April 9, 2015


Political Briefs

Top stories

SD16: Conway squashes rumor, says she still plans 2018 Senate run — There’s a rumor making the rounds that Tulare Republican Connie Conway has decided against a 2018 run for the 16th state Senate seat currently held by Bakersfield Republican Jean Fuller. Ralph Bailey, a radio host on Bakersfield station KERN (AM 1180/FM 96.1) has heard it. Even Conway’s heard it. And, she says emphatically, it’s not true. Fresno Bee article

California lawmakers advance vaccine bill amid heated debate —  California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a bill that would require schoolchildren in the state to be vaccinated amid impassioned pleas from parents and doctors, even activist Robert Kennedy Jr.  San Francisco Chronicle article; Capitol Alert; LA Times article; KQED report; Sacramento Bee editorial


State budget

Sacramento Bee: A primer on California’s messed-up finances — Despite an income tax windfall, California lawmakers may be faced with having to cut health and social programs this year. The reason has do with Proposition 98, the 1988 initiative that established a school funding formula.  Sacramento Bee editorial


Gov. Brown 

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe and Douglas Jeffe: Why Jerry Brown’s second drought may leave his greatest legacy — In Brown’s first go-round as California governor, from 1975 to 1983, he was regarded as an innovator with a political agenda. Now, Brown is a wise elder of 77 and a consummate crisis manager. His current tenure has been defined by the skill he displayed in addressing the state’s serious fiscal woes: He controlled spending and finally persuaded voters to approve limited tax increases. Brown’s stewardship during the state’s multi-year drought could emerge as another key piece of his legacy.  Jeffe/Jeffe op-ed in Bakersfield Californian


Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Mark Baldassare: The importance of California’s tax ranking – The president of the Public Policy Institute of California writes, “There are many reasons why tax proposals are a tough sell even in Blue California. They include high government distrust and little fiscal knowledge. We have identified a major force to be reckoned with as tax initiatives take shape for the 2016 ballot: a widely held perception that Californians are among the most burdened with state and local taxes in the nation. Tax proponents will have to convince voters that their plans will improve California’s ranking—as the state with the most promising future.” Baldassare in Fox & Hounds



Joel Fox: Democratic immigration protection bills don’t solve poverty program — Legislative Democrats heralded a package of bills they purport to aid and protect undocumented immigrants. Acknowledging the humanitarian concern behind the package, the plan will do little to help immigrants achieve the American Dream if something isn’t done to provide middle class jobs. Without them, many immigrants here and those attracted by California ‘s largesse are subject to a life of poverty.  Fox in Fox & Hounds

Border agents’ use of firearms declines after new guidelines adopted — Border Patrol agents have used firearms and other weapons less frequently in recent months on the often-violent Southwest border after implementation of guidelines aimed at curbing abuses, officials said Wednesday.  LA Times article


Other areas

State senator pushes bill to reduce driver’s license suspensions – A state senator proposed legislation Wednesday that would reduce the number of driver’s license suspensions incurred for unpaid traffic citations that do not affect public safety, after a report found that low-income Californians are being driven further into poverty by the practice. LA Times article; Capitol Weekly article; Reuters article 

‘Enhanced’ driver’s licenses, clear cars among Latino lawmakers’ top bills – Latino lawmakers, who have increasingly flexed their muscle as a voting bloc in the Capitol, released their list of priority bills Wednesday, including efforts to increase voter registration and promote clean energy.  LA Times article

George Skelton: Let’s schedule ourselves back into the presidential nominating process – Don’t know about anyone else, but my eyes glaze and ears go mute whenever there’s media speculation about the looming presidential race. That’s because as a Californian, my opinion doesn’t mean squat.  Skelton column in LA Times

Longtime Democratic lawmaker announces plans to retire — Democratic Rep. Lois Capps, in her 10th term representing a congressional district along California’s Central Coast, said Wednesday that she will not run for re-election.  AP article; Sacramento Bee article

Nearly 9 percent of Americans are angry, impulsive – and have a gun, study says — Tread lightly, Americans: Nearly 9% of people in the United States have outbursts of anger, break or smash things, or get into physical fights — and have access to a firearm, a new study says. What’s more, 1.5% of people who have these anger issues carry their guns outside the home.  LA Times article 

Bill to classify cheerleaders as employees advances – stealth 49 opposition? — With support from an Oakland Raiderette, and a report of stealth opposition from the San Francisco 49ers, legislation to classify cheerleaders for California pro sports teams as employees, entitled to minimum wages and payment of expenses, is advancing in the state Assembly.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Two California lawmakers challenge Justice Department of medical marijuana — Two members of Congress from California who were authors of an amendment blocking the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws are disputing Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.’s narrow interpretation of the provision.  LA Times article


California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

California warns of deep water rights curtailment amid drought — While Brown defends agriculture’s heavy use of water, he is also considering water rights curtailments that could dramatically affect the industry.  Sacramento Bee article

Despite the drought, produce prices are staying stable – why? – California’s drought has driven the prices of some fruits and vegetables up substantially, but others are actually cheaper than they were a year ago. In fact, the U.S. Agriculture Department’s forecast for produce prices predictsmodest increases of 2% to 3%.  Why aren’t fruit and vegetable prices skyrocketing in these dry times? LA Times article


Jobs and the Economy

California ranks 44th for U.S. economic competitiveness — California ranks 44th for economic competitiveness among all 50 states, according to the latest annual “Rich States, Poor States” report released by the Arlington, Va.-based American Legislative Exchange Council. The No. 44 ranking was an improvement over 47th place one year ago.  Sacramento Bee article 

Dust Bowl owners break ground on expanded brewery in Turlock – On Wednesday, the owners of Dust Bowl – Brett and Karen Tate and Brett and Camy Honoré – hosted a ceremony to commemorate the beginning of construction on a $12.5 million, 30,000-square foot brewery on Fulkerth Road just west of Highway 99.  Modesto Bee article

Some charities fear LA wage could hurt their own efforts for workers – As Los Angeles ponders hiking the citywide minimum wage to as much as $15.25 an hour, some nonprofits face a dilemma: They are dedicated to lifting Angelenos out of poverty but also concerned about some aspects of an ambitious City Hall plan meant to do just that.  LA Times article

California poor subject to fines, fees like in Ferguson, says report – A scathing report released by a civil rights group Wednesday says the Golden State’s structure of spiraling court fees and fines — which tend to disproportionately affect poor Californians —  are “chillingly similar” to practices in Ferguson recently slammed by federal justice officialsKQED report

Fresno Fire Department wants reimbursement guarantee when fighting forest fires – The Fresno Fire Department is concerned that requests for aid from state and federal agencies during wildfires could wind up hurting the department’s finances.  FM89’s Joe Moore reports.  KVPR report

LA County firefighters union fights back at scrutiny of family ties — Union representatives for the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s rank and file had a pointed response to reports of nepotism in the agency’s hiring practices: They announced their sponsorship of a “family day.”  LA Times article

CalPERS state worker rate increase: $487 million — Actuaries recommend a $487.2 million annual increase in state payments to CalPERS in the new fiscal year that begins in July, an increase for state worker pensions of about 10 percent to $4.9 billion.  Calpensions article 

CalPERS staff: Don’t sell coal stocks — CalPERS’ investment staff said Wednesday the big pension fund should hold onto its coal investments, despite proposed legislation by the leader of the state Senate that would pressure CalPERS and CalSTRS to unload their holdings. In a report to its investment committee, the CalPERS staff said dumping coal-related stocks would diminish the pension fund’s abililty to influence how energy companies do business.  Sacramento Bee article

Free-range rabbits pull prize out of the hat – Frankie Arburua III took a big step forward Wednesday toward realizing his dream of producing grass-fed, free-range rabbits from his family’s farm near Tracy by winning a share of $22,500 in cash and prizes from the San Joaquin Entrepreneur Challenge.  Stockton Record article 

Study confirms new Chargers stadium in San Diego is likely to cost $1 billion or more — A study released Wednesday by the National University System Institute for Policy Researchconfirms previous estimates that a new stadium in San Diego will cost at least $725 million — and more likely more than $1 billion. KBPS report

Sacramento sewer district expects huge savings from state financing program — Sacramento County officials expect to save “at least a half billion” dollars on a major sewer project, thanks to a lower interest financing plan approved by state officials this week.  Sacramento Bee article



No more nice guy: California naming, shaming water wasters – California is done with gentle nudges and polite reminders to deal with its devastating drought. State regulators are naming and shaming local water departments that have let water wasters slide — and forcing them to slash water use by as much as a third.  AP article 

Bakersfield water board approves three-day-a-week watering – Later this month, Bakersfield residents likely will be required to cut landscape watering to three times a week, despite state regulators’ call for many Kern County water agencies to reduce consumption by 35 percent.  Bakersfield Californian article 

Paul Wenger: Here’s why governor didn’t order water cuts on farms – The president of the California Farm Bureau Federation writes, “We’ll need to make sure urban and suburban Californians understand how the water system works: that farmers are always the first to be cut back — always — and that those cuts go deeper and deeper until the water planners can no longer ignore the need to cut urban uses, too. That day has come.” Wenger op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta

Hanford at odds with new drought rules – As Sacramento deals out new rules to fight the drought, Hanford city officials must decide how dry or dead residents can let their yards become. The Hanford City Council held a study session Tuesday to discuss the latest water conservation measures, many of which appear to clash with city ordinances.  Hanford Sentinel article

California board approves emergency drought rules for toilets, faucets sold after Jan. 1 – Faucets, toilets and urinals sold after Jan. 1 will have to use much less water under emergency drought regulations approved Wednesday by the California Energy Commission.  Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article; Reuters article; San Francisco Chronicle article

Manteca making water conservation a way of life – Manteca officials have approved some of the most progressive water-conservation plans in San Joaquin County, as cities across California scramble to respond to Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandatory 25 percent cut announced last week. For its part, Manteca will launch what appears to be the county’s first “cash for grass” program, in which citizens are offered rebates to tear out thirsty turf in favor of native vegetation. Stockton Record article

‘First Look’: Water district GM talks conservation — During the final segment of Tuesday’s show, Harry Starkey, general manager of the West Kern Water District discussed the changes coming to water conservation in the wake of Gov. Brown’s mandatory 25 percent statewide reductions.  Bakersfield Californian article

Warren Gubler: The drought continues – Visalia’s vice mayor writes, “While Visalians cannot solve the statewide drought problems, we can certainly do our part to conserve the local water supply.” Gubler op-ed in Visalia Times-Delta

Storm delivers slight relief to snow pack – The storm system that passed through the region Tuesday was enough to provide a little relief to local growers and to deliver snow to the mountains and pea-sized hail to parts of Visalia and to Hanford and Lemoore. But the storm was not enough to alleviate the drought that’s riddled the state of California.  Visalia Times-Delta article

How you might be contributing to California’s water woes — In the wake of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to enact mandatory restrictions on the use of water given the state’s ongoing, historic drought, people nationwide have become obsessed with almonds. Not in the sense that people are buying and eating lots of almonds, mind you. In the sense that suddenly everyone with even a tenuous connection to the Internet is an expert on the water usage of various agricultural products.  Washington Post article

Cities strategize water-savings measures – Cities across California are scrambling to figure out how they will meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to cut water use by 25% over the next year.  LA Times article

California drought leads to increase in West Nile virus cases – The California drought could be responsible for another frightening trend: increased West Nile virus activity. California public health officials said there were 801 cases of reported West Nile virus last year.  LA Times article

The numbers on the rain: Nowhere near the record in Sacramento — As Sacramento settles into a normal spring day of sun and mild temperatures, the numbers are coming in from the drenching on Tuesday.  Sacramento Bee article

Less water for California-Oregon border farms amid drought – Farmers on a federal irrigation project straddling the Oregon-California border are slated to get 65 percent the water they expect in a wet year this growing season, due to the lack of mountain snowpack that feeds reservoirs.  AP article 

Mayor calls for San Diego to ‘lead by example’ in cutting water use — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Wednesday ordered a series of water-saving measures to help the city comply with Gov. Jerry Brown’s statewide order to reduce water usage by 25%.  LA Times article 

Water treatment center nearly completed at Oak Valley — The $1.4 million water treatment center at Oak Valley Union School is scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2015-2016 school year, said Superintendent Kerry Beauchaine. For decades, the school’s underground water tested at 17 arsenic parts per million, well within the state’s benchmark of 50.  Visalia Times-Delta article


Criminal Justice/Prisons

California lawmakers oppose parole for disabled Clovis man’s killer – The family of a developmentally disabled man who was buried alive had support from a bipartisan group of state lawmakers Wednesday, as they sought to block the parole of his killer in what they termed an especially heinous crime. David Weidert was sentenced to life in prison for beating, stabbing and strangling 20-year-old Clovis resident Michael Morganti in 1980 to hide a $500 burglary.  AP article

Modesto police inviting residents to series of town hall meetings — The Modesto Police Department is inviting residents to attend an upcoming series of town hall meetings and give officials feedback on a variety of public safety issues. Department officials say the meetings are intended to create an open dialogue about what residents think should be the top priorities for police.  Modesto Bee article 

Jeff Jardine:  Agile or fragile? Columnist tests skills alongside future cops — There is a reason you don’t see many men or women becoming police officers in midlife, and certainly not well beyond that midpoint. As any veteran cop will tell you, patrol work is a young person’s job.  Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Scant data frustrates efforts to assess number of shootings by police — Under current federal laws, there is nothing requiring any of the 18,000 police departments and other law enforcement agencies across the country to report to the public or to the Justice Department anything about shootings involving officers.  New York Times article



Lynnette Zelezny: Fresno State strives to be the ‘Water University’ — Fresno State’s provost and vice president for academic affairs writes, “Our ultimate goal is bold: We want Fresno State to become known as the Water University. Our research efforts — and applying that research to benefit people, communities and businesses — has us well on the way to earning that standing.” Zelezny op-ed in Fresno Bee 

Senate plan to eliminate UC tuition hike wins unanimous approval from Senate committee – All the talk in recent weeks about how to fix the University of California’s money woes and stave off a tuition hike has been between Gov. Jerry Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano.But the Legislature has plans of its own, and a proposal sponsored by the state Senate’s top Democrat won unanimous approval Wednesday from the Senate Higher Education Committee.  San Jose Mercury News article 

Facing closure, Heald College accuses Kamala Harris of hampering sale – Facing deadlines with creditors and potential closure in the coming weeks, the president of Heald College released an open letter to Attorney General Kamala Harris on Wednesday asking for leniency as the school attempts to secure a buyer.  Sacramento Bee article 

Fresno’s Heald College could close this month if buyer isn’t found – Heald College in Fresno and elsewhere across the state could close by mid-April if its parent company can’t find a buyer for the for-profit campuses, the president of the Fresno campus said Wednesday. Campus president Carolyn Pierce broke the news during an emotional meeting with more than 100 students and staff on Wednesday afternoon.  Fresno Bee article

Students struggle to get past instructions on practice tests – Third-grade teacher Annie Long grappled with a new problem when her students reviewed the online practice test to prepare for the Common Core-aligned assessments they will be taking in a few weeks. The instructions were too complicated for many of them to understand.  EdSource article 

Teachers sue to join union without paying for political activities – An advocacy group has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop teachers unions in California from using member dues for political purposes unless individual instructors provide their permission. The effort, if successful, could weaken the influence of these unions by limiting their spending.  LA Times article 

Fresno State’s Jordan College to honor retired professor with endowment – Alumni of Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology will establish an endowment in honor of professor emeritus John Hagen. The fund will support the Agricultural Business Department’s students and programs as a tribute to one of the department’s founding fathers who retired in 2014.  Fresno Bee article

The Grade: Changes to breakfast and testing – Juniors at East, Golden Valley and Liberty high schools started computer-based state testing Wednesday that for the first time went beyond just practice. But there were some hitches. Paul Helman, principal of Golden Valley High School, said logistical problems delayed juniors about 35 minutes. Test proctors were missing passwords, and students missing identification numbers needed to log in. On top of that, around 10 a.m. the Internet connection started to stall, forcing students to log out and log back in.  Bakersfield Californian article

Nan Austin: Figuring college costs provides its own education – Scholarships can ease the pain and even the playing field. But every educational choice involves a best-guess dollar calculation of what will be needed – tuition, books, living costs, traveling home for school breaks and a good laptop.  Austin in Modesto Bee 

Spring-break camps make math memorable for Modesto grade-schoolers – Youngsters at Orville Wright and Franklin elementary schools in Modesto have something fun to do over spring break: more math.  Modesto Bee article

Utilities scandal now touches UCLA — The scandal at the California Public Utilities Commission has spread from one University of California campus to another, as criminal investigators are asking questions about former commission President Michael Peevey’s contacts with UCLA.  U-T San Diego article

Autism awareness: Parents, educators taught important coping skills – Bite your tongue. Please take a chair. You must have ants in your pants. For a child with autism inclined to take literally what we’ve learned to take for granted, using idiomatic language like this can be both confusing and frustrating. Speaking in concrete, simple terms was one of several tips experts suggested for parents and educators at a presentation Wednesday titled “The 10 things every child with autism wishes you knew.”  Stockton Record article

Family of Fresno special education student awarded $216,750 in settlement – A Fresno mom who has battled Fresno Unified administrators for years to get her special needs daughter education she never received is finally closing the books on the hard fought battle.  Fresno Bee article

Stanford task force recommends university expel violators in sex assault cases – Stanford University is considering major changes to its sexual assault policies for the upcoming academic year, including whether expelling violators should be the expected punishment, the school’s provost announced Wednesday.  San Jose Mercury News article

UC Merced to host ‘The World Upside Down’ — Susan Amussen, director of UC Merced Center for the Humanities, said the conference theme is a metaphor that has been used across cultures to describe the inversion, overturning or disruption of social, political or psychological order. That makes it ripe for interpretation.  Merced Sun-Star article



Oakdale Irrigation District, South San Joaquin Irrigation District defy federal fish flows — The Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts are defying state and federal water officials by diverting Stanislaus River water to a local reservoir where it might help thirsty crops instead of releasing it down the river to benefit fish.  Modesto Bee article; Modesto Bee editorial

Electric cars, clean air: Garcetti outlines vision for a ‘sustainable’ LA — Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday released a broad-ranging plan that outlines his vision for environmental goals and programs in Los Angeles over the coming decades.  LA Times article

Stanislaus Audubon showcases area birds in new documentary — This will be the public première of “Wings Over Our Two Counties,” which was produced, directed and edited by Stanislaus Audubon Society member David Froba. The hourlong project was filmed over the course of the past five years in and around Stanislaus and Merced counties – the local chapter’s membership area.  Modesto Bee article


Health/Human Services

Office space worth more than $11 million donated to Community Medical Centers — Community Medical Center is celebrating one of the largest gifts it has ever received: a donation of two Fresno office complexes on East Shaw Avenue. Real estate developers Richard Gunner and George Andros of Gunner & Andros Investments are the donors of the office complexes on the north side of Shaw Avenue, both east and west of the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant.  Fresno Bee article; The Business Journal article

Bee Sweet Citrus gives $1 million to Valley Children’s for Fowler health center — Valley Children’s Healthcare, the regional pediatrics network that goes beyond the bounds of the Valley Children’s Hospital campus in Madera County, is getting a $1 million donation from Bee Sweet Citrus to support the soon-to-be built outpatient specialty care center in Fowler.  Fresno Bee article; The Business Journal article 

In rare move, UC campus doctors plan 4-day walkout — Unionized doctors at UC campus student health centers in Northern California plan to walk off their jobs Thursday as part of the longest labor action waged by staff physicians in 25 years.  San Francisco Chronicle article


Land Use/Housing

Hyperloop adds twist to new city idea in Kings — Imagine loading up the kids in the minivan in 2018 and driving out to a remote stretch of Interstate 5 south of Kettleman City to … ride the hyperloop.  Hanford Sentinel article

Former William Saroyan house in foreclosure to be sold at auction — The central Fresno house that famed Armenian-American author William Saroyan lived in for the last 17 years of his life is in foreclosure and headed to auction in May.  Fresno Bee article



Finally, a public bus system from Fresno to Yosemite — This summer the Sierra Nevada will become a whole lot easier to access for park goers because of two new transportation systems. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports. KVPR report 

BART fares to rise 3.4 percent in January — BART officials have quietly announced that they plan to boost fares 3.4 percent in January as part of an inflation-based automatic fare increase program.  San Francisco Chronicle article


Other areas 

White people no longer majority in 11 California counties – The Pew Research Center released an analysis Wednesday showing that from 2000 to 2013, 78 counties in 19 states “flipped from majority white to counties where no single racial or ethnic group is a majority.” Of those 78 counties, 11 are in California and two — Contra Costa and San Mateo counties — are in the Bay Area.  One – Stanislaus – is in the San Joaquin Valley.  KQED report

Atwater launches program to control stray cats, uses an out-of-county animal hospital – Atwater is the first Merced County city to spay and neuter its feral cats to reduce overpopulation, but some question the city’s selection of Stanislaus County veterinarians to perform the surgeries.  Merced Sun-Star article 

George Hostetter: Wednesday was a full day for Fresno code issues – Wednesday was an especially rich day for City Hall code enforcement issues. I’ll begin with my afternoon. The Mayor-Council Code Enforcement Task Force held its final meeting on City Hall’s fourth floor. The task force was formed last fall and has been meeting regularly.  Hostetter in Fresno Bee

Lisa Lindsay: Who are these homeless people in my library? – The supervising librarian at Fresno County Public Library’s Central Library is downtown Fresno writes, “Several years ago, when I first began working as a librarian at the Central Library in downtown Fresno, I escorted a daily customer named James toward the door at closing time. He seemed to know everyone at the library, so most of his time was spent visiting with friends. He’d borrow a magnifying glass since he didn’t have glasses, and use it to peruse the newspaper. As we parted ways one day, I recall saying: ‘OK, James, it’s time to go home.’ Shortly after, I learned how presumptive that statement was.”  Lindsay op-ed in Fresno Bee 

LA credits its crackdown with shutting more than 500 pot shops – A Los Angeles city crackdown has prompted more than 500 medical marijuana shops to close down in less than two years, City Atty. Mike Feuer is scheduled to announce Thursday.  LA Times article

Fresno County court cases to be searchable from home computers — Fresno County Superior Court staff are busy this week, getting ready for the launch a new case management system that will allow the public to search for documents on a home computer for free and print court documents without having to pay a fee.  Fresno Bee article 

Nickel by nickel, in four months she buys 66 coats for kids — When Lemoore resident Theresa Steele decided to donate more than 60 new jackets to the Lemoore Police Department, it came as a surprise to officers. Steele had not told the department of her plans to drop off five full bags of assorted kids coats last month — she just did it. Hanford Sentinel article

Ekk sworn in as Hanford fire chief — Christopher Ekk took was sworn in as Hanford’s new fire chief at Tuesday night’s City Council’s meeting. “It’s truly an honor to be in this position to serve our community as fire chief,” Ekk said after taking the oath. Hanford Sentinel article

A tale of two California state leaders – It’s been a tough year for Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott and CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  Sacramento Bee article

Modesto councilman sued over credit card debt – Citibank is suing Modesto Councilman John Gunderson, claiming he owes the bank $14,577.67 in credit card debt.  Modesto Bee article 

Clerk: ‘I was disgusted’ after judge’s letters — Judge Valeriano Saucedo sat calmly as he listened to hours of testimony from a woman who claims the Tulare County judge sexually harassed her. In turn, he’s claimed the clerk extorted him for money and gifts.  Visalia Times-Delta article


Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Attorney General Kamala Harris has issued her report detailing how she is running a program aimed at taking guns from people who cannot legally possess them. Despite its successes, the result provided fodder for people who are too willing to criticize legitimate gun control efforts; Tax revenue climbs, but safety net may get cut.

Modesto Bee – Oakdale, South San Joaquin water districts were forced to defy feds.

Sacramento Bee – The state Senate Health Committee sides with science, passes vaccine measure; Charity’s Easter egg hunt in Sacramento was not one for the record books; Despite an income tax windfall, California lawmakers may be faced with having to cut health and social programs this year. The reason has do with Proposition 98, the 1988 initiative that established a school funding formula.