July 25, 2018






CA Central Valley cities among least educated in US, list says

Fresno Bee

Central Valley communities came in as five of the nation’s bottom 10 least-educated cities — Fresno, Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield and Visalia, which comes in dead last at No. 150. Salinas also makes the bottom 10.
See also:

     California cities claim top — and very bottom — spots on most-educated list Sacramento Bee

Opinions on Cong. Nunes & FISA Application/Carter Page Issue:

     FISA warrant application supports Nunes memo  Washington Examiner

     FISA Applications Confirm: The FBI Relied on the Unverified Steele Dossier National Review

     AEI scholar: Nunes should be expelled from House The Hill

     The Carter Page wiretap dispute isn’t a fair fight Washington Post

     Republicans have soured on the FBI, reflecting Trump's attacks, poll shows Los Angeles Times

'That was not the deal': McCarthy, Ryan renege on immigration vow

The California Republican aiming to be speaker backs away from a promised vote on a guest worker program.


Campaign fine lowered against ex-Oakdale water board member
Modesto Bee

The California Fair Political Practices Commission has approved a $4,000 penalty against former Oakdale Irrigation District board member Al Bairos, who violated campaign-finance requirements in an unsuccessful 2015 re-election bid.

Effort to recall Stockton mayor fails to meet deadline

Stockton Record

The effort to recall Mayor Michael Tubbs has come to an end, at least for the time being. Monday was the deadline for the group looking to oust Tubbs to submit the 16,000 signatures needed to remove him from office.


Why does Stockton City Hall still close on Fridays?


Unlike a factory, City Hall can’t reduce smokestack emissions. But it can reduce the number of vehicle trips made by its employees. Closing on alternate Fridays reduces vehicle trips and greenhouse gas emissions.


Why is Perez's case different? Onus is on DA's office

Bakersfield Californian

Fifth District Supervisor Leticia Perez, charged with criminal conflict of interest, joins a long list of local government officials, elected and appointed, who have been accused of breaching campaign laws, financial disclosure requirements or ethics standards over the years.

See also:

     Large crowd of supporters escorts Leticia Perez to first regular meeting since charges Bakersfield Californian

County voters to decide on sales tax increase, lifting marijuana ban

Bakersfield Californian

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to put a sales tax increase and two measures regarding marijuana dispensaries before voters in unincorporated Kern County this November.

See also:

     Supervisors OK sales tax measure for November ballot Bakersfield Californian




Public Display - Official Voter Information Guide

California Secretary of State

The draft copy of the Official Voter Information Guide for the November 6, 2018, General Election can be accessed through the PDF files below.

See also:

     California lawmakers use November's ballot guide to debate daylight saving time Los Angeles Times

     Clock ticking for daylight savings Capitol Weekly

     Walters: Effort to split California should be permanently junked Mercury News


California's candidates for governor in standoff over debate schedule

Los Angeles Times

Democratic front-runner Gavin Newsom’s campaign says he will commit to just one faceoff before the November election, while Republican John Cox is calling for a series of five debates around the state.

CA governor’s race: Gavin Newsom plans to tackle homelessness

Sacramento Bee

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the frontrunner in the governor’s race, has outlined an ambitious agenda for tackling homelessness, if elected. He says it’s among his top priorities.

Could Russia hack California’s elections? It would be hard, but not impossible
San Francisco Chronicle

Although California has received an “all-clear” from government agencies looking into Russian attempts to hack into voting data for states across the nation, safe today doesn’t mean safe tomorrow, a leading computer security expert warned.


California Passes Groundbreaking Data Privacy Law with an Expansion of Consumers’ Privacy Rights

The CCPA represents the most expansive set of consumer privacy laws ever passed in the United States.  As with the GDPR, it introduces significant changes to existing privacy law and will force many companies to change the way that they do business in California.




Poll: Trump's approval rating climbs to highest level yet


More Americans now approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing than at any other period of his presidency, new poll research showed Tuesday. The Gallup Poll showed Trump's approval rating at 42 percent for the sixth quarter of his administration.

See also:

     Surveys Say: Polling Still Points to Rough November for Republicans Roll Call

     Trump’s Post-Helsinki Poll Ratings Portend a Nasty and Divisive Election Season New Yorker

     Why Republicans Can’t Get Enough Trump Wall Street Journal

     Why people like Trump Washington Post

     Only a quarter of the country identifies as Republican. There are two reasons the party keeps winning anyway. Washington Post


EDITORIAL: Ryan Zinke sustains the swamp

San Francisco Chronicle

The Trump administration has threatened a range of natural resources, but the capital quagmire it promised to drain abides. While the president lost one swamp creature in recently departed EPA chief Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke remains.


House GOP chairman introduces draft of infrastructure plan

The Hill

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) released a draft of a long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday that addresses possible funding sources for a number of potential projects, and levies taxes on multiple fuel sources.




Five things I learned from four weeks of jury duty

Business Journal

Synthetic marijuana is (or was) big business — enough to make $32 million in five months. That’s a general takeaway from four weeks as a juror for a federal trial that began here in Fresno on June 22 and wrapped July 20.

America’s Grassroots Saviors

Project Syndicate

Local news matters because the day-to-day world that most Americans experience is nothing like what rancorous national news coverage makes it out to be.


Who suffers when local news disappears

Columbia Journalism Review

At some point not terribly far in the future, even those of us who believe powerfully in the need for a vibrant local news landscape are going to be hard pressed to make a case that many of these outlets should be saved.


A Critique of Identity Politics—From Obama
Wall Street Journal

For better or worse, Donald Trump is becoming a far more transformative president than many of his critics like to acknowledge.





Sunday, July 29, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“I Didn't Vote!:  Civic (Dis)Engagement and the (Dis)Interested Voter”​ – Guests: Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Mindy Romero, Director of the California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, July 29, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report ​ - Valley Views Edition​: “Addressing Civil Illiteracy in the Valley”​ – Guests: UC Merced Prof. Nate Monroe, John Minkler with the California Council for Social Studies, Fresno Superior Court Judge Don Fransen, and Fresno Attorney Michael Wilhelm. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.


Sunday, July 29, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Californians & Civic Engagement”  Guest: Mony Flores-Bauer, League of Women Voters in California. Host: Ana Melendes.




Dairy farmers say cows surviving through triple-digit heat


Kings County dairy farmer Joe Sozinho says his cows are doing just fine in this triple digit heat. The heat has been relentless, but temperatures haven't climbed too high.


Should almond milk call itself by that name? Issue hits home in dairy-rich Modesto

Modesto Bee

A top federal official has renewed the debate over whether almond milk and other dairy alternatives should be labeled that way. The dairy industry in Modesto and elsewhere argues that genuine milk comes only from animals, not from plants such as almonds, soy or coconut.


Government announces $12 billion plan to help farmers affected by Trump tariffs

Hanford Sentinel

The government announced a $12 billion plan Tuesday to assist farmers who have been hurt by President Donald Trump's trade disputes with China and other trading partners.

See also:

     California farmers respond tepidly to federal relief package Bakersfield Californian

     Trump offers $12 billion to farmers hurt by trade war and prepares to meet Europeans over auto tariffs Los Angeles Times

     California farmers skeptical about Trump farm aid Sacramento Bee

     Trump Administration Plans $12 Billion In Farm Aid To Offset Tariffs Capital Public Radio

     Trump Administration to Offer About $12 Billion in Farm Aid to Ease Concerns Over Trade Disputes Wall Street Journal

     White House readies plan for $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers caught in Trump’s escalating trade war Washington Post

     Farmers to Receive Up to $12 Billion to Ease Pain From Trump’s Trade War New York Times

     Trump plan will aid farmers hurt by tariffs PBS

     Taxpayers Will Pay for $12 Billion in Aid to Farmers to Cover Losses Caused by Trump's Tariffs Newsweek

     White House to Extend $12 Billion in Aid to Farmers Hurt by Trade War National Review

     Republican senators balk at Trump’s trade aid for farmers The Hill

     Factbox: USDA's $12 billion farmer relief package Reuters

     Trump to offer farmers $12B in trade aid Politico

     White House readies plan for $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers caught in Trump’s escalating trade war Washington Post

     Can Trump's Ag Bailout Save Farmers from His Tariffs? Weekly Standard

     Farm Aid Weekly Standard

     Senate farm bill is lesser of two evils AEI

     EDITORIAL: A $12 Billion ‘Rounding Error’ Wall Street Journal


Psst! The Farm Bill Includes a Rare Provision That Could Help Black Farmers

The Nation

Buried deep in the bill, the provision would grant heirs’-property owners access to federal support programs for the first time.


Increasing SNAP purchasing power reduces food insecurity and improves child outcomes

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly The Food Stamp Program) is the primary lever for food assistance in the United States.

Fresno Food Expo Launches Locals to World Markets
GV Wire

Who will be the next Valley business to use the Fresno Food Expo as a launching pad for expansion? While some companies use the Fresno Food Expo to reach new markets, others hope to find companies that can help them expand their businesses locally.






More Research Could Help Prevent Gun Violence in America


The evidence for or against most major gun policy proposals is weak, inconclusive, contradictory, or entirely nonexistent. We don't even have a shared set of facts on basic questions.


Public Safety:


Visalia man drowns in pool, stark reminder of water risks

Visalia Times-Delta

Swimming pools can be a relief, especially during hot summer months. But they can also cause serious injury and sometimes even death.


State funding to help build new HQ for KCSO and Corcoran Police


More than $8 million from this year's state budget will help fund two public safety buildings in the South Valley.


Appeals court: 2nd Amendment protects open carry of guns

Sacramento Bee

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Second Amendment protects the right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Hawaii officials had violated George Young's rights when he was denied a permit to openly carry a loaded gun in public to protect himself.

See also:

     San Francisco appeals court: 2nd Amendment grants right to carry guns openly San Francisco Chronicle

     Ninth Circuit Panel: Constitution Protects Right to Open Carry National Review

     Appeals Court Affirms Constitutional Right to Openly Carry Guns in Public National Review


EDITORIAL: Speed kills. California’s outdated laws make it too hard to slow cars down and save lives

Los Angeles Times

Speed kills. There is ample research to support the idea that slowing traffic saves lives. Plus, there’s simple physics: A pedestrian hit by a car traveling 20 mph has an 80% chance of survival, but someone hit by a car traveling 40 mph has just a 10% chance.




Yosemite Valley will close due to fire. ‘Get yourself out of here,’ official says

Fresno Bee

Yosemite Valley will shut down Wednesday as fire crews try to stop the Ferguson Fire from spreading into the national park, according to fire crews.
See also:

     YARTS suspending services after Ferguson Fire closes Yosemite Valley Fresno Bee

     Your Yosemite vacation just got disrupted by Ferguson Fire. Now what? Fresno Bee

     Disasters like Ferguson Fire bring out scammers. Follow these tips to check a charity Fresno Bee

     Parts of Yosemite National Park closing due to Ferguson Fire ABC30

     Ferguson Fire has burned 37,795 acres, now 26 percent contained ABC30

     Ferguson Fire continues to grow prompting new mandatory evacuations ABC30

     Yosemite officials urging people to 'get out' as Ferguson fire grows Visalia Times-Delta

     Firefighters Make Good Progress, Ferguson Fire 25 Percent Contained Sierra News

     Yosemite fire: What we know about the Ferguson fire near the national park Visalia Times-Delta

     Yosemite National park closed due to fire danger Mercury News

     With Yosemite closing because of the Ferguson fire, here's what you need to know about what's open, what's closed and how to get a refund Los Angeles Times

     Yosemite Valley closed because of Ferguson Fire San Francisco Chronicle

     Heart of Yosemite to close as crews battle raging wildfire AP News


Jerry Brown’s plan lowers PG&E’s liability for wildfire damages

Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown released a proposal Tuesday to reduce PG&E’s legal responsibility for wildfire damages after months of intense lobbying at the California Capitol.

See also:

     Gov. Brown’s plan would ease wildfire burden on PG&E Mercury News

     Brown proposes big change in wildfire liability to help California utilities San Francisco Chronicle

     Who Should Pay For California’s Wildfire Damages? Gov. Jerry Brown, Lawmakers Debate Multibillion-Dollar Liabilities Capital Public Radio


Cal Fire chief ousted in academy scandal could go back to work

Sacramento Bee

The highest-ranking fire chief punished in the aftermath of drinking and test-cheating scandal at Cal Fire’s academy in 2014 could get his job back.






Faraday Future occupies Hanford factory

Hanford Sentinel

In another milestone for Faraday Future, the electric car company announced July 16 it was awarded a temporary certificate of occupancy for its Hanford factory.


Poverty in California

Public Policy Institute of California

Despite improvements, the official poverty rate remains high. According to official poverty statistics, 14.3% of Californians lacked enough resources—about $24,300 per year for a family of four—to meet basic needs in 2016.

See also:

     Child Poverty in California Public Policy Institute of California

     The Working Poor in California Public Policy Institute of California

     California Poverty by County and Legislative District Public Policy Institute of California

How welfare has changed since 1996, in three charts


Twenty years ago, the federal government took a pretty simple cash welfare system and replaced it with a program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The result was welfare reform that was, and still is, confusing and controversial.


GOP lawmaker fires back at Trump: 'Tariffs are taxes'

The Hill

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Tuesday ripped President Trump for the claims he made about trade, saying that the president's "tariffs are taxes" and that other countries' economic policies do not justify America's "incompetence."

See also:

     Business groups urge Trump to back away from more tariffs The Hill

     Trade Wars Are Not Easy to Win Weekly Standard

     Trump's Specious Trade Tweets Fact Check

     Trade Wars and Tariffs: Does Donald Trump Even Understand Trade Deficits and Surpluses? Weekly Standard

     Corporate Giants Jump Into Trump’s Tariff Fight Roll Call

     Testimony: Economic Coercion as a Tool in China’s Grand Strategy AEI



What city just passed the Bay Area in tech jobs?

Mercury News

Toronto’s tech scene is so hot the city created more jobs than the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C., combined last year, while leapfrogging New York in a ranking of “talent markets.”






Clovis Unified board members give updates on summer happenings
Clovis Roundup

Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell complimented the administrative team from Granite Ridge and Clark Intermediate Schools. O’Farrell said the teams went to Washington, D.C. to be recognized as Schools to Watch and the district was also announced as a District to Watch.


Incoming kindergartners get crash course in how school works

Stockton Record

As next week’s first day of school at Stockton Unified quickly approaches, hundreds of incoming kindergartners are getting a jump start.


High school grad with middle school language skills rises to become Modesto superintendent

Modesto Bee

When considering the diversity of the district now under her leadership, new Modesto City Schools Superintendent Sara Noguchi can see herself among the students — a few times.


We studied 3,000 new education ideas—here’s how to choose the best

We argue that the most worthwhile innovations in education are those that have the power to rapidly accelerate progress and help give all children the full set of skills and competencies they need to thrive today and in the future.


Higher Ed:


CA Central Valley cities among least educated in US, list says

Fresno Bee

Central Valley communities came in as five of the nation’s bottom 10 least-educated cities — Fresno, Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield and Visalia, which comes in dead last at No. 150. Salinas also makes the bottom 10.
See also:

     California cities claim top — and very bottom — spots on most-educated list Sacramento Bee


Fresno State student teachers protest internship fee

Fresno Bee

Teaching students at Fresno State are crying foul over a policy that requires them to pay 12 percent of their paychecks back to the university during their internships, on top of their $3,700-per-semester tuition.

New center at UC Merced will be the place to learn about cigarette and pot smoking

Fresno Bee

UC Merced has been awarded a $3.8 million grant to establish a center devoted to the study of nicotine and marijuana public health and regulatory policies in the San Joaquin Valley.


California soon may be first state to require public universities to offer abortion pills

A bill advancing in the Legislature would make California the first in the nation to require that abortion pills be available at on-campus health centers


The market doesn’t care about your high school diploma. Prepare for lifelong higher ed

Sacramento Bee

The White House, with its recent executive order establishing the National Council on the American Worker, is recognizing a seismic shift in the world of work, one that California’s community colleges have been focused on in recent years.


CSU trustees approve pay raises for executives with six-figure salaries

San Francisco Chronicle

The California State University trustees approved raises of about $8,000 to $13,000 a year for executives Tuesday but delayed a plan for much higher pay amid strong objections from Gov. Jerry Brown and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.






17 days of triple-digit weather in Visalia and counting

Visalia Times-Delta

Last year there were 50 days of triple-digit heat in Visalia and Tulare. Mother Nature may be be looking at trying to beat that record. So far, Visalia has experienced 17 days of 100-degree-plus temperatures.

See also:

     Valley is on track to break heat record; energy and air quality alerts issued Fresno Bee

     Heat equals ozone pollution, but there's a silver lining Bakersfield Californian

     Coping with the heat wave? No sweat. Well, some sweat. But things could be worse San Diego Union-Tribune


California vs. Trump ‘will be a giant case’ over air rules, could end up in Supreme Court

Sacramento Bee

California and like-minded states are girding for a legal battle with the Trump administration on whether those states have gone too far in controlling greenhouse gases from automobiles, a prospective case that scholars say is sure to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

See also:

       Trump moving forward to end California's authority to set clean-air standards, mandate electric-car sales Los Angeles Times

       EDITORIAL: Trump's assault on EPA fuel rules, California has no precedent San Diego Union-Tribune


California's powerful climate change agency will keep most of its leaders through 2020 under new plan
Los Angeles Times
Mary Nichols, who has led the California Air Resources Board since 2007, would see her term expire at the end of 2020 if the board’s members confirm staff recommendations at the Thursday meeting.




PG&E urges customers to conserve energy during heat wave

Bakersfield Californian

California’s grid operator has called a statewide Flex Alert for tomorrow and Wednesday, and Pacific Gas and Electric is responding by urging customers to conserve energy.

See also:

      Prolonged heat brings call for Californians to conserve electricity Modesto Bee

      California urges power conservation during heat wave Business Journal


‘Dangerous Heat’ Sends California Gas Prices to 10-Year High


Natural gas prices in Southern California surged to the highest in almost a decade as blistering heat kept air conditioners on full blast, stoking demand for the power-plant fuel.


The Curbelo Carbon Tax as wealth redistribution


Environmental policy as a tool of wealth redistribution is nothing new. The latest example is a proposal for a greenhouse-gas (GHG) tax just introduced by Representative Carlos Curbelo (R., Fla.).





NW Visalia Urgent Care 'fills a gap' in healthcare, access

Visalia Times-Delta

Kaweah Delta Health Care District's second Urgent Care center will open to patients this fall, bringing with it more accessibility and shorter wait times.


Supervisors vote to allow medical marijuana measures to appear on ballot

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to allow two measures regarding medical marijuana dispensaries to appear on the November ballot.


California: Stop bogus medical exemptions to vaccine rules

Sacramento Bee

At 20 schools, most of them in Northern California, the rate of medical exemptions among kindergartners was a stunning one in four. That’s a lot of unvaccinated kids concentrated in a relatively few places, and to call it fishy would be an understatement.

Returns on Recovery: Expanding county substance abuse services benefits community over long term


San Bernardino County residents have access to wider array of services to treat substance use disorders thanks to the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS), which began implementation in March.

Most Americans Think Weed Is Good for You—But Scientists Aren't so Sure


The vast majority of Americans believe weed has at least some health benefits despite a lack of evidence, scientists have warned.


Human Services:


House Health Bills Would Cut Taxes for Wealthy and Corporations, Do Little for Consumers

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The House will consider three health-related bills this week that would mainly benefit high-income taxpayers and corporations while doing little to help moderate-income families or the uninsured.


House Votes to Repeal Tax on Medical Devices
Wall Street Journal

The House voted Tuesday to repeal a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, again showing bipartisan support for eliminating the levy.

See also:

     EDITORIAL: Election-Year Devices Wall Street Journal


Trump Administration to Resume ‘Risk Adjustment’ Payments to Insurers
Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration said it would resume billions of dollars in payments expected by insurers under an Affordable Care Act program, ending a brief suspension that it had said was necessary because of a judge’s ruling.




ICE making arrests at Fresno, CA courthouse

Fresno Bee

Arrests being conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at Fresno Superior Court have prompted concerns among some attorneys over whether their clients’ rights to due process are being violated.

California sanctuary law is phony, but the pain it causes is real

Sacramento Bee

When we argue about California’s so-called “sanctuary state” law, we might as well be arguing about unicorns. Just as there is no such thing as a one-horned fantastical creature, so too is there no sanctuary for illegal immigrants in California.

See also:

     Eleven things to know about living in a sanctuary state California Sunday Magazine

Judge to consider how quickly families can be deported after reunification

Los Angeles Times

How quickly can immigrant families be removed from the U.S. after being reunited? It’s the latest question that a San Diego federal judge will be considering in light of the Trump administration’s massive effort to reunify parents separated from their children at the border.


Feinstein pans El Centro Border Patrol custody conditions

San Diego Union-Tribune

After her staff found sub-par detention conditions at an El Centro Border Patrol station, Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent a letter Monday calling on the Department of Homeland Security to immediately address concerns about what custody is like for migrants along the southwest border.


'That was not the deal': McCarthy, Ryan renege on immigration vow

The California Republican aiming to be speaker backs away from a promised vote on a guest worker program.


Kirstjen Nielsen falsely says there are billboards in Central America on illegal immigration


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the Trump administration is frustrated by a lack of congressional action on "loopholes" incentivizing illegal



Senate Appropriator: More Border Wall Money Possible in House-Senate Talks

Roll Call

The top Senate appropriator with jurisdiction over Department of Homeland Security funding thinks there is room to put more money into President Donald Trump’s top budget priority: his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


Why Crackdown Fears May Keep Legal Immigrants From Food Stamps

Pew Charitable Trusts

As the Trump administration has stepped up deportations and workplace raids around the country, there’s been a drop at the Spanish Catholic Center in all immigrants applying for food stamps, said case manager Rodrigo Aguirre.


EDITORIAL: Fear-mongering hides the obvious truth: America thrives as a nation because of immigration

Los Angeles Times

Two recent stories about heinous crimes allegedly committed by people living in the country illegally have again prompted immigration hard-liners to mischaracterize such migrants as a menace to public safety.




Land Use:


City installs Harry Armstrong Memorial Interchange signs
Clovis Roundup

The City of Clovis’ Public Utilities Streets Section installed Harry Armstrong Memorial Interchange signs at the eastbound and westbound entrances to the Herndon Avenue interchange of Highway 168 over the weekend.


Report a guide for SJ County to improve park system

Stockton Record

Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors received just such a plan known as the San Joaquin County Parks and Recreation Benchmarking and Assessment Report, prepared by consultant David Taussig and Associates inc. at a cost of $60,000.


City of Tehachapi approves permits for Walmart construction

Bakersfield Californian

The city of Tehachapi finalized and approved building permits Tuesday with Eleven Western Builders, Inc., clearing the path for construction of the new Walmart store to begin next week.




Realtors: Central Valley sees least pain from falling home sales

Business Journal

Central Valley home prices were mostly up in June compared to last year, according to data from the California Association of Realtors. Statewide, sales activity declined about 7 percent on an annual basis — the largest year-over-year sales decline in nearly four years.


The factors impacting housing trends

Because inventories for sale are so low, any increase in the provision of leverage by the market—even if loans appear to be well-underwritten—serves to push home prices even higher, worsening the affordability problem.




Stop investing in immigrant detention companies, California teachers tell pension fund
Sacramento Bee

Hundreds of California teachers and a handful of left-leaning organizations are urging the state’s $225 billion teacher pension fund to pull its money out of for-profit prison companies and immigrant detention centers.
See also:

     EDITORIAL: California's public-employee pensions don't have the luxury of making political statements Los Angeles Times

Tai chi, anyone? CalPERS partners up in effort to fight opioid epidemic

Sacramento Bee

Having already spent tens of millions of dollars toward the cause, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System is continuing its efforts to combat the statewide opioid epidemic, following the launch of a 2017 objective to reduce prescriptions of opioids.


Walters: Public pension fund earnings up, but crushing debts remain


California’s two immense public employee pension funds this month reported investment earnings higher than their assumed rate for the second straight year. The earnings reports merely underscore the wide gaps between pension promises and assets to pay for them.

House Republicans Unveil Tax Plan Focused on Savings, Retirement
Wall Street Journal

House Republicans unveiled a plan Tuesday to make retirement and savings a crucial part of their push for tax legislation this fall. Expanded use of college savings accounts, access to funds after birth or adoption of child are part of package.

See also:

     Republicans Go For Broke on Tax Cut Message With 2.0 Effort Roll Call




California DMV worker slept on the job for three years, audit says

Sacramento Bee

A California DMV data operator slept three hours a day at her desk for three years, and the department failed to take disciplinary action — despite complaints from her colleagues, according to an audit released Tuesday.
See also:

     DMV worker slept 3 hours a day on the job for 4 years San Francisco Chronicle


No gas tax funds for high-speed rail

Mercury News

The tax proposal lays out where the $5.2 billion a year would be spent and not a single penny is earmarked for high-speed rail. Half the money goes to state highways. The other half goes to local streets and transportation infrastructure.


Local Roads May Go From Bad To Worse Without Gas Taxes

Transportation Authority Executive Director Mike Leonardo is concerned with repeal efforts of the gas tax as SB 1 is crucial to fixing our roads, and local voters will probably see an extension of Measure C on the ballot in the future.



Two Kern groundwater storage projects win state funding

Bakersfield Californian

Two groundwater storage projects proposed in Kern County won funding commitments Tuesday from the California Water Commission. Money for the projects will come from Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion bond measure state voters approved in November of 2014.

See also:

     California drought legacy: State approves $2.5 billion to build new dams, water storage projects Mercury News

     California drought legacy: State approves $2.5 billion to build new dams, water storage projects Mercury News

     California funds new dams to protect against drought San Francisco Chronicle

     California’s largest reservoir project in decades gets an $800 million boost. But is it feasible? Sacramento Bee


Water wars head upstream as state considers cutbacks for senior Central Valley irrigation districts

Los Angeles Times

More than two decades after Los Angeles was forced to cut water diversions to protect California’s natural resources, the state is poised to impose similar restrictions on San Francisco and some of the Central Valley’s oldest irrigation districts.




Valley Public Radio's Restaurant Takeover at The Vineyard in Madera!
Valley Public Radio

Join Valley Public Radio for a night of great food and great company at The Vineyard Restaurant in Madera, just off of Highway 99, Tuesday, July 31st, 5pm-9pm.




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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.


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. ​​​​​​​



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