July 2, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

 Early state candidate fundraising grows in popularity — On Monday, state Assembly hopeful Joaquin Arambula sent out a fundraising plea to supporters, looking to collect a final $10,000 in contributions before the latest campaign finance reporting deadline, which was Tuesday. Early pushes like Arambula’s have some political experts scratching their heads. The election is still a year away, so why would raising money this far out even matter? Fresno Bee article

 Tim Donnelly files referendum to overturn California vaccine bill – A former state assemblyman known for his defiant conservatism is seeking to reverse California’s newly passed vaccination mandate. The day after Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 277, an intensely controversial billrequiring all California school children to be fully vaccinated, former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly submitted paperwork to overturn the law. Capitol Alert; LA Times article

State budget

 Insurers predict hepatitis C drugs to take huge toll on California budget — California taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars to treat hepatitis C patients in various state-funded programs, according to a report released Tuesday by an insurers’ trade group. KQED report

Gov. Brown

 Jim Carrey calls Jerry Brown a ‘fascist’ for signing new vaccination law — The Golden Globe-winning actor slammed Brown on Twitter, calling him a “corporate fascist” who was poisoning children by signing into law the vaccination requirements. LA Times article

 Valley politics

 Conservation group decries Valadao bill — A conservation group Wednesday said a bill introduced last week by a California Congressman aimed at fighting the drought would have serious consequences for wildlife. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

 Kamala Harris rejects second gay murder measure –California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Wednesday rejected another attempt by an Orange County attorney to process a ballot measure authorizing the killing of gays and lesbians. Capitol Alert

 Author of gay homicide measure speaks; says he’s defending religious values — Orange County Attorney Matt McLaughlin, who is trying for the second time to place a measure on the ballot authorizing the killing of gays and lesbians, said Wednesday he sees himself as defending traditional religious values. Capitol Alert


 LA wage hike leave undocumented workers jubilant, but skeptical — Fausto Hernandez Garcia has been working at carwashes around L.A. since arriving from Mexico without papers around 10 years ago. The model of cars he lathers and vacuums each day may change. But his hourly pay has mostly stayed the same — right around the state minimum wage of $9 an hour.KQED report

 Immigrant advocates allege excessive force during Murietta protests — One year after anti-immigration protests erupted in the city of Murrieta, two immigrant advocates who were arrested during the demonstrations have sued the city and Riverside County, alleging unlawful detention and excessive use of force. LA Times article

Other areas

 Assemblymembers Kristin Olsen and Katcho Achadjian – Olsen, the Assembly Republican Leader from Modesto, and Achadjian (R-35th), write, “Investing in California’s roads, highways and bridges comes down to a question of budget priorities. We are willing and able to make transportation funding the budget priority that it should be – without making Californians pay new taxes. That is why the Assembly Republicans introduced a nine-point plan to fund California’s transportation needs and fix our crumbling roads.” Olsen/Achadijian in Fox & Hounds

 Vito Chiesa: Legislation should spread the pain to repair state’s crumbling roads – The Stanislaus County supervisor and president of the California State Association of Counties writes, “To county officials, what makes sense are small increases in several taxes and fees that affect all of us. What’s most important is that any new revenue is allocated fairly between the state and local governments. Most people don’t know where a local road ends and a state highway starts, but the systems are interdependent. They both have to be fixed.” Chiesa op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Joel Fox: How will business approach road taxes in special session? — Business might conceivably try to influence a wider tax discussion when it engages on road taxes. Support the administration in a road-funding scheme while demanding that the administration vocally oppose other tax plans aimed at business currently under discussion such as increased property taxes on commercial property and an oil severance tax. Like those troublesome dinosaurs in Jurassic World, the tax discussion in the special session may go beyond the fences intended keep them in and focused on the roads. Fox in Fox & Hounds

 Joe Mathews: We the Legislature — In a 5-4 decision preserving Arizona’s redistricting commission (and presumably California’s by extension), the U.S. Supreme Court had a direct and useful reminder for Californians: when we cast ballots on ballot initiatives, we’re acting as the state legislature. Mathews in Fox & Hounds

 George Skelton: Supreme Court ruling reaffirms the power of voters, not politicians – That was a nice Fourth of July gift from the Supreme Court, reaffirming that “We the People” get to decide how our elected representatives are chosen. The politicians are not endowed with an inalienable right — not even a constitutional one — to choose their own voters. Skelton column in LA Times

 Former Sen. Leland Yee changes plea to guilty in corruption case — Former state Sen. Leland Yee pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of racketeering, admitting he accepted bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as campaign contributors. San Francisco Chronicle article; Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article; San Jose Mercury News article

 Republican presidential candidate Fiorina winning over skeptics – When it was Carly Fiorina’s turn to take the stage at a presidential forum in Oklahoma City, Noah Wolff was thinking of heading outside for a break. But as Fiorina started speaking, Wolff was captivated by her message. LA Times article

 Donald Trump’s comments on immigration complicate GOP’s ‘Latino problem’ – As Latinos reel in anger and celebrities and corporate sponsors drop their associations with Trump, it raises the question of how much longer the Republican Party’s other 2016 presidential contenders can remain largely silent on the controversy in hopes that it goes away. LA Times article

 Macy’s cuts ties with Trump over Mexican immigration comment – Macy’s is joining the line of companies cutting ties with Donald Trump over the real estate mogul’s comments about Mexican immigrants. LA Times article

 GOP lawmakers criticizes Trump – Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, on Wednesday issued a statement criticizing “negative comments made by Donald Trump.” San Diego Union-Tribune article

California law decried after black woman’s ‘lynching’ arrest — When Sacramento police arrested black activist Maile Hampton over her role in a Black Lives Matter protest in January, they didn’t charge her with obstructing traffic, trespassing or disturbing the peace. They charged her with felony lynching. AP article

 Local Cuban-Americans blast embassy agreement – Word Wednesday that the United States and Cuba had reached an agreement to open embassies in their respective capitals July 20 did not go over well with Kern County’s local Cuban-American community. Bakersfield Californian article

 Fresno panelists decry ISIS’ impact on perceptions of Islam – A dozen high-profile community leaders served as panelists at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno on Wednesday evening for a discussion titled, “ISIS vs. Islam: Does ISIS follow or ignore the principles of Islam?” Moderator Darius Assemi, president and CEO of Granville Homes, stressed that “ISIS is a terrorist organization that is using Islam as a tool to recruit … Muslims have denounced this barbaric organization.” Several panelists agreed that ISIS’ actions have hurt perceptions of Islam in the United States. Fresno Bee article

 Michael Hiltzik: A dire threat to public employees from the Supreme Court — The case is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn. It was conjured up by right-wing anti-union activists specifically as an attack on the agency-shop provisions standard in public-employee union contracts nationwide, and was designed from its inception as an invitation to the court to overturn such arrangements. The court swallowed the bait, setting the case for argument sometime in its next term, which begins in October. Hiltzik in LA Times

 Historic mansion could house California governors once again — When Gov. Jerry Brown signed a budget last year that included $2.5 million to renovate the historic Governor’s Mansion in downtown Sacramento, his office said he had “no immediate plans” to move in. That could be changing. Sacramento Bee article

 Conservative overreach may explain liberal victories in Supreme Court — The Supreme Court term that ended this week will be remembered for the landmark ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, but it will also go down as a year when a fractured conservative bloc resulted in a surprising number of liberal wins. That doesn’t mean the court has shifted left, as some have suggested. Instead, perhaps the biggest dynamic driving this term was overreaching by the court’s most conservative justices. LA Times article

News Briefs

Top Stories

 Californians cut water use 29 percent in May – Urban Californians reduced their water consumption by 28.9 percent in May, state officials said Wednesday, the most severe decline since Gov. Jerry Brown called on the state’s residents to begin saving last year. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article; Bakersfield Californian article; Stockton Record article

 State issues toughest-in-the-nation fracking rules State officials on Wednesday formally adopted new rules governing hydraulic fracturing in California, setting in motion some of the toughest guidelines in the nation for the controversial oil extraction practice. The oil and gas agency also released its environmental impact report that concluded fracking could have “significant and unavoidable impacts” on a number of fronts, including air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and public safety. LA Times article

 POM Wonderful plays offense and defense in legal fights – The hard-charging California company behind POM Wonderfulpomegranate juice is facing a two-front legal fight. On the East Coast, the juice maker crosses swords with the Federal Trade Commission. An appellate court’s recent refusal to reconsider an earlier ruling against POM Wonderful plants the possibility of a climactic challenge going to the nation’s highest court. On the West Coast, thanks to a previous and unrelated Supreme Court victory, the company is preparing to take its would-be competitors at the Coca-Cola Co. to trial next year. McClatchy Newspapers article

Jobs and the Economy

 U.S. economy adds 223,000 jobs; unemployment at 5.3 percent – The American economy is entering the summer powered by a decent head of steam, with employers adding 223,000 jobs in June. After bottoming out in March as the overall economy stalled, hiring has rebounded in recent months along with other indicators like home sales and consumer spending. New York Times article

 Wages shrink for state’s middle-income workers – The state’s middle-income earners continued to see their wages decline in 2014, according to new research — evidence that a crucial segment of the workforce is still falling behind. LA Times article

 Is Modesto’s revenue picture out of focus? – Modesto officials have unleashed a tidal wave of statistics as they make their case for why the city needs a half-percent sales tax increase for its general fund that they say primarily would be spent on public safety. Here’s a sample: Modesto collects less in sales and property taxes on a per-resident basis than seven other comparable cities. Modesto Bee article

 California workers’ compensation costs rise – California employers’ workers’ compensation insurance premiums jumped by $2 billion in 2014 but payments to workers for job-related injuries and illnesses remained static, while medical costs declined, according to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau. Sacramento Bee article

 California requires paid sick leave starting Wednesday — A California law requiring at least three paid sick days each year went into effect Wednesday and is expected to benefit more than 6 million workers in the state. KQED report; Sacramento Bee editorial

 Lake Isabella court, closed for two years, to reopen in August — The Kern County Superior Court branch in Lake Isabella, closed since 2013 for budget reasons, may open again in mid-August with limited service to the Kern River Valley. Bakersfield Californian article

 As wages go up, state health care spending will decrease – More than one million workers will see their incomes increase as a result of local policies in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley, and Emeryville that are raising wages above the statewide minimum. These minimum wage policies will reduce povertyreduce employee turnover, and improve the health of affected workers and their families. Less often discussed is that these wage increases will also reduce state health care spending. UC Berkeley Labor Center blog

 City council president says LA lacks a strategy for creating jobs – Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said Wednesday that the critics were right: City Hall lacks a comprehensive strategy for attracting new jobs. LA Times article

 Foon Rhee: There’s no smoking gun in arena trial – Arena foes claim city officials committed fraud on the public, but there doesn’t appear to be a smoking gun to prove wrongdoing.Rhee in Sacramento Bee

 Most big Sacramento companies hiring in Q3 — Nearly 70 percent of Sacramento’s biggest companies expect to add workers this summer. That’s according to a new survey conducted by Rick Reed for Pacific Staffing. Capital Public Radio report

 Scientist union’s talk stalled over pay — The labor contract between the California state government and its scientists expired on Tuesday, spotlighting yet again the long-running feud over whether the tiny union’s members should earn as much as their peers in federal and local governments and private industry. Sacramento Bee article

 Airbnb to collect San Diego tourist taxes — Airbnb will begin collecting tourist taxes later this month directly from San Diego’s visitors on behalf of its hosts. San Diego Union-Tribune article

 Garcetti says he didn’t change course on homelessness – Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday he didn’t reverse course by backing away from controversial homelessness laws his office had signaled he would approve, asserting instead that a member of his communications staff mistakenly told The Times he planned to sign the ordinances. LA Times article

 Pom-pom pay: California bill gives cheerleaders minimum wage – They boost their teams from the sidelines and promote them by appearing in calendars and at fan events, but some sports cheerleaders say they are still not considered team employees and are paid what amounts to less than minimum wage. California legislation believed to be the first of its kind in the nation is set to change that. AP article

 2015 U.S. auto sales on track to hit a record — Through half of 2015, auto sales are on track to hit record levels not seen in 15 years — which has many observers convinced the industry will see sales fall soon. LA Times article

 California tax fight headed to U.S. Supreme Court — A nasty, 24-year-old fight between California’s tax collectors and a computer-chip entrepreneur living in Nevada is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court – for the second time. Sacramento Bee article

 Audit: LA failed to collect $1.8 million in overtime reimbursements – The white-gloved officers who guide Los Angeles drivers through traffic jams and road closures during Dodgers games, the Academy Awards and other special events earned nearly $6 million in overtime in a single year. In many cases, event sponsors are supposed to reimburse the city for those wages.LA Times article

 $3 million restoration project improves Alcatraz Island — After more than a year of work, the National Park Service on Wednesday pulled the tarps off upgrades at Alcatraz, showing off $3 million in improvements to the sally port, guardhouse, library, schoolhouse and other historic areas. AP article


California cities show biggest water savings yet in drought — California’s drought-stricken cities set a record for water conservation, reducing usage 29 percent in May, according to data released by a state agency Wednesday. Regulators hope the savings will last through summer as California communities are under order to cut water use by 25 percent compared to 2013 levels. Gov. Jerry Brown announced his mandatory conservation order in April. AP article

 Almond crop projection drops a bit – A federal agency Wednesday reduced slightly its projection of the state’s almond crop this year – 1.80 billion pounds instead of the 1.85 billion estimated in early May. Modesto Bee article; Stockton Record article

 ‘Unbelievable’: Emergency plan could make canal flow backward — Ever since its construction in 1951, the whole point of the Delta-Mendota Canal has been to ship Northern California water to farmers south of the Delta. But with pumping from the Delta already restricted and perhaps to be cut off completely later this summer, desperate farmers at the peak of their growing season have devised an unprecedented plan to force the canal to run backward — from south to north, instead of north to south. That would allow the farmers to access water they previously stored in San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos. Stockton Record article

 Fresno records .01 inch of rain, a record for July 1 – The official rain gauge at Fresno Yosemite International Airport measured a hundredth of an inch late Wednesday night, the National Weather Service reported — a record for the city on July 1. Fresno Bee article

 Downtown LA’s four-year rain total lowest ever recorded — The last four years have been the driest such period in downtown Los Angeles for more than 140 years, the National Weather Service said. When the weather service’s traditional rain year, from July 1 to June 30, ended Tuesday, data showed that downtown L.A. received only 8.52 inches of rain this season, or 57% of average. LA Times article

 San Diego tightens water restrictions to meet state conservation goal — The new regulations allow for watering two days a week for five minutes. This is down from three days a week for 10 minutes. The goal is to reach the state’s mandate to reduce consumption in San Diego by 16 percent. KPBS report

 Lynn Sutton: Water important since start for Mountain House – Sutton, who worked for the Trimark development company and the Mountain Community Services District, writes, “When the community of Mountain House was first contemplated in 1988, I advised the then-project manager for Trimark that, among other items, an adequate water supply was very important.”Sutton op-ed in Stockton Record

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Hate crimes, homicides declined in California in 2014 – Most crime rates declined across California in 2014, including hate crimes and homicides, the state attorney general’s office said Wednesday. AP article

Reports: Man admitted to leading officer on chase that resulted in fatal crash – A man charged with five felonies including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence admitted to leading a police officer on a chase that resulted in his death, according to court filings. Bakersfield Californian article

Bakersfield Police Department officer David Nelson laid to rest, remembered as a hero with a big heart – Family, friends and hundreds of California peace officers remembered Bakersfield Police Department Officer David Nelson as a cowboy with a big heart before laying him to rest Wednesday under pine and eucalyptus trees at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.Bakersfield Californian article

 Stockton police hiring levels highest since 2008 – The Stockton Police Department swore in one new officer and introduced five new officer trainees Wednesday, giving the department its highest staffing levels since 2008. Stockton Record article

 ‘Cookies always make me feel better’ — Two sweet, smiling little girls made their way through the halls of the Stockton Police Department on Wednesday afternoon, carrying cards and two trays of cookies. Maggie Miller, 11, and Carly Monroe, 8, had visited the Police Department many times in the past with their grandmother, police Chaplain Sally Miller. This time they were there to lift spirits after hearing that police dog Nitro died in the line of duty Tuesday afternoon. Stockton Record article

 Merced County will look deeper in search for undersheriff – Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke won’t get his first choice to fill the undersheriff’s position. Warnke, who including hiring retired sheriff’s Sgt. Suzzette Norris for undersheriff as part of his campaign last year, confirmed Wednesday that Norris did not meet the minimum requirements on her job application for the position. Merced Sun-Star article

 Merced human trafficking awareness efforts continue with summit — Efforts to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking in the San Joaquin Valley continue. Merced Sun-Star article


 Fresno Bee: Public has right to know truth about Gaston contract – A majority of Fresno Unified School District trustees appear incapable of sorting out the most important issues in the awarding of a nearly $40 million contract to Harris Construction to build Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School. Fresno Bee editorial

 What schools and parents need to know about the new vaccination law – Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law – which he did on Tuesday – a bill that says parents can no longer refuse to vaccinate their children based on their personal opposition, schools and parents are parsing the fine print to put the new law into practice. EdSource article

 Bill would make comprehensive sex education mandatory for California schools – A new bill in the California Senate could make sex education mandatory for middle and high school students. KVPR report

 Clovis Community Center granted full college status – Clovis Community College Center has been granted initial accreditation to expand to full college status, resulting in more state funding to accommodate more students. Fresno Bee article

 $100,000 gift expands Fresno State veterans program – Fresno State has expanded its Veterans Education Program thanks to a $100,000 donation from the Red and Nancy Arnold Foundation. The gift has helped launch a new program to help Central Valley veterans and current service members transition into higher education. The onboard program is designed for first-year student veterans who have been denied admittance to the university or lack the necessary transfer credits. The Business Journal article

 Lawsuit: LA Unified misappropriated funds for high-need students — Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District Wednesday alleging that millions of dollars intended to help low income, foster care and English-learner students were diverted to special education services. AP article; LA Times article

 Nelsen takes helm at Sacramento State – Robert Nelsen began his first morning as Sacramento State president by speaking with students as new to campus as he is. “I’m sending a message,” he said before taking the podium at a freshman orientation event. “I’m meeting with the students first.” Sacramento Bee article

 Cal State Bakersfield to help digitize history on Japanese internment – Archivists at 15 California State University campuses (including Cal State Bakersfield) are collaborating to digitize nearly 10,000 documents and more than 100 oral histories related to the confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II, the university system announced last week. Bakersfield Californian article

 Family of student who died in hazing incident to sue CSU Northridge, fraternity — The family of a Cal State Northridge student who died in a fraternity hazing incident intend to sue the university and fraternity, saying they still don’t what happened to him a year after his death. LA Times article


 California regulators prepared to overhaul electricity rates — California regulators are considering a new way for residents to pay for electricity, imposing a charge on the greatest energy users while narrowing price gaps for everyone else. AP article

Recycled oil field wastewater is clean, Chevron test results show – Results of the most recent testing of recycled oil field wastewater that Chevron sells to Kern County farmers for irrigation showed no traces of methylene chloride, an industrial solvent that had appeared in previous testing conducted by a clean water advocacy group. LA Times article

 Project could change face of Smith Canal – One of the city’s more tranquil Delta settings would be the scene of two years of intense construction work, and would have a decidedly different look for decades into the future if a plan to build a floodgate near the mouth of Smith Canal moves forward. Stockton Record article

 Avenal power plant idea appears dead — A proposed 600-megawatt natural gas power plant near Avenal in limbo for more than half a decade appears to have imploded. An attorney representing Avenal Power Center LLC wrote in a letter last week that the center “will let the license for the project expire on Sept. 16, 2015.” Hanford Sentinel article

 If a tree falls in a city … — Neighbors living around a city-owned tree in central Stockton are scared. One of the old flowering pear’s remaining heavy limbs could fall at any time, they say, and this time someone could be injured or killed. Stockton Record article

 Visalia, Tulare schools get new solar panels — Some schools in Tulare and Visalia will be running on energy produced from recently installed solar panels when the school year kicks off in August. Visalia Times-Delta article

Health/Human Services

 Doctors, hospitals get $6.5 billion from drug, medical device firms last year — Doctors and teaching hospitals received $6.5 billion last year from drug companies and medical device firms for research, consulting and other reasons, new federal data show. LA Times article

 California named 17th healthiest state for women — A new report that ranks states based on women’s health and wellness, named Minnesota as the best state for women’s health. California placed 17th on the list, and Mississippi and Alabama dragged in the tail end of the rankings. Merced Sun-Star article

 Mosquitoes at Merced College test positive for West Nile – A mosquito warning has been issued for the city of Merced after mosquitoes trapped at Merced College last week tested positive for West Nile virus, the Merced Mosquito Abatement District reported. Merced Sun-Star article

Sacramento Bee: Costly decision to cut mental health care — A jury of our peers rendered a verdict that any one of us understands all too well: The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has failed to provide care for people who desperately need it, the severely mentally ill.  Sacramento Bee editorial

 Kidney specialist scores another victory in legal battle with Sutter, Memorial — A Stanislaus Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a Modesto doctor who claimed his privileges at Memorial Medical Center were terminated after he complained about nursing practices. Modesto Bee article


 U.S. probing possible airline collusion that kept fares high — The U.S. government is investigating possible collusion among major airlines to limit available seats, which keeps airfares high, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press. AP article; LA Times article

 Michael Fitzgerald: Fresno’s Mexico flights: ‘The right thing to do’ — Here’s an e-mail from Kevin Meikle, the City of Fresno’s Director of Aviation, to Stockton airport Director Harry Mavrogenes. Mavrogenes had asked Meikle if flights to Mexico had worked out. Fitzgerald blog in Stockton Record

 Chinatown drivers will dodge high-speed rail work in July — Drivers in downtown Fresno’s Chinatown district will need to be on their toes through July as crews work on relocating underground utility lines to make way for high-speed rail construction. Fresno Bee article

 Other areas

 New Fresno County animal shelter may require a move – Fresno County officials are considering whether to move their animal shelter to a new location since plans to expand at the existing site near downtown Fresno have ground to a halt. Fresno Bee article

 Merced County represented on list of top family-friendly cities – The local communities making its family-friendly list include Los Banos and Merced, as well as Waterford and Patterson in Stanislaus County. Patterson was ranked 73rd, Waterford 80th, Los Banos 83rd and Merced 85th. Merced Sun-Star article

 Sad, final day for Clark Center museum: ‘We’re losing a treasure’ — When a museum is born, there’s grandeur in the air: ribbon-cutting ceremonies, gala dinners, people standing in line for blocks waiting to get in on the first day. When a museum dies, the public rituals are a lot less effusive. Fresno Bee article

 Lack of storage makes homeless camp clean-up laws toothless – The Los Angeles City Council last week gave final approval to new ordinances designed to address the tent encampments proliferating through the city in recent years by clearing away their belongings. But the bigger problem with enforcing the ordinance is that the city doesn’t have anywhere to store the homeless’s personal items, as the law requires. KPCC report

 Mayor Johnson seeks to stop city from releasing his emails – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has prepared a lawsuit asking the Sacramento Superior Court to prevent the city from releasing emails he exchanged with his private attorney dealing with his involvement in the National Conference of Black Mayors. Sacramento Bee article

First Look: Parents urge to take more caution of childhood technology use – The Early Childhood Council of Kern is waging a war against the usage of technology at the dinner table. It’s part of their new campaign “#putdownthephone.” Bakersfield Californian article

 LA’s broken sidewalks: Residents say city, not homeowners, should maintain — Most of the speakers Tuesday night voiced frustration with the proposal to gradually shift responsibility for most city sidewalk upkeep to residential property owners, a concept dubbed “fix and release.” LA Times article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – A majority of Fresno Unified School District trustees appear incapable of sorting out the most important issues in the awarding of a nearly $40 million contract to Harris Construction to build Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School; Science, at last, gets its say on vaccines.

Merced Sun-Star – The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the power of independent citizens redistricting commissions.

Modesto Bee – The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the power of independent citizens redistricting commissions.

Sacramento Bee – Sick leave is great, but more needs to be done to make workplaces more humane, productive and family-friendly. State lawmakers could start by improving a California benefit that’s the envy of workers elsewhere in the nation – paid family leave; A jury of our peers rendered a verdict that any one of us understands all too well: The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has failed to provide care for people who desperately need it, the severely mentally ill.

Stockton Record – Celebrate the Fourth of July with care.


 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.

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