June 20, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

Dan Walters: Taxicabs collide in Capitol with Uber and Lyft over legislation – Hueso’s obvious antipathy to the ride-sharing services notwithstanding, the bills dealing with Uber and Lyft represent one of many instances in which the Legislature and the state’s regulatory agencies are facing difficulty in dealing with fast-growing new technologies and industries that defy traditional definitions. Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

Obama’s Yosemite visit a call to preserve national park system — President Barack Obama departed this iconic natural wonder Sunday afternoon at the end of a weekend mini-vacation, but it was clear he hopes the business end of the visit is what resonates with the nation in the long term. Fresno Bee article;‘Sunday with the president: Obama wraps up stay in Yosemite’ in Fresno Bee; Visalia Times-Delta article; Merced Sun-Star article

State budget 

George Skelton: Taxing Dodgers tickets would be a fiscal win for the state—If California applied the sales tax to Dodgers tickets and other sporting events, it could raise $320 million a year. And why would the state do that? To lower the overall sales tax rate, rely less on the roller-coaster income taxes of rich people and overhaul California’s rickety, archaic revenue system. Lift it out of the mid-20th century and into the 21st. Skelton column in LA Times 

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures 

California Democratic Party backs pot legalization, repeal of death penalty —  The California Democratic Party on Sunday stayed true to its left-leaning political ideals, voting to support ballot initiatives to legalize pot and repeal the death penalty. LA Times article

California Democrats call for elimination of caucuses, most super-delegates — The California Democratic Party on Sunday called for a broad overhaul of how the party nominates its presidential candidates, including the elimination of caucuses and most super-delegates. LA Times article

Other areas 

4 key questions as Senate considers new gun measures – A series of gun safety measures will hit the Senate floor Monday night — two offered by Democrats and two by Republicans — in response to the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. Here are four key questions before Monday’s vote.  New York Times article

LGBT community finds hope, healing as Oak Park event caps horrendous week – The long-planned Pride Family Day in the Park came at the end of a horrendous week for the nation and an especially turbulent time for those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Stockton Record article 

Hundreds protest pastor who declared ‘death sentences’ for ‘sodomites’ — Nearly a thousand people from across California flooded the Natomas office park housing Verity Baptist Church on Sunday with rainbow flags and megaphones to protest the pastor who last week delivered an inflammatory sermon praising the massacre of LGBT people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Sacramento Bee article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories 

California drought bummer: Sierra water runoff coming up short – The Department of Water Resources now projects that the mountains will produce about three quarters of normal runoff during the months of heaviest snowmelt, shorting the rivers and reservoirs that typically provide a third of California’s water — and cementing a fifth year of historic drought for the Golden State. San Francisco Chronicle article 

Stockton only second U.S. city in U.S. to adopt restaurant policy targeting children’s soda consumption — The ordinance, which takes effect next month, will require restaurants in Stockton that offer children’s meals on their menus to make water or low-fat milk the default beverage. In other words, soda has lost its fizz as the first choice. It will be up to a parent or caregiver whether to yield, at no extra cost, to a child who refuses water or milk and insist on a sweetened beverage containing glucose-spiking amounts of sugar. Stockton Record article

Jobs and the Economy 

Lightspeed prepares to leave Bakersfield — Two years after moving its headquarters to Texas, Bakersfield’s biggest home-grown tech company is pulling out of California as part of a consolidation it hopes will make the company more nimble and surround it with like-minded firms. Lightspeed Systems announced it will close its 19th Street offices, which house about 80 employees, and move those willing to relocate to Austin, Texas, where it has 29 workers. Bakersfield Californian article

San Joaquin County home prices continue to rise – San Joaquin County existing housing prices continued to climb in May, with the median price of a single-family home topping $319,000, up 3.7 percent from nearly $308,000 in April and surging 14 percent from $280,000 in May 2015, the California Association of Realtors reported Friday. Stockton Record article 

How Brown blocked CalPERS extra-pay regulation – When CalPERS approved regulations to carry out Gov. Brown’s pension reform legislation two years ago, critics said they allowed “99 ways to boost pensions” that undermine the cost-cutting plan for new employees. Calpensions article

Self-driving cars could dramatically change the auto insurance industry – As the driverless car gets closer to reality, so too does the dilemma of how to insure the car and its owner. The auto insurance industry faces upheaval in the next 25 years as the migration to autonomous safety features — and ultimately a self-driving car — shifts more of a car’s accident risk from the driver to the vehicle, analysts said. LA Times article 

Restaurants yank popular wine over environmental controversy – Justin Vineyards’ bulldozing of hundreds of oak trees has uncorked some disapproval among San Luis Obispo County restaurateurs and wine fans, who are making their feelings known with their wallets. San Luis Obispo Tribune article 

Obama to announce LA-based hub to create factory sensors — Los Angeles will become the headquarters for a federally funded institute devoted to developing sensors that make manufacturing more efficient. LA Times article

California tax board member’s staff called shots in $118,000 furniture buy — Despite earlier suggesting otherwise, state Board of Equalization member Jerome Horton now says that he and his staff were involved in selecting designer furniture for his Sacramento high-rise office that cost taxpayers $118,000 to purchase and $12,000 to installSacramento Bee article

Art Pulaski: More jobs preferred over guaranteed ‘basic income’ – The executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation writes, “What could possibly be wrong with everyone receiving a monthly paycheck of about $1,000 to keep one person from falling below the poverty line? As we all were taught as kids, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” Pulaski op-ed in Sacramento Bee 

You can ditch your cable box forever if this get approved — For weeks, cable providers such as Comcast have been resisting a federal proposal that would force them to make their channels available to anybody who wanted to design new user interfaces for them. Instead of browsing the channel lineup through cable-provided menus and devices, consumers should have access to a greater variety of choices, argue the regulators who proposed the move. Washington Post article


Don Curlee: Will dogs save the California citrus industry? — The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the disease it carries represent perhaps the worst threat to the California citrus industry of its colorful history. Pulling out all the stops to control the insect includes something we all know and love — dogs. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons 

Disgust and dismay over Oakland police sex scandal as department is called a ‘cesspool’ – Residents and local officials reacted with dismay and disgust this weekend to a widening sex scandal that has rocked the Oakland Police Department. The scandal has claimed several top police officials and left some wondering whether the department needs outside help to truly reform. LA Times article

Death at Riverbank homeless camp being investigated as a homicide — Stanislaus County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the apparent homicide of a Riverbank man found dead in a homeless camp near the Stanislaus River. Modesto Bee article 


Modesto City Schools budget, local priorities plan top agenda – The Modesto City Schools board will talk money Monday, taking votes on the 2016-17 budget and its spending priorities, including extra funding it will get to help low-income kids, foster youth and English learners. Modesto Bee article 

State delays forcing LA Unified to spend more on high-need students – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has given Los Angeles Unified a one-year reprieve from a ruling requiring the district to spend potentially hundreds of millions of additional dollars on English learners and low-income children to comply with the state’s new school funding law. EdSource article

New weekly program gives kids a second chance in Le Grand — In an effort to give back to his community and the kids in the neighborhood, Silva is launching a program to strengthen families: the Second Chance Community Center. The program is for anyone in the community, particularly young people who have been kicked out of other after-school programs. Merced Sun-Star article


State to fire up burners to battle dead tree epidemic — California’s drought and a bark beetle epidemic have caused the largest die-off of Sierra Nevada forests in modern history, raising fears that trees could come crashing down on people or fuel deadly wildfires that could wipe out mountain communities. AP article

Health/Human Services

Cancer drug tested at UC Davis brings new hope for patients — A groundbreaking drug that was tested on lung cancer patients at UC Davis Medical Center has been shown to greatly improve survival rates, so much so that the study has been cut short and the drug is being fast-tracked for Food and Drug Administration approval. Sacramento Bee article

Other areas

Mike Klocke: Mean Tweets! Here is your Record version – I get my fair share of salvos from the public here at The Record/recordnet.com. Some come via Twitter, others by way of email and old-school folks even call or write letters. With names removed, here’s a Record version of Mean Tweets (or other methods of delivery) — and my accompanying commentary. Klocke in Stockton Record 

Louis Amestoy: Let’s celebrate Bakersfield the way Texas celebrates Texas — In Waco, which has had its negative headlines through the years, the city’s maturing cultural identity is obvious and celebrated. It led me to think how we don’t really celebrate that same sort of spirit in Bakersfield. It really hit home when I walked into a store in Waco and saw a screen-printed T-shirt with “Mama Tried” across the front. Down in Austin this regional pride is even more keenly felt. Outside of the Crystal Palace, you’d be hard-pressed to find such overt displays of affection to our cultural icons like you would find of Willie Nelson in Austin.Amestoy in Bakersfield Californian