November 6, 2017




Local/Regional Politics:


US ag secretary visits Madera farm on his two-day stop in California

The Fresno Bee

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture stopped at a Madera farm Sunday evening as part of his two-day stop in California, where Sonny Perdue talked about helping young people in the farming industry and about the challenges farmers in California face.


Fresno Unified is preparing for a possible teacher’s strike


In the classrooms of McLane High School, a different kind of lesson with potential teachers in the students’ seats. Fresno Unified filled these classrooms with a one-stop shopping orientation for emergency substitute teachers.


Advance Kern: County to consider aggressive tax credit plan to attract new business and industry

Bakersfield Californian

On Tuesday the Kern County Board of Supervisors will vote on a plan that would increase tax breaks and remove tax credit caps for businesses that can pour jobs and economic vitality into local communities.


City gets funding for bike, street projects

Bakersfield Californian

The City of Bakersfield was awarded nearly $200,000 by the Kern Council of Governments to help pay for the Build-a-Bike program, downtown bike parking spots, a bike path between the Kern River bike path and 21st Street, rehabilitation of the Kern River bike path from Manor Street to Alfred Harrell Highway and improvements on portions of Brundage Lane.


What will California’s gas tax hike do for San Joaquin roads?

Stockton Record

The 12-cent bump in the state gas tax that took effect on Wednesday isn’t popular, according to at least one poll. But it’s supposed to provide $54 billion over the next 10 years to fix some of those potholes — whether on the street in front of your house or on some of the state’s busiest interstate freeways. And it’s not just about potholes. In San Joaquin County alone, there’s money for buses and trains. There’s money to refurbish bridges. There’s money for safer street crossings and pedestrian-friendly improvements.


A glimpse inside the secret site where driverless cars undergo 20,000 tests

The Washington Post

This carefully shrouded 91-acre preserve in the Central Valley is the testing ground for the driverless cars being developed by Waymo, the autonomous-car company that was a division of Google before being spun off last year. Waymo parted the gates of the tall chain-link fence — covered from top to bottom in opaque black plastic — to welcome a busload of reporters last week because they know their challenge is bigger than just developing the “perfect” driverless car.


River West project near Woodpark delayed

The San Joaquin River and the ponds north of Woodward Park are supposed to be part of an outdoor recreation area called River West. The project has been delayed over arguments about how the public can get to the area.


State Politics:


Walters: As gas taxes jump, motorists may wonder where they’re going


California motorists who filled their cars’ gas tanks Wednesday paid an extra 12 cents a gallon, thanks to a multibillion-dollar package of improvements to highways, streets and other transportation facilities enacted by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown this year. The package, which also includes some extra automotive fees, is expected to raise more than $5 billion a year for transportation projects, most of which are aimed at catching up on long-delayed maintenance work

See also:

·       Roadshow: $132 billion — yes, BILLION — needed for road repairs San Jose Mercury News


Skelton: Blasting California’s gas tax while working to cut federal tax breaks? That’s called hypocrisy

LA Times

California Republicans seem to have conflicting tax philosophies. Or maybe they’re just outright hypocritical.

See also:

·       GOP sees prospective gas-tax election fight as oasis in California desert San Francisco Chronicle


The ‘Odd Couple’ goes to Rome: Jerry Brown, Kevin de León collaborate on climate change

Sacramento Bee

California leaders are working on an issue both see as the most pressing of our time, speaking over the weekend on climate change at the home of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

See also:


Gov. Jerry Brown: Legislature taking seriously sexual harassment allegations

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown said he believes the California Legislature is taking seriously the growing calls for attention to widespread allegations of sexual harassment and assault around the Capitol.

See also:

·       Legislature to summarize – but not fully disclose – its sexual harassment history Sacramento Bee

·       Lawmakers ‘can’t police themselves’: How statehouses are confronting sexual harassment  Sacramento Bee

·       State Senate steps up outreach for investigation into sexual harassment allegations Los Angeles Times

·       California Politics Podcast: The questions mount on sexual harassment accusations  LA Times

·       Walters: Sexual harassment cases put heat on legislative leaders CALmatters


California could have almost 12,000 legislators as backers of a bold ballot measure submit signatures for 2018

Los Angeles Times

The plan, which would appear on next November’s statewide ballot, would create new community political districts of between 5,000 and 10,000 Californians. Those microdistricts would choose representatives who, in turn, would meet to select the 120 members of the California Legislature who write laws in Sacramento. Because the small districts would be of a fixed size, the number of legislators will vary depending on the state’s population.


Antonio Villaraigosa warns of growing economic disparity in California

LA Times

Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday that California must take substantive action to address the disparities between the haves and have-nots in the state.


Bretón: California’s top Latino candidates face a tougher enemy than Trump: Fellow Democrats —

Sacramento Bee

For all the self-congratulatory proclamations of California as a progressive haven, the state is not as cool as it thinks it is. The traditional paths to power in California have been closely guarded by a Bay Area pecking order heretofore off-limits to Latino candidates.


San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer says bipartisan efforts only solution to state’s housing, water and workforce needs

LA Times

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Thursday held up his city as an example of what can be accomplished when elected leaders put aside politics and focus on the housing, workforce and water needs facing their region.


Federal Politics:


What the Tax Plan Could Mean for Californians

The $1.5 trillion tax plan unveiled by Republican lawmakers on Thursday is a sweeping rewrite full of complicated minutiae, but one thing is clear: Many Californians are not going to like it.

See also:

·       Economists break down impact of GOP tax plan on Californians and housing market 89.3 KPCC

·       California Inc.: GOP unity to be tested as lawmakers weigh in on tax plan  Los Angeles Times

·       California Congressional Republicans Key to Tax Bill Fox & Hounds

·       Republicans’ Tax Plan Crashes Jerry Brown’s Electric Car Fantasies – Hit & Run

·       GOP tax plan would decimate California’s low-income housing funding, Chiang says in letter to Congress Los Angeles Times

·       A Tax Proposal That Can’t Be Fixed California Budget & Policy Center

·       House tax plan would hurt many California homeowners, but state GOP members look for the bright side  Los Angeles Times


For more stories on “tax reform” See: “Public Finance,” below


Skelton: Does Washington shortchange California on taxes? No, not really

Los Angeles Times

One of California’s oldest gripes is that Washington shortchanges the state on taxes. But it’s a questionable claim. The beef is that California sends more money to Washington than it gets back and this isn’t fair. But are we actually being cheated? No, not really. “Like many other things, it depends on how you measure it,” says Ann Hollingshead, a fiscal policy expert at the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.


Yes, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Trump can be a ‘good president.’ There’s a lot more to the story

Los Angeles Times

A handful of words about President Trump uttered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein over the summer personified her well-worn reputation as a measured veteran elected official. And they’ll also surely be the centerpieces of Democratic campaigns attempting to unseat her.

See also:

·       Dianne Feinstein: Why I should remain California’s senior US senator The San Diego Union-Tribune


Congress urges tech giants to fortify against foreign meddling before next election


How did the most powerful tech companies in America let Russia and other malicious actors co-opt their platforms to sow discord and undermine U.S. democracy in the run up to the 2016 presidential election?

See also:

·       McConnell Skeptical of Mandatory Disclosures for Facebook, Twitter Ads Roll Call


Liberal Senate Dems embrace shutdown showdown over Dreamers


The Senate Democrats’ hell-no caucus is saying hell yes to a shutdown showdown over Dreamers.


Primary Primer: Your Guide to the 2018 Midterms

Roll Call

Election Day 2018 — when the question of which party will control Congress — is one year out on Nov. 6. While midterm elections don’t get as many voters or as much media attention as presidential ones, these congressional races are important too. Roll Call senior editor David Hawkings has a reminder on how these biennial elections work.


Trump Urges DOJ to Investigate His Political Foes

Roll Call

President Trump made his most clear statement yet about the Justice Department and how the Democratic Party handled the 2016 election, stopping just shy of directing a DOJ probe into the matter. Such a move is unusual for a sitting president. “But honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats. They should be looking at [Tony] Podesta and all of that dishonesty,” Trump said of the Justice Department. “They should be looking at a lot of things. And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”




Gunman kills at least 26 worshipers at small-town Texas church


The man accused of killing 26 people including an 18-month-old child at a Texas church had sent threatening text messages to his in-laws who sometimes attended the house of worship before launching the latest U.S. mass shooting, officials said on Monday.

See also:

·       Trump says Texas shooting due to ‘mental health problem,’ not a gun issueReuters

·       Sutherland Texas: Good Guy With a Gun Stops Bad Guy With a Gun National Review

·       Massachusetts Becomes 1st State To Ban Bump Stocks After Las Vegas Massacre  NPR

·       Texas shooting: Samantha Bee’s domestic violence connection  The Fresno Bee

·       Why most terrorists and mass shooters are millennial men Business Insider

·       After Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church shooting, backlash against thoughts and prayers  The Fresno Bee

·       Kamala Harris condemns ‘senseless gun violence’ after Texas church shooting  TheHill

·       Battleground America The New Yorker

·       Rate of gun deaths rose again in 2016 The Boston Globe


Democrats & Republicans: Are Both Parties Doomed?

National Review

For all the obvious reasons, the Republican party gets most of the attention these days. For starters, it controls the White House, the Senate, and the House, and the party in power always warrants more scrutiny, even when it’s operating smoothly. Of course, that’s not happening.



Maddy Institute Programs…


Sunday, November 12, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: California Supreme Court: Special Taxes Are Special– Guests: Liam Dillon with Los Angeles Times, Jon Coupal President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Dan Walters with CalMatters, and John Myers with Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, November 12, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) –Maddy Report  – Valley Views Edition: “Prop 13: The Case of the Voter-Initiated Special Tax” – Guests: Experts from CA’s Legislative Analyst Office: Brian Uhler and Carolyn Chu, Liam Dillon with Los Angeles Times, Jon Coupal with Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Dan Walters with CalMatters, and John Myers with Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, November 12, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – Informe Maddy: CA’s Immigration Facts. Guests: Joe Hayes, Investigator PPIC and Liam Dillon with Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.



Topics in More Detail…





Tax cuts for the rich, higher fees at national parks for families. How is that fair?

Fresno Bee

The huge entrance fee increases proposed by the Trump administration are uncalled for. If this proposal moves forward, it must include some kind of allowance for Californians who want to take a day trip to Yosemite.


Keep national parks affordable

Sacramento Bee

Yes, our national parks have a ridiculously long backlog of maintenance. Maybe entrance fees should be raised a little to help pay for repairs. But the huge fee increases proposed by the Trump administration are uncalled for, and could easily discourage park visitors.


Measure T, taxing marijuana, is a no-brainer; vote yes

Modesto Bee

Without Measure T, Modesto will have a difficult time raising money to cover extra costs associated with the cannabis business


Everyone agrees Sacramento teachers should get a pay raise. So who, exactly, would a strike serve?

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Unified teachers can be forgiven their frustration. But a strike now would destroy the first chance in years for change.


Conservative Jeff Denham’s backing of dreamers could help save them from deportation

San Jose Mercury News

California Central Valley Congressman Jeff Denham, on the whole, has stayed solidly on Team Trump, declining to moderate his views. But he stands up for one vulnerable segment of his constituency: Dreamers — the young immigrants who were brought here by their parents, some as infants. They came out of the shadows when President Obama authorized Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, giving them a path to legal residency and citizenship.


Californians will face more tax proposals on local ballots

San Jose Mercury News

A momentous state Supreme Court ruling apparently making it easier to raise local taxes will mean more signature-gatherers in front of grocery stores and more spending measures on local ballots in California. The ruling reverses 20 years of generally accepted thinking about how to apply two seminal statewide initiatives restricting tax increases: Proposition 218 in 1996 and the original Proposition 13 property tax-cutting measure of 1978.


Goodbye science, hello industry

Los Angeles Times

Rigorous, independent research and analysis should undergird everything the government does. Nowhere is that more true than at the Environmental Protection Agency, which crafts and enforces a wide range of regulations aimed at limiting damage to the environment — and to people — from pollutants….




Ag secretary meets with farmers, others in Modesto

Fresno Bee

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue heard two main messages from farmers in Sunday’s visit to Modesto — keep export barriers down and lighten up on regulation.

See also:

·       A member of Trump’s Cabinet will visit Modesto on Sunday, and you’re invited  Modesto Bee (2:30 p.m. discussion at the West Campus of Modesto Junior College, open to the public. The hour-long program is sponsored by the California Farm Bureau Federation and will be moderated by President Paul Wenger, a Modesto-area nut grower.)


Sticker shock coming with California’s new pot market

Sacramento Bee

California’s legal marijuana marketplace is coming with a kaleidoscope of new taxes and fees that could influence where it’s grown, how pot cookies and other munchies are produced and the price tag on just about everything. Be ready for sticker shock. On a retail level, it costs about $35 to buy a small bag of good quality medical marijuana in Los Angeles, enough to roll five or six joints.




For stories on Texas mass shooting and ”gun control,” See: “Top Stories – State Politics,” above


Public Safety:


Police hone tactics to quell violence at hate-fueled rallies

Fresno Bee

At the heart of the changes is a determination to prevent a repeat of the bloodshed resulting from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, when a woman was struck and killed by a car that plowed into a group of counter-protesters.


15 arrested during county-wide probation and parole detail

Visalia Times-Delta

Fifteen Tulare County residents were arrested during a two-day, multi-agency probation and parole compliance detail, Tulare County sheriff’s deputies said. Drugs, weapons and body armor were taken off the streets as a result of the compliance check,


‘Worst-of-the-worst’ DUI offenders targeted in Tulare County

Visalia Times-Delta

Tulare County has among the highest recidivism rate among DUI offenders, earning the county a spot on the state’s pilot program requiring ignition interlock devices for all DUI convicts. Now, the state is again focusing on Tulare County and cutting drunken driving.


Law enforcement urges teens to focus while driving, put down their phones

The No. 1 distraction while driving is cellphones, Rodriguez said. He said teens, as well as all motorists, need to learn to put cellphones down and leave them alone until they’re parked or out of the vehicles.




California asks US for $7.4 billion for wildfire rebuilding

Sacramento Bee

California Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers asked the U.S. government Friday for $7.4 billion to help rebuild after a cluster of fires tore through the heart of wine country, killing more than 40 people and leaving thousands without housing. In a letter to the White House, Brown joined California’s two U.S. senators and 39 members of its 52-member congressional delegation to urge President Donald Trump and Congress to quickly adopt a disaster-related appropriations measure to support the state’s recovery.

See also:

·       Gov & Calif Congressional Delegation Request $7.4 Billion in Federal Relief for Wildfires  Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. – Newsroom


As Wildfires Raged, Insurers Sent in Private Firefighters to Protect Homes of the Wealthy


Insurers see boost in enrollments ‘as people have seen us save homes’; consumer advocates say programs mean rich get better protections




U.S. unemployment drops to lowest in 17 years


The U.S. economy rebounded from the hurricanes and added 261,000 jobs, the best performance of the Trump administration. Unemployment inched down to 4.1%, the lowest since December 2000.

See also:

·       Hiring Rebounded in October, Unemployment Rate Fell to 4.1% WSJ


U.S. Worker Productivity Jumps in Third Quarter


U.S. workers boosted output per hour this summer at the best rate in three years, a sign that long sluggish productivity gains might finally be breaking out. Nonfarm business-sector productivity increased at a 3.0% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department said Thursday. The gain was better than economists had expected and the largest quarterly improvement since the third quarter of 2014.


Employment Cost Index Summary

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in September 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.7 percent, and benefits (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.8 percent.


Trump’s Fed pick, Jerome Powell, is likely to be tested early on interest rate policy

Los Angeles Times

President Trump’s choice for the next Federal Reserve chief, Jerome H. Powell, likely will face an immediate test as stronger economic growth exerts greater pressure on the central bank to step up the pace of interest rate hikes. Powell, a Fed governor since 2012 has closely aligned himself with the cautious policy moves and positions forged by Yellen. And like Yellen, whom he would succeed in early February if confirmed by the Senate, Powell has shown he is in no hurry to raise rates.

See also:

·       Four speed bumps Jerome Powell will face as Fed Chair  Brookings Institute


Small Businesses Haunted by New Taxes and Mandates

Fox & Hounds

Our final The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly update of the year illustrates some of the most severe taxes and mandates which are sure to haunt small businesses and working families in the new year. This list identifies legislation which will have the greatest impact, either negative or positive, to the 3.8 million small businesses across California


California needs a digital equity strategy to close its opportunity gap


Though California has made strides closing its digital divide, we’ve reached a tipping point in public policy in California in which a strategy for digital equity is seen as essential to lifting up all residents.


Keeping Americans on the Job in a Changing Economy


The U.S. unemployment rate is a low 4.2 percent (PDF), but a lower proportion (63 percent) of American adults are in the labor force than ever. These numbers seem to be at odds with each other, suggesting that many of those who can work are discouraged by their employment prospects and not bothering to look anymore


Porterville forced 5-year-old to close lemonade stand

FOX 13 Tampa Bay

A five-year-old’s lemonade stand had to closed down after someone filed a complaint with city hall. The city of Porterville, located in California, is now apologizing for the mix-up.






The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs


To better understand the value and effectiveness of out-of-school-time (OST) programs, RAND researchers examined programs through the lenses of content, dosage (the hours of content provided), and outcomes measured, focusing on rigorous (i.e., experimental or quasi-experimental) large-scale evaluations and meta-analyses..


Higher Ed:



PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Higher Education

Public Policy Institute of California

Most Californians (56%) say affordability is a big problem in the state’s public colleges and universities. Only 18 percent say overall quality is a big problem. Half of Californians are very concerned that increased federal immigration enforcement will affect undocumented college and university students, including those with DACA status. Majorities are dissatisfied with the way campus officials are handling free speech, sexual assault, and hate crimes. Strong majorities across parties believe that California’s higher education system is very important to the future quality of life and economic vitality of the state.

See also:

·       Deep racial divides among Californians on whether college is necessary OCRegister

·       Poll finds high housing cost is barrier to college education in California San Francisco Chronicle






Climate change sucks moisture from the West, adding to droughts, fires, federal study reveals

Fresno Bee

The Trump administration released a sweeping report Friday that pegged man-made climate change to droughts and wildfires in California and the West, but for reasons you may not expect.

See also:

·       Trump administration releases report finding ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ for climate change  The Washington Post



EPA’s new science advisers add more industry experts, conservatives to the mix

The Washington Post

EPA Scott Pruitt has placed 66 new experts on three different EPA scientific committees, many of whom hail from industry or state government, and espouse more conservative views than their predecessors. Two of the new chairs — Texas’ top toxicologist Michael Honeycutt, who will helm the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), and consultant Louis Anthony “Tony” Cox, who will chair the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) — have harshly criticized the way the EPA has conducted science in the past.

See also:

·       EPA names industry, state officials to advisory boards TheHill




Oil industry spent millions on lobbying as California lawmakers debated cap-and-trade extension

LA Times

Corporations, unions and other interests spent $86.2 million on lobbying state government during the last quarter, with the oil industry leading the way as the Legislature approved an extension of California’s cap-and-trade program.


Big Oil Has A Diversity Problem


The U.S. oil industry is trying to find a new generation of workers in a country that is becoming more diverse. But a history of sexism and racism is making that difficult.




Don’t worry, healthcare leaders say. Health insurance market in California ‘rock solid’

Bakersfield Californian

Despite widespread worry that an unstable health insurance marketplace could lead to skyrocketing premiums amid Republican plans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, state healthcare leaders say California is largely shielded from the challenges 36 other states have been weathering. Elsewhere, enrollment windows have been diminished to just 45 days, subsidies are withering, and President Donald J. Trump, who has vowed to kill Barack Obama’s signature healthcare bill, has slashed funding to advertise enrollment periods.

See also:

·       Trump seeks end to health care penalty in House GOP tax bill   The Business Journal

·       Conservatives push to repeal Obamacare mandate in tax package POLITICO

·       With Obamacare ad dollars slashed, expect lower enrollment  Marketplace


ANALYSIS: California locales with highest opioid overdose rates stranded without Medication Assisted Treatment …

Bakersfield Californian

The regions with the 21 worst opioid death rates in California – from the tribal lands of San Diego County to rural hamlets near the Oregon border – have no Medication Assisted Treatment facilities within easy reach, leaving those struggling with addiction little hope for recovery, an analysis by The Bakersfield Californian has found.

See also:

·       ‘Stuck with no way to get sober’: Lake Isabella boasts county’s highest opioid overdose rate, but has no medication assisted treatment program  Bakersfield Californian

·       State largely dodges opioid crisis, but some rural areas are problem spotsSan Francisco Chronicle


Roll Call

Issue of offsets to cost are major sticking point


Insurers make billions off Medicaid in California during Obamacare expansion

Los Angeles Times

Medicaid is  rarely associated with getting rich. The patients are poor, the budgets tight and payments to doctors often paltry. But some insurance companies are reaping spectacular profits off the taxpayer-funded program in California, even when the state finds that patient care is subpar.


California has yet to crack down on anti-vaccination doctors despite rise in medical exemptions

Los Angeles Times

A year ago, California officials appeared to be coming down hard on doctors and parents who were reluctant to vaccinate children. The state had just implemented one of the strictest vaccination laws in the nation. The medical board wasthreatening to pull the license of Dr. Robert Sears, a celebrity in the anti-vaccine community. One vaccine skeptic called the case against Sears “a shot across all the doctors’ bows.”


Why Doing Good Is Good for the Do-Gooder

The outpouring of support is critical for helping affected communities to recover. But acts of generosity benefit the do-gooder, too.




When policy is cut off from reality: Donald Trump’s immigration problem

Brookings Institute

Nearly a year into his presidency, all Donald Trump has to show for his campaign pledges to get tough on illegal immigration are: three executive orders that have been overturned by judges; funding proposals for a border wall that have been turned down repeatedly; and the wrath of his former aid Steve Bannon, who fans the flames on the right whenever Donald Trump seems close to compromising on the issue. And the situation is unlikely to improve.


Trump: Dems Must ‘Guarantee’ All Wall Funding in DACA Bill

Roll Call

President Donald Trump will insist Democrats give him a formal “guarantee” for the full amount of federal dollars for his proposed southern border wall, a demand that will further complicate work on a bipartisan immigration bill. Trump in early September ended the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, giving Congress six months to pass an immigration bill that addresses those affected by his cancellation plan. Weeks later, the White House released its priorities for that measure, which included full funding for the border wall project.




Land Use:


Fitzgerald: How the multiplex has worked for downtown

Stockton Record

Rambling past downtown’s movie theater, I wondered whether the city’s grand experiment using a multiplex to spur downtown revival paid off.




County leaders bemoan lack of collaboration on Fresno’s homeless law

Fresno Bee

Less than a month into enforcement of Fresno’s new ordinance that makes homeless camping a misdemeanor punishable by arrests and fines, Fresno County leaders fretted that it could have the potential to simply herd people living on the streets into county islands within the city or into Fresno’s outskirts.


Homelessness soars on West Coast as cities struggle to cope

Fresno Bee

Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians and along busy sidewalks.


State Sen. Toni Atkins says housing package is just the start to dealing with state crisis

LA Times

State Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said Friday that the sweeping package of housing bills passed earlier this year is only the first step California must take to address its crisis.

See also:

·       Could Republicans’ tax reform hurt Sacramento-area home sales?Sacramento Bee

·       GOP tax proposal would gut affordable housing, state officials say San Jose Mercury News

·       Housing costs push Californians around  Capitol Weekly

·       Yet more evidence that housing affordability is getting worse Brookings Institute

·       Opinion: Fires Aren’t the Only Threat to the California Dream




California business tax incentive program should end, legislative analyst says

Los Angeles Times

The State’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office  in a new report found that California Competes, a program that began four years ago to give tax credits to businesses looking to move to the state or remain here, puts existing companies that don’t receive the awards at a disadvantage without clear benefits to the overall economy.


Podcast: The GOP Tax Plan Unpacked

Roll Call

In a special episode of The Week Ahead and Budget Tracker Extra podcasts, CQ journalists Shawn Zeller, David Lerman and Peter Cohn take a deep dive into the new tax bill and explain what it would mean for corporations, small businesses and individuals.

See also:

·       CHART: How The Tax Overhaul Would Affect You

·       What the GOP tax plan or mean for different tax brackets Marketplace

·       9 Things to know about the House GOP tax plan Brookings Institute

·       Republicans Propose Big Tax Cuts, But Target Popular Deductions NPR

·       House Republicans produced an ambitious tax overhaul, but now the hard work begins Los Angeles Times

·       Opinion: The Politics of Tax Cuts Are as Complex as the IRS Code Roll Call

·       A Political Problem with Tax Reform National Review

·       What’s in the House tax bill for business? CNNMoney

·       9 facts about pass-through businesses  Roll Call

·       Republican Tax Plan: A Decent Start National Review

·       Trump’s top economist makes his pitch for corporate tax cuts Marketplace

·       House GOP plots crackdown on corporate tax dodges POLITICO

·       The House GOP bill improves the corporate tax system. Here’s how to make it even better. Brookings Institute

·       Teachers spend nearly $500 a year on supplies. Under the GOP tax bill, they will no longer get a tax deduction. Washington Post

·       GOP tax plan would scrap deduction for big medical expenses Los Angeles Times

·       They spent years planning to live with Alzheimer’s disease. The GOP tax bill threatens those plans. Washington Post

·       Let’s talk about the GOP proposal to give a fetus a tax benefit  Brookings

·       House Tax Bill Addresses 401(k)s, IRAs But Drops Rothification Forbes

·       Take Claims About State and Local Tax Deductions With a Grain of Salt New York Times

·       House Tax Bill’s Changes to State and Local Tax Deductions Would Hurt States Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

·       Conservatives lament retention of top tax rate in GOP plan, but the wealthy still reap big benefits   Los Angeles Times

·       A Tax Cut That Lifts the Economy? Opinions Are Split

·       Poll: Americans oppose tax plan by 17-point margin TheHill

·       60 percent of Americans say Trump tax plan will benefit wealthy Abcnews

·       House Tax Proposal Seen Hiking Bills on Some Lower Earners Long-TermBloomberg

·       Hiltzik: The GOP tax plan is filled with petty cruelties aimed at the vulnerable and the middle class. Here’s a list Los Angeles Times

·       GOP tax ‘reform’ worse than partisan. It’s petty. USA Today

·       Trump seeks end to health care penalty in House GOP tax bill The Business Journal

·       PolitiFact statements about Taxes PolitiFac


What’s wrong with the congressional budget process?


Congress has a bad reputation for passing spending bills on time, and the tendency for budget proposals to become a vehicle for partisan gamesmanship has only increased the dysfunction. Both the House and the Senate have now approved budget proposals for fiscal year 2018, but that is only the first step in a lengthy political process. More than 40 years after the current budget process was originally designed, could it finally be time to consider reforms?


Will China’s new recycling standards mean higher taxes in California?

Fox & Hounds

Do you know where your recyclables go when they leave your blue bin? Would you believe China? But that’s about to change. In July, China notified the World Trade Organization that on Jan. 1 it will impose much stricter quality standards and will turn away shipments that don’t make the grade.


Could CalSTRS reserve pay down pension debt?


As CalSTRS rates are more than doubling, squeezing school budgets, an inflation-protection account that keeps teacher pensions from dropping below 85 percent of their original purchasing power has a large and growing excess of funding, $5.6 billion last year.


Getting the Most Value From Your City’s Technology Investment


As technology progresses seemingly at light speed, local government organizations are benefiting from technological advancements that make local engagement easier and the functions of governing and running a city more efficient.




For articles on State Gas Tax, see: “Top Stories, State,” above.




JOE MATHEWS: Water data is for fighting

The Bakersfield Californian

The abundance of water data effectively makes every piece of land and every drop of water in California the subject of measurement—and conflict. The data also exposes the fragmentation and deficiencies of California’s system of water management.


Rain in Sacramento expected to taper off, while Northern Sierra braces for more snow

Sacramento Bee

The rain that began falling over the Sacramento early Saturday is expected to taper off later in the day, while a winter storm in Northern California will continue to grow


If Jerry Brown can’t sell California on two Delta tunnels, would just one fly?

Sacramento Bee

If there isn’t enough money to build two Delta tunnels, why not build just one? Drastically downsizing Gov. Jerry Brown’s tunnels wouldn’t merely save money. It would also reduce the project’s footprint and make it more palatable to some of its critics. A coalition of environmental groups has endorsed a lone-tunnel approach.




Veterans Day events in central San Joaquin Valley

Fresno Bee

Events to mark Veterans Day 2017 began Friday with a ceremony at Fresno City College. The keynote speaker was Lorenzo Rio, a veteran of both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps who is now CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. The citizen soldier award was given to Charles Hunnicutt, who served in the Air Force and was Fresno County’s veteran services officer until his retirement earlier this year.


12 new reasons to eat and dine in Old Town Clovis

Fresno Bee

Walk or drive through Old Town Clovis and you can’t help but notice the new three-story buildings on Pollasky Avenue. But that’s not the only action happening in Old Town.


Selling Bakersfield: the perfect gig for this city booster

Bakersfield Californian

As the manager of Visit Bakersfield, formerly the Bakersfield Convention & Visitor Bureau, Lyman, 60, appears to be quite good at what he does.


Great Change Brewing and three others plan to join Bakersfield’s growing brew scene

The Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield’s fourth craft brewery, preparing to break ground in southwest Bakersfield, is aiming for a fall opening next year. And three more breweries are hoping to follow suit.


Powerful and poignant exhibit chronicles the lives of those touched by gun violence

Stockton Record

There are any number of ways to confront gun violence in society: protests, heated debates, shrugging of shoulders. Or, there is thoughtful art, which director, cinematographer and documentary photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz chose in creating “We All We Got.” Still photographs from the project that produced a short film by that name, focusing on families whose lives were shattered by gun violence, make up a show at San Joaquin Delta College’s Horton Gallery this month. Ortiz will screen “We All We Got” and another of his short films, “A Thousand Midnights,” during an artist talk at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the campus’ North Forum. He’ll also be at the opening reception of the show in the gallery from 5-7 p.m. Thursday


Fresno’s Downtown Club to reopen Monday

The Business Journal

An iconic Downtown Fresno eatery will reopen Monday, to be run this time by the property owners. The Business Journal reported in August that Stephanie Stine and a partner had taken The Downtown Club property off the market with plans to reopen the restaurant and bar under its original name. The Monday reopening was announced via Facebook.


Triplets among thousands who competed in Fresno marathons

The Fresno Bee

Runners turn out by the thousands on chilly Sunday morning to compete in the Two Cities Marathon & Half at Woodward Park. Marathon winners Ivan Medina and Michele Van Ornum talk about their victories, and Medina’s “miracle” recovery from cramping near the end of the 26.2 mile run.