles are involved and police say smoke is coming from one. An ambulance and tow trucks have been called to the scene. The CHP issued a SigAlert to clean up the mess. Traffic is backed up to near the 91 freeway.

With people driving more fuel-efficient cars and fewer miles, some states are pondering the question of how to pay for road upkeep funded largely with gas taxes. (Bruce Chambrs / File Photo)

By Nicole Knight Shine / Staff Writer
Updated Aug. 8, 2015 – 8:44 p.m.

The next time your Prius bounces through a pothole, consider the conundrum California faces.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Third man from Poland meeting speaks

Michael Peevey - Poland

The Hotel Bristol Warsaw, where state regulators met with a utility executive.

By Jeff McDonald | Aug. 6, 2015 – 5:37 p.m.

  • Witness says Edison executive presented San Onofre settlement vision

The third man in the room for a secret meeting in Poland two years ago says in a sworn declaration that the Southern California Edison executive at the hotel actively participated in the undisclosed talks about the failed San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Bulletin: Report highlights overly high gas prices in California

Gas Prices

A new report from Consumer Watchdog reveals that since California’s record gasoline price spike began in February, Californians have paid $4.8 billion more than the rest of the nation for regular gasoline. (Chuck Bennett/Torrance Daily Breeze/File)

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/05/15 – 7:12 PM PDT |

BY THE NUMBERS
A new report from Consumer Watchdog shows that Californians are getting gouged at the pump.
  • Californians have paid more than $4.8 billion more than the rest of the country for regular gasoline since the price spike began in February.
  • Refiner margins — the amount of money they collect for each gallon of gasoline — set a record for California in July at $1.61 for branded stations.
  • Valero’s California profits hit $294 million during the second quarter of 2015 — 11 times more than a year earlier.
  • Californians often pay $1 more per gallon for gas than the national average.
Source: Consumer Watchdog

Southland motorists are used to getting gouged at the pump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Peevey

At a March 2013 private meeting between a utility executive and then-president Mike Peevey of the California Public Utilities Commission, a framework for the San Onofre closure deal was discussed.

By Jeff McDonald | Aug. 5, 2015 – 6:36 p.m.

  • Advocates are seeking $34 million or more in penalties for undisclosed meetings

Southern California Edison on Wednesday was found to have violated rules prohibiting backchannel communications at least 10 times in its dealings with regulators over the failed San Onofre nuclear plant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
August 5, 2015

  • Voters approved Proposition 57 with more than 63 percent of the vote
  • Chiang and a top Brown aide said lawmakers in 2004 should have made the “difficult decisions”
  • In 2004, Brown told his local paper that Proposition 57 “made a lot of sense.”

Treasurer John Chiang and a top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown commemorated the final payoff Wednesday on billions of dollars in budget-balancing bonds, while chiding the “fiscal shortsightedness” of then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers who backed the measure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jon Ortiz

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
ortiz@sacbee.com
August 5, 2015

  • CalPERS’ and CalSTRS’ investment returns rose in 2013, but so did their pension debt
  • Unfunded public pension obligations totaled $4,425 per Californian in 2013
  • New ballot measure stirs debate over government retirement benefits again

Sacramento — With a new ballot proposal reigniting debate over government retirement benefits, the latest federal figures show California’s public pension debt in 2013 stood at $4,425 for every man, woman and child in the state, despite strong investment returns by public retirement funds.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lou Desmond

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 – 05:00 p.m.

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

Tonight on the show, Cliff Cummings, proprietor of Toyota of San Bernardino, and Lou talk about a plan to put seven supervisors in counties with more than 2 million people. Good idea, bad idea?

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Legal story update in The Sun

Scales of Justice

Tuesday, August 5, 2015 – 08:00 a.m.

There’s an update legal story of public interest in the Wednesday edition of The Sun.

Here’s the link.

Dan Walters

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

  • Squeeze play changed the California primary
  • Top vote-getters now face each other
  • It’s had moderating effect, but isn’t a cure-all

California’s “top-two” primary election system emerged from one of the oddest events in the state’s political history.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jon Ortiz

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
August 4, 2015

  • CEO Anne Stausboll says ‘imprecise’ proposed ballot measure makes analysis difficult
  • Plan would close traditional benefit plans to new members, create ‘huge’ challenges
  • Proponent says CalPERS is ‘lying’ to maintain a ‘failed’ pension system

A proposed ballot measure that would make future pension benefits subject to voter approval is fraught with legal and administrative peril, according to a letter from CalPERS’ chief executive officer, eliciting a response from one of the measure’s proponents that the assessment is a “lie.”

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

Like other pension funds, CalPERS relies on private equity investing to meet its ambitious annual return target of 7.5% and keep pace with ever-growing obligations to its 1.7 million current and future retirees.

By Dean Starkman
August 3, 2015

CalPERS is finally about to reveal how much it really pays Wall Street for its most rarefied services — and taxpayers can expect a dose of sticker shock.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 2, 2015

  • David Crane critical of pension funding
  • It’s cost him two high state appointments
  • But investor/teacher still firing bullets

There may not be a bounty on his head, but David Crane sits atop the enemies list for California’s public employee unions.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Morain: Political watchdog takes a break

Dan Morain

By Dan Morain
dmorain@sacbee.com
August 1, 2015

  • California’s Fair Political Practices Commission seems to be in a lull
  • Chairwoman Jodi Remke says the FPPC will bring major enforcement actions soon
  • Gov. Jerry Brown, who appointed Remke, seems less enamored of political ‘reform’

The watchdog seems to be taking a little nap. Or perhaps the politicians, lobbyists and consultants suddenly are on their best behavior.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: California gasoline shortage never materialized

Gas Prices

Saturday, August 1, 2015 – 09:30 a.m.

The latest in-state oil refinery numbers, released Wednesday by the California Energy Commission, point to only one conclusion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

The recent surge in regional fuel prices has left L.A. area drivers paying the nation’s highest average for a gallon of gas. (Jerome Adamstein / Los Angeles Times)

By Ivan Penn
July 31, 2015

Oil refinery profits set a California record of $1.61 a gallon in July as consumers in the Los Angeles region paid as much as a dollar more than the rest of the nation.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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.

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