July 9, 2018

09Jul

POLICY & POLITICS

 

Valley:

 

Devin Nunes calls for House probe of 42 Obama Admin. Officials

Washington Times

Rep. Devin Nunes is referring 42 Obama administration officials, FBI agents and outside political activists to a House task force for an investigation into how the Obama Justice Department targeted the Donald Trump campaign.

 

Immigration reform failure risks GOP support for wall funding, Rep. Jeff Denham says

Modesto Bee

Failed Republican efforts on immigration reform could jeopardize support within the party for President Donald Trump's wall funding — and Trump has threatened to shut down the government if he doesn't get it.

Livingston, CA, leaders oppose citizen question on Census

Merced Sun Star

Livingston recently took a stand against including a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census, which has not asked about immigration status since 1950.

 

Bakersfield moves forward with incorporating small county pockets

Bakersfield Californian

Seen a certain way, a map of Bakersfield can resemble a slice of Swiss cheese. Within the city, small pockets of unincorporated county zones poke holes in the city’s surface area.

 

Medicinal marijuana group sues city over ballot language

Bakersfield Californian

The group behind the successful initiative to place a measure on the November ballot that would ask voters to legalize medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the city of Bakersfield has sued the city over the specific language that will appear on the ballot.

 

EDITORIAL: As Fresno wrestles with pot, the end of Prohibition offers lessons

Fresno Bee

In July 1933 Fresno was a town of just over 50,000, and like most American cities, was struggling under the weight of the Great Depression. To ease the burdens of daily living, the common man turned to an illegal substance – alcohol.

State:

 

The political futures of McCarthy & Pelosi could hinge on their home state of California

Washington Post

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could have their political careers defined by what happens Nov. 6 in their home state of California.

See also:

     Republicans and Democrats Face Leadership Struggles as House Returns New York Times

 

The votes from California’s primary are finally in. Here’s what we learned.

Washington Post

One month ago, Californians went to the polls and picked their candidates for the midterms. On Friday, at last, the state’s legendarily sluggish vote count is all but finished.

See also:

     Turnout climbed to 37% in California’s primary—here’s the who, where and why CALmatters

     Five counties tried new voting method to turbo-charge turnout. Did it work? CALmatters

 

With Russian meddling in mind, California invests $134 million to safeguard election systems

Sacramento Bee
Alex Padilla says California's voting system wasn't compromised by Russia's attempt to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. But the issue is in the back of his mind as he looks to safeguard the integrity of the vote.

 

Republican and Democratic leaders finally agree on something: They hate the three Californias plan

Sacramento Bee

Gas tax. Sanctuary state. Plastic straws. Name a political topic in California and most Democrats and Republicans line up on opposite sides. But a tech billionaire's controversial plan to divide the fifth largest economy in the world is giving leaders of the diametrically different political parties an opportunity to find common ground.

See also:

      A billionaire hired a Brexit strategist to help divide California Sacramento Bee

 

California Revives Stronger Net Neutrality Bill After Public Backlash

Forbes

Following some legislative stops and starts, California lawmakers say they'll move forward with strong net neutrality rules on behalf of the state's consumers, given the absence of such federal protections.

See also:

     What was left out of the privacy legislation CALmatters

     Repeal of Open Internet Rule enables monopoly networks Brookings

 

Jerry Brown’s $14.9 Million Campaign War Chest

New York Times

Gov. Jerry Brown, who retires at the end of the year, is sitting on a campaign war chest of $14.9 million — contributions raised for past races that he never needed to spend.

 

Coupal: Withdrawal of the Taxpayer Protection Act could haunt the American Beverage Association

OC Register

One of the measures withdrawn last week was the Taxpayer Protection Act, which would have strengthened a number of existing constitutional provisions including the two-thirds vote for local taxes.

See also:

     Soda ducks one tax, but may face another CALmatters

 

Walters: Unintended consequences of new privacy law?

CALmatters

American sociologist Robert Merton is credited with formally recognizing, analyzing and even popularizing what some have called the law of unintended consequences.

 

Federal:

 

Exactly how conservative are the judges on Trump’s short list for the Supreme Court? Take a look at this one chart.

Washington Post

How will President Trump’s replacement for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court influence the Court’s jurisprudence? Recent close decisions on these topics and others have collectively affected millions of people.

See also:

     Sen. Dianne Feinstein Rallies Around Planned Parenthood Ahead of Trump's Pick for Supreme Court Vacancy NBC Bay Area

     Amy Coney Barrett is the favorite of social conservatives, but Democrats are already taking aim Los Angeles Times

     Supreme Court state-of-play on Capitol Hill: Get ready CNN

     Poll: Justice’s Stance on Immigration, Voting Rights More Important Than Abortion Roll Call

     Consider the cost of your dream court, conservatives Washington Post

     Trump has ‘outsourced’ his Supreme Court picks to this conservative group San Francisco Chronicle

     ‘The Super Bowl of politics’: Trump’s team readies for Supreme Court battle Politico

     Conservatives in Charge, the Supreme Court Moved Right New York Times

     Who Are the Supreme Court Contenders? Wall Street Journal

     Ranking Trump’s supreme court choices AEI

     The Court Shows the System Works Wall Street Journal

     Donald Trump Scrutinizes Supreme Court Finalists; One Seen Fading Wall Street Journal

     Podcast: The State Of The Supreme Court iTunes

     EDITORIAL: A Justice With a Record Wall Street Journal

 

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's half-truths on court case, economy

AP News

President Donald Trump gloated about a court case that didn’t offer him the vindication he implied in his triumphant tweet. That capped a week of distortions, half-truths and swerves in his declarations on the economy, North Korea and other issues of the time.

 

Frist: The Senate I led put country over party. This one must do the same for Robert Mueller.

Washington Post

When I retired from the U.S. Senate in 2007 as its majority leader, my parting words were a prayer for my colleagues to rise above the passions of the moment and protect the institution as a bulwark for our country’s enduring values.

                                                             

The Equal Rights Amendment: Close to Adoption?

Congressional Research Service                                                        

Illinois’ recent ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution has revived questions about the potential for the amendment to be adopted. 

 

DNC Announces Hiring and Training Initiatives

Roll Call

The Democratic National Committee announced two new initiatives to hire and train organizers for the 2018 midterm elections. One will match volunteers with the right campaign and the other will focus on organizing organizers.

                                                  

Other:

 

The West is ill-prepared for the wave of “deep fakes” that artificial intelligence could unleash

Brookings

Russian disinformation has become a problem for European governments. In the last two years, Kremlin-backed campaigns have spread false stories. The problem is that technology advances far more quickly than government policies.

 

Confronting Truth Decay

RAND

The diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life has been termed ‘Truth Decay’ by RAND’s President and CEO, Michael Rich. In a recent RAND report, Michael and his colleagues researched the causes and consequences of Truth Decay in America. This problem, however, isn’t unique to the US. With the effects of Truth Decay already being felt across Europe, we hosted a panel to discuss the implication of this phenomenon in Europe.

 

Juan Williams: American democracy in peril

TheHill

What can diminish faith in America as a beacon of democracy to the world?

 

America needs more patriotism

Washington Post

This has been the year of the national anthem. Never before have so many Americans been so passionately interested in the details of its performance.

 

Of course this is who we are. But who do we want to be?

Washington Post

On this Independence Day, let’s go ahead and admit that 2018 has not been the most uplifting year. And each time a fresh outrage emerges or a disappointing piece of news breaks, a chorus rises up from politicians and everyday citizens alike: “This is not who we are.”

 

How do we get more young people to vote as adults? Cash transfers to their parents could help

Brookings

As the 2018 midterm elections approach, there are renewed calls for increasing voter participation—especially of younger voters.

 

US White Population Declines and Generation “Z-Plus” is Minority White, Census Shows

Brookings

For the first time since the Census Bureau has released these annual statistics, they show an absolute decline in the nation’s white non-Hispanic population—accelerating a phenomenon that was not projected to occur until the next decade.

 

Life As A Young Woman Candidate: Fending Off 'Older Men' And Being An Outsider

NPR

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has electrified Democratic Party activists, not only by pulling off a major political upset in New York's 14th Congressional District primary this week but with her progressive politics, working-class roots, and background as a Latina.

 

Krugman: Fall of the American Empire

The New York Times

The U.S. government is, as a matter of policy, literally ripping children from the arms of their parents and putting them in fenced enclosures (which officials insist aren’t cages, oh no).

 

What Mexico’s next president means for Trump

Brookings

Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s landslide victory on Sunday signals a tectonic shift in contemporary Mexican politics not seen since the Institutional Revolutionary Party was vanquished in 2000 after 71 years of continuous one-party rule.

See also:

     Andrés Manuel López Obrador and a new era of politics in Mexico Brookings

 

EDITORIAL: How Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has tainted even well-intentioned efforts to address extremist violence

Los Angeles Times

It’s hard to imagine the city of Los Angeles turning down nearly half a million dollars for worthwhile social service programs such as mental health counseling, leadership training and refugee assistance.

 

Gaspar: He's going for the gold

Bakersfield Californian

I don't know about you, but I sometimes tire of hearing about so much bad stuff going on in Bakersfield, Kern County, the nation and the rest of the world. That's why when a story comes along about something good, it's something you want to share.

 

 

MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING  

 

Sunday, July 15, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report“Climate Change: Adapting to a Slow Moving Emergency” – Guest: Carole D'Elia, Little Hoover Commission. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, July 15, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report  - Valley Views Edition“Adapting to Climate Change: Implications for the Valley” – Guests: John Capitman, Executive Director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute and Seyed Sedradin, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

 

Sunday, July 15, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Climate Change Legislation”  Guest: Alvar Escriva-Bou, Public Policy Institute of California. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.

 

Support the Maddy Daily

 

HERE.

 

Thank you!

 

 

AGRICULTURE/FOOD

 

How California's farm labor shortage made friends of old rivals

Los Angeles Times

D’Arrigo Bros. and the United Farm Workers once took more than 25 years to reach a contract. But they just inked a three-year contract amid fanfare and pledges of a new era of cooperation.

 

California’s Vineyard Workers Already Faced Long Hours, Low Pay, and Harsh Conditions. Then Came Trump’s Immigration Crackdown.

Mother Jones

President Donald Trump has called for a crackdown on immigrants because he says they “compete directly against vulnerable American workers.” But to California’s grape growers, this claim is laughable.

 

California dairy farmers, part of Trump's base, stand to get creamed by his trade war
McClatchy

They voted for Donald Trump after he promised to protect American agriculture and reduce regulations. But many U.S. dairy farmers are now stinging from the trade war he's launched, particularly those in California's Central Valley, who have built their livelihoods on exports to Mexico, China and other markets.
See also:

     Central Valley farmers brace for fallout from tariffs Bakersfield Californian

     A record 2.45 billion-pound almond harvest could be hurt with Chinese tariffs Sacramento Bee

 

Homeless flock to Valley farms, make a mess

Visalia Times-Delta

As cities in California continue to grow, some farms that used to be “in the country” are close at hand, and uncontrolled homeless populations are using them as comfort stations.

 

Mustard Seed Farm: Sowing the seed of faith in Exeter

Visalia Times-Delta

The road to opening the Exeter-based produce stand seemed to drag on and be a blur at the same time, Summer Bourez said. But, with determination and faith, the couple created a "happy place" their family and families across Tulare County can be proud of.

 

EDITORIAL: The farm bill doesn't need an amendment that helps let chickens be treated cruelly

Los Angeles Times

A decade ago, California passed an animal welfare ballot measure that outlawed a number of inhumane practices, most notably the penning of egg-laying hens in “battery cages” so minuscule the birds couldn’t even spread their wings.

 

EDITORIAL: A Food Fight Worth Having
Wall Street Journal

The White House can force a farm-bill debate on work and food stamps.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Crime:

 

Trump’s claim that California is soft on crime comes as the state moves away from injunctions, once key to the war on gangs

Los Angeles Times

Recent court orders prohibiting police in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California from enforcing gang injunctions are prompting law enforcement leaders to rethink how they employ the tool that for decades was considered a critical weapon in the state’s war on gangs.

 

Hanisee: Crime Initiative Thwarted by Registrar’s Bureaucracy

Fox & Hounds

It is rather disturbing that the statewide ballot initiative called the “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018” will not appear on the November ballot because a number of County Registrar of Voters failed to validate signatures by the deadline.

 

Public Safety:

 

Americans Own 46% of the World's 1 Billion Guns, Says U.N. Report

Time

There are over 1 billion firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands — with American men and women the dominant owners, according to a study released Monday.

 

The Power of Data in Deploying Criminal Justice Resources

Public CEO

Data and statistics are helping the Riverside County District Attorney’s office run more efficiently, ensuring that the department is properly resourced and is using tax dollars wisely, which is important to a county facing budget issues.

 

EDITORIAL: What police owe the families of people who die in custody
Los Angeles Times
For several years now, the nation has devoted a great deal of attention to police conduct in shootings and other uses of force, on in-custody deaths and on the need for officer training and accountability.

 

Fire:

 

Crews Build Containment Around Destructive California Fires

AP News

Firefighters have been able to build containment around several destructive wildfires burning in California. Officials said Sunday that the 48-square-mile (124-square-kilometer) blaze on the California-Oregon border known as the Klamathon fire is now 25 percent contained. It's one of many fires burning around the drought-ridden states in the U.S. West.

See also:

     Pawnee Fire now 100 percent contained: Northern California fires update Merced Sun-Star

     New wildfire in northern California kills one, spurs evacuation Reuters

     Fires Across California Force Evacuations, Claim Homes And At Least One Life NPR

     Northern California fires pull resources from across the state Visalia Times-Delta

 

High fire risk in western Central Valley, thunderstorms possible in desert areas

Bakersfield Californian

There is an elevated fire risk on the west side of the Central Valley and risk of thunderstorms in desert areas this week, according to the Hanford station of the National Weather Service. High heat will also continue across Kern County.

 

Something Else Adding Fuel to California's Fire Season: Warmer Nights

KQED

It will most likely be weeks before the County Fire east of Sacramento is completely extinguished. By Friday it had consumed nearly 140 square miles -- an area larger than Las Vegas.

 

EDITORIAL: Just talking won’t put out California’s wildfires

Bakersfield Californian

As California wildfires rage, Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators have formed a bipartisan committee to study the problem. Aren’t we past the “study” phase? It’s time to make preventing and fighting wildfires a top priority.

 

ECONOMY / JOBS

 

Economy:

 

US-China trade war elevates the risks to the global economy

AP News

The trade war that erupted Friday between the U.S. and China carries a major risk of escalation that could weaken investment, depress spending, unsettle financial markets and slow the global economy.

See also:

     Additional 25 percent Duty on Certain Imports from China USITC

     Podcast: The US-China trade war has begun Brookings

     A Brief Introduction to Trade Economics Wall Street Journal

     U.S. Exporters Will Be a Surprise Loser From Tariff Fight Wall Street Journal

     Oil prices edge up, U.S.-China trade war in focus Reuters

 

U.S. Trade Gap Narrowed 6.6% in May
Wall Street Journal

The U.S. trade gap narrowed in May to its smallest level since October 2016 on surging exports as President Donald Trump ratcheted up plans for tariffs and trading partners pledged retaliation.

 

Export Monitor 2018: Exports increase in most of metro America in 2017 amidst rising uncertainty in national trade policy

Brookings

Even as the largest economy in the world, the United States must continue to export goods and services to take advantage of the fact that 85 percent of economic growth will occur abroad over the next five years

 

Fed on lookout for recession but still sees strong economy

Reuters

U.S. central bankers discussed whether recession lurked around the corner and expressed concerns global trade tensions could hit an economy that by most measures looked strong.

 

Donald Trump off-base in describing GDP growth on his watch

PolitiFact

"We started off at a very low number, and right now we hit a 3.2," or 3.2 percentage growth compared to the last quarter on an annualized basis, Trump said. This statement includes both factual inaccuracies and an apparent misunderstanding of the statistical measurement Trump is citing.

See also:

     AP Fact Check: Trump dubs tax cuts an economic miracle New York Times

 

Jobs:

 

'We can't just ask politely': California's push for gender quotas on company boards

The Guardian

In 2013, the California state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson made a certain amount of feminist history when she authored a first-in-the-nation resolution urging the state’s publicly held companies to appoint more women to their boards of directors.

 

11 states launch investigation targeting fast-food hiring practices

SFGate

Eleven state attorneys general are launching an investigation of contracts at fast-food chains that prevent their workers from switching franchises, targeting a practice some economists say drags down wages for millions of Americans.

 

The Economics and Emotions Behind Slow Wage Growth

Bloomberg

Why aren’t workers getting raises? Maybe the boss knows the answer. One theory has been that there is more “slack” in the labor market, since people who leave the workforce altogether are not counted as unemployed in the official statistics.

 

Top Communications Union Joins Group Pushing for Facebook’s Breakup

Bloomberg

The top U.S. communications union is joining a coalition calling for the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook Inc., as the social media company faces growing government scrutiny and public pressure.

 

Monthly jobs report: Beyond the headlines

AEI

The official unemployment rate may be a useful benchmark for policymakers but it does not tell the whole story.

 

EDUCATION

 

K-12:

 

Farmers market raises money to support Downtown Elementary School

Bakersfield Californian

The Kern County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program held its annual Charity Farmers Market on Saturday in the parking lot of Chuy’s in the Rosedale Promenade. The group sold locally grown produce, mostly provided free of charge by local farmers, in exchange for donation amounts of your choice.

 

Old Town Clovis will soon be rocking with opening of a new music school

Fresno Bee

Get ready to feel the noise. The School of Rock music school is coming to Clovis. And just like the movie with the same name, the School of Rock's goal is to unleash the inner rock star of its students.

 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appears ready to sign California’s education plan

Mercury News

The State Board of Education will likely approve yet another set of revisions to California’s plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act at its meeting in Sacramento this week.

 

School security is a rapidly growing business

CNN

Schools across the country are reassessing security measures in response to a wave of school shootings. They're investing in video surveillance, entry control systems, lockdown training and armed police on site.

 

Higher Ed:

 

Deaf Studies hosts STEM Camp

Fresno State

The Deaf Studies program, under the direction of Dr. Janice Smith-Warshaw and Dr. Serena Johnson, recently partnered with the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology to host a STEM Camp at Fresno State.

 

Ken Ramos elected Ag One Foundation president

Fresno State

Ken Ramos, Wells Fargo’s president for Central California business banking, began his one-year term on July 1 as the new president of the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State.

 

New funding addresses equity and achievement gaps

Fresno State

Fresno State received $75,000 in funding from the Education Credit Management Corporation Foundation to help address student retention on campus.

 

Sports Science Camp inspires future kinesology majors

Fresno State

During the month of June, the Central California Sports Science Institute hosted 80 high school students from Fresno Unified School District for its annual Sports Science Camp.

 

University Of California Claims More Than 117,000 Students Received DACA Renewals

SFGate

More than 117,000 students have received extensions through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to legally live and study in the United States, according to the University of California.

 

Here's What's Going On With Affirmative Action And School Admissions

NPR

School may be out, but there has been no lack of news this summer on race and admissions: an announcement from Jeff Sessions, a Harvard lawsuit, changes in the Supreme Court and proposals for selective high schools in New York City. Here's a rundown of the facts in place, and the latest developments.

 

Work less, study more: California will give grants to community college students attending full-time

EdSource

In an effort to get students to earn degrees in two or four years, California will give up to $4,000 in grants to community college students who take a full 15-hour course load starting this fall.

 

The Benefits of Ethnic Studies Courses

Inside Higher Ed

San Francisco State University students graduate at higher rates when they pass ethnic studies courses, but not everyone agrees on what this means.

 

The Best Way to Save for College if You Think 529 Plans Are Too Restrictive

Wall Street Journal

As students gear up for the fall’s college-admissions season, we asked experts to weigh in on the best ways to save for higher education, including the savviest ways to use tax-advantaged “529” savings accounts.

 

ENVIRONMENT/ ENERGY

 

Environment:

 

Former Coal Lobbyist Would Face a Fight if Tapped to Head EPA

Roll Call

Fresh off a long fought victory to rid the EPA of the scandal-plagued Scott Pruitt, Democrats and environmental groups have already turned their attention to the next head of the agency that is charged with protecting the nation’s air and water.

See also:

     ‘Super Polluting’ Trucks Receive Loophole on Pruitt’s Last Day New York Times

     Scott Pruitt’s disastrous tenure at the EPA, told through cartoons Washington Post

 

This mountain lion study could solve the mystery of California's elusive predator
The Tribune

Scientists are chasing mountain lions through California's backcountry in the most ambitious research project ever focused on the state's famed predator — and it could change how the species is managed.

All-time high temperature records set throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles

Washington Post

As predicted, new daily, monthly and all-time record highs were set throughout Southern California on Friday because of a monster heat dome sprawled over the region.

 

Skelton: Environmentally minded Californians love to recycle — but it's no longer doing any good

Los Angeles Times

Californians dutifully load up their recycling bins and feel good about themselves. They’re helping the environment and being good citizens. But their glow might turn to gloom if they realized that much of the stuff is headed to a landfill.

 

Making oil companies pay for climate change isn't the right move for science or the Constitution

Los Angeles Times

The federal courts are not meant to provide a remedy for every ill of the world, including climate change. In such matters, we need to rely on the political branches to take charge.

 

Starbucks says it will stop offering plastic straws by 2020

NBC

Starbucks says it will eliminate plastic straws from its stores globally by 2020, a nod to the growing push for businesses to be more environmentally friendly. Activists are pressuring businesses to ditch plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean & hurt marine life.

See also:

     Starbucks to eliminate plastic straws in all stores by 2020 The Hill

     Starbucks is making a massive effort to ditch plastic straw Business Insider

     Starbucks is eliminating plastic straws from all stores CNN

 

Energy:

 

California lawmakers push 100% clean energy bill closer to governor's desk

Utility Dive

A California Assembly committee voted 10-5 in favor of raising the state's renewable energy target to 100%, giving new life to a proposal that had stalled last year.

 

UCLA researchers recommend strategies for California transportation fuels policy to meet 2030 climate target

UCLA Newsroom

To strengthen a significant California climate policy, UCLA legal researchers are offering guidance for policymakers to address four challenges that would help the state further reduce carbon pollution from transport fuels.

 

The roiled solar power market shows how Trump's tariffs can disrupt an industry
Los Angeles Times
A 30% U.S. tariff on imported solar panels put in place last winter should have caused prices here to jump. But when tariffs are unleashed, as businesses are learning, things don’t always go as expected.

 

The American president is stirring up trouble in a volatile oil market
The Economist

At a time when oil prices are at three-and-a-half-year highs, markets are being buffeted by three countervailing forces unleashed by President Donald Trump: his geopolitical agenda, particularly sanctions on Iran; his domestic political agenda, to lower American petrol prices before the mid-term elections; and his looming trade war with China

 

HEALTH/HUMAN SERVICES

 

Health:

 

New cancer screening program honors Sikh woman

Bakersfield Californian
The Bakersfield Sikh Women’s Association is partnering with Adventist Health Bakersfield to hold the first Kaur Care Women’s Health Preventative Cancer Screening.

 

Tulare's da Vinci robot goes from chopping block to OR

Visalia Times-Delta

The sale of a multi-million dollar piece of medical equipment at Tulare Regional Medical Center has been put on hold, for now.

 

Myers: Abortion may soon return to the national political debate, but it's largely settled in California

Los Angeles Times

Should abortion return to the front lines of the nation’s political battles, as President Trump selects a pivotal new justice to join the U.S. Supreme Court, the outcome likely will have little practical impact in California.

 

Legislature must not slight seniors in mental health money

Sacramento Bee

An important measure to expand access to mental health care services in California is going through the Legislature, but it would make it more difficult for counties to serve older adults.

More California pharmacies to distribute opioid overdose drug

San Francisco Chronicle

A month after the California Department of Public Health issued a statewide standing order for the emergency antidote for opioid overdoses, the agency has authorized 27 organizations across the state to administer the medication without a prescription.

 

Sources: EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical

POLITICO

The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments, a current and a former agency official told POLITICO.

 

Trump administration takes another major swipe at the Affordable Care Act

The Washington Post

The Trump administration took another major swipe at the Affordable Care Act, halting billions of dollars in annual payments required under the law to even out the cost to insurers whose customers need expensive medical services.

 

U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials

The New York Times

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.

See also:

     Trump Admin tried to derail WHO breastfeeding resolution Visalia Times-Delta

 

Voluntary drug price restraint didn’t work in the 1990s, and won’t now

AEI

In late May, President Trump announced that, within two weeks, major pharmaceutical companies would agree to large, voluntary price concessions.

 

Human Services:

 

Trump administration freezes billions of dollars in payments to Obamacare insurers

Los Angeles Times

Affordable Care Act insurers are facing a fresh round of uncertainty that could drive up premiums or push companies to stop offering coverage through the law, after the Trump administration’s latest move to cut off subsidies meant to help stabilize insurance markets.

See also:

     Affordable Care Act’s unexpected side effect: an IOU to the IRS San Francisco Chronicle

     Health Insurers Warn of Market Turmoil as Trump Suspends Billions in Payments New York Times

     A Fatal Flaw as Trump Tries to Remake Health Care: Shortcuts New York Times

 

‘It’s Almost Like a Ghost Town.’ Most Nursing Homes Overstated Staffing for Years

New York Times

Most nursing homes had fewer nurses and caretaking staff than they had reported to the government for years, according to new federal data, bolstering the long-held suspicions of many families that staffing levels were often inadequate.

 

Opinion: Small Businesses Win Big With New Health Care Options

Roll Call

Association Health Plans help level the playing field for small businesses by allowing them to join with other businesses to create an economy of scale that increases their bargaining power, lowers administrative costs and mitigates risk.

 

The WHO declares that transgender people are not mentally ill—a move that could accelerate trans equality worldwide

Slate

Trans identities will no longer be classified as a mental health issue, according to an announcement made in June by the World Health Organization, the United Nations’ international public health arm.

 

Quantifying the Benefits of Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance and Health

National Bureau of Economic Research

While the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program is one of the largest safety net program in the U.S., research on its benefits is limited.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

Stop the undocumented from getting driver's licenses? California plan would reverse law
Sacramento Bee

An initiative that would reverse a law that allows immigrants residing in California illegally to obtain driver's licenses has been cleared to begin gathering signatures for the 2020 ballot.

Why judge upheld California’s ‘sanctuary state’ law

CALmatters

A federal judge’s decision Thursday upholding California’s so-called sanctuary policy is a significant victory for the state’s authority to govern its own affairs.

 

Do Californians Support State Action on Immigration?

Public Policy Institute of California

California became the nation’s first sanctuary state in January, when Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (SB 54) that limits cooperation by local law enforcement with federal immigration authorities.

See also:

     We need real immigration reform, not cheap talk Modesto Bee

     Most Americans Don't Approve of Trump's Immigration Policies, Poll Finds Time

     Empathy, but also realism, are necessary in facing immigration Boston Globe

 

California, Long a Holdout, Adopts Mass Immigration Hearings

U.S. News

On Monday, the court will try to curb the caseload by assigning a judge to oversee misdemeanor immigration cases and holding large, group hearings that critics call assembly-line justice.

 

ACLU says Trump admin has turned over names of children under 5 waiting to be reunited with parents

The Hill

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Sunday that the Trump administration has turned over the names of nearly 100 migrant children under 5 years old who were separated from their parents at the U.S.–Mexico border.

See also:

     Outraged at the taking of migrant children, America just might become America again Sacramento Bee

     Trump admin hands over names of children under 5 separated at border CNN

     Trump Administration Will Likely Miss a Deadline to Reunite Young Children With Their Families, ACLU Says TIME

     ACLU expects less than half of migrant families to be reunited by deadline The Hill

 

Latest ICE Data Details Increasingly Indiscriminate Arrests

Huffington Post

ICE is going after people with pettier criminal records than in recent years. Roughly one-quarter of the 143,470 migrants ICE arrested last year had no criminal convictions at all, and 11 percent had no outstanding criminal charges.

See also:

     ICE funding showdown expected amid calls by Dems to abolish agency Fox News

     The growing Democratic divide over icing ICE NBC

     EDITORIAL: The crusade to abolish ICE doesn’t add up San Francisco Chronicle

 

LAND USE/HOUSING

 

Land Use:

 

Down with the old, up with the new: Visalia Mall adds retail/restaurant space

Visalia Times-Delta

General Growth Properties, owners of the Visalia Mall, filed for a permit to demolish the long-vacant, old Wells Fargo bank building on the corner of Mooney Boulevard and Beech Street at 2245 S. Mooney Blvd.

 

Bakersfield moves forward with incorporating small county pockets

Bakersfield Californian

Within the city, small pockets of unincorporated county zones poke holes in the city’s surface area. The pockets are not governed by the City of Bakersfield, instead falling under the jurisdiction of county authorities.

 

Protecting historic buildings from a throwaway culture

Bakersfield Californian

We can be pretty wasteful when it comes to just about everything, from straws to plastic bags and food to, yes, even buildings.

 

EDITORIAL: Another Heroes Park mishap shall be overcome

Stockton Record

Heroes Park was created out of an 80,000 square-foot dirt lot at Calvary First Assembly of God Church at 8407 Kelley Drive. Last week, vandals struck again at the park, damaging the other tempered glass backboard.

 

Housing:

 

Fresno County total property assessment roll increases again

Business Journal

The value of this year’s property assessment roll for Fresno County has increased by 5.2 percent, to more than $81.7 billion.

 

Is California’s Legacy Environmental Law Protecting The State’s Beauty Or Blocking Affordable Housing?

Capital Public Radio

“CEQA is the fundamental law in California for environmental protection that also protects the right of the public to be informed about projects that are going into our neighborhood,” said David Pettit, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

 

California sees larger increase in homelessness than any other state since 2016
Desert Sun

California is struggling to confront its homelessness crisis: After big-city mayors up and down the state lobbied hard for more funding, state leaders agreed to spend an additional $600 million to help fight the problem.

Workforce Housing, The Hottest Investment Class
Globe St.

There is huge investor demand for workforce housing product, and the latest deals are setting market records.

 

Wall Street Is Raising More Cash Than Ever for its Rental-Home Gambit

Wall Street Journal
Investors wager that high prices, higher mortgage rates and skimpy inventory are making homeownership harder for individuals and families.

 

PUBLIC FINANCES

 

California gets billions from taxing the rich. Should the rest of us pay more?

Sacramento Bee
California relies heavily on the rich to run its government. The state does well when the wealthy are doing well, and risks losing billions when they are not. Taxing the rest of us more, not a politically popular idea, would put California’s budget on a more stable footing.

See also:

     Dozens of millionaires fled California after 2012 tax increase, study says San Francisco Chronicle

     Opinion: Rich Californians are leaving. Tax cuts will bring them back The Sacramento Bee

     Opinion: Fixing taxes will fix CA's wealth disparity  The Sacramento Bee

     California has the world’s fifth-largest economy. Fix taxes to fix wealth disparity Sacramento Bee

 

Why would California tax family businesses to death?

Sacramento Bee

Family businesses are the bedrock of their communities and the economy. A recent study showed that the state’s 1.4 million small businesses employ 7 million people.

Supreme Court online sales tax ruling brings taxes into 21st century

Sacramento Bee

I often observe that the Supreme Court’s rulings affect all of us. That definitely will be true of its decision allowing state governments to require that internet companies collect sales taxes on transactions.

 

Walters: Coy about taxes and pension costs

CALmatters

California’s economy may be booming, but throughout the state, local governments—including school districts—are feeling the financial pinch and asking their voters to approve new taxes of one kind or another.

 

The fiscal picture is worse than it looks—and it looks bad

Brookings

On the surface, CBO’s new projections of the federal debt and deficits over the next 10 years paint a troubling picture. But, dig deeper and the story gets … more dire. The Federal government is not only running enormous deficits, but we are doing so at a time of full-employment. When the inevitable recession comes, we will be in deep trouble.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Contractors, labor pour millions into campaign to save California gas tax hike for road repairs

Los Angeles Times

In the two weeks since an initiative qualified that would repeal an increase to the gas tax, construction companies, labor groups and civic organizations have poured $3.7 million into a campaign against Proposition 6, campaign records show.

 

High gas prices a sore subject for California Democrats

San Francisco Chronicle

Brown and the Democrats in the Legislature who pushed the tax measure through argue that the $5.2 billion the new taxes will bring in each year is desperately needed for road and bridge repairs, but Republicans aren’t buying that.

 

How to Replace the Gas Tax Law if its Repealed

Fox & Hounds

Before the SB1 gas tax, fuel prices in California were already among the highest in the country with State excise taxes at the pump, and State sales tax at the pump, being among the highest in the country

 

Take simple steps to avoid having a broken-down car in summer’s heat
Fresno Bee

We know the hazards that come with driving during the winter in the San Joaquin Valley. Less realized is how dangerous it can be to drive during the summer. With temperatures in the Valley reaching beyond 100 degrees, the California Highway Patrol asks for your help.

 

Bike safety tips given following solo crash that killed bicyclist

Bakersfield Californian
The death of a local man whose bike hit a sidewalk, throwing him onto the concrete, has brought to the forefront the importance of wearing safety equipment while riding.

See also:

       Safest and Most Dangerous Cities in America for Cyclists Security Center

 

Ride-hailing confusion: Meadows Field travelers face long walk if they want to use Uber or Lyft

Bakersfield Californian
Uber drivers are prohibited from dropping off customers or picking them up at Meadows Field — for the time being — and so are drivers with the company's main ride-hailing competitor, Lyft.


WATER

 

New California Water Plan Aimed At Boosting Fish Habitat

Capital Public Radio

California water officials on Friday released a plan to increase flows through a major central California river, an effort that would save salmon and other fish but deliver less water to farmers in the state's agricultural heartland.

See also:

     Job losses, farm cuts and other devastating impacts predicted from state's water plan Modesto Bee

     California has a new plan for allocating its water, and it means less for farmers Sacramento Bee

     Dunbar: We must fight the water grab, not just talk about it Modesto Bee

     Water Use in California Public Policy Institute of California

 

Army Corps to raise spillway at Success Lake. It's nothing like Oroville
Fresno Bee

The Army Corps of Engineers will spend $74 million to enlarge Success Lake east of Porterville, doubling flood protection for the city and boosting the water supply for farmers.

Here’s how to move beyond the water wars and save the Delta
Sacramento Bee

The San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary and watersheds improve the lives of nearly everyone in California, and many far beyond

 

“Xtra”

 

Cafe Scientifique is today!
Fresno State

Don't miss the next edition of Cafe Scientifique on Monday, July 9, at 7 p.m. Scott Barton, director of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, will be the featured speaker.

 

Enjoy summer aquatics on campus

Fresno State

The pool will open for Swim for Fitness starting on Thursday, July 12. Four aquatics classes are offered this summer. See professional development opportunities for details.

 

Summer Arts ignites passion and creativity

Fresno State

This year's Summer Arts Program will be filled with unforgettable concerts, theatre productions, dance performances, lectures, screenings, and readings from CSU Summer Arts guest artists. And don’t forget the always-free student showcase series!

 

Mathews: Santa Barbara? Please. Californians should spend summer in Redding

Bakersfield Californian

If you love California and haven’t figured out where to go for summer vacation, here’s a suggestion: Go north!

 

California's quirkiest road-side stops snapped throughout the years

Lonely Planet

A new book has been published that charts unique buildings and quirky roadside attractions that have been built throughout the years in the state of California.

 

Bike Bakersfield to hold bike rodeo

Bakersfield Californian

The Bike Rodeo and Bike Maintenance Summer Lineup will come to a close with a final back-to-school event by Bike Bakersfield. Bike Maintenance Day will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Aug.1-2 at the Holloway Gonzales Library at 506 E. Brundage Lane.

 

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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.

                                                     

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