July 9, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

 Despite population milestone, Latinos still lag in California politics — Latinos’ emergence as California’s largest ethnic group is casting new light on an enduring paradox: Many do not vote, limiting their influence on government decisions that have a profound impact on their lives. LA Times article

 George Skelton: Will local water projects lose out to Brown’s tunnel vision? — San Diego water officials have some cogent questions for Gov. Jerry Brown. First, about those costly, monster tunnels he wants to dig under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta: Wouldn’t it be smarter to use that money — at least a good chunk of it — to build local water projects? Skelton column in LA Times

State budget

 Public Policy Institute of California’s Just the Facts: California’s State Budget –California’s enacted 2015-16 budget includes significant new spending despite a cautious revenue forecast. PPIC website


Gov. Brown

 Jerry Brown’s climate change warning: ‘We’re on a Titanic unless we turn’ — Gov. Jerry Brown, rallying support for carbon reduction policies at a climate summit in Toronto on Wednesday, said the world is heading toward “total unsustainability and ecological collapse” if it fails to address global warming. “We’re on a Titanic unless we turn,” Brown said. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

 Valley politics

 Merced district maps start to shape up — The effort to bring in proposed maps for local election districts in Merced has drawn 15 submissions from city residents, according to those involved in the process. Merced Sun-Star article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

 Democratic Party: Aide violated no rules in accepting pot — The California Democratic Party said Wednesday that a staffer did not violate campaign reporting laws by accepting edible marijuana and an e-cigarette filled with hash oil from a lobbyist for the marijuana industry. AP article




Obama program shielding 5 million from deportation headed back to court – State and federal lawyers on opposite sides of the immigration divide are set to square off Friday in a federal appeals court over the merits of President Obama’s executive action seeking to shield up to 5 million people from deportation. LA Times article

 Pier-slaying defendant came to San Francisco at sheriff’s request – San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has deflected blame in the release of a Mexican national now facing murder charges in the Pier 14 slaying by demanding to know why federal authorities returned him to San Francisco to face a 20-year-old marijuana charge in the first place. The answer, it turns out, is that the Sheriff’s Department asked federal officials to do so. San Francisco Chronicle article

 San Francisco immigrant’s history is common — Long before he was arrested in the shooting death of a woman at one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist sites, Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez was using the U.S.-Mexican border like a revolving door. AP article


Debra Saunders: See how they run: Democrats from sanctuary cities – Democrats now will say anything to distance themselves from sanctuary city policies, even though they have supported these policies for years. Saunders in San Francisco Chronicle

 Fresno woman overcomes cultural segregation to become ‘Hmong enough’ — Growing up, Chelsey See Xiong never felt Hmong enough. “In my family I’m the black sheep,” she said. “I’m this Asian kid but I’m this American kid at the same time.”Xiong was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her family relocated to Fresno after she turned 5. Now 25, Xiong is discovering what it means to be part of generation 1.5 — immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and adolescents. She spent the past year and a half studying how Hmong immigrants like her form their identities. Fresno Bee article


Other areas

 California bills to raise smoking age and regulate e-cigarettes stall – Anti-tobacco activists began the year confident that California would follow the lead of other states and tighten its laws on smoking and electronic cigarettes. California had once been ahead of the pack in curbing tobacco use and had fallen woefully behind, they said. But those hopes turned to ashes Wednesday. LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article; San Francisco Chronicle article

 Fullerton agrees to voting districts in settling lawsuit – Fullerton officials have settled a lawsuit alleging that the city’s at-large elections violate California’s Voting Rights Act, agreeing to create a district-based system that would then need voters’ approval. LA Times article

 Catholic Church, often sidelined in California, sees rare win on right-to-die bill – The Catholic Church, often out of step with California’s liberal Legislature, notched a prominent win at the statehouse this week after aligning with advocates for the disabled and medical groups to defeat a proposal to allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives. AP article

 Dan Morain: Struggling with a life and death issue – Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez was having a rough time. She was thinking of her mother, who died in 2007 and would have turned 70 this week, and she was having sleepless nights, struggling over an especially tough piece of legislation. Morain in Sacramento Bee

 Fort Bragg may get reprieve from anti-Confederate bill – The mayor of Fort Bragg, a small town on the Mendocino County coast, said Wednesday he has received assurances that legislation barring the names of Confederate leaders on public facilities would not force the town to change its name. Capitol Alert

 Ashley Swearengin and Lucy Dunn: Be careful on sweeping climate change bill – Fresno Mayor Swearengin and Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, write, “Before leaving Sacramento, lawmakers may enact a bill that could determine the fate of California’s efforts to reduce poverty, build sustainable communities and slow climate change for the next 35 years. Senate Bill 32 would require the state Air Resources Board to regulate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. This is an important law to get right.” Swearengin/Dunn op-ed in Sacramento Bee


California Senate Democrats introduce measure condemning Donald Trump, Ted Cruz — Republican presidential contender Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants have stoked the ire of Democrats in the state Senate, who have introduced a measure denouncing Trump and fellow GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz. LA Times article

 Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom disses Donald – dumps Trump money – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom just might be having second thoughts about the timing of his Facebook post in Spanish on Thursday taking on immigration basher Donald Trump. Newsom then announced that he was purging his 2010 gubernatorial campaign coffers of a $2,500 contribution he had received from Trump. San Francisco Chronicle article

 LA Unified cancels golf tournament at Trump-owned course —  Los Angeles school district officials have canceled plans to hold a fundraising tournament at the Trump National Golf Club in response to comments made by Donald Trump about immigrants. The L.A. Unified School District has asked the club, located in Rancho Palos Verdes, to return its $7,500 deposit. So far, the club has declined to refund the money, according to the school system. LA Times article


California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

 Kern releases landmark plan to streamline oil and gas permitting — A massive environmental document Kern County released for public review Wednesday proposes substantial new costs for California’s petroleum industry in exchange for unprecedented regulatory certainty and, ideally, peace with farmers and anti-pollution activists. Bakersfield Californian article

 El Nino update: California’s ‘Great Wet Hope’ continues to build – Prospects for a wet winter are brightening, if predictions for the state’s “great wet hope” pan out. The ocean conditions known as El Niño appear to be strengthening — but a parched California is still months away from relief — if it comes at all. KQED report

 Trustee Brooke Ashjian says FBI investigating Fresno Unified — The FBI is investigating Fresno Unified School District’s use of a lease-leaseback construction agreement, according to school board member Brooke Ashjian. But there was no mention of an investigation at a news conference held Wednesday evening by Superintendent Michael Hanson to “shed additional light” on the contract in question. Fresno Bee article

 Jobs and the Economy

 White House-led initiative to support Valley manufacturing consortium – The U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced Wednesday that a Valley-based food and beverage manufacturing consortium would receive access to federal funding as part of a White House-sponsored program called Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). The Business Journal article

 Fresno’s fire shop tries to catch up with the times — The Fresno Fire Department is finally on its way to a repair shop fit for the 21st century. Deciding what the shop looks like — now that will be a barn-burner. Fresno Bee article

California export hold amid increasing economic woes worldwide – Amid increasing economic turmoil in key overseas markets, California export trade edged down only 0.7 percent in May compared with the same month in 2014, according to an analysis of U.S. Commerce Department figures. Sacramento Bee article

 California legislative panel approves minimum wage hike – A state legislative committee on Wednesday approved a plan to raise California’s minimum wage again and tie future increases to inflation. The Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment voted 5-2 to advance the proposal by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. Leno’s SB3 would raise California’s minimum wage to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017, then tie the minimum wage to inflation starting in 2019. AP article

 Hanford council stalemates on Costco perks – The Hanford City Council deadlocked Tuesday on action to pay for millions of dollars of incentives already promised to the developers of the Costco project on East Lacey Boulevard. Among those perks is a sales tax sharing agreement worth up to $2 million of sales tax revenue over a nine year period, reduced developer impact fees totaling more than $2 million and about $6.5 million for street improvements. Hanford Sentinel article

 Industrial park project in Los Banos progresses slowly – City Manager Steve Carrigan is hoping to have more information next month on plans for an industrial park city leaders hope will bring thousands of jobs to Los Banos. Carrigan said $90,000 has been paid to PlaceWorks, a Santa Ana-based planning and design firm, to create a guidance package and site plan for the project. Los Banos Enterprise article

 First Look: Bakersfield’s Chamber of Commerce takes a look at State of the City – Tuesday on “First Look with Scott Cox,” Nick Ortiz, president and CEO of the chamber talked about agenda topics for the upcoming event. Ortiz named falling energy prices, the drought’s impact on local agriculture and the housing industry as some of the broader issues city officials hope to discuss in the upcoming year. Bakersfield Californian article

 Stanislaus business contest returns for second year – The Stanislaus Innovation Challenge has returned for a second year, offering prizes to startup businesses that impress experts and audience voters. Modesto Bee article

 Disneyland pledges $1 billion expansion to avoid ticket tax – The Anaheim City Council has moved to extend an admissions tax ban to the Walt Disney Co.in exchange for its pledged billion-dollar expansion. According to the Orange County Register, the City Council approved a 30-year entertainment tax exemption after 5 1Ž2 hours of public deliberation Wednesday morning. The deal requires Disney to begin construction by the end of 2017 and finish within seven years. The project promises to create 1,400 jobs and bring an additional $15 million in annual city tax revenue. AP article

 Disney happy over deal with Anaheim; mayor, not so much – A few days ago, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait was holding hands with the Dalai Lama on the Tibetan leader’s 80th birthday. Just past midnight Wednesday, Tait was in far from a happy state – let alone the happiest place on Earth—as he tried to get the city to vote down a deal with Disney. LA Times article

 Tech companies, real estate market may feel jolt of China’s dropping stock market – China’s stock market bubble is undergoing an epic deflation — and few U.S. industries have as big a stake in the potential economic damage as the tech sector that powers Silicon Valley. San Jose Mercury News article


Finally: San Jose starts to capitalize on tech boom – San Jose officials say this city of a million people serves as a bedroom community for the region. But in order to provide those residents with the city services they require, urban planners say San Jose needs to pull in more retail and corporate development. Silicon Valley tech companies are the city’s natural target. To start with, the city is home to tech giants from previous tech booms. KQED report

 Joe Mathews: So we don’t forget recession, how about a museum? – Californians have memories so short that our politicians, from Gov. Jerry Brown on down, can’t stop reminding us that only just a few years ago, we were in a recession and a budget crisis. So now – even with decreasing unemployment, rising housing prices and a budget surplus – they say we must keep many state programs at recession-era levels. Let’s say, “Bah, humbug!” to the Sacramento Scrooges. There are more productive ways than austerity to make sure we don’t forget recent economic lessons. Why not create a museum to help us remember? Mathews in Sacramento Bee

 Judge asks pointed questions as arena subsidy trial wraps up – The judge presiding over the downtown arena court case offered what may be an important clue into his thinking Wednesday, on the last day of trial, when he challenged one of the deal opponents’ main premises in court during final arguments. Sacramento Bee article

 How to get a state job: The exam process – Someone calling up the state’s job-posting website might wonder why anyone would hire a consultant to navigate the application process. There seem to be so many positions available, free for the taking to anyone who applies. But that’s not quite how it works. Sacramento Bee article

 Rose Bowl officials do not want stadium to be temporary NFL home — By an 11-0 vote Wednesday night, the Rose Bowl Operating Co. decided not to respond to a request for proposal the NFL sent last month to at least five local venues, the others being the Coliseum, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium and StubHub Center. LA Times article

 First Look: Local nonprofit spreads hope one burrito at a time – A meal doesn’t have to come with a paper plate and silverware for it to be filling. All the essential food groups wrapped up in a warm tortilla can be just as nutritious, and in some ways, more meaningful. For the Bakersfield Burrito Project, these are words to live by. Bakersfield Californian article

 Victor Valle: Why company towns are bad for people — In California’s City of Industry, incestuous ties between corporations and government are ruining the neighborhood.  Valle inZócalo Public Square

 The three surprising countries you should thank for low gas prices – Global events are helping keep energy prices in check and may soon lead to even steeper savings for American motorists. Three countries are largely to thank for that: China, Iran and Greece. McClatchy Newspapers article

 Joel Fox: Oil math — Am I the only one that finds billionaire/environmentalist Tom Steyer siding with Consumer Watchdog’s attack on the oil companies counter intuitive? Fox in Fox & Hounds

 Chase settles many debt collection abuse cases – but not California’s — JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay more than $200 million to settle allegations that it sold faulty credit card debts to third-party collectors, including accounts with legally flawed judgments and inaccurate and paid-off balances and debts owed by borrowers who had died. LA Times article

 American Apparel workers protect layoffs and store closings — About 100 American Apparel workers rallied at the clothing maker’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters to protest layoffs and store closings. LA Times article

 Turlock entrepreneur hopes success is in the cards Chris Handy creates games for a living. And his wife will tell you that life itself is a game for the 40-year-old. She means it in the very best way. Modesto Bee article


 California regulators discuss water pricing in drought – California water regulators heard proposals for a statewide drought fee and hefty fines for water-guzzling homeowners as part of a Wednesday workshop discussing how to implement Gov. Jerry Brown‘s order for water pricing to maximize conservation. AP article

 Modesto meeting water reduction mandates – A city official has reiterated that Modesto may not have to go to its Stage 3 drought restrictions, which ban outdoor watering except for the hand watering of trees, bushes and plants and the use of drip irrigation. Modesto Bee article

Free water in Fresno, if you can haul it yourself – When you live in a hot part of California and can only water your garden on certain days during the drought, you may have to make some hard choices about letting trees or shrubs die. What if there was a no-guilt, free water source you could use anytime, without the water cops coming after you? People in parched Fresno have a new option starting Wednesday. They can lug filtered water home from the sewage plant. KQED report

 Boom time for farmers? Salinas Valley thrives, for now — This Salinas farm is just 70 miles west of Central Valley communities that have been devastated by California’s four-year drought. In western Fresno County, thousands of acres lie fallow, and hundreds of laborers can’t find jobs. But the distance seems much greater. In Monterey County, whose fertile soil produces more strawberries and lettuce than any other county in California, the $4 billion agriculture industry is humming along rather nicely. San Jose Mercury News article

 California OK’s drought curb on Sacramento River flows – California regulators have given final approval to a controversial drought plan to restrict the flow of water pouring out of Lake Shasta this summer in a bid to preserve an endangered fish species. Sacramento Bee article

 LA seeks hike in water rates; heavy users would be hard-hit – Los Angeles residents would see water and power rate increases of 2.4% to 5.4% every year for five years in order to replace aging infrastructure, meet conservation mandates and upgrade customer service under a plan announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. LA Times article

 Some urban water suppliers far from conservation goal — A close review of water conservation numbers shows some urban water suppliers in California still have a long way to go to meet mandatory conservation targets. Capital Public Radio report

 ‘Cash for grass’ rebates coming – If you’ve ever even remotely considered tearing out that thirsty front lawn, this summer might be the time to actually do it. The state is expected to soon dedicate $10 million in rebates for San Joaquin Valley residents who agree to remove turf, making so-called “cash for grass” an option in many areas for the first time. Stockton Record article

 Did ‘Magnum P.I.’ star Tom Selleck steal truckloads of hydrant water? A real P.I. was on the case — The vehicle used for the alleged pilfering of water from a Ventura County water district’s fire hydrant was a white water-tender truck — not a red Ferrari driven by a mustachioed man wearing a Detroit Tigers baseball cap and a Hawaiian shirt. But in a complaint, the Calleguas Municipal Water District points the finger at former “Magnum P.I.” star Tom Selleck. And they say they hired a real P.I. to prove it. LA Times article

California city’s desalination push sparks debate over costs, coastal impact – The slumbering desalination plant that rests off the Ventura Freeway in a seedy area called the Funk Zone might one day be the answer to this coastal city’s desperate need for water. But for now, it’s the butt of a small joke. Washington Post article

 Low milk prices spotlight federal marketing order efforts — In recent months, milk prices have soured for Valley dairymen. Milk sales actually set records in 2014. But plummeting commodity prices this year — spurred, in part, by declining sales to China — are actually forcing some dairies to pour surplus milk down the drain. The Business Journal article


Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Fresno police use special staffing to speed response times – Fresno police are using creative scheduling and shifting resources to shorten response times during the traditionally higher-crime summer months. So far, the three-day-old experiment is boosting officer morale and getting a thumbs-up from citizens, according to Capt. Randy Dobbins. Fresno Bee article

 Officials: Fight crime by reporting crime – One of the best ways to reduce crime against South Stockton business owners, officials said Wednesday, is to report anything suspicious and to communicate with one another. Stockton Record article

 Marchers in anti-violence vigil seek peace in south Stockton – Concerned citizens, civic leaders and victims of violent crimes met Wednesday evening to march the streets of south Stockton. Stockton Record article

 Surge in LA crime in first 6 months ends more than a decade of declines — For the first time in more than a decade, overall crime is up in Los Angeles through the first six months of the year, rising by more than 12%, according to figures released Wednesday. LA Times article

 Cop’s letter sparks concern – A strongly worded letter to the editor published in Wednesday’s Record that condemns the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage has received special attention because of who wrote it: a high-ranking officer with the Stockton Police Department. Stockton Record article

 Oakdale reserve officer outraged over son’s death in officer-involved shooting — An Oakdale reserve officer is outraged after a police officer shot and killed his 19-year-old son in an altercation early Sunday morning in Pleasanton. Modesto Bee article

 History of abuse seen in many girls in juvenile system – As many as 80 percent of the girls in some states’ juvenile justice systems have a history of sexual or physical abuse, according to a report released Thursday. The report, a rare examination of their plight, recommends that girls who have been sexually trafficked no longer be arrested on prostitution charges. New York Times article

 Tulare County buying electric motorcycles — The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has a variety of vehicles for search-and-rescue operations in rough terrain, from quads to snowmobiles. They just added another tool to their toolbox. The department is adding electric motorcycles after the county Board of Supervisors approved acceptance of a $75,872 grant to buy four of them.Visalia Times-Delta article



 The Grade: To do or not to do away with mandatory union dues – On the U.S. Supreme Court’s agenda next time around is a controversial case about whether employees represented by labor unions but who are not members of those unions should continue to have to pay union dues — mandatory contributions some have branded as “fair share fees.” One Bakersfield educator says local unions with skin in the game stand to suffer bruises. Bakersfield Californian article


 Fish extinction ‘increasingly likely’ – It’s been nearly 60 years since a species went extinct in the Delta, but the latest survey of the diminutive Delta smelt makes their demise “increasingly likely” this year, a leading expert said this week. Stockton Record article

 PG&E tree-cutting in gas easements upsets Riverbank residents — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says its Community Pipeline Safety Initiative is making its gas transmission lines in Riverbank and other communities safer. Some residents in the “City of Action” complain, however, that they are losing shade trees, landscaping features for their homes and pretty tree-lined streets. Modesto Bee article


Health/Human Services

Medicare to cover end-of-life counseling – Medicare said Wednesday it plans to pay doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care, the same idea that sparked accusations of “death panels” and fanned a political furor around President Barack Obama’s health care law six years ago. AP article

 USC says UCSD Alzheimer’s staff in mass defection — The University of Southern California said Tuesday that 30 people have defected from UC San Diego and joined the new Alzheimer’s research institute that USC has created in La Jolla. Moreover, others at UC San Diego who have helped run a nationwide Alzheimer’s study are expected to leave in the coming days, according to USC. San Diego Union-Tribune article; LA Times article


Land Use/Housing

 New HUD rules aim to ease segregation in housing – Communities around the United States seeking federal housing grants will soon be required to grapple with segregation and inequality in housing under new federal rules announced Wednesday. LA Times article



 Livingston positioning for stop from proposed train – The City Council publicly expressed its support for the Altamont Corridor Express during its regular meeting Tuesday during an attempt, at least in part, to give the city a better shot at getting a stop here. Merced Sun-Star article

 Self-driving taxis: Great for cutting emissions, not so great for cabbies — If cab drivers see Uber as a threat, wait until the robo-cabs arrive. A study released Monday by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that a fleet of self-driving electric taxis could save money and reduce personal vehicle emissions by 87–94 percent per mile in 2030. KQED report

 Bob Hope may be cut from Burbank airport’s name — Over the public-address system, a recorded message welcomes travelers to “Burbank Bob Hope Airport — your gateway to Hollywood.” But inside the terminal building this week, airport staff and private consultants recommended adopting a new identity: Los Angeles Burbank Airport. LA Times article


Other areas

 Stockton council: Free speech vs. hate speech: Guidelines sought to avoid offensive language — Councilman Dan Wright asked the city to provide guidance regarding when or whether citizens making public comments ever can cross a boundary that separates free speech from out-and-out bigoted remarks worthy of suppression. Stockton Record article

 Stockton Record: Shelter must tackle supply-demand burden — Ultimately, if the Stockton Animal Shelter is going to be successful it’s endemic that some in the community stop using it as dumping grounds after their irresponsible pet ownership. Stockton Record editorial

 5-4 mayors’ vote removes Hughson’s Beekman from LAFCO – A bare majority of the mayors in Stanislaus County punished Hughson Mayor Matt Beekman on Wednesday by removing him as the cities’ representative on a regional growth-guiding panel despite ardent support from most people in the audience. Modesto Bee article

 Feds seize marijuana from Indian tribal land in California — Federal agents seized at least 12,000 marijuana plants on Wednesday from land in far Northern California that belongs to two federally recognized Indian tribes, the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento said. AP article

 Report says Tulare County judge violated judicial ethics — Tulare County Superior Court Judge Valeriano Saucedo violated judicial ethics by ensnaring his court clerk into a closer personal relationship with him, a three-judge panel said Wednesday in a report. Fresno Bee article


Bakersfield Californian: Illegal fireworks: There must not be safety in numbers — It’s wrong to send the message that there is safety in numbers when it comes to using illegal fireworks. Bakersfield Californian editorial

 Stockton Record: All fireworks not created equally — A crackdown on those who use illegal fireworks is in the community’s best interest. Stockton Record editorial

 Animal activists praise changes at California State Fair – As the fair begins its annual run at Cal Expo this weekend, Mills has put down his protest signs and softened his voice. Thanks to legal challenges, protests, public outcry and education, he said, he senses “a sea change” in the fair administration’s attitude toward animals. Sacramento Bee article

 Stanislaus Consolidated board to review performance of fire chief — Chief Randall Bradley is up for a performance review in a closed session at the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District board meeting Thursday evening. Modesto Bee article


 Valley Editorial Roundup


Bakersfield Californian It’s wrong to send the message that there is safety in numbers when it comes to using illegal fireworks.

Fresno Bee – Reconciling the good, bad sides of Bill Cosby.

Merced Sun-Star – Bill Cosby’s own words make accusations credible.

Modesto Bee – Bill Cosby’s own words make accusations credible.

Sacramento Bee – Berkeley balcony collapse points to loophole in law; Reconciling the good, bad sides of Bill Cosby.Stockton Record – Ultimately, if the Stockton Animal Shelter is going to be successful it’s endemic that some in the community stop using it as dumping grounds after their irresponsible pet ownership; A crackdown on those who use illegal fireworks is in the community’s best interest.

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.

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