August 30, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

California farmworker overtime expansion bill sent to Gov. Brown — The California Assembly on Monday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a hard-fought and historic expansion of overtime rules for farmworkers, but it remains uncertain whether the Democratic governor will sign off. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article;  Reuters article; Stockton Record article; AP article 

Dan Walters: Political reformers agree sunshine is needed, but squabble over details — As a decisive state Senate vote looms in the final days of the legislative session on a long-pending, oft-amended disclosure bill sponsored by the goo-goo groups, they find themselves in a war of words with the FPPC over details that could derail the measure. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

Gov. Brown 

Pro bono rule for new California lawyers? Not so fast, Jerry Brown says — The California Legislature passed a bill that would have required California’s up-and-coming lawyers do pro bono work before gaining admittance to the State Bar. Gov. Jerry Brown, a lawyer, on Monday vetoed the bill. Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics 

San Joaquin County recruiting 1,500 poll workers for Election Day — With two months to go before the Nov. 8 general election, the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters is looking for residents to serve as poll workers. Stockton Record article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Where California politicians stand on pot legalization — Proposition 64, a recreational marijuana initiative on the fall ballot, is generating a slight thaw in political perspectives on legalizing the drug. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a candidate for governor in 2018, is the measure’s highest-ranking supporter. But still many others remain undecided or in opposition. Here’s a rundown of what some top officials have said about the initiative, or legalization more generally.  Sacramento Bee article 

Foon Rhee: What to do with a bumper crop of cash if California voters legalize marijuana? – Marijuana is the very definition of a cash crop – and the windfall will only grow if California voters legalize recreational pot in November. But what to do with all that cash? It’s a pressing problem – and it isn’t fixed by Proposition 64. Rhee in Sacramento Bee 

Medi-Cal pervades Nov. 8 ballot — Medi-Cal is on the November ballot, hiding in plain sight in three propositions. These ballot measures could yield about $7.6 billion for the state’s health care program for low-income families, the disabled and children. Capitol Weekly article 

California on guard after cyber attacks on elections databases in two states — California’s elections agency announced that there is no evidence that the state’s voter registration databases had been targeted by the foreign hackers who reportedly infiltrated elections systems in Arizona and Illinois. LA Times article 

Barbara Boxer bursts into song on ‘farewell tour’ of California — Outgoing U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, on her farewell tour throughout California, was well into a speech Monday in Sacramento when an aide left a note on the rostrum. Boxer, in the midst of a story about gaining gym access for women in the Congress, picked up the note that was meant for only her and defiantly read it to the audience. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas 

An effort to impose campaign donation limits on local races is killed by state Senate – State lawmakers rejected a plan on Monday to place limits on individual campaign donations for city and county offices, races where in some California communities there are no restrictions on the size of a legal donation. LA Times article

Pay parity bill goes to Jerry Brown – As a bill seeking to guarantee equal pay for women advanced through the Legislature, it has been met repeatedly with the same question: What about our own staffers?It happened again Monday as Assembly members voted overwhelmingly to send Gov. Jerry Brown Assembly Bill 1676, which bars employers from looking exclusively at an applicant’s prior earnings to justify paying a lower salary. Doing so, the theory goes, perpetuates a cycle of lower wages for women. Sacramento Bee article 

Was your ballot counted?  You’ll be able to find out if Gov. Jerry Brown signs this bill – Californians would have a new legal right to be told whether their ballot was counted under a bill that won final approval in the Legislature on Monday. LA Times article 

Four human trafficking bills to help victims swept into legal system head to Gov. Jerry Brown – The state Assembly on Monday sent four bills to Gov. Jerry Brown that aim to provide services to human trafficking victims swept into the legal system. LA Times article 

New mandatory prison sentence bill inspired by sexual assault heads to Gov. Brown’s desk – State lawmakers passed a bill Monday to add a mandatory prison sentences for certain sexual assaults – a measure inspired by a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge’s decision not to sentence a Stanford University student to prison in a high-profile case earlier this year. LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article 

Beatris Espericueta Sanders: AB 1066’s proposed OT standards would cripple California ag— The executive director of the Kern County Farm Bureau writes, “Stop singling out California agriculture, where farmers already face over-regulation and legal burdens that do not encumber farmers in other states. California’s labor protections for agricultural workers are already the most protective in the nation. We can do better. #wecandobetter” Sanders op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Affordable teacher housing among bills heading to governor – San Francisco and other high-priced cities could build teacher-only affordable housing on school district properties under a bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Liberal allies spar over Planned Parenthood bill on secret videos – California lawmakers’ response to the controversial series of videos that purported to show Planned Parenthood breaking the law has alienated some liberal allies of the organization, which is now negotiating changes to save its bill in the final days of the session. Sacramento Bee article

Measure phasing in neighborhood polling places goes to Jerry Brown – California is on the verge of sweeping changes to its election system intended to boost plummeting voter turnout. The state Senate on Monday sent a measure to Gov. Jerry Brown that would begin shifting California away from its network of neighborhood polling places to primarily mail ballots.  Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article 

Inmates in county jails can’t be denied visits from family, under bill now on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown – All of California’s county jails would be required to provide visits from inmate family members under legislation approved on Monday by the state Senate. LA Times article 

Why the bedrocks of LA’s civil rights movement won’t embrace Black Lives Matter —  For decades, they’ve been catalysts for civil rights activism, occupying an important niche at the center of protests over police misconduct and racial flashpoints in Los Angeles, from the Rodney J. King beating to the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. But some black churches in Los Angeles, and the traditional African American clergy who lead them, have kept a decided distance from the new breed of activism represented by the Black Lives Matter movement. LA Times article 

Bill extending stipend for pregnant foster girls heads to Gov. Brown – Pregnant foster youth in California would have access to an additional stipend to help them prepare for the birth of their babies under a new bill approved by the California Legislature last week, a move advocates say could increase critical resources and prenatal care for some of the state’s most vulnerable young moms. KQED report 

California bill to extend school choice law faces allegations of inequity – Called the “district of choice” law, it currently allows about 10,000 students across the state to enroll in 47 participating school districts without seeking the permission of their home districts, which are often loath to let them — and the funding attached to them — go. LA Times article 

Big Soda gets boost from the Bern in San Francisco and Oakland — The bell has sounded on the Bay Area rematch over taxing sugary drinks, with Big Soda coming out swinging with a big-budget campaign — and a surprise helping hand from Bernie Sanders, of all people. San Francisco Chronicle article 

National pediatric report backs California vaccination law — The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged state governments and pediatricians to take a firmer approach in forcing vaccine-hesitant parents to immunize their children. Sacramento Bee article; Sacramento Bee editorial 

Assembly kills bill to shield consumers from cost of lost gas – Legislation to shield ratepayers from shouldering the cost of gas leaks failed decisively in the state Assembly on Monday. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article 

Bullhooks to control elephants banned in California – Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation outlawing the use of bullhooks to handle and control elephants in California even as many animal handlers have stopped using the devices. LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article

Wesley Smith:  Unnecessary bill would hurt students – The executive director of the Association of California School Administrators writes, “Our focus should be on providing quality educational opportunities, closing the achievement gap and positioning our students as the future leaders of our great state. We accomplish that by keeping students in the classroom. But Assembly Bill 2835 would permit public employee unions to take time – on every campus and in every school district – away from student learning for union orientations.” Smith op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

Gun violence research center coming to UC Davis’ Sacramento campus – University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Monday her intent to establish the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis’ Sacramento campus under the direction of Garen Wintemute, an emergency department physician and recognized authority on the epidemiology of firearm violence who has conducted leading-edge research for more than 30 years. Capital Public Radio report

Local figures react to Colin Kaepernick – Local figures react to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit down during the national anthem as a means of protesting the treatment of minorities in the U.S. Bakersfield Californian article; Modesto Bee editorial

San Francisco police union rips Kaepernick, citing ‘foolish’ statements — The San Francisco police officers’ union on Monday ripped Colin Kaepernick’s statements about police brutality, saying the Niners quarterback’s comments on race and policing after he declined to stand for the national anthem showed not just “an incredible lack of knowledge,” but a “naivety and total lack of sensitivity towards police officers.”San Francisco Chronicle article

Presidential Politics 

At Trump’s fundraiser in Tulare, attendees want to hear about water – According to organizer Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, the event likely will be the largest fundraiser in Valley history. He expects Trump to raise at least $1.25 million and possibly as much as $1.5 million. The previous record was around $1 million for Mitt Romney in 2012 at John Harris’ Sanger home. Harris is the owner of Harris Ranch. Fresno Bee article;Visalia Times-Delta article 

Fresno Bee: Trump’s water promises to Valley farmers are fool’s gold – We warn farmers not to get their hopes up. The Republican presidential nominee’s position on water sounds like a lot like a sale pitch for Trump University. Fresno Bee editorial

How many people like both Clinton and Trump? Umm… — The disdain for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is “unprecedented,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said Monday. His poll found that “nearly no voters have a positive opinion of both Clinton and Trump, while one-third do not have a favorable view of either candidate. These results are unusual.” McClatchy Newspapers article 

Can’t vote for Clinton or Trump? Third-party candidates target disaffected Californians – California “could be ripe for third-party votes” according to one of the state’s top pollsters, but it’s unlikely that they will prevent the state from going blue in the November election. Sacramento Bee article

Donald Trump dares Kaepernick to find a better country On Sunday 49ers quarterback said that presidential candidate Donald Trump was “openly racist.” A day later, Trump suggested Kaepernick find “another country that suits his personal beliefs.” Sacramento Bee article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

Fresno State No. 25 in Washington Monthly national rankings – A Washington, D.C.-based magazine has ranked Fresno State No. 25 on a list of thecountry’s top universities, alongside Ivy League institutions.Washington Monthly picked Stanford University, Harvard University and MIT the top three. The magazine says the ranking is its answer to the annual list compiled by U.S News & World Report, which Washington Monthly criticizes for using “crude and easily manipulated measures of wealth, exclusivity, and prestige to evaluate schools.” Fresno Bee article 

High-speed rail critics question the first route segment, which will end in an almond orchard — The state’s plan to build an initial stretch of high-speed rail line, from San Jose to a map point in the midst of Central Valley farmland, came under renewed attack at an oversight hearing Monday. LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy 

Stanislaus County proposes to increase workforce, park staffing in final budget – Stanislaus County leaders have a budget plan to increase staffing, restore public safety positions and bolster staffing for parks. The $1.13 billion final budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year could be approved after a public hearing Tuesday. It authorizes 43 additional staff positions, pushing the county’s total potential workforce to 4,315. Modesto Bee article

Merced County reveals strategy for breathing life into Castle — County staff on Tuesday will unveil their strategic development plan for the Castle Commerce Center, the former air base that officials still hope can be brought back to life as an economic driver for the area. Merced Sun-Star article

Cost of Golden 1 Center jumps by millions – Barely a month before opening, the Sacramento Kings continue to pour money into their new downtown arena, bringing the latest estimate of Golden 1 Center’s construction costs to $556.6 million. Sacramento Bee article 

Headed to downtown Sacramento arena? Smile, you’re on camera – Sacramento police are putting the word out to arenagoers and other downtown denizens: It’s about to become much harder to behave boorishly or illegally and get away with it. The city is installing 20 surveillance cameras in the next month at key intersections and at downtown parking garages to prepare for the October opening of Golden 1 Center and thousands of nightly visitors to the area. Sacramento Bee article 

Apple must pay billions for tax breaks to Ireland, E.U. says – Europe’s antitrust enforcer ordered Ireland on Tuesday to claw back up to 13 billion euros, or about $14.5 billion, from Applefor granting the American technology giant illegal tax breaks, a move that will ramp up trans-Atlantic tensions over how much global companies should pay in countries where they do business. New York Times article

San Francisco homeless czar touts streamlined approach, urges patience – One tent encampment cleared, 77 more to go — not to mention building an entire department devoted to moving thousands of homeless people off the streets. San Francisco’s new homeless czar, Jeff Kositsky, spent an hour talking with The Chronicle’s editorial board Monday, and despite his street outreach team dismantling the biggest encampment in the city that morning, he wasn’t doing much crowing. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Amazon pilots 30-hour work week – Seattle’s e-commerce behemoth Amazon is yet again trying something new. The company is piloting a program of teams entirely composed of 30-hour-per-week workers. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Silicon Valley and Hollywood: What’s behind their growing love fest – As Hollywood looks north for inspiration, the valley looks south, with tech companies cranking new digital tools that are upending the way Tinseltown tells stories. With the silicon and screenplay factions locked in a sloppy wet kiss, Silicon Valley looks increasingly like, well, something out of the movies. San Jose Mercury News article 

There are just 5 bathrooms for the 1,800 people living on LA’s Skid Row — This summer, the paint on the outside of the Union Rescue Mission began to chip away. The cause? Sunlight and urine. The combination damaged the walls of the mission on Skid Row, and eventually Andy Bales, the mission’s CEO, had to resort to urine-proof paint. KPCC report 

East Bay lawmaker’s opposition sparks fight over BART bond measure — In this corner: state Sen. Steve Glazer. He says he’ll vote no on BART’s $3.5 billion bond measure in November and likens the agency’s leadership to misbehaving children who shouldn’t be trusted with the public’s money. And in this corner: Tom Radulovich, longtime BART board president. He calls Glazer’s opposition “petty” and says it threatens to undermine service on an aging transit system that’s suffered through a siege of breakdowns, overcrowding and passenger frustration. KQED report 

California’s Inland Empire reels after losing hundreds of blue-collar jobs — Southern California is losing another manufacturing stalwart. In two months, Ashley Furniture HomeStore will close two plants in Colton and lay off about 840 workers. The company said it would transfer the San Bernardino County production to its facilities in Wisconsin and North Carolina, citing the need to “create more efficiency.” LA Times article

SpaceX signs first customer for launch of a reused rocket – Now that SpaceX has proved that its rocket boosters can land back on Earth, the company has signed its first customer to launch a satellite on one of those reused rockets. LA Times article 

Silicon Valley homeownership: Pretty much forget it if you’re a millennial — Young people can’t afford to buy homes in Silicon Valley. The folks at Earnest – the San Francisco-based lender – report that millennials in the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas have the lowest rates of homeownership in the nation: 6 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The Los Angeles and New York metros follow at 8 percent in the analysis, based on data from Earnest’s loan applicants. San Jose Mercury News article

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Tulare County sheriff says two men shot by deputies were ‘bad guys’ trying to harm officers — Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said two weekend shootings by his deputies on opposite sides of the county involved “two bad guys who didn’t want to go down easily.” Fresno Bee article 

Warrant issues for Los Banos school board member, Merced contractor arrested on bribery charges — Greg Opinski, a Merced Union High School District board member and owner of Greg opinski Construction, was arrested Monday on suspicion of bribing a public official and a warrant has been issued for school board trustee and former Los Banos mayor Tommy Jones, law enforcement sources confirmed to the Sun-Star. Merced Sun-Star article 

Stockton police make third arrest in paintball attack on LGBT club — Police on Monday announced the third arrest in connection with the June paintball gun attack on a gay nightclub in north Stockton.  Stockton Record article 

Jeff Jardine: No joke: Shooting quip draws police investigation in Patterson – t doesn’t take much: a lament online. A glib but inappropriate response by a friend. A third party chiming in and churning the first two statements into a crisis. Suddenly, a flippant comment morphs into a school shooting threat, a police investigation, school officials posting information and then trying to explain to parents that their kids are safe, and it was all vetted and taken extremely seriously. That happened Sunday night in Patterson. Jardine column in Modesto Bee 

Brock Turner to get early release from jail Friday — Brock Turner, the former Stanford University student and swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman in 2015, is expected to be released from the Santa Clara County Jail this Friday, September 2, after serving only half of his six-month sentence. San Francisco Chronicle article; LA Times article 

Sacramento council members demand footage of police killing black man — In an unprecedented request, members of Sacramento City Council are asking to see video of the police killing of a homeless African American man on Del Paso Boulevard before the official investigation is complete. Sacramento Bee article 

Hayward police chief placed on leave — Hayward Police Chief Diane Stuart has been placed on administrative leave over a personnel issue, officers said Monday night. Capt. Mark Koller was appointed acting chief of police by the city manager, the department said in a statement. The matter that led to Stuart’s departure would remain confidential, police said. San Francisco Chronicle article


Fresno Unified parents, staff offer suggestions for bond spending – About 20 Fresno Unified parents and children attended a workshop at Sunnyside High School in southeast Fresno Monday to talk about what improvements they’d like to see if voters approve a $225 million school bond in November. Fresno Bee article 

Bryan Ehlers: Sharing environmental principles with California’s students – The assistant director for education and environmental for CalRecycle writes, “California recently did something big. It didn’t get a lot of headlines, clicks or television news coverage, but it will fundamentally transform the way we teach our 6.2 million students. The California Board of Education voted to include five key environmental principles and concepts as part of the state’s new framework for how to teach history-social science standards.” Ehlers op-ed in Merced Sun-Star 

National poll finds differing views about focus of public education – A new national poll shows nearly half of adults believe public education’s main goal should be academics, while others believe the main goal should be preparing students to be good citizens or to get jobs. EdSource article 

Newman students harvest their first almonds – by hand – The new almond orchard at Orestimba High School has yielded its first nuts, picked by hand rather than machine so as not to damage the young trees.Modesto Bee article

Pellet pistol found after report of armed Turlock student — Roselawn High School, an alternative education center in the Turlock Unified School District, was placed on lockdown Monday morning for a couple of hours after a district employee reported seeing a student with a weapon that later turned out to be an pistol that shoots plastic pellets. Modesto Bee article


Like tens of millions of matchsticks, California’s dead trees stand ready to burn – At the height of California’s fierce wildfire season, the Sierra Nevada and North Coast forests are choked with tens of millions of dead and dying trees, from gnarly oaks to elegant pines that are turning leafy chapels into tinderboxes of highly combustible debris. New York Times article 

Cedar Fire evacuations lifted in Wofford Heights – Precautionary evacuations for the Cedar Fire, which began nearly two weeks ago, were lifted at 10 a.m. Monday for all of Wofford Heights after the fire was not active overnight, a U.S. Forest Service official said. Bakersfield Californian article; Visalia Times-Delta article

Cyclists incensed after bike pedal blamed in Sierra wildfire – A lot of things can start a wildfire: lawn mowers, gunfire, smoldering cigarettes. It makes sense in a state dried out by drought. But the latest culprit — a bike — is largely unheard of as a source of ignition, and is being met with disbelief in some circles. San Francisco Chronicle article 

$10,000 reward offered in mystery shooting of California sea otters – Someone shot three federally protected sea otters off California’s coast, and federal and state officials are offering a $10,000 reward for information that would lead them to a suspect. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

Health/Human Services 

Obamacare markets are in trouble. What can be done? – A look at four major challenges the Affordable Care Act is facing, and some possible solutions. New York Times article 

Mylan will launch a cheaper, generic version of EpiPen — The maker of EpiPens will start selling a cheaper, generic version of the emergency allergy shots as the furor over repeated U.S. price hikes continues — and looming competition threatens its near-monopoly. LA Times article; New York Times article

Land Use/Housing

Tenants move into downtown Stockton Cal Weber 40 development — The first tenants moved into the new Cal Weber 40 affordable housing development at California Street and Weber Avenue in downtown Stockton on Monday afternoon. Stockton Record article


Regional Transit, Labor Department clash over federal aid — Already struggling to strengthen its shaky finances, Sacramento Regional Transit says its financial woes will deepen if the U.S. Department of Labor succeeds in a court bid to withhold tens of millions of dollars in federal aid. Sacramento Bee article 

Other areas 

Backers of local pot initiative still going strong — Kern Citizens for Patient Rights has spent more than $75,000 to challenge Bakersfield’s medical marijuana dispensary ban, and with fewer than 60 days until petitions are due, a board member said Monday the group is confident it will make the ballot. Just not the November ballot. Bakersfield Californian article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – We warn farmers not to get their hopes up. The Republican presidential nominee’s position on water sounds like a lot like a sale pitch for Trump University; California protects predatory striped bass that devour salmon and smelt. 

Modesto Bee – Sitting through our national anthem is a poor protest and clearly unpatriotic; but it’s not a crime. It’s not even un-American.

Sacramento Bee – As California kids head back to school amid tighter vaccine restrictions, the medical establishment has decided to follow our lead; Sitting down during the national anthem is powerfully controversial, but it’s just one act. Fixing injustice takes more.

Stockton RecordCheers and jeers: The Sherman becomes an eyesore, test scores improve for San Joaquin County students and other issues