POLICY & POLITICS
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is asking the Justice Department to provide information on "any contacts" between FBI sources and more than a dozen Trump campaign officials and associates.
Who is Kevin McCarthy working for? The answer ought to be obvious. The people of the 23rd Congressional District, of course. Two of the biggest national debates of 2018 have us wondering about that, though.
The current ban on medicinal marijuana dispensaries will remain in place in Kern County for the time being after the Kern County Board of Supervisors took no action on a proposal that could have led to the establishment of seven legal medicinal dispensaries throughout the county at a meeting Tuesday.
Valley Public Radio
Last week, the city of Tulare ousted its mayor after he got involved in a heated argument on Facebook. The argument centered around agriculture and its impacts on the environment and the economy—but the story is far bigger than a few punches thrown on social media.
The Clovis City Council is accepting applications for an an opening on the City’s Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is the body that reviews development proposals for compliance with the General Plan and makes recommendations to City Council.
Statewide elected officials and lawmakers in California will be getting a 3% raise at the end of the year. The California Citizens Compensation Commission approved the salary increases Tuesday, continuing a pattern of steady increases over the last seven years.
Los Angeles Times
The final chapter in the removal of an incumbent California state senator — the first since 1914 — played out in Sacramento on Monday, as Sen. Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) filled the sudden vacancy by taking the oath of office.
While a lot of attention has been paid to congressional and statewide races, Democrats are hoping to expand their dominance in the 80-member state Assembly.
Los Angeles Times
State Sen. Scott Wiener allowed his net neutrality bill to advance out of a committee Tuesday, but warned he is prepared to shelve the legislation if negotiations with other lawmakers fail to restore consumer protections he said were gutted from the bill last week.
● Big scramble over privacy plan Capitol Weekly
California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.
Every election produces winners and losers, of course, but they are not just the candidates whose names are on the ballot. One of the biggest losers in California’s June 5 primary election was one of the richest men in the world, billionaire financier George Soros.
New York Times
The Supreme Court issued two rulings on Tuesday, and Californians are already feeling the effects.
California’s public employee unions were handed a serious blow in a Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that forbids them from collecting fees from workers who benefit from their representation but do not want to join them.
● How to Save Public Sector Unions Slate
● Supreme Court Hears Case on Public-Sector Union Fees Wall Street Journal
● Supreme Court Overturns 1977 Labor Union Ruling Roll Call
● Supreme Court Deals Blow to Public-Sector Unions Wall Street Journal
● Supreme Court Delivers a Sharp Blow to Labor Unions New York Times
● Supreme Court Deals Blow to Government Unions in Janus National Review
● U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump's travel ban. The ruling was 5-4 along partisan lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the conservative majority.
● Supreme Court travel ban ruling prompts different visions of America Orange County Register
● Sonia Sotomayor Delivers Sharp Dissent in Travel Ban Case New York Times
● Cut the charade and crown the president Modesto Bee
● EDITORIAL: Trump's travel ban might be legal, but it's still bad policy Los Angeles Times
● EDITORIAL: A shameful travel ban upheld by Supreme Court San Francisco Chronicle
● EDITORIAL: The Supreme Court Rises Above Wall Street Journal
In light of this conservative judicial activism, some Democrats want to talk about the realities of a politicized high court. The party has largely avoided talking about the radical nature of the Roberts Court.
The Oval Office, once the inner sanctum for only the high and the mighty of any administration, under this president has become the main set for his image-making.
San Francisco Chronicle
The California Democrat, a possible 2020 presidential candidate, said she is so frustrated with how federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement treats migrants that the government should consider “starting from scratch” with an undefined overhaul of the 15-year-old agency.
New York Times
In more than 20 of the most competitive House races of 2018, the share of Democrats voting in primaries notably increased, compared with 2014, the last midterm election cycle.
Wall Street Journal
Fraud and waste plagued veteran pensions in 1820. Since then the problem has only expanded.
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, has drawn criticism from both the left and the right for her call to confront members of Trump’s administration.
This is a disgusting and appalling lack of civility and a departure from the norms of American political discourse and I cannot fathom where liberals got the idea for it and, by the by, here is a list of some things the current president of the United States of America said while campaigning for his office.
Stark partisan polarization is arguably the defining characteristic of our current political moment. While other periods in American history have also featured incivility and deep divides, today the divide between parties not only encumbers coalition-building and policy-making, but also even how regular people work and shop.
The chance of a breakdown of democracy within the next four years is an “alarming 11.4 percent,” according to a recent survey of political scientists. Not dramatic enough?
Mexico gets a massive cash influx in remittances, American corporations get cheap labor, Democrats get voters.
Imagine a welfare system in which people contribute voluntarily, sometimes because they know the people who benefit from the donation. We believe blockchain technology can help fulfill that vision.
Today, artificial intelligence stands as an outstanding achievement of digital technology but also as the realization of an idea rooted deep in our biology.
MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING
Sunday, July 1, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Veterans Programs and Services” – Guests: Carole D'Elia, Executive Director of Little Hoover Commission and Jacqueline Barocio from LAO. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, July 1, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: “Valley Vets: Challenges and Opportunities” – Guests: Carole D'Elia, Executive Director of Little Hoover Commission; Jacqueline Barocio from LAO; Julie Cusator with Fresno Veterans Home; and Lorenzo Rios with Clovis Veterans Memorial District. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, July 1, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Senior Citizen Boom” – Guest: Marisol Cuellar, PPIC Analyst. Host: Ana Melendez.
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Sierra Sun Times
With additional votes scheduled this week on immigration and farm policy, California farmers and ranchers said they'll be advocating for actions that address their top concerns.
On this episode of the AEI Event Podcast, four leading agricultural policy experts gather to discuss the farm bill proposal for 2018 and assess the bill’s implications in the context of current and proposed changes to farm subsidy and price support.
Since the state fully legalized cannabis on Jan. 1, the industry had a six-month transition period to adopt new testing, packaging and ingredient standards. Businesses can continue to sell products that don’t meet the new requirements until June 30, but will be forced to destroy any leftovers come July 1.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY
California state correctional officers will see a sweet pay increase a year from now through a short contract it struck with Gov. Jerry Brown's administration.
Racial disparities in drug arrests have decreased significantly since the passage of Prop 47, the 2014 ballot measure that reclassified nonviolent drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.
Improvements in medical care, longer jail terms because of stricter sentencing guidelines and an increase in the number of older adults being sent to prison have had a significant effect on the U.S. prison population: The average age of inmates is rising.
The evil is compounded by the preoccupation of the the political class with the news story du jour, from the southern border.
Firefighters made inroads on wildfires across in Northern California on Tuesday, but rural Lake County saw expanded evacuations as firefighters are still working to gain control of the Pawnee Fire, Cal Fire said Tuesday.
● Kern County Fire crews still helping fight NorCal fires Bakersfield Californian
Los Angeles Times
A wildfire threatening hundreds of homes in Lake County grew even larger overnight, as high temperatures and breezy conditions continued to stoke the blaze.
ECONOMY / JOBS
Kern County administrators believe they are well on their way to digging the county out of the hole it found itself in about three years ago, when crashing oil prices resulted in a $44.5 million deficit in the county’s general fund.
Los Angeles Times
The tax cuts championed by President Trump are helping push the nation toward an unprecedented level of debt, heightening the risk of another financial crisis, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Fox & Hounds
The state of California already sitting on a record surplus would benefit from an additional revenue windfall thanks to two decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court. The question is what would the state do with that new money?
A report out this week from the Department of Housing and Urban Development finds the median price for a single-family home in the Bay Area is now $935,000. A family earning $117,000 now qualifies as "low income" in the region
The Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its first bilingual job fair in Modesto on Tuesday, drawing 20 employers in need of people proficient in Spanish and English.
Heading into his last months in office, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration worked up a few edits to state law that could make it easier for public employees to earn promotions and help disabled state workers retain their jobs.
Wall Street Journal
Employees ages 21 to 38 have been changing jobs three times more often than other workers, according to a 2016 Gallup study of two million people. Looking for a new job discreetly, without damaging your standing at your current employer, requires some savvy.
Wall Street Journal
The number of job openings in the United States is at an all-time high, and a new report due out today shows American businesses of all sizes trying to find the workers they need to meet the demands of a rising economy.
Wall Street Journal
The Trump administration, alarmed that a brain drain to China may erode the U.S.’s technological edge and weaken national security, is trying to restrict Chinese ownership of some U.S. tech companies. Meanwhile, China is tapping into American know-how another way: poaching talent.
Central Unified has hired Andrew Alvarado to be its next superintendent. Alvarado has most recently been the superintendent of the Golden Valley Unified School District in Madera County.
Public Policy Institute of California
Overall, 2016–17 scores changed little from 2015–16. This is quite different than in the previous year, when students made large gains.
It’s no surprise that California has paved the way for teaching gay history in our K-12 schools and that other states are beginning to follow suit.
The Cyber Secure Youth Act would require school districts to teach students in grades K-6 and 7-12 “cyber hygiene.”
American schools found themselves immersed in politics this year. In this environment, are U.S. schools equipping students with the tools to become engaged, informed, and empathetic citizens?
The University of California and California State University may test out an income sharing program with students as a way to make school more affordable.
Gustavo "Gus" Aguirre Jr. calls them tools for "the democratization of data." The objects in question? Six air monitors operated not by government regulators, but by a private environmental advocacy group in the small farm town of Arvin, a city that often has the distinction of suffering some of the worst air quality in the nation.
California voters will likely see an initiative on the November ballot that limits the liability of lead paint companies by authorizing bond funding to clean up the paint and other health hazards in buildings in the state. The California Secretary of State announced Tuesday that backers of the measure collected enough signatures to make the ballot.
Conservative allies of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lobbied last year to remove a career agency staffer in hopes of stopping the release of a government-wide report on the science of climate change, newly released emails show.
● EPA’s Pruitt Wants to Limit His Own Agency’s Authority Wall Street Journal
● California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change Fox & Hounds
Los Angeles Times
It’s not just beaches and sand that are disappearing as the ocean pushes inland. Sea level rise is also eating away at California’s coastal cliffs. The question is by how much, as Californians have heavily developed and continue to build along the edge of the Pacific.
A California court ruled in favor of the nation’s top oil companies on Monday, dismissing a lawsuit that held them responsible for the effects of global climate change.
The Bureau of Land Management announced in March that oil drilling would resume within the Carrizo Plain National Monument, land that is significant to more than a dozen tribes representing three tribal cultural groups in central California.
The nationalization of a crude oil export pipeline in western Canada has buoyed long-standing hopes for crude exports to markets beyond the United States - but the most likely destination for much of that oil is California.
This is why the revised California budget plans to allocate an additional $176 million to expand hepatitis C treatment for low-income patients covered by Medi-Cal and for state prison inmates.
Capital Public Radio
Two new ballot initiatives have cleared the signature-verification hurdle to become eligible to go before voters in November: one backed by children’s hospitals and the other by the paint industry.
Los Angeles Times
Health plans that put patients on the hook for many thousands of dollars are widespread and growing, but some employers are beginning to have second thoughts.
The FDA is increasingly green-lighting expensive drugs despite dangerous or little-known side effects and inconclusive evidence that they curb or cure disease.
Valley Children's Hospital in Madera County has four pediatric specialties recognized in the top children's hospitals in the nation for 2018.
California City, Mojave, Ridgecrest and Wasco could switch to different ambulance service providers as a result of a recent decision by the state agency overseeing emergency medical services.
San Francisco Chronicle
A bill aimed at banning a hospital contracting practice that patient advocates say leads to higher health care prices for consumers has been withdrawn by its author, state Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel.
Wall Street Journal
This year will be the last in which uninsured Americans are forced to pay ObamaCare’s penalty for lack of coverage. The change—part of the GOP’s tax reform—comes as relief on the demand side of health insurance.
In knocking down a California law aimed at regulating anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to abortion-rights supporters who saw the law as a crucial step toward beating back the national movement against the procedure.
● EDITORIAL: Supreme Court protects lying to women San Francisco Chronicle
● EDITORIAL: Free Speech Wins One Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to stop separating migrant families and reunite all children with their parents within 30 days, ruling that the “situation has reached a crisis level.”
● States sue to force reunification of migrant families Mercury News
● On Immigration, Lawmakers Look Beyond Today's Vote Wall Street Journal
● Trump reveals “zero tolerance” for democracy Brookings
● Trump Doesn’t Regret the Border Controversy—Sobbing Kids or No Wall Street Journal
● Are the Ends Worth the Means at the Border? Wall Street Journal
More than a dozen California members of Congress are calling on the U.S. Navy to release information about an apparent request the Trump administration has made that could eventually mean thousands of undocumented immigrants would be housed at the old Concord Naval Weapons Station.
Amid chants of "Build the Wall!" at a recent rally in Nevada, President Trump repeated the claim that construction has "already started" on the border wall in California.
The humanitarian crisis involving immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border has, among other things, laid bare a number of falsehoods driving much of the Trump administration's immigration agenda.
Cook Political Report
For years, Democrats have watched Republicans effectively cast their party as more concerned with the rights and comfort of illegal immigrants than the safety, security and economic livelihood of American citizens.
● The Democrats’ Racial Fault Line Wall Street Journal
Moderate Republicans have given a lot of ground to conservatives in immigration talks, but it’s the one matter where they’ve refused to negotiate that is likely to sink a compromise bill the House is scheduled to vote on Wednesday.
● GOP Leaders Prepare for Rejection of Latest Immigration Bill Wall Street Journal
While President Trump has triggered political and moral havoc on this side of the Atlantic by separating migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, Europe is also in the midst of consequential battles over migration.
QK, an award-winning regional engineering and planning firm, is settling into its new Old Town Clovis location.
After years of anticipation and months of intense negotiations, the city has finally approved a master plan for the Dry Creek Preserve area, a 795-acre space of wildlife and agricultural lands generally bounded by Nees Avenue to the south, Big Dry Creek to the west, Enterprise Canal on the east, and Shepherd Avenue to the north.
This historic college town between California’s mountains and its rugged Pacific coast seems to have it all. No wonder Oprah raves about it.
San Jose Mercury News
For more than a century, Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County has been one of Northern California’s main tourist attractions, with towering old-growth redwood trees that draw more than 1 million visitors a year.
● Redwood grove on California coast to become public park Los Angeles Times
Home prices in California keep on rising. According to the California Association of Realtors, the median price of a single-family home in the state is now more than $600,000. Nationally, that number is closer to $260,000.
Brown, who leaves office in January, will appear alongside Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, the top legislative Democrats with whom he negotiated the final budget agreement.
● Jerry Brown, CA Legislature strike $200 billion budget deal Sacramento Bee
Weeks before negotiating a lucrative deal to ban new local taxes on soda and other sugary drinks in California for more than a decade, top representatives for the beverage industry met with Gov. Jerry Brown for a private dinner at the governor's mansion.
● EDITORIAL: Shame on California lawmakers for caving in to the soda industry Los Angeles Times
The Capitol’s six-story annex is a functional, granite hive of lawmakers’ offices, committee hearing rooms and assorted legislative staff offices, joined at the hip with the domed Capitol. One factoid: The third floor of the annex matches the second floor of the historic wing, which leads to no end of confusion for visitors trying to navigate the labyrinth.
Blue Dog Coalition
Today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the 2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook report. According to the CBO, federal debt held by the public will approach 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) within the next 10 years and 152 percent of GDP by 2048—far surpassing any amount of debt our country has ever held.
Republicans have quietly imposed a new tax on churches, synagogues and other nonprofits, a little-noticed and surprising change that could cost some groups tens of thousands of dollars.
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair last weekempowers states to establish a level playing field for the taxation of goods sold by in-state and out-of-state sellers.
In less than two weeks, the intersection at Goshen Avenue and Demaree Street will become the spot of an eight-month street overhaul.
A proposition to repeal California's gas tax could end up being one of the costliest statewide measures on the November ballot and potentially push GOP and moderate voters to the polls for the midterm congressional elections.
● In fighting California gas tax, national Republicans see rallying point San Francisco Chronicle
The advent of driverless cars will likely mean that municipalities will have to make do with much, much less. Driverless cars, left to their own devices, will be fundamentally predatory.
Modesto Irrigation District leaders on Tuesday backed off previous opposition to a future treatment plant supplying tap water to homes and businesses in Turlock and Ceres.
Saying it needs an insurance policy against future droughts, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is moving forward with plans to purchase a key property to build the largest reservoir constructed in the Bay Area in the past 20 years.
The humpbacks are back in full force on the Central Coast. Kevin Winfield, captain and co-owner of Sub Sea Tours in Morro Bay, said since May he has seen the number of whales increase in the area.
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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.
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