August 26, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

Field Poll: Californians increasingly keen on boosting health care for unauthorized immigrants — California voters’ support for extending health care coverage to people in the state illegally is gaining ground, according to the latest Field Poll. The survey found that 58 percent of registered voters favor providing Medi-Cal to all of the state’s undocumented residents while 39 percent oppose. Last year, only a slight majority – 51 percent – favored the idea, while 45 percent opposed. Sacramento Bee article

GOP Assembly members call for special session on water — Four Republican state Assembly members — two of them from the central San Joaquin Valley — have written a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown asking for a “special legislative session to address California’s unresolved water crisis.” Fresno Bee article


Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

Joe Mathews: An interesting initiative reform idea that was a Draper loser — The best new idea made the initial cut – but isn’t one of the final four ideas – involves initiative. It provides an alternative method to qualify measures – something that the state needs. It would allow local governments to qualify measures for the statewide ballot, simply via accumulation of their endorsements. Mathews in Fox & Hounds



Hundreds of detained mothers and children could soon be released — Roughly 1,400 mothers, fathers and children locked up awaiting their asylum hearings could soon be released as the Department of Homeland Security works to comply with a scathing federal ruling against the Obama administration’s expanded use of family detention camps. McClatchy Newspapers article

It’s Mexico’s turn to boost border enforcement – with a new pedestrian crossing into Tijuana – A new entrance to Mexico for pedestrians has opened here — a modern, three-story facility that authorities say will transform the experience of entering Mexico for some 22,000 southbound border crossers each day. LA Times article


Other areas

Senate leader plans changes to climate bill to ease passage – In a bid to blunt opposition from oil interests to a major climate bill pending in the state Assembly, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said Tuesday that he plans to amend the measure to increase legislative oversight of its implementation. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

Video: California Senate battlegrounds begin to emerge – These are the final days of the 2015 legislative session at the state Capitol, but 2016 legislative contests already are taking shape. Here’s a video look at four competitive state Senate in November 2016. The results could reduce Democrats’ current 26-14 majority in the upper house.  Democrat Cathleen Galgiani potential race against Republican Assembly Leader Kristin Olsen mentioned.  Sacramento Bee article

California panel rejects Planned Parenthood audit – California legislators on Tuesday rejected a proposed audit of Planned Parenthood in the wake of a videos spotlighting the organization’s role in providing fetal tissue for medical research. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article 

Dan Walters: California has other calamities to worry about — Gov. Jerry Brown says California’s drought and the wildfires it has spawned are wake-up calls about the potentially cataclysmic effects of climate change. That may be true. But they are not the only indications of potential disaster that could devastate a state perched, however precariously, on the continent’s western edge.  Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

Marcos Breton: The fine print of right-to-die – California’s right-to-die legislation is promoted as protecting the rights of patients. But it seems that doctors are the ones who are protected by the language of what would be the law. What if there are mistakes or abuses? How do you fix the damage caused by misguided compassion? Breton column in Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Bee: Improve pay equity and family leave – This week, as Americans mark the 95th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the Assembly will vote on a bill that, if passed, will give California the nation’s strongest pay equity laws. It has bipartisan support and the approval of the California Chamber of Commerce. State lawmakers should move it along for Senate concurrence and the governor should sign it into law. Sacramento Bee editorial 

United Auburn tribal deal proves popular with lawmakers — A revamped casino deal between the state and the tribe that operates Thunder Valley Casino Resort received heavy praise at its first legislative hearing Tuesday and appears headed for quick ratification. Sacramento Bee article


California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

Skepticism, stoicism and relief at first meeting on proposed new Bakersfield bullet train path – The first of Bakersfield’s two open house meetings to examine the bullet train’s new proposed path through the city drew around 300 people to the downtown Marriott on Tuesday. Many were curious to see how the train line would impact their properties, which were mapped, rendered and explained on nine large touch-screen monitors. Bakersfield Californian article

Bill protecting contractors in school district leaseback deals dies in committee – A late-blooming bill aimed at protecting school construction contractors from financial losses if their “lease-leaseback” deals are voided by the courts appears to have died just a week after being introduced. Sacramento Bee article

Fresno County sets record in 2014 crop report — Fresno County’s farming value set a new record in 2014, as overall agricultural production totaled $7.03 billion. The overall crop value ranks third among central San Joaquin Valley counties. Earlier this month, Tulare County reported a 2014 value of more than $8 billion and Kern County reported a total of about $7.5 billion. Fresno Bee article; The Business Journal article 

Jobs and the Economy 

Kern’s job growth lags behind other Central Valley counties – An economic forecast tailored for the Central Valley called out Kern’s “decelerating” job growth Tuesday, saying a decline in global oil prices is likely to blame for weak conditions here as compared with other counties in the region. Bakersfield Californian article 

Manufacturing on upswing in San Joaquin County – Manufacturing companies are increasingly interested in locating in San Joaquin County, economic development officials say, a change from the previous dominance of transportation and distribution operations coming to or growing in the county. Stockton Record article

Southern California sees strongest regional migration — The nation’s most powerful internal migration flow in recent years has been from Los Angeles and Orange counties into two “Inland Empire” counties to the east, a new Census Bureau report indicates. Capitol Alert

Beard Industrial District starts big new building – Construction has started on a 476,580-square-foot building in the huge Beard Industrial District just southeast of Modesto, its first “speculative” project since the economic downturn seven years ago. Modesto Bee article 

Designers eye downtown Stockton’s gems — If the future plays out as downtown Stockton advocates hope, Rusten and Oestreicher will mark the beginning of a tidal wave of craftsmen and artists moving into Stockton after being priced out of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Stockton Record article

LA projects $161 million surplus for Olympics — Anxiety over taxpayer costs helped cripple Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid, but organizers in potential stand-in Los Angeles projected Tuesday that they could stage events from Santa Monica Beach to the Hollywood Hills and bank a $161 million surplus. AP article; LA Times article

Atwater outlaws homeless camping – Homeless people sleeping or camping out in the city of Atwater are to be subject to fines and jail time after a vote this week from the City Council. Merced Sun-Star article


San Francisco mayor: Homeless ‘have to leave the street’ for Super Bowl – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has a Super Bowl message for homeless people who are camping along the Embarcadero: “They are going to have to leave.” San Francisco Chronicle article 

The upside of a downtown in Silicon Valley – Venture capitalists may actually welcome some of the consequences of leaner times, which could lower costs, decrease competition and toughen up start-ups. New York Times article 

San Jose council approves Measure B settlement – After a three-year battle with employee unions and shelling out millions to defend Measure B pension reforms, the City Council voted 10-1 to approve a settlement agreement Tuesday to end litigation and begin a legal process to invalidate the measure. San Jose Mercury News article

McClatchy moves trim debt by $25 million – The McClatchy Co. announced Tuesday that it had pared its debt by $25 million. The Sacramento-based company said it had repurchased slightly more than $10 million in aggregate principal amount of its 5.75 percent notes due 2017 and $15 million of its 9 percent secured notes due 2022 for $22.9 million plus accrued and unpaid interest in a privately negotiated transaction. Sacramento Bee article 

LA lawmakers approve plan that would allow Uber and Lyft pickups at LAX – In a nod to consumer demands and the realities of disruptive technology, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation Tuesday to open the door for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to fully operate alongside taxis at its airport. LA Times article

Steve Lopez: The nation’s growing pay gap is no Disney fairy tale – Check out what Walt Disney was paid, relative to regular employees when he ran the mouse empire. And then take a look at how the compensation of current boss Bob Iger compares to typical workers. Lopez column in LA Times

Rob Lowe, state tangle over taxes on home sale — Actor Rob Lowe personally appealed to the state Board of Equalization Tuesday to settle a long-standing dispute over taxes on his 2005 sale of a Montecito home for $25 million. Sacramento Bee article

Jon Ortiz: To pay or not to pay? Cal Fire death benefits hinge on obscure law — A recent complaint alleging that Cal Fire owes millions of dollars in death benefits for fire pilots comes down to this: Does it matter whose insignia was on the plane? Ortiz in Sacramento Bee

Boeing to lay off workers in El Segundo satellite division — Aerospace giant Boeing Co. said Tuesday that it plans to lay off as many as several hundred employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. LA Times article

Sacramento new home construction slowed by worker shortages – The economy has improved, and demand for new homes is on the rise, but Sacramento home builders are sounding a new alarm: They can’t find enough construction workers. Sacramento Bee article 

LA and OC home prices up 6.3 percent, outpacing national average – Home prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties rose 6.3% in June compared with a year earlier, according to a closely watched gauge released Tuesday. LA Times article 

LA officials want to keep Airbnb-type rentals from being ‘rogue hotels’ — Worried about needed housing being turned into “rogue hotels” through online platforms such as Airbnb, Los Angeles lawmakers are weighing whether to bar people from renting out homes for short stays that are not their main residence. LA Times article 

America’s 20 most expensive cities for renters – In its National Rent Report, residential real-estate rental website Zumper analyzed 1 million active, one-bedroom listings to find the most expensive cities in the country for renters. Of the top 20 cities on the list, six are in California. Business Insider article 

Betty Yee: Engagement is best approach to reduce fossil-fuel investments – California’s controller and board member of CalPERS and CalSTRS writes, “As more are recognizing the urgent threat of global climate change, the transition to renewable energy will accelerate and spur incentives, investments and innovation. This will lead to more jobs, energy savings and health improvements for all. Let’s build on this good news.” Yee op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Jane Vosburg: Should pension funds divest from fossil fuel? – The leader of Fossil Free California and a CalSTRS member writes, “Although teachers value CalSTRS as the guardians of their retirement, they are dismayed that the fund has refused to divest from all fossil fuels. Instead, by remaining invested in fossil fuels, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System lost more than $2 billion.” Vosburg op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Carol’s Yummy Buns a sweet success — Under the motto of “Better than the coast, better than the fair,” Carol’s Yummy Buns has formed a reputation across the Central Valley for offering the best cinnamon buns this side of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a taste of the boardwalk right, and it’s being delivered directly to homes and businesses from her bright pink van. Visalia Times-Delta article


Drought-plagued California readies for El Nino storms – While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl. AP article

Mark Grossi: City folks ask: Don’t farmers and environment use more water? — The San Joaquin Valley’s drought fight has spread this year from farm fields to cities, as Bee reporter Marc Benjamin and I reported over the weekend. Now readers are asking me to compare city water use with agriculture and environmental use. Here’s how California’s water use breaks down: It’s 50.2% for environment, 40.9% for agriculture and 8.9% for urban residents and businesses, according to the state Department of Water Resources. Fresno Bee article

Homeowners with dry wells are getting relief from Stanislaus County program — Genaro Gil did not wait nearly as long as some drought-weary homeowners for a fresh water source to supply his home. Still, the past three months of living without tap water is an experience he would like to forget. Modesto Bee article 

Hearings to spotlight longtime rift between dairymen, cheesemakers — Another chapter is about to be written in the battle between the state’s two main dairy interests — those who produce milk and those who use it to make cheese. Next month in Clovis, the rift between dairy producers and dairy processors will be on full display when the U.S. Department of Agriculture holds public hearings in advance of deciding if California should be included in a federal milk marketing order. The Business Journal article 

South San Joaquin Irrigation District names new general manager — Peter Rietkerk, general manager of the Patterson Irrigation District, was named Tuesday to the same post at the South San Joaquin Irrigation District. Modesto Bee article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Fresno law enforcement officials vow to address racial concerns – Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer promised to have an outside agency train his officers in implicit bias, publish a monthly report on high school officer citations and invite the federal Department of Justice to assess his agency’s efforts toward community policing. Fresno Bee article

Judge denies bail for Modesto attorney, two Turlock liquor store owners accused of murder — A judge on Tuesday refused to grant bail for a Modesto defense attorney and two Turlock liquor store owners accused of murder in the death of Korey Kauffman. The judge set $10 million bail for the attorney’s wife and a former California Highway Patrol officer also charged with murder in the case. New details of the prosecution’s theory emerged Tuesday in a bail hearing for the five defendants. Prosecutors also announced that they will not seek the death penalty. Modesto Bee article

Police: Burglary suspect shot after officers believed vehicle jack was rifle — A Bakersfield police officer who fatally shot a burglary suspect at a Subway Saturday night believed the man was armed with a rifle when in fact he was holding a vehicle jack he apparently used to break into the business. Bakersfield Californian article

San Joaquin County D.A. finds no fault in jail death — A protocol investigation has cleared the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office of any criminal responsibility for last winter’s death of a Lodi man while he was in custody in the County Jail. Stockton Record article

San Joaquin County sheriff tests new technology — The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that it will begin testing body camera systems and is moving toward full implementation of the devices. Stockton Record article


Latinos struggle to close gap with whites in California ACT scores – A performance gap on the ACT college entrance exam persisted this year between California’s Latino and white high school students, according to new test results. LA Times article 

Fresno State to open center for undocumented students – The Dream Outreach Center is a place where undocumented students, known as “dreamers”, can go to get help in their journey to and through college. It’s the first time Fresno State is offering this type of help to incoming and currently enrolled students, whether it’s filling out applications or financial aid paperwork. KVPR report 

Fresno State begins year strong – The chiming of bells across Fresno State welcomed more than 23,000 students to the start of the University’s 105th year Tuesday. The record-breaking number of students means additions to the University’s extensive list of programs dedicated to student success. Visalia Times-Delta article

UC Merced to begin 11th academic year – Classes at UC Merced will begin bright and 7 a.m. Wednesday as the university kick-starts the school year. A record 6,700 students will attend the university this school year, though that number is much lower than what it anticipated when it opened. More than 90 percent of its students are undergraduates. Merced Sun-Star article

Nan Austin: Sacramento takes up reforms on savings cap looming for schools – A bipartisan effort to raise a potentially calamitous cap on school district reserves is moving forward in Sacramento. The cap, included in a June 2014 budget trailer bill, was hailed by unions as a way to make districts spend the money voters intended schools to use. But what voters intended, gauging from the successful Proposition 30 campaign, was to save or improve schools with those extra taxes, not raise overhead. Austin in Modesto Bee

Report: Educators seek more clarity on implementing Common Core – Most California teachers, policymakers and district leaders believe the Common Core State Standards will help create more college- and career-ready high school graduates, but educators also want more clarity on how to better implement the reform, according to a new report. EdSource article 

Moody’s rates Fresno Unified financial outlook as stable — Moody’s, a credit rating agency, recently gave Fresno Unified School District a positive financial rating, saying the district’s outlook remains stable. The report said that the district’s $55 million in outstanding bond debt is being handled responsibility due to “management’s prudent budgetary practices and financial policies.” Fresno Bee article 

Teachers get schooled in real-world job skills, take lessons back to campus – Dozens of Stanislaus County teachers took jobs off campus this summer, taking notes on how class lessons relate to workplace skills. Modesto Bee article

Thieves steal 49 computers from Lemoore school — Forty-nine Lenovo Chromebook laptop computers, an Apple I-Pad and about $1,000 in cash and checks were reported stolen from a small school in Kings County, the sheriff’s department said Tuesday. Fresno Bee article; Hanford Sentinel article

UC Merced Connect: Atwater native studying gender and politics — With the 2016 presidential race already in full swing, political science graduate student Kayla Canelo’s research is particularly timely. This spring and summer, the Atwater native designed and carried out a study that examines the effects of scandal on the public perception of political figures. Merced Sun-Star article

Oakland’s school district considering teacher housing proposal – In the city’s second go-round with its controversial 12th Street parcel, a new proposal has emerged that would impact two of the city’s biggest issues: a lack of affordable housing and a shortage of teachers.  Oakland Tribune article

Drain resigns from Manteca Unified board — The Manteca Unified School District confirmed late Tuesday they received a letter of resignation from Area 2 trustee Ashley Drain, effective immediately. Drain is facing charges of voter fraud. She had been elected in November along with Alexander Bronson, who was also charged with voter fraud. Both had listed the same address for election records, even though the address was not in the area either was running to represent. And it turns out neither lived there. Stockton Record article 

San Francisco’s Minerva: ‘Perfect university’ or student gamble? — You lean back in bed, set your coffee on the nightstand and fire up your laptop. A live feed appears onscreen: There’s your rhetoric professor looming large, while the smaller images of your classmates — and you— line up like postage stamps across the top. San Francisco Chronicle article


Another community meeting scheduled as Rough fire size, containment hold steady – The Rough fire incident command team will hold a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dunlap School to discuss the blaze, which Tuesday morning held steady at 51,794 acres and 17% containment. Fresno Bee article; KVPR report

California lawmakers say fracking study shows lax oversight – California lawmakers say the report by the California Council on Science and Technology and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab outlined the lack of information state regulators have about fracking. The study said the state lacks data about the toxicity of hundreds of chemicals used in fracking as well as how wastewater from the process is disposed of or reused. Capital Public Radio report 

Unusual Delta algae bloom worries researchers – On a sunny August afternoon, a team of federal researchers cut a circuitous path through the heart of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doing real-time monitoring of water quality. Again and again, they made the same disturbing observation: tiny flecks of green goo that they recognized as a serious new threat to the stressed estuary. Sacramento Bee article

109 poison oak cases treated during firefight – Nearly 200 firefighters have been treated for allergic reactions to poison oak while battling a stubborn blaze that has charred more than 5 square miles of dry brush on California’s Central Coast, a fire official said Tuesday. AP article 

One year after Napa quake, scientists puzzled by mysterious fault — One striking hallmark of theSouth Napa earthquake has been a crack roughly eight miles long, visible in pavement and in vineyards where the vine rows suddenly zigzag. Since the quake, Ponti says mapping by a NASA jet has suggested the crack runs another five miles farther south, toward the salt marshes near American Canyon. KQED report

Health/Human Services

75 percent of Obamacare plans in California use narrow networks, study shows – A new study finds that 75% of California’s Obamacare health plans have narrow physician networks — more limited choices than all but three other states. LA Times article

Merced County health centers receive more than $1.6 million in grants – Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, announced Tuesday that health centers in Merced County have received more than $1.6 million in grants through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for improving and establishing facilities in order to boost health services in rural areas. Merced Sun-Star article 

Fresno Bee: We cannot afford to lose more people to addiction — We wonder whether FDA and administration officials truly grasp the seriousness of this intertwined epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction. Because it’s bad. Really bad. Fresno Bee editorial

A racial gap in attitudes toward hospice care — Hospice use has been growing fast in the United States as more people choose to avoid futile, often painful medical treatments in favor of palliative care and dying at home surrounded by loved ones. But the Harrises, who are African-American, belong to a demographic group that has long resisted the concept and whose suspicions remain deep-seated. KVPR report 

High-risk of tick-borne diseases in San Francisco Bay Area — San Francisco Bay Area’s trails and open space hold a higher risk of tick-borne disease than previously thought. San Francisco Chronicle article

Land Use/Housing

Sacramento starts down path to ten thousand new housing units — The Sacramento City Council has approved a plan to help developers create ten-thousand “infill” housing units. Sacramento Bee article


 High-speed rail date set for Kings County plaintiffs — A key lawsuit filed in 2011 by three Kings County plaintiffs against the California High Speed Rail Authority is set to go to trial on Feb. 11, 2016. The plaintiffs are homeowner Aaron Fukuda, farmer John Tos and the County of Kings. The non-jury trial, which will probably include a day of oral arguments followed by a ruling from Judge Michael Kenny a few weeks later, will take place in Sacramento County Superior Court. Hanford Sentinel article

Los Banos council supports narrowing scope of Highway 152 plan — The Los Banos City Council has limited its backing of a plan to alter Highway 152 that was causing angst to nearly everyone from the business community to emergency services personnel. Los Banos Enterprise article 

Other areas 

Bestolarides appointed San Joaquin County assessor – San Joaquin County Supervisor Steve Bestolarides on Tuesday was appointed county assessor-recorder-county clerk by a 3-1 vote of the Board of Supervisors. Stockton Record article 

Audit: California agencies vulnerable to IT security breach — Many California state agencies are not complying with the state’s information technology standards, leaving them vulnerable to a major security breach of sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, health information or tax returns, the state auditor reported Tuesday. AP article

Lois Henry: City animal programs small but steady – Small, steady, and most importantly, successful. That’s how I would describe programs under the city of Bakersfield’s nascent animal welfare operations. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

Lawyer debates Hanford’s transparency – The attorney for a local environmentalist group is accusing Hanford officials of failing to provide the public with sufficient notice for city meetings. Attorney Richard Harriman, who represents the Hanford Environmental Awareness Team (HEAT), recently questioned an attorney for the city via email. Hanford Sentinel article 

Reedley library plan gets Fresno County supervisors’ OK – Fresno County supervisors approved a new library Tuesday for Reedley, the third new library they have supported in the past two years, and more are coming. The new Reedley Library, at 1754 Eighth St., will be more than triple the size of the existing library a block away. The city of Reedley donated 1.4 acres of land for the project. Fresno Bee article

Restaurant chefs bring fine dining to Poverello House monthly — Sometimes it’s the simple things that make all the difference – like a plate. Usually, meals at the Poverello House are served on plastic trays, the kind most of us got in elementary school with segments for milk and pizza, maybe a fruit cup. Handing a tray through a window when you serve 1,500 meals a day is the most efficient way to do it at Poverello House. But once a month it changes. Fresno Bee article

City Council gives green light to Sacramento Walk of Stars – A proposal to create a “Walk of Stars” recognizing famous Sacramentans received the endorsement of the Sacramento City Council.Sacramento Bee article 

Michael Fitzgerald: A ‘Stockywood’ walk of fame – Sacramento is creating a Hollywood-style walk of fame to honor famous Sacramentans. Stockton could fill quite a few blocks with distinguished personae, too. If you don’t recognize some of these characters, I encourage you to look them up. You’ll discover remarkable lives. Fitzgerald column in Stockton Record

‘Avenue of the Faces’ hits chopping block – The City of Tehachapi lost one of its most iconic assets last week when a parks official ordered the removal of the so-called Spirit Trees from Philip Marx Central Park. Known as The Avenue of Faces, the trees were carved by chainsaw artist Kent Holmgren, and have become a popular attraction for local folks and tourists alike. Bakersfield Californian article

Atwater plans town hall, allows solar dedication – City leaders in Atwater are planning a town hall-style meeting, and they decided to allow a solar project dedication ceremony this week in town.Merced Sun-Star article

In search of cultural identity, young Nigerians unite in Central Valley — The Central Valley is home to diverse communities, some who’ve migrated from all over the world for decades. But for one group, it’s the beginning of the first generation of people born in the Valley. KVPR report

LA City Council demands plan of action on trash pickup disparity — City Council members are demanding an explanation for why sanitation workers apparently ignored thousands of complaints about illegally dumped trash in some of Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods. LA Times article

Connected car fail? Consumers are ignoring much auto technology — Drivers are shunning much of the technology automakers are stuffing in cars. It amounts to a waste of billions of dollars in investment that’s ultimately paid for by consumers, according to automotive research firm J.D. Power. LA Times article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – We wonder whether FDA and administration officials truly grasp the seriousness of this intertwined epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction. Because it’s bad. Really bad.

Sacramento Bee – We wonder whether FDA and administration officials truly grasp the seriousness of this intertwined epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction. Because it’s bad. Really bad; This week, as Americans mark the 95th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the Assembly will vote on a bill that, if passed, will give California the nation’s strongest pay equity laws. It has bipartisan support and the approval of the California Chamber of Commerce. State lawmakers should move it along for Senate concurrence and the governor should sign it into law.

Stockton RecordCheers and jeers: Sinking San Joaquin Valley of immediate, long-term concern; school hit by mold; and other issues.

Upcoming Events

  • The California Air Resources Board will hold a public work group to discuss the development of an Off-Road Mobile Agricultural Equipment Trade-Up Pilot Project in the San Joaquin Valley at the Fresno County Farm Bureau on Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.  More information about the program:  More information about the work group: Meri Miles at 916.322.6370 or Michelle Buffington at 916.323.8748 or
  • Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro will be the featured speaker at the fourth annual State of Our Children event at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 7:30-9:15 a.m.  More information is available here.
  • West Hills Community College District will hold an event, “Shifting Ground — Adapting the San Joaquin Valley Economy to a Changing Climate,” on Oct. 8 at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. Senior leaders from business, agriculture, government agencies and nonprofits will gather to launch immediate actions and provide near-term guidance to create next generation jobs in a region battered by drought and struggling with multiple challenges. for details of this no-fee policy series.  


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 challengeThe 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 

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.

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. 

Maddy Institute on Facebook and Twitter – To learn about Maddy Institute activities (e.g. The Maddy Report tv show, The Maddy Associates’ Luncheons, the Maddy Legislative Intern Program), become a fan of the Maddy Institute on Facebook or log on to And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please add us and follow us!

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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