June 25, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

 Jerry Brown signs $115.4 billion general fund budget — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the $115.4 billion general fund budget that he and lawmakers agreed to last week, issuing only a handful of line-item vetoes. The total amount of spending vetoed, $1.3 million, was the lowest for a California budget since 1982, when Brown was governor before and vetoed nothing.Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article; AP article; KQED report; San Francisco Chronicle article

 Vaccine mandate bill up for vote Thursday in California Assembly – In a major test for a controversial proposal, the state Assembly is scheduled Thursday to take up a bill that would eliminate the ability of parents to exempt their children from vaccination requirements based on their personal beliefs. LA Times article; KPCC report

 Undocumented immigrants could get more health care in 35 rural counties – Undocumented immigrants across a vast swath of rural California could receive basic medical coverage under a proposal being weighed Thursday by the governing board of a state program that provides health care services to indigent adults. Sacramento Bee article

State budget

 Governor signs state budget, increasing arts funding to $8.3 million — California arts groups will get a big bump in funding in the coming fiscal year — even more than previously thought. The new $167.6 billion-state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday provides $8.3 million for the California Arts Council, of which $7.1 million has been described as a “permanent increase.” KQED report

Valley politics

 Big red signs hit the road, protesting Denham, Costa votes on Obama trade bill — A bright red signboard truck is rolling between Stanislaus and Fresno counties this week, protesting two Congressmen’s “Aye” vote on the House version of a major trade initiative. Modesto Bee article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

 Cathleen Decker: Garcetti, Villaraigosa, and Newsom, eyeing 2018, laying out visions for California — On a recent day filled with earnest discussions about mayoral policy matters, three politicians sketched out appeals that could become very familiar in future California elections. Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles mayor, geeked out about the governing potential of his smartphone. His predecessor, Antonio Villaraigosa, passionately defined education as the next civil rights movement. Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor and current lieutenant governor, warned that government is verging on extinction. Decker in LA Times

 Joel Fox: Court support of AG on initiative is understandable — No one should overreact in defense of the initiative process to the court decision allowing the Attorney General to throw out an initiative that is reprehensible and clearly unconstitutional, but we must be sure that the decision is not a step in expanding the power of any official to determine if an initiative is or is not constitutional. Fox in Fox & Hounds


 U.S. says it will end long-term detention of immigrant families — The Obama administration on Wednesday said it’s abandoning its controversial practice of detaining immigrant mothers and children who’ve established their fear of persecution if returned to their home countries. McClatchy Newspapers article

 Immigrant families in detention: A look inside one holding center – At the 50-acre compound here holding hundreds of immigrant women and children, the lights stay on 24-7. At night they’re dimmed, but not entirely out. Security, officials say. LA Times article

 PPIC: Just the Facts on undocumented immigrants in California – The Public Policy Institute of California updates its fact sheet on undocumented immigrants in California.  PPIC report

 Other areas

 Young leukemia survivor who supports vaccines delivers petition to Gov. Jerry Brown — Carl Krawitt delivered a message Wednesday for opponents of a deeply divisive bill that would mandate vaccinations for all school children, regardless of their parents’ personal or religious beliefs. San Jose Mercury News article

 Family leave expansion bills spark clashes — Two efforts to expand paid and unpaid “family leave” for California workers – a major cause for the Legislature’s Women’s Caucus – generated sharp clashes Wednesday among powerful interest groups, but both survived committee votes. Capitol Alert

 Debra Saunders: Will suicide bill die a natural death? – When Senate Bill 128, which would legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, passed the state Senate, supporters hailed the measure’s success as a sign of it inevitability. And what Democrat in this heavily left-leaning Legislature wants to be on — say it slowly — The Wrong Side of History? It turns out reports of the measure’s slam-dunkedness were greatly exaggerated. Saunders in San Francisco Chronicle

 Sacramento Bee: Public opinion pulls down Confederate flag – Maybe it’s demography. Maybe it’s corporatism. Maybe it’s the global mob mentality of Twitter and Facebook. Maybe it’s a combination. But for the first time in decades, the forces of low-grade bigotry are getting serious and immediate pushback from the public, and that’s a good thing. Sacramento Bee editorial

 George Skelton: Confederate flag represents South no more than Mexico’s does for California – Imagine the outrage if they started flying the Mexican flag at California’s state Capitol. They wouldn’t, but you could just hear the rationalization: It’s about pride of heritage, culture and ancestry. You know, the same stuff that many southerners say about why they fly the Confederate flag. Skelton column in LA Times

 Assemblymember Jim Wood: Illegal pot grows spoil North Coast – The Healdsburg Democrat writes, “For nearly 20 years, we have allowed the medical marijuana industry to go largely unregulated. We have kicked the can down the road for too long. We must act now to protect the environment and protect our water for future generations.” Wood op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Dan Morain: Take it from George Schultz, everyone needs a little insurance — At 94, Shultz, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is sounding the alarm on climate change. Earlier this week, the elder statesman came to the Capitol to witness the unveiling of a bronze statue of Gov. Reagan, and tell a few tales about President Reagan. Afterward, he sat in a small Capitol office and answered my question: What would President Reagan have done about climate change? His response is relevant to deniers, doubters and politicians who would toss snowballs across the U.S. Senate chambers and claim that climate change is fiction. Morain in Sacramento Bee

 Presidential candidate Perry visits with Tehachapi football team — It’s fairly safe to say that before this week, most — if not all — of the players in Tehachapi High’s football program didn’t know who Rick Perry was. Bakersfield Californian article

 California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

 Obama turns up dial on California drought aid — The Obama administration is boosting its support for drought-stricken California, escalating a relief effort that congressional Republicans still consider misdirected and insufficient. In a splashy announcement Wednesday, two leading administration officials unveiled a fresh federal package that totals nearly $150 million over the next two years. McClatchy Newspapers article; Stockton Record article

 Some water agencies in California consider defying state cuts – A handful of Central Valley water agencies that have been warned to stop pumping water from rivers to farms, in light of the drought, say they’re considering running their pumps anyway. The defiance comes after state officials this week presented a legal case for their conservation crackdown — a framework that irrigation districts see as a retreat from tough talk of cutbacks and fines. San Francisco Chronicle article

 The private sector is finally getting a seat on the bullet train — The California High-Speed Rail Authority, taking a step industry peers have been expecting for years, on Monday sent out a “request for expressions of interest” to U.S. and international companies it hopes will respond by Sept. 14 with suggestions on how to build the system quicker, cheaper and with less risk to taxpayers. Bakersfield Californian article

Jobs and the Economy

 Modesto puts general sales tax on November ballot – Modesto voters will decide this fall whether they want to pay more in sales taxes for more police officers and firefighters and other services to make neighborhoods safer. Modesto Bee article

 San Joaquin County budget heavy on public safety – Criminal justice and law enforcement were two of the departments that were granted funds Wednesday to enhance their services as the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved the final 2015-16 budget. Stockton Record article

 Stockton council: Contentiousness, then consensus – The City Council meeting Tuesday night included accusations of a conflict of interest, criticism of a multimillion-dollar subsidy to the operator of Stockton’s entertainment venues, a forceful turnout by perpetual critics of the police department and Chief Eric Jones, and even a brief discussion of the boundaries of free speech. Amid all the contentiousness, though, the council approved all 16 items on the meeting agenda unanimously, proving that nuts-and-bolts voting and the surrounding climate of a meeting are not always one and the same. Stockton Record article

 State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani: Prepping workers for skilled jobs for big, big projects – The Valley Democrat writes, “Whether these projects are already visible or waiting in the wings, the growing demand for skilled workers is clear. Now, our region needs to ensure that local residents are well-qualified and ready to snap up those long-term jobs that will carry them into the future.” Galgiani op-ed in Modesto Bee

Hilmar Cheese expands production facility in Texas – Hilmar Cheese Co. announced Wednesday that it is increasing production at its plant in Dalhart, Texas. It processes cheese into 40- and 640-pound blocks and will add 500-pound barrel production. Modesto Bee article

 Signs of recovery: In Fresno, a closed community center finds new life – A free public science education center is officially open in Northeast Fresno. The Highway City Science Center is moving into a community center that has been closed for 5 years since deep Recession era budget cuts. KVPR report; Fresno Bee article

 America seeks its way in a new economic world – The long, acrimonious legislative battle that ended Wednesday in a vote giving President Obama the power needed to complete trade agreements reflects the steady march of globalization and the nation’s deep fear that widening its economic engagement with the world will cost Americans jobs. LA Times article

 San Francisco-area employees make nearly 50 percent more than U.S. average – The latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that workers in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties had an average hourly wage of $33.34 in May 2014, about 47 percent above the national average of $22.71. San Francisco Chronicle article

 San Francisco home-buying ‘insanity’ means paying $1 million over list price – Bravo’s reality show “Million Dollar Listing San Francisco” debuts July 8, but I already have an idea for a spinoff — “Million Dollar Over Listing.” It would feature homes in the Bay Area that sold for at least $1 million more than the list price. There were at least 10 such sales in San Francisco over the past year, 14 in Santa Clara County and five in San Mateo County, according to Multiple Listing Service data. They ranged from teardowns to mansions. San Francisco Chronicle article

 California coal divestment bill clears committee vote — A bill to require California’s state pension funds Calpers and CalSTRS to sell their investments in companies that generate at least half their revenue from coal mining passed an Assembly committee by a vote of 5-1 on Wednesday. Reuters article

 Farm Fresh Bowls ready to grow — In two short years, Farm Fresh Bowls has gone from tiny start-up into expansion mode, with plans to open a Fresno outlet late this year, followed by a second Visalia Farm Fresh Bowls in 2016. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Tim Draper pushes free transparency software for counties — Venture capitalist Tim Draper’s “Innovate Your State” non-profit on Wednesday announced the first winning idea to come out of its crowdsourcing challenge: Every county will get a year’s subscription to software he says would let taxpayers see everything from total revenue to how much a police department spends on flak jackets. Sacramento Bee article; San Francisco Chronicle article

 Pasadena sues former employee to recover $6.4 million in public funds — Pasadena officials sued a former employee in civil court Tuesday to recover millions in public funds allegedly embezzled over the course of a decade. LA Times article


 State water system stretched to limit, officials say – State and federal water regulators said Wednesday they’re struggling to hold California’s fragile water system together amid dwindling supplies and increasing anger from farmers, lawmakers, environmentalists and others. Sacramento Bee article

 State grants Merced money to install water meters – The state Department of Water Resources on Wednesday announced $28 million for 25 projects around the state expected to save water and energy, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The projects include $2.5 million for Merced homes to install water meters, which can be read and tracked by satellite. Merced Sun-Star article

 Stockton Record: Mountain House becomes California drought poster child – There’s not really much for Mountain House to do other than find short- and long-term water solutions, look out for itself — and collectively smile (or frown) for its poster-child photo. Stockton Record editorial

 Lois Henry: Pumping like mad but whose water is it? – Keeping your eyes on water around here is tricky, tricky business. Take the parkway wells, for example. Yes, I’m ranting about them ahhhgain. Henry column in Bakersfield Californian

 Lance Sullivan: Pick your battles, ‘water wars’ veteran advises – Johnson, who spent 35 years as a water resources engineer and water agency general manager, writes, “The battles that must be fought are over the science, in the courts over regulation and in educating a general public that has been indoctrinated for a generation with environmentalist mantra.” Sullivan op-ed in Modesto Bee

 Tulare council to reconsider car washing at home ban – Tulare residents seemingly like to wash their cars at home. And they have told as much to Mayor David Macedo and Vice Mayor Carlton Jones. After the Board of Public Utilities adopted Stage 3 of water conservation, which included banning washing vehicles at home, residents have contacted the local officials to voice displeasure. Visalia Times-Delta article

 As drought drags on, here’s how trees will suffer – With this fourth drought year, the severe crop loss of June drop, the amount of redwood dieback and the frequency of sudden limb fall may increase significantly as trees struggle to deal with limited water supplies to their roots and with high transpiration rates during the hottest months. Fresno Bee article

 ALRB’s top lawyer named to governor’s staff – The Agricultural Labor Relations Board’s general counsel was appointed Wednesday to a new job in Gov. Jerry Brown’s office. Sylvia Torres-Guillen, 49, of Los Angeles will become special counsel to the governor. She had been the ALRB’s general counsel since 2011. The ALRB has been embroiled in a battle between Gerawan Farms, one of Fresno County’s largest growers, and the United Farm Workers of America over who will represent Gerawan’s nearly 3,000 field workers. Fresno Bee article

Modesto Bee: Water to be hot topic at Knights Ferry meeting – Water and the drought are the hottest topics in California. So it’s likely the conversation could get a little heated tonight at the Knights Ferry Community Center. Modesto Bee editorial

Artificial turf: Backlash amid water district rebates for fake grass – The East Bay Municipal Utility District Board is the latest to balk at subsidizing synthetic turf after hearing complaints that it has undesirable environmental effects even if it does well in reducing outdoor water use.  Contra Costa Times article

 Support grows in Bay Area for toilet to tap water — Bay Area residents consider California’s historic drought so dire that a majority say they would be willing to drink purified toilet water. That’s not the only finding in a Bay Area Council poll released Wednesday that used to be considered hard to swallow. Contra Costa Times article

 Is California’s animal welfare law creating better conditions? — In 2008, Californians passed a law by a two-thirds majority to give egg-laying hens more space to move around. Farmers have had the last seven years to comply. Proposition 2 (the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act) went into effect this January. Capital Public Radio report

 LA DWP to unveil plan to capture storm runoff — At a public hearing Thursday, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will present itsStormwater Capture Master Plan, an initiative that officials say will reduce the city’s future reliance on imported water and perhaps address a predicted trend toward heavier, more intense rainfall. LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Madera County Grand Jury: Corrections officers underpaid, in danger — After a six-month investigation, the Madera County Grand Jury reported that the Madera County Department of Corrections needs immediate funding to increase staff salaries, hire more officers and schedule more officers to insure a safe prison environment. Fresno Bee article

 Modesto ranked fifth in nation in auto thefts – The San Francisco Bay Area had the highest auto theft rate in the nation for the first time last year, surpassing even the Modesto region for that dubious honor, according to a report. The Modesto Metropolitan Area – which encompasses Stanislaus County – ranked fifth in the nation in 2014. The Golden State continued to lead the nation in auto thefts per 100,000 residents and had seven of the 10 top hot spots, including Bakersfield at No. 2 and the Stockton-Lodi area at No. 3. Modesto Bee article; LA Times article

 San Francisco grapples with racial disparity in arrests – San Francisco law enforcement leaders who have sought to make the city a model for progressive reform are once again staring at a bleak picture — a new study released this week suggesting that the city has made little progress, and may be backsliding, in addressing a wide racial gap in who gets arrested and jailed.San Francisco Chronicle article

 Three LA County deputies convicted in jail beating case — Three Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were convicted Wednesday of beating a man bloody and lying to cover up their actions. LA Times article


 Joe Mathews: We should stop making UC beg for more money – Another state budget, accompanied by controversy over the University of California, demonstrated once again that we Californians don’t have a clue about what our public universities mean to the state. Because if we did, we wouldn’t make them beg us for the money needed to educate more of our children.Mathews in Sacramento Bee

CSU looks to enroll 12,000 more students under budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown – The CSU will be able to expand enrollment by 12,000 students after receiving a funding boost from Sacramento on Wednesday. LA Daily News article

 Colleges see opportunity in U.S.-Cuba opening – As Cuba and the United States begin to normalize relations, interest is keen on both sides to strike academic partnerships as well. But amid the sensitive politics of the U.S-Cuba breakthrough and the gulf between the countries over questions of academic freedom, American colleges and universities must tread carefully.McClatchy Newspapers article

 Fresno Bee: Four trustees block Fresno Unified investigation — Fresno Unified School Board President Cal Johnson and Trustees Valerie Davis, Janet Ryan and Christopher De La Cerda continue to block the public’s view into the workings of the region’s largest school district. Fresno Bee editorial

 Stockton Unified board approves local spending plan – Stockton Unified School District officials voted to approve an update to the Local Control Accountability Plan for the 2015-16 school year late Tuesday evening while approving the district’s overall $500 million budget. Stockton Record article

 More money, more planning for Kern High School District — The Kern High School District board approved its Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Monday, accounting for $37.7 million in state funding for 2015-2016. Bakersfield Californian article

 School districts find way to support low-income infants and toddlers — Although school districts’ main responsibility is to serve children in kindergarten through 12th grade, some districts are finding ways to meet the needs of the youngest low-income children who live within their district boundaries – infants and toddlers. EdSource article

 Former assemblyman appointed to Bakersfield City School District board – Former Kern County assemblyman Raymond Gonzales won a seat on the Bakersfield City School District board Wednesday night at a special board meeting to appoint a new trustee. Bakersfield Californian article

 Judge asked to OK new English-learners plan for San Francisco schools — San Francisco school officials, parents and the federal government asked a judge Wednesday to approve a plan designed to upgrade English-language instruction for more than 16,000 students who need it, over one-fourth of the district’s enrollment of 57,000. San Francisco Chronicle article

 Steve Kinsella and Barbara Beno: Accrediting commission is helping colleges – The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges writes, “Our decisions have saved many colleges from decline and even collapse, and have stimulated continued quality improvement and responsiveness to changing student needs. By upholding strong standards, fairly administered, ACCJC serves the interests of students and the public.” Kinsella/Beno op-ed in Sacramento Bee


 More and longer heatwaves result from changing weather pattern, Stanford study says – Daily weather patterns have changed in recent decades, making eastern North America, Europe and western Asia more prone to nastier summer heatwaves that go beyond global warming, a new study finds. AP article

Group seeks better deal on San Onofre closure – The San Francisco consumer group that helped broker the $4.7-billion deal dividing costs for the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant said Wednesday that it no longer supports the agreement and called on regulators to reopen talks. LA Times article

 Heat and drought rekindle last year’s massive Happy Camp complex wildfire — California’s drought conditions are so extreme that one of the state’s largest wildfires in recent years has rekindled six months after firefighters put it out. KQED report

 Mono Lake’s ecological crisis is a blow to wildlife, LA’s water supply –  As this drought-stricken body of salt water recedes, the repercussions mount: Its exposed alkaline flats are giving rise to dust storms. A haven for endangered migrating birds has become more vulnerable to predators. And Los Angeles’ ability to divert snowmelt from the region — which it has done for seven decades — could be cut off. LA Times article

 Stephen Blaire, Xavier Ochoa, and Jaime Soto: Climate change is a moral issue – Blaire, bishop of the Diocese of Stockton; Ochoa, bishop of the Diocese of Fresno; and Soto, bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, write, “With the release of his encyclical, Pope Francis has issued a moral challenge to all people of the world. As the Catholic bishops of three dioceses in Northern and Central California, we join our voices with his in calling for urgent action to care for ‘our common home.’” Blaire/Ochoa/Soto op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Pipeline firm documents reveal chaos after Santa Barbara Couinty oil spill – Chaos and delay marked the initial hours after a pipeline burst last month along the Santa Barbara County coast, sending thousands of gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean. LA Times article

 Indian tribes sue to block Southern California solar plant – A group of Indian tribes is suing to block construction of a huge solar power plant in California’s Mojave Desert. AP article

 Genetically modified salmon: Coming to a river near you — While the debate over whether to label foods containing GMO ingredients plays out across the country, another engineered food has long been waiting to hit grocery stores: genetically modified salmon. NPR report

 Health/Human Services

 U.S. Supreme Court ruling won’t stop state’s health exchange — A U.S. Supreme Court decision due as early as Thursday could end health care subsidies for nearly 6.4 million residents of states that take part in the federal health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, but most experts say Californians who have subsidized insurance under the state’s own exchange needn’t worry — at least in the short term. Sacramento Bee article

 Measuring the success of health insurance subsidies – The Supreme Court will decide within days whether federal health insurance subsidies for people in more than 30 states are allowed by law. A broader question is, To what extent are the subsidies responsible for the expansion of health care coverage to millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act? In short, Have the subsidies succeeded? By many measures, the answer is yes. New York Times article

 How measles can reawaken years later and kill — There were at least 11 cases of this deadly complication, known as SSPE, or subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, after the 1988-91 measles epidemic in the United States, which infected more than 55,000. LA Times article

 Tatiana Fassieux: 50 years ago, Medicare created to provide health care for seniors – The president of the California Health Advocates Board writes, “This year marks half a century of health care coverage for our country’s senior citizens. Before Medicare, a major health event for an older adult often meant needing to barter for care, go into financial ruin, or to simply go without.” Fassieux op-ed in Merced Sun-Star

Land Use/Housing

 New luxury apartments available in Porterville, more on the way – Porterville now has luxury apartments available at the Village at Henderson, and more will be coming. The gated community at 1711 W. Henderson Ave. is the first option for luxury apartments that Porterville has, said regional property supervisor Michelle Montoya. Fresno Bee article


 Caltrans officials acknowledge more cracked rods in Bay Bridge – Long-standing concerns about more than 400 steel rods that secure the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge tower to its foundation gained urgency this week. Sacramento Bee article

 Folsom settles lawsuit against Sacramento County over Mather Airport — The city of Folsom has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against Sacramento County over noise from Mather Airport cargo flights. Sacramento Bee article

 Governor supports Tower Bridge ownership switch — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday formally threw his weight behind a plan to turn Tower Bridge over to Sacramento and West Sacramento, but rejected a request from local representatives to authorize up to $15 million in state budget funds to help seal the deal. Sacramento Bee article; Sacramento Bee editorial

Other areas

 Virtually climb El Capitan with Google’s first vertical street view – Google Maps has announced its first vertical Street View, giving people the opportunity to virtually climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. LA Times article

 Visalia 4th of July fireworks show canceled — The annual Fourth of July fireworks show in Visalia has been canceled, the Visalia Parks and Recreation Foundation said. The foundation has staged the event at Mineral King Bowl in central Visalia for 12 years, but last year it announced it was dropping the program, said executive director Carol Hayes. Fresno Bee article

Defunct Madera dried-fruit processor settles sex-harassment case — Zoria Farms, Inc., once operators of a large dried-fruit processing plant, has settled a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 10 Hispanic farmworkers. Fresno Bee article; AP article

 Tulare County seeking $20,000 grant for fire helmets – For the most part, the 80 full-time and 300 extra-help firefighters in the Tulare County Fire Department are fully equipped with up-to-date equipment, from their heavy boots to their protective jackets. Soon, however, many will need to replace their helmets, as 160 are about to reach the end of the 10-year use limit recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. Visalia Times-Delta article

 William Hatcher: We’ve all known a few Dylann Roofs in our day – The retired superintendent of the Kern High School District writes, “The nine dear souls lost during the senseless massacre in South Carolina this past week have weighed heavy on my mind. As an educator, I have asked, ‘What would have motivated a 21-year-old to conduct such an act?’ I then realized that I had ‘met’ Dylann Roof many times.” Hatcher op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

 LA considers scaling back controversial pedestrian tickets — The Los Angeles City Council is considering changing enforcement policies around jay walking after arecent crackdown in downtown Los Angeles spurred protests by activists. KPCC report

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – Fresno Unified School Board President Cal Johnson and Trustees Valerie Davis, Janet Ryan and Christopher De La Cerda continue to block the public’s view into the workings of the region’s largest school district; California Public Utilities Commissioner Mike Florio has a better idea on electricity rates.

Modesto Bee – Water and the drought are the hottest topics in California. So it’s likely the conversation could get a little heated tonight at the Knights Ferry Community Center.

Sacramento Bee – Public opinion pulls down Confederate flag; Look before leaping on Tower Bridge.

Stockton Record – Mountain House becomes California drought poster child; San Joaquin AgFest is a big hit.


 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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