April 5, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

AD 31: Election day arrives after intense 3-month campaign — Three months after Gov. Jerry Brown announced a special election in the 31st Assembly District, voters on Tuesday will go to the polls to select a replacement for Fresno Democrat Henry T. Perea. But it is nowhere near the end of the story. Fresno Bee article

Jerry Brown signs $15 minimum wage in California — Gov. Jerry Brown, casting a living wage as a moral imperative while questioning its economic rationale, signed legislation Monday raising California’s mandatory minimum to $15 an hour by 2022, acting within hours of a similar bill signing in New York. Sacramento Bee articleSan Francisco Chronicle articleNew York Times article

Gov. Brown

Dan Walters: Wage hike a classic Jerry Brown act — Brown’s flip-flop on minimum wages illustrates another aspect of his second governorship – an appetite for big, even historic, policy moves whose consequences won’t become evident until well after he’s exited the political stage. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Minimum Wage

California now has the highest minimum wage in the country (just don’t tell New York) – Anyone unconvinced about a New York-California rivalry had some tough evidence to overcome Monday, as both states moved to enact minimum wage hikes to $15 an hour, the highest in the country, within hours of one another. LA Times article 

Merced officials worry wage hike will cause unemployment – In Merced, local officials worry the increase could worsen the county’s double-digit unemployment rate and shutter small businesses, while economists are looking at the short-term and long-term effects. Merced Sun-Star article

Fresno faith, labor groups celebrate California minimum wage increase – Although some Fresno small business owners believe raising the minimum wage to $15 will hurt them and a Valley economist can see both sides, those who serve local impoverished communities believe the increase could do wonders. Fresno Bee article

California Politics Podcast: $15 becomes law — A special Monday edition of the podcast: Gov. Jerry Brown signs the $15 minimum wage law. We take a look at the politics that got us here, and what might lie ahead. California Politics Podcast

California’s new minimum wage expected to boost Bay Area automation firms – The state’s new minimum wage law, signed into law Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown, is expected to give a boost to Silicon Valley’s burgeoning robot and automation industry as businesses seek to replace increasingly expensive workers. San Jose Mercury News article

Joel Fox: Minimum wage pause button no relief for business — As Governor Jerry Brown signs the new minimum wage increase law, many in the business community are studying the proposed temporary pause mechanism built into the bill that is supposed to reassure businesses. It does not. Fox in Fox & Hounds

Other areas

Moderate California Democrats will face new election challenge – Highlighting a rift among Democratic voters, a political action committee will seek to boost liberal California legislative candidates over more business-friendly Democrats in state legislative races. Sacramento Bee article 

A Capitol dispute over disclosure — California’s political watchdog, which fights to reveal the political money trail, is opposing legislation that appears to do exactly that. The Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces campaign ethics rules, has come out against two bills aimed at disclosure. Capitol Weekly article

High court rejects case that could have diluted Democrats’ power — Democrats in immigrant-rich states such as California dodged a bullet Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court said lawmakers could continue to draw legislative districts that are equal in population, rather than by the number of registered voters. San Francisco Chronicle articleSacramento Bee editorialNew York Times article

The Trump factor: Will it activate California’s Latino voters? – According to Pew Hispanic Research Center, millennials — those 35 and younger like Bedolla — make up almost half of Latino eligible voters. And Bedolla wants to help stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who created an international controversy after calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug runners. KQED report 

Danny Morrison: Trump can’t win, but you will vote for him anyway – Donald Trump is a self-absorbed presidential dilettante that has taken the political world by storm. He’s a bigoted, sexist and callous campaigner that has already shunned a large portion of the American electorate. Not only have multiple GOP representatives come out swearing to never endorse him as the nominee, all analytics show that Donald Trump is the least likable politician in our country’s history.  And for some reason, you don’t care. Morrison column in Bakersfield Californian

Cathleen Decker: Bill Clinton: Star surrogate, reminder of Hillary Clinton’s liabilities – Bill Clinton is the star surrogate of his wife’s presidential campaign.  But for all of his wow factor and the crowds’ enthusiasm, Bill Clinton’s presence is a reminder of something less positive for his wife’s campaign: Much of the Democratic base has moved further to the left than the former First Couple. Decker in LA Times 

Foon Rhee: How Angelique Ashby got big Chamber backing – The endorsements in Sacramento’s mayoral race – which is getting a little testy heading into the first televised debate Wednesday night on KCRA – line up pretty much as expected. So for me the most intriguing was the Sacramento Metro Chamber going for Ashby, the underdog. Her campaign bragged it was a “game-changing endorsement” – and that was before it led to a big check on Friday. Rhee in Sacramento Bee

Randy Baloian: ‘The Godfather,’ a ’president’ of Azerbaijan and Armenians — “The Godfather” trilogy has so touched the human psyche that parallels with the well-known saga are routinely found in everyday life. Back in 2009, foreign policy analysists John Hulsman and A. Wess Mitchell even wrote a book, “The Godfather Doctrine: A Foreign Policy Parable,” in which they use the story and its main characters to illustrate the constantly changing landscape of global geopolitics. Baloian op-ed in Fresno Bee 

Tom Fife: Obama directing contagion attack from Oval Office — We are under an attack that Barack Obama directs from the Oval Office. Virtually everything Obama does expresses a deep loathing of America, American institutions and US citizens. Obama despises us and will continue to conduct his war on us until his final minutes in the White House. Evidence of his hatred is easily seen in the increase of contagious diseases in the USA and Obama’s willingness to leave us vulnerable to them. Fife column in Visalia Times-Delta

Joe Altschule: Tom’s new, creative immigrant bashing — Usually I just groan or roll my eyes when I read Tom’s offerings. But this time I’ve really got to hand it to him. He’s broken new ground in the relentless, always demeaning, onslaught against immigrants, both legal and illegal that constantly comes from the right wing. Altschule column in Visalia Times-Delta

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories 

Valley towns fall short of water conservation in warmer, drier February – Statewide water conservation fell short in February as much of California had warmer weather and less rain during a critical period in the water year. There was a 12 percent reduction in water consumption, well below Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate of 25 percent. Most communities in the central San Joaquin Valleydidn’t meet the conservation standards. As the nine-month period ended, only Kingsburg, Selma and Merced reached the targets set by the state beginning in June. Fresno Bee articleVisalia Times-Delta article

Lawmakers want beefier detail on high-speed rail — California lawmakers say the state’s latest plan for a $64 billion high-speed railway lacks the details that could spur additional investment in the project. AP article; LA Times articleKQED report

Jobs and the Economy

Oil industry woes behind drop in Bakersfield sales tax revenue – Falling oil prices and oil industry equipment purchases were the main reasons why the City of Bakersfield’s fourth quarter sales tax revenue dropped nearly 5 percent, officials said Monday. Bakersfield Californian article 

Local investors set sights on homegrown technology scene – As Fresno’s technology scene continues to grow, industry leaders are increasingly looking for ways to keep startups close to home. Among the key challenges still being addressed is building proper financial channels to help support new businesses as they grow. Several investment and mentor groups have launched programs in recent months specifically designed to keep homegrown tech startups in the Central Valley and ensure local ties remain strong. The Business Journal article 

Trees begin coming down for Fulton Mall project – Trees at the southernmost end of the Fulton Mall are among the first to be cut down in a $20 million project to restore automobile traffic to a six-block stretch in downtown Fresno. Fresno Bee article

Stanislaus County leaders poised to privatize career services for adults and young people – Stanislaus County supervisors could eliminate the Workforce Investment Board, create a new board to replace it and seek a contractor to operate one-stop career centers. Modesto Bee article

Jeff Jardine: X-Fest at a crossroads in downtown Modesto? – Will it survive the challenge? Will Ricci tweak the format to appease his detractors? Do Galletto and other businesses make a strong case for booting it from downtown? For sure, there’s never been anything like it and likely won’t be again if the promoter and the city can’t work through the issues. One of Modesto’s few big annual events that draws the younger demographic could vanish. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

San Francisco poised to vote on full paid leave for parents – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is voting on whether to require six weeks of fully paid leave for new parents — a move that would be a first for any jurisdiction. AP articleSan Francisco Chronicle article 

CalPERS rethinks ban on tobacco stocks — It’s been a hallmark of CalPERS policy for 15 years: no tobacco stocks. Now the California Public Employees’ Retirement System is considering ending its 15-year-old ban on tobacco company investments after a consultant said the ban has cost the pension fund roughly $3 billion in lost profits. Sacramento Bee article 

Holes in oversight leave California workers’ comp vulnerable to fraud — In many ways, scamming the health system meant to heal California’s injured workers is just too easy. Anyone can hang out a shingle and purport to be a medical vendor or caregiver by sending a letter to the state – no proof required. Unscrupulous providers can run up tens of thousands of dollars in bills for meaningless drug tests, salves and medical equipment, knowing that injured workers never will lay eyes on the bill. Center for Investigative Reporting article

California’s top court tells employers to give workers a chair — The California Supreme Court made it more difficult Monday for companies to deny employees a seat while they work. In response to class-action lawsuits against retail stores and a bank, the state high court said employers should offer workers a chair when some of their duties can be performed sitting. Employers argued that workers could be denied a seat if portions of their job required them to stand. LA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle article

Amazon takes on PayPal with expanded payment-processing service – More shoppers could soon have an easier way to pay online than using their credit card — by simply typing in their Amazon.com user name and password. The giant Seattle retailer announced on Monday an expansion of its Amazon Payments service as the company takes on other payment middlemen, including PayPal and Apple Pay. LA Times article

Tech workers lower salary expectations amid economic uncertainty – Silicon Valley tech workers are lowering their expectations as they see signs of trouble from some area companies, according to a new study. San Jose Mercury News article

California tax board makes a sudden director switcheroo — The California Board of Equalization has assigned its executive director to a temporary role and promoted her No. 2 to fill the vacancy. Cynthia Bridges, who was appointed executive director in June 2012, will continue to work as a consultant through June 30. David Gau, the agency’s chief deputy director, has been promoted to executive director. Sacramento Bee article 

Pro-taxi legislators wants to help set Uber prices — State Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), one of the biggest pro-taxi legislators in the Capitol, has a new bill that would allow the state to oversee pricing for Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies. LA Times article (scroll to article)

Orange County program makes donating leftover food easier — Orange County has come up with a public-private partnership for reducing food waste that can serve as a model for other counties, the state and even the nation. Handler said he has already received interest from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino and other California counties about establishing their own Waste Not programs. LA Times article 


Drought-stricken California misses water conservation target – Residents of drought-plagued California fell just short in February of the state’s mandated water conservation target that has forced them to let lawns turn brown, flush toilets less often and take other strict measures, officials said Monday. Residents statewide used 23.9 percent less water in February compared to the same period in 2013. The savings were shy of the 25 percent water cuts that Gov. Jerry Brown ordered last year for users in cities and towns. AP articleSacramento Bee articleLA Times articleKQED reportSan Francisco Chronicle articleStockton Record article

Water-saving rules to ease, but nobody’s off the hook – Poised to ease California’s mandatory drought rules after rebounding rain and snow levels this winter, state water officials on Monday made it clear that — even where reservoirs are 100 percent full — no community is likely to get an entirely free pass from conservation targets this summer. San Jose Mercury News article 

Michael Hiltzik: No, California’s drought isn’t over. Here’s why easing the drought rules would be a big mistake — Experts reckon that even if 2016 represents a break from the record dry conditions of the last four years, the damage done by the drought to the state’s water supply will be lasting. Long-term reserves in groundwater have been drained to the point that years, even decades, of wet weather would be required to replenish them. Hiltzik column in LA Times

Drought still grips Southern California, keeping pressure on water supplies – Northern Californians who believe the drought is over should think again. While north state reservoirs are brimming, the meager rainfall in cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego means continued strain on California’s man-made water system. Southern California, short of water but with economic and political clout to spare, will press the state to deliver plentiful water from Northern California for the near future. Sacramento Bee article

 Assemblyman Adam Gray: State won’t tell us how bad ‘regulatory drought’ will get – The Merced Democrat writes, “It is clear that the plan has the potential to significantly impact our economy, our water supply, and our way of life. I encourage you to join me in looking for answers to these questions in the state water board’s upcoming report and demanding the board mitigate the impacts to our area.” Gray op-ed in Merced Sun-Star

Water warnings bring some good news – More water quality warnings have been sent to thousands of homes in unincorporated north Stockton, but the notices actually contain good news for those who read beyond the ominous title. Stockton Record article

Water on the way for Matheny Tract — Thanks to an order from the State Water Resources Control, Matheny Tract residents will start receiving service from the Tulare municipal system. The resource board ordered the consolidation of Tulare’s system and Pratt Mutual Water Company, marking the first time the state uses the law. Visalia Times-Delta article

Drought has made fountains a hard sell, but waterscape builders blame public misperception — The historic lack of rain has been rough on the state’s waterscape businesses — the people who create fountains, ponds and other aquatic landscape features. Such ornamental projects are easy targets when water is scarce, a scapegoating that fountain builders say is inaccurate and unfair. LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Fresno Bee: Fresno City Council rejection of Beware is sign of the political times – There was a time when the Fresno City Council would have funded the purchase of the latest technology for the Police Department with little debate. Every council member understood that politically speaking it was wise to give Fresno’s popular police chief, Jerry Dyer, what he wanted to fight crime. For myriad reasons, those days appear to be over. Fresno Bee editorial

Falasco speaks out on drug arrest, denies any wrongdoing – A day after his arrest on misdemeanor drug allegations, Merced County criminal defense attorney Dominic Falasco denied telling police that methamphetamine found in his car belonged to him and is prepared to fight any potential criminal charges. Merced Sun-Star article

In art, Chandra Levy’s mother expresses her grief and endurance — “This is a fractured mother,” Susan Levy says. She points, then her art speaks for itself. In a gallery outside Washington, D.C., far from her Modesto, California, home, Levy has framed her pain on the walls. Her 24-year-old daughter, Chandra, died violently nearly 15 years ago. A second trial of the suspected killer is set for October. McClatchy Newspapers article


UC offers admission to 15 percent more Californians, particularly Latinos and African Americans – The University of California announced Monday a significant boost in California students, particularly Latinos and African Americans, offered admission for fall 2016. The announcement comes as the UC system has been under political fire for what critics say is a policy of admitting too many applicants from other states and countries. LA Times articleSan Francisco Chronicle articleSacramento Bee article

UC adds resident students, diversity; Merced campus expects little change – More students from California and more from ethnic minority groups have been offered admission to a University of California campus for the next academic year, according to numbers released Monday. Merced Sun-Star article

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi apologizes to lawmakers over ‘lapse’ in taking DeVry seat — UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi apologized to lawmakers Monday for what she called a lapse in judgment in accepting a seat on the board of the DeVry Education Group, and promised them such an incident would not occur again. Sacramento Bee article

Number of new math and science teachers declining in California – Posing an ongoing challenge for California educators trying to tackle a critical teacher shortage area, the number of credentials issued to new math and science teachers in California continues to decline, according to new figures released Monday by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. EdSource article

Kern high school board glosses over ‘anti-vaxxer’ discussion – Kern High School District board members glossed over a board discussion item Monday, despite an anti-vaccination group’s warnings that the district could face lawsuits over a controversial state mandate that all students receive immunizations. Bakersfield Californian article

Karin Klein: Instructors must own up to role in grade inflation – The freelance journalist from Orange County writes, “An A has become the default grade, and students take anything below that to mean that something is wrong with them. What was once a bell curve now looks like a steep uphill climb toward the right. The question is why college instructors are going along with it.” Klein op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Peter Hays: Napolitano is wrong on pensions – The professor emeritus of English at UC Davis writes, “The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board praised UC President Janet Napolitano’s revised retirement plan for new UC hires. The board is wrong for two main reasons. Hays op-ed in Sacramento Bee

Beyer High team earns berth at world championships — The Beyer High School Iron Patriots are headed to an international robotics competition after a big win at regionals. The teens did not earn the honor with their robot, however. They got it for hard work and heart. Modesto Bee article

Turlock Unified weighing chances of passing school bond measure – Turlock Unified School District trustees on Tuesday will discuss asking taxpayers to approve a bond sale in November to fix up or build more schools. Modesto Bee article

‘Peace Signs’ addresses bullying at Fresno elementary school — A touring theater production from Kaiser Permanente that addressed bullying and domestic violence was received with loads of enthusiasm from students at Del Mar Elementary Schoolin central Fresno on Monday afternoon. Fresno Bee article


Yosemite gets $15 million for hiking trails, grove upgrades — Rebuilding hiking trails and restoring the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias are among nearly three dozen projects being funded by a $15 million donation to Yosemite National Park. The Yosemite Conservancy is funding the projects. AP article 

New climate change report predicts that thousands will die or get sick — Global climate change will lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths and hospitalizations by 2030, a new federal report released Monday predicted, spurring the Obama administration to announce a series of new initiatives aimed at lessening that impact. McClatchy Newspapers article

Health/Human Services 

Some on Covered California surprised to find they’ve been dropped – A number of people who have signed up for Covered California coverage have been dumped from their plans unexpectedly, without explanation – even though their premium payments were up to date. Others were shifted into Medi-Cal without approval or consent. They found out after the fact. Sacramento Bee article

Affordable Care Act has not uprooted employer coverage – The Affordable Care Act was aimed mainly at giving people better options for buying health insurance on their own. There were widespread predictions that employers would leap at the chance to drop coverage and send workers to fend for themselves. But those predictions were largely wrong. Most companies, and particularly large employers, that offered coverage before the law have stayed committed to providing health insurance. New York Times article

Denti-Cal program ‘dysfunctional’ says scathing bipartisan report – The State of California’s dental health system for the poor is “dysfunctional” according to a scathing report issued Friday by a bipartisan oversight commission. The program, Denti-Cal, “ranks among state government’s greatest deficiencies,” said the report by the Little Hoover Commission, a statutorily independent oversight agency. KQED report

More than $1 million awarded to improve Valley health – Organizations dedicated to improving health in the San Joaquin Valley have been awarded more than $1 million by Sierra Health Foundation: Center for Health Program Management. Visalia Times-Delta article

Fentanyl-linked overdose deaths rise to 10 in Sacramento region — The number of recent opoid-related deaths in the Sacramento region has grown to 10, with a total of 42 overdoses reported, Sacramento County officials said Monday. Sacramento Bee article 

Does a white doctor understand a black patient’s pain? — Does the blood of black people clot more readily than that of white people? Does a black person’s skin generally have more collagen–is it thicker–than a white person’s? Are black people better at detecting movement than white people, and do they age more slowly? If you are white and said yes — or even maybe — to any of the questions above, you are not alone in falling prey to false beliefs about physiological differences between white and black people. LA Times article

Land Use/Housing

Federal housing officials warn against blanket bans of ex-offenders — Private landlords who have blanket bans on renting to people with criminal records are in violation of the Fair Housing Act and can be sued and face penalties for discrimination, the federalDepartment of Housing and Urban Development said. New York Times article

Davis City Council to consider lifting nightclub ban — The Davis City Council on Tuesday will consider lifting a ban on new or expanded nightclubs that was imposed after a fatal stabbing at a downtown club in September. Sacramento Bee article


Alaska’s $2.6 billion Virgin buy to boost Bay Area service for consumers — In a deal expected to expand Bay Area flights, Alaska Airlines on Monday acquired San Francisco-based Virgin America for $2.6 billion. San Jose Mercury News article

Other areas

Carmen George: New Fresno project removes tattoos that branded women as property — Pauls and another Fresno woman are the first two human trafficking victims to benefit from the Traffick Stop project. There will be many more. Local law enforcement groups and other organizations say the “overwhelming majority” of human trafficking victims are branded and that Fresno is a major hub for the sex trade. George in Fresno Bee

Sacramento Bee: Cesar Chavez Day should be a day, not a week – Cesar Chavez Day is supposed to fall on March 31, the late labor leader’s birthday. But in the 16 years since former Gov. Gray Davis signed the holiday into existence, it has become more like Cesar Chavez Week. Sacramento Bee editorial

Fresno civil-rights activist Ben Benavidez dies – Longtime Fresno civil-rights activist Ben Benavídez died early Monday morning at age 69. Benavídez was national and state president of the Mexican American Political Association in the 1990s and early 2000s. The civil rights activist fought for immigrant families in rural Central Valley communities and throughout the state. Fresno Bee article

Honor guard escorts fallen Coast Guardsman to Turlock — Escorted by patrol cars and saluted by police officers, firefighters, city leaders and an honor guard, the body of a Coast Guard petty officer arrived here late Sunday from Hawaii. Joshua X. Noz, 28, who grew up in Denair and was stationed in Honolulu, died there following a motorcycle crash the afternoon of March 27. Modesto Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – There was a time when the Fresno City Council would have funded the purchase of the latest technology for the Police Department with little debate. Every council member understood that politically speaking it was wise to give Fresno’s popular police chief, Jerry Dyer, what he wanted to fight crime. For myriad reasons, those days appear to be over.

Merced Sun-Star – Dreaming of fancy new cars and good jobs.

Modesto Bee –– Dreaming of fancy new cars and good jobs.

Sacramento Bee – Cesar Chavez Day is supposed to fall on March 31, the late labor leader’s birthday. But in the 16 years since former Gov. Gray Davis signed the holiday into existence, it has become more like Cesar Chavez Week; For all the hand-wringing about the evenly split U.S. Supreme Court, the justices on Monday made clear they have no intention of messing with a basic democratic tenet – that people matter whether they’re eligible to vote or not, whether they’re citizens or not.

Stockton Record – Cheers and jeers: Investment could mean 200 jobs for Stockton, help for a sister city and other issues.

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: “Sacramento Politics, Valley Implications” – Guests: Fresno Bee Opinion Page Editor Bill McEwen; UC Merced political science professor Nate Monroe; and Paul Hurley, former editor of the Visalia Times-Delta. 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

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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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