April 4, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

California governor set to approve highest minimum wage – California’s governor is setting in motion the most populous state’s climb toward the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour to take effect by 2022. AP article 

George Skelton: The do-something Legislature outshines a do-nothing Congress – The California public’s view of the state Legislature has improved remarkably in recent years. And last week there was an example why. Unlike the worthless Congress, state lawmakers actually are doing things. Not everything they should be, not the hardest tasks — fixing highways, streamlining regulation, lowering tuition, reforming taxes. But the legislators do periodically pass important bills, such as last week’s legislation to dramatically boost the state’s minimum wage. Skelton column in LA Times

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Dan Walters: Will California Senate contest be Democrats only? — The possibility that Democrats Harris and Sanchez could face each other in November is enhanced by having a flock of Republicans on the primary ballot, none of whom rises above single-digit support. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Other areas 

Trump, Schwarzenegger are only celebrity-deep similar — The comparisons between Trump, the billionaire developer turned reality TV star, and Schwarzenegger, the millionaire bodybuilder turned action-movie hero, go only celebrity-deep. Even Schwarzenegger seems to agree: He has endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich. San Francisco Chronicle article

Bill Clinton: California has been good to my family — Campaigning for his wife ahead of California’s Democratic primary, former President Bill Clinton rallied supporters Sunday in downtown Los Angeles, saying his family has special ties to the state. LA Times article 

Conservative Oildale could be a bellwether of how Trump’s message translatesin California – Oildale — the conservative hometown of country legend Merle Haggard that is north of Bakersfield — might be as close as California gets to Trump Country. The region has remained loyally Republican while California as a whole has become more Democratic. LA Times article

Kasich to appear at California Republicans’ convention — Underscoring the importance of California’s June 7 primary, presidential candidate John Kasich will address the state Republican Party at their April convention, according to a source familiar with the event. LA Times article (scroll to article)

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

University of California funds generous home loans for faculty — Since 1984, more than 6,000 UC professors and nearly 200 executives have saved thousands of dollars a year through a university program to assist them in purchasing residences near the campuses where they work. Sacramento Bee article

A delta tunnel project’s lofty ambitions have been scaled back – Scroll down on the website, below those impressive figures, and you now find a cautionary note: “The project on average over time is not expected to provide a significant increase in water deliveries from the Delta.” The language reflects a major scaling back of the project’s once lofty ambitions. LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

New state retirement plan for private-sector jobs – A new state board, Secure Choice, last week recommended that the automatic enrollment of millions of private-sector workers in a new state-run retirement savings plan begin with a safe investment: U.S. Treasury bonds for the first three years. Calpensions article

Modesto City Council starts discussion on X-Fest’s future – The Modesto City Council is expected to start the discussion Tuesday on whether it will allow the Xclamation Festival – which draws more than 15,000 music fans to downtown one day each summer – to take place this year. Modesto Bee article

Kimberly Ricci: Downtown ‘transformation’ shouldn’t leave out X-Fest fans – The Modesto resident and entrepreneur writes, “Once a vibrant hub, downtown no longer has a wide variety of eating, drinking and entertainment options. X-Fest is a one-night reprieve for those who otherwise suffer from perpetual Modesto ennui, lamenting the lack of activity among the linen tables of “important” downtown restaurants. It’s one night where they can forget – or pretend – that Modesto is not constantly listed as one of the most boring (or miserable) cities in which to live.” Ricci op-ed in Modesto Bee

Why the gig economy doesn’t work for everyone — Because people who work independently are not technically employees, they do not enjoy the raft of worker protections that apply to almost everyone else. That leaves independent contractors out of the wave of pressure to upgrade pay — the latest example being the $15-an-hour minimum wage that is poised to become law in California and New York. LA Times article

Bay Area job market evolves: ‘Soft’ tech jobs in, manufacturing out — Move over factory workers. Make room for coders. The Bay Area job market has climbed to record heights in recent months, much as it did during the dot-com era. But the shift in demand for tech and computing skills has created a very different economic landscape for workers. San Jose Mercury News article

22 years without a meeting? Fresno commission calls it quits – When members of a Fresno County commission recently met for the first time in more than 20 years, they had just one job – to disband. When the Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Solid Waste Commission last met before its lengthy hiatus, Clovis City Council Member Nathan Magsig was a Clovis West High School junior and Fresno City Council Member Esmeralda Soria was in grammar school. Both are now committee members. Fresno Bee article

San Jose approves mobile showers for homeless, looks to new housing projects – Continuing efforts to tackle homelessness, the City Council has approved a mobile shower and laundry service for the homeless, and is poised this week to approve the purchase of two properties for a future affordable housing development. San Jose Mercury News article

Stockton port’s bond rating upgraded – Moody’s Investors Service has bumped up the rating on Port of Stockton long-term bonds to A from Baa. The rating company has two higher levels, Aaa and Aa. Stockton Record article

As Oakland Tribune disappears, a city mourns its newspaper — On Monday, the Bay Area News Group’s last daily Oakland Tribune hits the streets, to be replaced Tuesday morning by the East Bay Times, a consolidation of the Tribune with the Contra Costa Times, the Daily Review in Hayward, and the Argus, which serves Fremont. San Francisco Chronicle article

Big crowds jam Old Town Clovis for Big Hat Days – Thousands of visitors converged on Old Town Clovis on Sunday for the final day of Big Hat Days, the annual Clovis Chamber of Commerce event that is billed as the largest two-day festival in Central California. Fresno Bee article

Popular Manteca street fair draws thousands from across the state — Thousands of people took advantage of Sunday’s Chamber of Commerce weather to stroll among the hundreds of vendors, food booths and craftsmen while listening to live, local music during the 20th Manteca Crossroads Street Faire. Stockton Record article 

Alaska Air is buying Virgin America in a deal worth more than $2 billion — Alaska Air Group Inc. is buying Virgin America in a deal worth more than $2 billion, creating a powerhouse airline with an expanded West Coast presence. LA Times article


Don Curlee: Climate change drives ag research — You’ll find plenty of disagreement in California’s farm community with the widely held opinion that global warming is the result of human activity, but farmers and their friends in agricultural research are anticipating warmer temperatures just the same. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta 

Farm laborers march for benefits, health care in Merced — Health care, education and farmworkers’ rights took center stage during a march and celebration Sunday in Merced. The second annual Cesar Chavez March carried on the legacy of the civil rights advocate, according to organizers, who said conditions for workers must still improve. Merced Sun-Star article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Los Banos school board member, attorney arrested on drug possession allegations — Dominic Falasco, a member of the Los Banos Unified School District board of trustees and a prominent criminal defense attorney, was arrested early Sunday on allegations of methamphetamine possession, Merced police have confirmed. Merced Sun-Star article


White teachers and black teachers have different expectations for black students – Now a new study suggests that race plays a big role in influencing how teachers see their students’ potential for academic success, raising questions about whether teachers’ biases could be holding back black students and contributing to the nation’s yawning achievement gap. Washington Post article

To reach parents, schools try universal language of data — In the national drive to lift student achievement by teaching parents how to help their children learn, some say thoughtful data-sharing should be at the core of a family-school partnership – and that across all languages and cultures, nothing communicates the pressing need for academic intervention like a big gap on a graph. EdSource article

A day with a sixth-grader: How one school supports a high-needs student — California schools now have more control over extra dollars for their neediest students. How does it work in practice? We spend a day with Carlos Delrio at Sacramento’s Oak Ridge Elementary. KQED report


What will California do with too much solar? – Solar energy records are falling left and right in California these days, as the state steams ahead toward its ambitious renewable energy goals. But the success of solar has brought about a hidden downside: on some perfectly sunny days, solar farms are being told to turn off. KQED report

SMUD phasing in new energy rate plan based on demand — Sacramento home energy users could be among the first in California to pay rates that rise or fall based on the time they consume energy, with summer peak time electricity prices possibly costing three times that of current base rates. Sacramento Bee article

Health/Human Services 

Dr. Sergio Caminha: Measure H and what it means for your heart – The director of cardiac surgery at Kaweah Delta Medical Center writes, “This is why Measure H is so important, not only because it will help us continue to retain and recruit physicians and nurses, but it will help us continue to serve the heart patients in our community. Moreover, the hospital is a major employer in our city and county and it is essential for the economy of this area.” Caminha op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta


California, clean fuel leader, weighs oil, coal trains – Long lines of oil and coal trains could some day rumble regularly through Sacramento – as strange as that would seem in California, a state that leads the push for clean fuels. Sacramento Bee article

Tulare supervisors to consider fare increases for county bus system — Supervisors will consider the first fixed-route fare increase for the Tulare County Area Transit System in three decades when they meet in regular session Tuesday. Visalia Times-Delta article

Other areas

Merced still weighing new police station, false-alarm fines – Potential sites for a new police headquarters and a proposal to help reduce the time and money spent on responding to false alarms are among the issues set to go before the Merced City Council on Monday. Merced Sun-Star article

Fresno Air National Guard begins European deployment — Airmen and aircraft from the 194th Fighter Squadron at the Fresno Air National Guard Base began a six-month deployment on Friday, headed to Europe to augment U.S. forces on the continent. Fresno Bee article 

‘Dance at the Stars’ event turns local celebs into poised competitors — Judging by the money it raised, this year’s Dancing at the Stars competition was a smash hit, selling out two consecutive nights and netting perhaps triple last year’s haul. But measuring the event only by its financial success would be missing the point. Bakersfield Californian article 

Fitz’s Stockton: The ruffians of Stockton journalism — Stockton’s first newspaper, the Stockton Times, rolled off the press on March 16, 1850. Immense trouble soon followed. Fitz’s Stockton in Stockton Record

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Given the depths to which Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign has fallen, it’s no wonder several corporations are taking heat for going along with the age-old practice of sponsoring the Republican National Convention.

Sacramento Bee – Our hearts are with those who back a June ballot measure to boost children’s programs in Sacramento through a tax on commercial marijuana cultivation. But our heads tell us that Measure Y would unwisely tie the City Council’s hands in making spending decisions and dealing with the next budget crunch.

Maddy Events

Sunday, April 10, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “California Senate: 2016 Agenda”  Guests: Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler

Sunday, April 10, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580 (KMJ) – Maddy Report-Valley Views Edition: “California Senate Agenda: Implications for the Valley” – Guests: To be determined. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.

Sunday, April 10, at 7 a.m. on Fresno Univision 21 (KFTV)– El Informe Maddy Report: “Higher Education Issues in California” – Guest: Erica Romero, executive director of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Deputy Director Ana Melendez.

The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel.  Check http://www.calchannel.com to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area.  You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at http://www.maddyinstitute.org/policy-analysis/the-maddy-report-tv.

Community Events

  • Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and other university officials will participate in a Community Conversation at the Reedley College Student Center in Reedley on April 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Seating for this free event is limited, so RSVPs should be made by Tuesday, April 5, at www.fresnostate.edu/presidentrsvp using the code “Reedleyforum.
  • The CalEITC4Me campaign will hold a free tax prep and resource fair at the Manchester Center in Fresno on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  More information is available here.
  • The CalEITC4Me campaign’s bus tour will make stops in the following Valley cities to assist with free tax preparation for low-income working Californians: the United Way to Kern County in Bakersfield on Sunday, April 10, from noon to 4 p.m. and in Modesto (location and time to be determined) on Saturday, April 16. More information: CalEITC4Me.org.
  • The 2016 San Joaquin Valley Parks Summit will be held at Bitwise South Stadium in Fresno on Thursday, May 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Registration launches March 1.  More information: Jenna Chilingerian at jennac@csufresno.edu.


Next 10: UPDATED California budget challenge – For the first time in a decade, California’s budget is largely in balance.  However, the state has outstanding debts of $28 million, not counting long-term pension and retiree health care costs.  Budget choices affect us all.  Take the Challenge and decide how much should be spent on programs and where the money should come from.  Next 10 California Budget Challenge 

Next 10: Federal budget challenge — The Federal Budget Challenge is based on The Concord Coalition’s Principles and Priorities budget exercise, which has been used in numerous town hall meetings across the country by members of Congress from both parties, as well as in hundreds of high school and college classrooms.  Next 10 Federal Budget challenge at www.federalbudgetchallenge.org.

Next 10: California Water Challenge – As our state faces some of the most severe drought conditions in its history, Next 10 wants to issue a new challenge to Californians: can you create a plan to make sure there’s enough water for everyone?  Next 10 California Water Challenge

LEGISLATORS’ VOTING RECORDS: How often has a California legislator broken party ranks, abstained or switched sides? The Sacramento Bee has a database of the voting records of every member of the state Senate and Assembly. Enter a lawmaker’s last and first names to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. Check it out at this link.  http://www.sacbee.com/votingrecord/

More Information

Please visit http://www.maddyinstitute.com/news/maddy-daily if you want to view the Maddy Daily with our comprehensive list of links to all federal, state and local government, public affairs institutes/regional entities, Valley media and public policy blogs. (Please note new website address.) 

Maddy Institute Updates List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials – The Maddy Institute has updated its list of San Joaquin Valley elected officials.  The list is available here.

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The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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