July 15, 2015


Receive the Maddy Daily in your inbox every morning! To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to Ana Melendez at ajovelmelendez@csufresno.edu

Political Briefs

Top stories

Opponents of new California vaccination law begin referendum drive — Opponents of a new California law mandating vaccinations for more children were cleared by the state Tuesday to begin collecting signatures on a ballot referendum on the measure. LA Times article

Dan Walters: Symbolism could be slick slope – The 2015 legislative session may – or may not – be otherwise memorable, but certainly will be known for symbolic gestures that drift into censorship. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

State budget

California ends fiscal year with revenue surge — The Department of Finance reports California exceeded revenue projections for the fiscal year by $732 million. Revenues were originally projected to be about $114 billion. Capital Public Radio report

Valley politics

Kevin McCarthy has raised $9 million this year — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has raised $9 million for Republicans since the beginning of the year, a hefty haul for the No. 2 Republican, according to an aide. McCarthy’s (Calif.) ability to fill the party’s campaign coffers will be under a microscope in the coming months. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has pulled in $28 million this year, illustrating the massive void that will be left if he retires. Politico article


Sanctuary law unlikely to change despite clamor over pier slaying – San Francisco officials are showing little desire to make significant changes to the city’s sanctuary laws, despite national outrage over the killing of Kathryn Steinle, allegedly by a man who had been deported five times, and calls by politicians that the city change its policies. San Francisco Chronicle article

San Francisco immigrant advocates call for ‘sober’ dialogue in wake of killing — Beneath the tone of respect was a plea: that officials in this longtime sanctuary city and across the country dial down the rhetoric on immigration enforcement and engage in “sober” dialogue that “protects all communities.” San Francisco Chronicle article

Steinle’s parents tell Bill O’Reilly they back proposed ‘Kate’s Law’ – The parents of Kate Steinle, the woman shot to death on a San Francisco pier earlier this month, say they support a proposal to give mandatory prison time to deported people who return to the United States illegally. AP article

House GOP moves on sanctuary issue after California tragedy — A GOP-controlled House panel has voted to block so-called sanctuary cities from receiving certain federal grants. AP article

Citing neglect, lawmakers urge halt to migrant detention center expansion — More than two dozen members of Congress are calling on federal officials to halt the expansion of California’s largest immigrant detention center over reports of medical neglect at the privately run facility. LA Times article

Other areas

California bill banning Confederate names clears committee – Senate Bill 539, which would prohibit the naming of public buildings and roads in California after Confederate leaders, advanced from its sole policy committee Tuesday on a 7-1 vote. It heads next to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for fiscal consideration. Capitol Alert

Robb Korinke: How three California open data bills advance the cause of public data – “Open Data” is a hot topic in the Capitol, and as legislative deadlines approach, it’s worth updating on where the issue stands, and what to keep in mind as the state considers a path forward. Korinke in California Forward

Vending machines spark tax debate — If you buy it in a grocery store, you don’t pay sales taxes. If you buy it from a vending machine, you do. Fair? Assemblyman Matthew Dababneh doesn’t think so, but so far some of his colleagues disagree. Capitol Weekly article

Berkeley balcony legislation stalls in Assembly committee — Legislation written in response to last month’s deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley failed to advance Tuesday in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. San Jose Mercury News article

Casey Kasem controversy leads to new rights for children of ill parents — Adult children barred from visiting an ailing parent will now have a way to seek legal recourse under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday. LA Times article

Obama makes case for changes to criminal justice system — President Obama on Tuesday began rolling out a plan for reforming a criminal justice system he says is “skewed by race and by wealth” but is ripe for change at the hands of political leaders. LA Times article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File
News Briefs

Top Stories

New study says nearly a third of Californians in poverty – Nearly a third of California’s households “struggle each month to meet basic needs,” largely because of the state’s high cost of living, a new study by United Ways of California concludes. Sacramento Bee article

Black infant deaths far exceed other ethnic groups in Fresno County, report shows — Black babies in Fresno County are three times as likely to die within their first year of life than white infants, and they die nearly three times as often as Hispanic babies. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

San Joaquin County sees strong tech/info sector growth – The Silicon Valley and San Francisco have long been identified as thriving growth centers for the technology and information industries. But a study released Tuesday said that the impact is spreading well beyond those hot spots to “a wide range of metro areas around the state,” including San Joaquin County. Stockton Record article

Kmart closure to result in 74 layoffs in Atwater – News that Kmart will close its doors here later this year left shoppers Tuesday “disappointed” that another business will shutter in town, and concerned for the scores of people who will be without work. The closing will lay off 74 employees, some of whom are eligible for severance pay, according to Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings Corp., of which Kmart is a subsidiary. Merced Sun-Star article

Police, development among Bakersfield State of the City topics – California’s historic drought and Bakersfield’s drop in first-quarter sales tax revenue featured prominently in Bakersfield’s annual State of the City luncheon Tuesday at the downtown Marriott, but so did other perennial topics like police response times and development.  Bakersfield Californian article

Downtown Modesto district runs into ballot snafu and private security questions – The effort to form the Downtown Modesto Community Benefit District has run into a couple of issues.Modesto Bee article

Gas prices continue to surge in LA but barely budge in San Francisco – A sudden gasoline price spike tormenting Southern California drivers pushed costs at Los Angeles pumps above $4.20 Tuesday but left the northern half of the state largely unscathed. San Francisco Chronicle article

Teleworkers, coffee shops come up with a good blend – When, as a college student, he began frequenting coffee shops to do schoolwork, Gustavo Hernandez would check with a manager or owner to make sure it was OK that he settle in for a while. He always made a purchase, too. Modesto Bee article

Secret ingredients for success – Altimari and his outside-the-barrel imagination add a taste of charm to Stockton Beer Week, a 10-day event he helped inspire four years ago. It begins Friday and involves 15 Stockton establishments selling unique craft beers. The emphasis is on home-brewing and IPAs, “stout” and “sour” brews. Stockton Record article

San Diego approves spending on planning for new Chargers stadium – The San Diego City Council voted, 6-3, Tuesday to spend $2.1 million to do an environmental impact report on a possible new Chargers stadium — a move that Mayor Kevin Faulconer and others hope will convince the NFL to tell the Chargers to return to the bargaining table with the city. LA Times article;San Diego Union-Tribune article

 San Francisco supervisors opt to give Airbnb law chance to work – A divided Board of Supervisors rejected efforts on Tuesday to impose a hard cap on the use of short-term rentals through companies such as Airbnb, opting instead to try to enforce the existing law. San Francisco Chronicle article

 California’s count of employees with disabilities suspect – The percentages, at first glance, are headed in the right direction if you think state government should accommodate people with disabilities. Progress? Probably not, says UC Davis statistician Eric Nelson, whose Trends in State Workblog calls the state’s disability statistics a “shell game.” Sacramento Bee article

 Growing labor movement shakes up Silicon Valley – Called Silicon Valley Rising, this coalition of labor unions, faith leaders and community-based organizations is orchestrating a campaign to raise families out of poverty by pushing for a livable wage, affordable housing and corporate responsibility. They are now highlighting the plight of service workers, the majority of which are immigrants. KQED report

 Former Sacramento councilman: City residents ‘barfed on’ by arena deal — You only thought you knew how Kevin McCarty felt about the city’s financing agreement of a new downtown sports arena. McCarty tweeted on Monday that he and most city voters felt “barfed on” by the city’s deal to provide $255 million to the $507 million project. Sacramento Bee article

 Holly Culhane: Overtime rules may affect 5 million workers — President Obama is proposing an overtime rule change that could potentially raise the wages of 5 million American workers. It also has triggered a political battle, with U.S. businesses in the crossfire. The impact of the proposed rule will be felt less in California, where state laws already have imposed greater requirements on employers to pay workers overtime. Culhane column in Bakersfield Californian

 LA DWP gears up to sell skeptical customers on its proposed rate hikes — As leaders of the nation’s largest municipal utility embark on a new push for rate increases, they face an unprecedented level of public scrutiny. And that is going to require a substantial public outreach as it seeks to significantly increase water and power bills. LA Times article


 Cal Water met water savings goal in June – California Water Service Co. customers used 32 percent less water in June in a year-over-year comparison to 2013, meeting the state’s mandated water reduction target, officials said Tuesday. Bakersfield Californian article

 Some Tulare County cities came up short in cutting water use – June was a challenging month for officials in Tulare County’s largest cities. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Fresno supervisors start push for Temperance Flat project – Fresno County supervisors on Tuesday approved the concept of a Joint Powers Authority whose members would include other local governments and water interests supporting construction of Temperance Flat Dam. Fresno Bee article

 Why are you seeing water in canals? It’s a bump from spring storms — More than a few of you have noticed water flowing in canals lately. Tuesday morning, the water flow in the San Joaquin River picked up. All of a sudden, there’s water? What happened to the desperate drought? The drought is still on. The extra water came from a few storms in May and June. Fresno Bee article

 More lawn restrictions could remake California landscape – The California Water Commission is scheduled to consider new rules Wednesday that would significantly slash the amount of water that can be used by landscapes surrounding newly built houses, businesses and schools. LA Times article

 Chances of wet winter look good for central state – There’s a strong chance that beginning in the fall, a strong El Nino system will be an engine for storms that could make this a very wet winter along the West Coast, according to the National Weather Service. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Water released from Millerton Lake into San Joaquin River – Water burst out of Friant Dam Tuesday in a new release into the San Joaquin River. About 1,000 cubic feet per second was sent out from Friant Dam into the river under a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation plan to deliver water to farmers on the west side of the Valley. Fresno Bee article

 Turlock Irrigation District board Oks sale of water to proposed treatment plant – The Turlock Irrigation District agreed Tuesday to sell some of its Tuolumne River water to a treatment plant proposed for three cities. The 5-0 decision by the district board was a major milestone in a 28-year effort to reduce reliance on wells in Turlock, Ceres and south Modesto. Modesto Bee article

 San Diego within reach of yearly rainfall average despite drought — California continues to be immersed in a drought, but oddly enough San Diego’s Lindbergh Field is a little more than one inch away from reaching its 10.15-inch annual rainfall average, which is measured between October 1 and Sept. 30. KPBS report

 East Bay residents step up water savings — Drought-conscious East Bay residents conserved water at record levels during June as they braced for the onset of hot summer weather, higher drought rates and penalties for guzzlers. Contra Costa Times article

 ‘No water here’: Drought drives California ranchers to thin herds — Just as farmers in the Central Valley are fallowing thousands of acres because of the drought, cattle ranchers are also cutting production. In fact, herd numbers nationwide are at their lowest since the 1950s, due in part to the Texas and California droughts. KQED report

 Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Community colleges coming live to California prisons – Bryan Hirayama, an assistant professor at Bakersfield Community College, made a little bit of history this year. He became one of the first community college professors to teach inside a California state prison in roughly the last 20 years. California Health Report article

 San Joaquin County sheriff’s air support gets financial boost – The San Joaquin County sheriff’s little-known Air Support Unit got a nice boost Tuesday with a $10,000 donation from a nonprofit organization that advocates for major fuel consumers. Stockton Record article

 Jamboree designed to offer youths hope, direction – The Podesto Impact Teen Center buzzed with teenagers looking for doors to opportunities Tuesday. San Joaquin County Probation’s juvenile services division held its inaugural jamboree, a job and resource fair, which drew more than 100 young seekers. Stockton Record article

 San Francisco Police Chief Suhr on body cameras: ‘What delays?’ — In May 2011, just a month after taking his post, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told reporters that he intended to equip his officers with body cameras. Four years later, not a single body-worn camera has been deployed in the city. According to Suhr, the SFPD has been on the verge of launching the cameras for almost his entire tenure as chief. KQED report

 Defendant in Chandra Levy murder case to stay in prison pending retrial – The man accused of murdering former intern Chandra Levy will remain in prison while he awaits his retrial set for next year, a judge ruled Tuesday. While key questions still linger about the former Fresno gang leader who’s been the most important prosecution witness, D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin concluded the defendant Ingmar Guandique should remain incarcerated. McClatchy Newspapers article

 Motorcyclist killed in crash with Kern Sheriff’s patrol car in Oildale – A 59-year-old Bakersfield man died Tuesday evening in Oildale when his motorcycle struck a patrol car driven by a Kern County Sheriff’s deputy responding to an emergency call. Bakersfield Californian article

 First Look: Local attorney to represent victim’s children in wrongful death suit filed against Kern County – Tuesday on “First Look with Scott Cox,” Richard Beene, CEO and president of The Californian, discussed with simulcast hosts the case of Nancy Joyce Garrett. The 72-year-old woman was killed in a car accident at the intersection of North Chester Avenue and China Grade Loop on Sept. 28, 2014, after colliding with Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Clerico. A 10-month investigation conducted by the California Highway Patrol concluded Clerico was at fault. Bakersfield Californian article

 Gardena police shooting video: Justified or ‘cold-blooded’ killing? – Dramatic video released Tuesday showing Gardena police officers shooting two unarmed men — one fatally — is once again igniting debate about police use of force. And like other cases, some people view the same video in very different ways. LA Times article

 San Diego judge refuses to throw out civil rights lawsuit filed by strippers — Gilleon asserts the dancers’ 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and their 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights, were violated by police when the dancers were forced to remain nude or semi-nude so police “could ostensibly photograph their tattoos.” LA Times article


 California’s dwindling teacher supply ratting districts’ nerves – Just as California school districts are facing new pressures to implement the Common Core State Standards and other key educational reforms, many of them are struggling with what some officials are calling the early impacts of a long-feared teacher shortage. EdSource article

 Ruling may have broad effect on campus sex misconduct investigations – It began as a typical college hookup: two students at UC San Diego met at a party last year, began drinking and ended up in bed. The encounter snowballed into a sexual assault complaint, university investigation and a finding that the male student should be suspended. But the accused student fought back in court and won — marking what is believed to be the first judicial ruling in recent years that a university failed to provide a fair trial in a sexual misconduct case. Some legal experts said Tuesday that the finding could have a broad national impact. LA Times article

 County offices gain extra month to review LCAPs – The Legislature has granted county offices of education an extra month, until Sept. 15, to approve school districts’ annual budgets. The effect will be to ease some of the pressure on the counties to review districts’ local accountability plans, a new responsibility coinciding with the budget approval process, that many were hard-pressed to do effectively. EdSource article

 Amid high STD rates, Fresno Unified considers the return of sex ed – Fresno County continues to be plagued with high teen pregnancy rates and even higher STD rates in some cases among the worst in the state. With that in mind  local health leaders are urging one Valley school district to bring back sex education to the classrooms. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports even former students are speaking up. KVPR report

 Joe Mathews: The LAO is getting higher education wrong – Here’s the problem: LAO is way too focused on higher ed as it relates to the budget. And so it has argued for limited enrollment growth at CSU and flat enrollment at UC. Mathews in Fox & Hounds

 Summer windfall as colleges rent out space while students are on break – All that activity is part of a trend across California and the nation for colleges and universities to seek summer-time income from otherwise underutilized facilities and to keep maintenance crews, cooks and other employees working year-round. LA Times article

 Stockton Unified moves forward on superintendent search – At Tuesday’s meeting at the Stockton Unified School District boardroom, trustees unanimously approved a plan to carry on the search as recommended by the Superintendent Search Ad Hoc Subcommittee — a committee formed for a specialized task that dissolves after its completion. Stockton Record article

 VIDEO: California schools work to improve local control reform plans — As the state of California has moved to create more local control for the state’s school districts, one looming question is how can districts do this the right way to ensure student success and to properly engage the local communities. California Forward video

 San Joaquin County Office of Education takes over program — After months of uncertainty, the San Joaquin County Head Start has an official grantee. The San Joaquin County Office of Education on Tuesday announced it has been awarded a $20.1 million grant from the Federal Office of Head Start to provide program services. Stockton Record article


 Bill would block PG&E from deducting $115 million of San Bruno fine State Sen. Jerry Hill and Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, both Democrats whose districts include San Bruno, introduced SB681, which would prohibit PG&E from deducting the fine. The bill needs to pass a state Senate committee on Wednesday morning, and eventually a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. KQED report

 Miyoko Sakashita: California should not issue permits for offshore fracking – The oceans director and senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity writes, “The governor should halt these fracking permits and come up with a plan to retire California’s aging oil rigs.” Sakashita op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 State grants $11 million to 5 Valley dairy methane projects – Five projects from Kings, Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kern counties have been awarded $11.1 million in state grants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing dairy manure with digester technology. Fresno Bee article; Hanford Sentinel article

 U.S. agency faulted for inaction after California oil spill — The federal agency that oversees the safety of the nation’s pipelines failed to follow through on congressional reforms that could have made a difference in a May break that created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years, a House committee chairman said Tuesday. AP article

Health/Human Services

 Marian Hollingsworth: Patients ought to find out more about doctors – The patient safety advocate with Consumers Union writes, “The Consumers Union Safe Patient Project believes it’s time for the state Medical Board to require all probation orders to include physicians telling their patients. State health laws give patients the right to know all the risks and benefits of treatments or procedures. Your physician should be included in those risks.” Hollingsworth op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Fifth set of triplets born at Fresno hospital — Stacie and Oscar Trasoras celebrate the birth of their three daughters — Victoria, Alexis and Stephanie — at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. Theirs is the fifth set of Valley triplets born at the hospital since June 7, an exceedingly rare occurrence. Fresno Bee article

Land Use/Housing

 Little Free Library gets quiet approval — The issue surrounding a Little Free Library that drew a big reaction from the community was resolved Tuesday with little fanfare, but it didn’t stop supporters from letting out a quick cheer. Stockton Record article


 Modesto council moves ahead with College Avenue road diet – The Modesto City Council on Tuesday night took the final step to put in a traffic calming device on College Avenue called a road diet and declined a request from the Stanislaus Taxpayers Association to change the ballot language of a tax measure. Modesto Bee article

Study: California drivers using cellphones more often – A study released Tuesday reported that 9.2 percent of drivers were using phones to talk, text or otherwise take away their attention during observations earlier this year. That was up from 6.6 percent of drivers in 2014. AP article; Sacramento Bee article

Feds urge safety rules after deadly California crash — Federal safety officials on Tuesday urged commercial buses to have more clearly labeled emergency exits and safety briefings similar to those on planes after their investigation of a deadly collision in California in which a tractor-trailer slammed into a bus full of students. AP article

 Other areas

 Settlement reached with Holt-Singh’s family – An attorney representing the family of slain hostage Misty Holt-Singh said late Tuesday afternoon that the family has agreed to an undisclosed financial settlement with Bank of the West and will soon file a lawsuit against the City of Stockton. Stockton Record article

 He’s the ‘throat to choke’ if California tax agency’s IT project fails — The grim statistics taped on a corner bookshelf in Eric Steen’s office serve as a daily reminder of the odds he’s fighting as the chief of a massive California state government technology overhaul. Sacramento Bee article

Fund established for injured CAL FIRE firefighter — A nonprofit group has begun fundraising to help Damien Pereira and his family after the CAL FIREfirefighter was critically injured by a fallen tree earlier this month near Three Rivers. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Valley Edition: Local faith leaders talk ISIS vs. Islam — Local religious, education and law enforcement leaders recently gathered in Fresno for a talk about ISIS and Islam. Hosted by the Islamic Cultural Center, the event sought to dispel myths about the local Muslim community. Two guests from the panel joined us on Valley Edition to talk about concerns over homegrown extremist groups, efforts to work with law enforcement, and interfaith relations. Valley Edition on KVPR

 Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – A historic accord on Iran’s nuclear program.

Sacramento Bee – West Sacramento-based Raley’s Supermarkets has taken a step forward, launching a program to sell imperfect-looking produce at discounted prices; A historic accord on Iran’s nuclear program.

Stockton RecordCheers and jeers on award winner’s all-around excellence, flag removal long overdue and other issues.

Upcoming Events

  • 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.


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 atwww.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.

This document is to be used for informational purposes only. Unless specifically noted, the Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno does not officially endorse or support views that may be expressed in the document. If you want to print a story, please do so now before the link expires.

Funding for The Maddy Daily is made possible by grants from The Wonderful Company and BNSF Railroad and generous donations from you, our subscribers.