August 4, 2015

04Aug

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Political Briefs

Top stories

California legislators jockey to find water solution — Publicly and privately, California lawmakers are pushing to get a big water bill off its current glacial pace. But history cautions that California legislation this ambitious always takes time, and plenty of it. McClatchy Newspapers article

Costa kicks campaign fundraising up a notch – Fresno Democrat Jim Costa raised almost $194,000 in the second quarter and now has more than $755,000 in his campaign account. By comparison, here’s how other San Joaquin Valley congressmen in competitive districts stacked up against Costa: 21st District Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, raised around $700,000 this year and has $616,000 in his account; 10th District Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, raised a little more than $700,000 and has $1.7 million cash on hand; 9th District Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, raised around $270,000 and has $301,000 in his account. Fresno Bee article

California minimum wage initiative cleared for signatures — A union-backed proposal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour was cleared Monday to begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative next year as local efforts continue nationwide to boost the minimum wage to better reflect the cost of living. AP article

Gov. Brown

Gov. Brown praises President Obama for new greenhouse gas rules – Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday welcomed President Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and noted that California is ahead of the federal government in the effort. LA Times article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Pension initiative has ‘significant’ savings, costs — The official analysis of a proposed public pension initiative issued last week said “likely large savings” in retirement benefits would be offset by pressure for higher pay and other costs. But the analysis does not estimate whether it would be a net gain or loss for government employers. Calpensions article

Immigration

Feinstein under fire from immigration advocates — For immigration advocates rushing to beat back congressional momentum to crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities,” their chief worry isn’t the Republicans who control Capitol Hill. It’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Politico article

2 immigrants in U.S. illegally are named to Huntingdon Park commissions — Their appointments mark a bold — and controversial — step by the small southeast Los Angeles County city to boost the participation of these immigrants in city government. The working-class communities along the 710 Freeway have long been entry points for immigrants from Mexico and Latin America — a good portion arriving illegally. LA Times article

Other areas

Dan Walters: Politicians just hate bad media – Politicians at all levels, and not only the corrupt variety, make strenuous efforts to thwart media coverage they consider to be negative. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

 KP Public Affairs, hospitals and labor lead lobbyist filings – Organizations representing hospitals, service employees and oil companies have spent the most money lobbying Sacramento officials in 2015, according to disclosures filed with the California secretary of state’s office. Sacramento Bee article

Joe Mathews: Remember when politicians didn’t brag about their millionaire friends — I’m just old enough to remember the days when a politician with a billionaire friend and backer wouldn’t brag about the relationship. When said politician might downplay it. Or avoid mentioning the billionaire. And if pressed, the politician would certainly explain that he or she would never dare shape their public policy work to fit the preferences of the billionaires. Those days are long gone. Mathews in Fox & Hounds

Former FPPC enforcement chief joins Sacramento law firm – Gary Winuk, the former longtime enforcement chief at the state’s political ethics watchdog, has joined a Sacramento law firm, where he will focus on working with local government ethics agencies. Sacramento Bee article

Kevin de León brings climate change appeal to California Latinos – With California’s environmental movement derided by critics as elitist and overwhelmingly white, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is working to broaden its appeal. Joined by billionaire activist Tom Steyer, De León appeared on Univision Los Angeles on Sunday to make the case to Spanish-speaking audiences. Sacramento Bee article

 

States’ targets shift in final Obama climate change plan – Sixteen states will have tougher carbon dioxide reduction targets than they originally planned now that President Barack Obama has presented his final plan to cut emissions from U.S. power plants. AP article 

Rep. Adam Schiff, an influential Democrat, backs nuclear deal with Iran — Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, came out Monday in support of the Iran nuclear agreement, saying that it “realistically precludes” Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb for 15 or more years. LA Times article

Judge extends hold on recordings made by anti-abortion group – A federal judge in San Francisco extended a restraining order on Monday that blocks an anti-abortion group from releasing any recordings that it secretly gathered at annual meetings of an abortion providers’ association. AP article 

Brik McDill: Trump the phenomenon: A flesh and blood person or a political projection? — Is Donald Trump, in his current incarnation, a tangibility or an invention imagined and unreal? Is he real or a wish-fulfilling cultural archetype as insubstantial and airy as a dreamt-up hero-saint that never was nor ever could be? Who is the man, and of what is our political hunger made that some have swallowed his theater whole and undigested? McDill column in Bakersfield Californian 

Tom Fife: These 10 will make first GOP debate interesting — This Thursday night in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, the top 10 of the 16 officially announced Republican presidential candidates will share the stage in the first official debate of the 2016 presidential campaign season. So let’s look at this potential top 10.  Fife in Visalia Times-Delta

 

Joe Altschule: These are the GOP’s top 10 pretenders – Tom’s rundown of the Republican 2016 candidates is an interesting list of pretenders to the American presidency. These are pretend people, with pretend policies, living in a fantasy pretend world of their own invention detached from you and me. Altschule in Visalia Times-Delta

 

News Briefs

Top Stories

Trial date set in Prop 1A lawsuit over high-speed train plans – A trial date has finally been set in Kings County’s long-running lawsuit challenging whether California’s high-speed train project complies with the 2008 bond act for the system. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny will hear arguments Feb. 11 in the case filed in late 2011 by John Tos, Aaron Fukuda and the Kings County Board of Supervisors against the California High-Speed Rail Authority and a raft of state government officials. Fresno Bee article

State declares thousands of oil field injection wells safe — A state review of nearly 6,000 oil field injection wells, almost 96 percent of them in Kern County, has concluded the vast majority pose little or no threat to groundwater, mainly because their operators treat the injected fluid to reduce potential contaminants. Bakersfield Californian article

 

Jobs and the Economy

San Joaquin County housing market still hot – July’s heat wave may have broken over the weekend, but San Joaquin County existing home market got even hotter in the first three weeks of the month,realtor.com reported Monday. San Joaquin County rose to No. 13 on realtor.com’s 20 Hottest Markets list, up from 16th in June, based on those factors. Stockton Record article

Fresno Bee: Fresno Works teams up for good of our region – Fresno political and business leaders vowed six years ago to mount a unified effort to land the heavy maintenance facility that will anchor California’s high-speed rail system. Such a promise might appear quite modest but given our region’s history of self-sabotaging politics, the pledge provided a much-needed foundation for a quest that could bring 1,500 permanent, well-paying jobs to the Valley. Fresno Bee editorial

CalPERS’ private equity investing fees are said to be ‘ginormous’ — CalPERS is finally about to reveal how much it really pays Wall Street for its most rarefied services — and taxpayers can expect a dose of sticker shock. LA Times article 

U.S. manufacturing growth slows in July – U.S. factories were a little less busy last month. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index slipped to 52.7 last month from 53.5 in June. Economists had expected the index to remain unchanged. Any reading above 50 indicates growth. AP article

Wildfires, state of emergency trigger state leave rule – California state employees affected by wildfires burning in 15 counties under a state of emergency are eligible for up to five days of administrative time off if their situations merit it and their employers approve, according to a statewide government memo issued Friday. Sacramento Bee article 

Zillow: Sacramento-area home values, inventory on the rise – The second-quarter 2015 median home value in Sacramento area was $339,600, up 5.8 percent year-over-year, according to Seattle-based real estate data tracker Zillow. The area’s median far surpassed the national median of $180,100, which was up 3.3 percent over the second quarter of 2014. Sacramento Bee article

Old Fresno Ag property sold; furniture store likely — A huge, long-vacant parcel on Blackstone Avenue just south of Gettysburg Avenue — for decades home to Fresno Ag Hardware — is slated to become the newest Ramos Furniture store. The Business Journal article 

Jeff Jardine: Will numbers pan out for new roller rink in Modesto? – Like so many other Modestans, Jeremy Matthews fondly recalls the days and evenings he spent at the long-defunct Roller King skating rink on Briggsmore Avenue. Well, it almost was on Briggsmore Avenue, which is part of the reason it is long-defunct. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

Compensation Commission approves 2 percent pay hike for Sacramento mayor, council – The city of Sacramento’s Compensation Commission voted unanimously to grant the mayor and City Council members a 2 percent salary increase. Sacramento Bee article

Foon Rhee: ‘Clear eyes’ on big projects – “Friday Night Lights” is one of my favorite TV series of all time. Don’t get me started on how it didn’t get the audience or critical acclaim it deserved. If you’re a fan as well, you’ve memorized the rallying cry of the fictional Texas high school football team: “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose!” It’s a pretty good philosophy for life – and for public policy. Rhee in Sacramento Bee

Movie theater coming to Sacramento shopping center — Country Club Plaza is getting a multiscreen movie theater, another development in what appears to be a comeback at the long-troubled Arden Arcade mall. Sacramento Bee article

Effort to build new St. Louis stadium gets boost from court ruling — The effort to build a new riverfront football stadium in St. Louis got a big boost Monday when a judge ruled that approval from city voters is not necessary to use city tax money for the project. LA Times article 

Apple sets stage for San Jose campus with 15,000 workers — Apple has bought a large parcel in North San Jose along First Street, enough land for an office and research campus where the technology titan could eventually have up to 15,000 workers, public records show. Contra Costa Times article

 

Agriculture/Water/Drought

Fresno Bee: State needs to step up response to water emergencies – Gov. Brown’s response to water emergencies in the Valley’s rural communities is totally inadequate.  Fresno Bee editorial

Merced County launches new drought web page – Merced County has updated its drought web page to include drought information and an application for an emergency water distribution plan. The page, which can be found at www.co.merced.ca.us/savewater, is available in 90 languages, including English, Spanish, Hmong and Punjabi. Merced Sun-Star article

#drylandsCA: Don’t pray for rain – pray for snow – It’s snow that holds the water through the winter and come spring melts into gurgling creeks and rivers that fill the reservoirs below. Melted snow is 30% of California’s water supply. LA Times article

Gallery: Faces of the drought – The Fresno Bee takes a look at some of the faces of the drought.  Fresno Bee photo gallery

Drought could hurt endangered fish caught in water fight – California’s historic drought could wipe out a tiny, endangered fish that’s played an outsized role in the state’s water wars. The delta smelt lives in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the West Coast’s largest estuary that supplies water to Central Valley farms and millions of Southern California residents. AP article

LA sues to shield turf grant recipients – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is suing the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to prevent release of information about the recipients of millions of dollars under a popular turf-replacement program. San Diego Union-Tribune article 

New homes offer water, energy efficiency – Sprinklers with sensors that determine if the lawn needs to be watered and faucets that cut water use by half used to be luxurious home upgrades. Now, they have become standard features in some new developments. Sacramento Bee article

Don Curlee: Citrus destroyed by offshore pickets — This spring and early summer’s floating picket lines outside the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland underscored the need for better labor relations in America by inflicting severe damage on Central California’s citrus, walnut and cotton industries. Curlee column in Visalia Times-Delta

 

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Manhunt continues for suspect who opened fire at Kern deputies – As many as 100 law enforcement officers from at least eight agencies continued to search a remote area of eastern Kern County for a suspected killer Monday afternoon, combing the sagebrush-littered mountains on dirt bikes, quads and other all-terrain vehicles, as well as from the air. Bakersfield Californian article; AP article

A new way to treat women’s mental health in prison — The Central California Women’s Facility is the largest women-only prison in the state. Inside the low-slung cinderblock buildings, in a trailer that doubles as a classroom, a dozen prisoners have gathered around a conference table. They are black, white and Latina; former gang members, preschool teachers, musicians and veterans.  They have one thing in common. All these women are serving long-term sentences for committing violent offenses. Many of them are LWoPs—life in prison, without the possibility for parole. They’ve come to this classroom to talk about the beginning of their journeys to prison — which almost invariably began with childhood trauma. Al Jazeera America article

Suicide spike boosts oversight of California women’s prison — A spike in suicides and attempted suicides has prompted corrections officials to step up oversight at a California women’s prison as inspectors try to pinpoint the cause of the troubling increase. Four women have killed themselves at California Institution for Women in San Bernardino County in the last 18 months, according to state records. AP article

 

Black KGET producer arrested; NAACP to hold rally Tuesday – A KGET-TV news director’s arrest last month has inspired a rally planned for Tuesday by members of the local NAACP chapter who claim the man, 44-year-old Monte Wilson, was unfairly arrested because he is black.  Bakersfield Californian article

Consultant’s report clashes with calls for smaller LA Men’s Central Jail – A consultant hired by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has determined that the new Men’s Central Jail should contain about 5,000 beds — roughly the same number as a plan that the board voted to put on hold last month. LA Time article

Education

Some college students on financial aid don’t get it in time to pay fees – The complications at Cal State L.A. highlight the complexities of financial aid that often hit new students, especially during the summer before classes, when campus fees, housing deposits and other costs can pose an unexpected challenge. LA Times article 

Contractor urges high court to affirm criticism of Fresno Unified leaseback contracts — An attorney for a local contractor is urging the California Supreme Court to deny Fresno Unified’s request that it OK the district’s use of a controversial multimillion dollar no-bid contract. Fresno Bee article 

Study shows college textbook prices up an insane 1,041 percent since 1977 – Do you want food or do you want books? Because if you’re a college student, you might be making that choice when school starts. According to a study of Bureau of Labor Statistics by NBC, college textbook prices have gone up 1,041 percent since 1977. That’s over three times the rate of inflation.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Fresno State program gives woman with Down syndrome a college path – Wayfinders is a two-year program for young adults ages 18 to 28 with intellectual or developmental disabilities. It’s designed to teach them independent living skills such as money management, cooking and vocational skills and also allows time to take the university’s mainstream academic courses. Fresno Bee article

LA Unified food chief resigns under fire but maintains innocence — David Binkle, L.A. Unified’s food services director who won national acclaim for improving school meals, has resigned following a recent audit that found massive waste, ethical breaches and financial mismanagement under his watch.  LA Times article

Court: CSU must pay San Diego State mitigation — The California State University Board of Trustees must fund road improvements to handle traffic that would be generated by a planned expansion of San Diego State University, the California Supreme Court decided Monday. San Diego Union-Tribune article 

Energy/Environment

Break-ins mar homecoming for Cascadel Woods residents as Willow fire containment grows – Five homes in the Cascadel Woods community were burglarized while residents were under mandatory evacuation during the Willow fire, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said Monday. Most of the break-ins were discovered Sunday night after evacuation order was lifted at 9 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.Fresno Bee article

Winds helping firefighters in Cabin Fire – Cal Fire crews prevented a wildfire north of Three Rivers from growing over the weekend, while another large fire in the Sequoia National Forest expanded to about 2,800 acres. Visalia Times-Delta article

As Rocky fire burns, evacuees play a waiting game – Chris and Cheryl Christian found a shady spot under a tree in the parking lot of a community center in Clearlake Oaks on Monday afternoon and watched the sky. Smoke billowed over the nearby hills as the Rocky fire continued to burn six days after it started near Clear Lake.  LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article

Sacramento Bee: The new perilous normal on wildfire lines – Republican leaders in Congress, many of whom have parched public land in their districts, should see this crisis for the new normal that it is, and rise to the occasion. The firefighters on the line are flesh and blood facing a colossus, and deserve no less. Sacramento Bee editorial 

2 military planes go to California to fight wildfires – Two Air Force Reserve firefighting planes have been sent to California to battle wildfires raging there. The C-130s from Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base arrived at McClellan Airtanker Base near Sacramento on Monday to fight fires in California and the Northwest. AP article

California water officials seek penalties in Santa Barbara oil spill – California water quality regulators have asked state Attorney General Kamala Harris to consider enforcement action against the owner of an oil pipeline that ruptured near Santa Barbara in May, spilling petroleum onto beaches and the Pacific Ocean. Reuters article

Oil sheen off Goleta Beach was natural seepage, Coast Guard says — Lab tests confirmed that an oil sheen off Santa Barbara County’s coast last week was from natural seepage, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday. LA Times article

Sacramento launches ‘Mulch Madness’ to save trees — Even though it’s August, there are many streets in Sacramento that look like it’s fall. Parched trees are losing their leaves early as a result of the drought. The city is sponsoring a campaign called Mulch Madness to help save Sacramento’s stressed trees. Capital Public Radio report

Robert Price: Recycle this! Seattle’s trash-sorting police overreach – We support recycling, and our bins fill quickly and often. But if a nonrecyclable strays into the recycling, we don’t consider it a crime. Seattle does. Its garbage collectors leave behind a Sticker of Shame to warn scofflaws of their trash-sorting transgressions. And now, the Emerald City has authorized cash fines if 10 percent of items intended for the yard-and-food-waste container instead wind up in recycling. The fines could range from $1 for a single family home to $50 for a business. Price in Bakersfield Californian

California game commission to weigh in on proposed bobcat trapping ban – The fate of a vanishing California breed whose numbers have plummeted over the last three decades is now in the hands of the state Fish and Game commissioners. They are to decide this week whether commercial bobcat trappers can continue to operate in the state. LA Times article 

New gray wolf likely spotted in Siskiyou County — State officials say they strongly suspect a new wild wolf is roaming Siskiyou County, more than a year after OR-7, California’s famous wandering wolf, headed back to Oregon. Sacramento Bee article; San Francisco Chronicle article

 

Health/Human Services

Fresno VA hospital hires doctors, nurses to reduce wait times – Veterans in the central San Joaquin Valley no longer have to travel four hours for knee, shoulder and hip replacement surgery. The Veterans Affairs hospital in Fresno has hired two orthopedic doctors and is recruiting a third surgeon, as part of an effort to increase access to care and reduce waiting times for treatment, hospital officials said Monday at a media roundtable. Fresno Bee article

Whooping cough incidence lower in Merced County than most of state — The California Department of Public Health issued a warning reminding parents about the continued dangers of pertussis, or whooping cough. The disease has caused one infant death and at least 126 infant hospitalizations in California this year, the department announced Monday. In Merced County, only six cases of whooping cough have been reported as of July 28, according to state data. Merced Sun-Star article

Millions of Americans use medical devices that may be vulnerable to hacking – You have passwords for your smart phone and laptop, but what about your pacemaker or insulin pump? Last Friday, the federal Food and Drug Administration recommended that all hospitals in California and across the country stop using a medical device that it says is vulnerable to cyber attacks. KQED report

Sacramento sees high rate of emergency room visits — Sacramento County ranks poorly among California counties in hospital readmissions and the number of emergency admissions while faring well in colon cancer screenings, mammograms and diabetes treatment, found a new study by a nonprofit health care advocacy group. Sacramento Bee article 

Pharmacies to begin prescribing birth control under new state law – As early as this fall, California women who have long had to schedule a doctor’s appointment for a birth control prescription will be able to go straight to the pharmacy for the contraception. Sacramento Bee article

Effective ovarian cancer treatment is underused, study finds – Experts suggest a variety of reasons that the treatment is so underused: It is harder to administer than intravenous therapy, and some doctors may still doubt its benefits or think it is too toxic. Some may also see it as a drain on their income, because it is time-consuming and uses generic drugs on which oncologists make little money. New York Times article

Phil Daman: Vapor products aren’t the same as cigarettes – The president of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association writes, “Scientific research shows that vapor products represent significant alternatives to combustible tobacco. While appropriate regulations are needed, extending tobacco regulations and taxes to e-cigarettes is harmful and will only discourage smokers from switching to vapor products. We believe the motive is not public health, but possibly money.” Daman op-ed in Sacramento Bee

FDA clears first 3-D printed prescription drug to treat seizures — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first prescription drug made through 3-D printing: a dissolvable tablet that treats seizures. LA Times article

 

Land Use/Housing

After more than two years, Amberton wall case begins — Nearly 26 months after southwest Bakersfield homeowner Michael Hansen had a wall built on the corner of his property, blocking a publicly used path between the Amberton and Stockdale Estates subdivisions, neighbors’ complaints about the closure finally went to trial Monday. Bakersfield Californian article

Coach proposes indoor soccer complex to San Joaquin County — A Stockton resident and high school soccer coach says there are little to no fun activities for youngsters to do in the county, and he’s hoping to change that this year. Jason Gonzalez has created “We Play” Indoor Soccer and is proposing to convert an 18,000-square-foot plumbing contractor’s office at 3252 E. Tomahawk Drive into four indoor soccer fields in two phases over the next three years. Stockton Record article

 

Other areas

Southside solutions complex, response days – Though there is a “significant need” to improve the quality of life on Stockton’s beleaguered south side, overcoming the community’s long-standing challenges is “not as simple as allocating additional resources or adopting new policies.” So begins Stockton’s official response to a report, released in May by the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury, which is sharply critical of the city for its alleged long-term neglect of the south side. Stockton Record article

Merced supervisors will consider spay and neutering grant, other agenda items Tuesday — The Merced County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider accepting $15,000 from the state for the Sheriff’s Department to augment spay and neuter services, among other agenda items. Merced Sun-Star article 

Sacramento Councilman Allen Warren accused of sexual harassment — A former staff aide has filed a sexual harassment claim against Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren, alleging Warren abused his authority by coercing her into having sex with him multiple times over a two-year period. Sacramento Bee article

Sacramento’s Central Library doubles as book publisher — A publishing house in downtown Sacramento has been churning out books for the past few years – 15,000 from 180 authors since 2011. I Street Press isn’t a commercial venture, however. It’s the main branch of Sacramento Public Library. Sacramento Bee article

 

Valley Editorial Roundup

 

Fresno Bee – Fresno political and business leaders vowed six years ago to mount unified effort to land the heavy maintenance facility that will anchor California’s high-speed rail system. Such a promise might appear quite modest but given our region’s history of self-sabotaging politics, the pledge provided a much-needed foundation for a quest that could bring 1,500 permanent, well-paying jobs to the Valley; The state needs to step up its response to water emergencies.

 

Sacramento Bee – Republican leaders in Congress, many of whom have parched public land in their districts, should see this crisis for the new normal that it is, and rise to the occasion. The firefighters on the line are flesh and blood facing a colossus, and deserve no less; It’s hard to miss the importance of Nancy Lieberman’s new job with the Sacramento Kings.

Stockton RecordCheers and jeers: Bumpy area roads receive negative rating, high pay for UC coaches and other issues. 

Upcoming Events 

  • The Better Blackstone Association will hold a street festival, “Come Imagine the Possibilities for Blackstone …,” on Friday, Aug. 7, at the Susan B. Anthony school parking lot in Fresno from 5-8 p.m. More information: Call (559) 485-1416 or email info@betterblackstone.com.
  • “Unlocking Renewables: A Summit,” which will explore the clean energy potential in the San Joaquin Valley, will be held at Fresno State on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Featured speakers include state Sen. Anthony Cannella and Ken Alex, senior policy advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown and director of the Office of Planning and Research. More information: www.RenewablesInTheValley.org.
  • 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. Visitwww.essentialelementsseries.com for details of this no-fee policy series.  

Interactive 

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 www.federalbudgetchallenge.org.

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

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

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 http://twitter.com/MaddyInstitute. 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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