June 8, 2015


Receive the Maddy Daily in your inbox every morning! To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to Ana Melendez at ajovelmelendez@csufresno.edu

Political Briefs

Top stories

 George Skelton: Bills that should live and bills that should die — Last week’s flurry of activity was about meeting the June 5 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin. Many will die in the other house. And they should. Skelton column in LA Times

 State budget

 Francisco X. Alarcon and Cecelia Colombi: Latinos’ success in California at stake in UC budget fight – Alarcon, supervisor of the native Spanish speaker program at UC Davis, and Colombi, chairwoman of the Spanish and Portuguese department at UC Davis, write, “Every day, we see the consequences of not investing in UC: large classes, less teacher contact with students, fewer elective courses, outdated classrooms.” Alarcon/Colombi op-ed in Sacramento Bee

 Businesses with stake in California politics utilize Capitol grounds – The enormous Mickey Mouse balloon had already descended from floating over the California state Capitol grounds when Jessie Mobley’s 4th-grade class walked by the governor’s office and spotted Mickey himself walking in. Sacramento Bee article

 Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

 Initiative alters CalPERS ‘poison pill’: big exit fees — A pension reform initiative filed last week requires voter approval of termination fees, the big upfront payment demanded by CalPERS when a plan is closed to new members. Calpensions article


 Pressure builds to release mothers and children from immigration detention centers — Federal officials face increasing pressure to stop detaining immigrant families and release more than 1,300 mothers and children. At least 600 families — many of whom fled violence in Central America — were being held at three federal detention centers, officials said recently. LA Times article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

 First phase of bullet train is cut due to Bakersfield, Shafter disputes – State bullet train officials have cut eight miles of track from an initial 130-mile section of construction in the Central Valley as a result of legal disputes with local cities. Instead of ending in the outskirts of Bakersfield, the rail work will now stop just north of Shafter. A still-pending legal battle also could eliminate a proposed elevated structure that would have carried high-speed trains through Shafter’s downtown. LA Times article

 California water losses ‘huge,’ new thinking required on drought, panel says – A panel of water experts on Sunday mapped out the challenges California faces in meeting future demands for water at a time when water sources are under stress and future supplies appear uncertain. LA Times article

 Contesting a traffic ticket? California poised to ban pay-first policy — California court officials plan to let those with traffic tickets across the state appear in court without paying up front. The new rule, expected to win approval from the state Judicial Council at a special telephone meeting Monday, is viewed by policymakers as a preliminary move in a broader effort to expand access to the court system. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article

Jobs and the Economy

 Stanislaus County could kick in funds for November vote on unincorporated islands – Stanislaus County is expected to cover half the cost of a consolidated Measure M vote in November on whether to extend wastewater service to homes in 15 county islands in Modesto. Modesto Bee article

 Another west Visalia hotel proposed — By the end of the year, the Visalia Holiday Inn will have a new name — Wyndham Visalia — but the city may not be without a hotel bearing the Holiday Inn name for long. That’s because on Monday night the Visalia Planning Commission will consider whether to grant a conditional use permit to build a Holiday Inn Express on the city’s west side. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Forbes lists top retirement spots, none in California – Forbes, the list-loving publisher, has put out its “25 Best Places to Retire” register – and not a single city is in California. Sacramento Bee article

 LA’s tech industry is booming, but how big is it? – Nearly everyone believes that tech in Los Angeles is booming. But measuring that growth is a murky business, with no consensus among the city’s officials, economists, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on where to begin, what regions to include or what even constitutes a tech job. LA Times article

 Will LA put money behind wage theft crackdown? – Now L.A. City Council members are poised to create a new office to enforce local wage laws, part of a larger push to require a $15-per-hour minimum wage by 2020. How much that office will cost, and whether it will experience the same funding woes that have befallen other city agencies, is an unresolved question. LA Times article

 More auto title lenders are snagging unwary borrowers in cycle of debt – Cash-strapped consumers are being shown a new place to find money: their driveways. Short-term lenders, seeking a detour around newly toughened restrictions on payday and other small loans, are pushing Americans to borrow more money than they often need by using their debt-free autos as collateral. LA Times article

 Fitz’s Stockton: The center of flour power in Stockton — A little gem of Stockton architecture, the Sperry Flour Company’s 1888 office, is open for business again. The historic brick building stands hidden in plain sight at 146 W. Weber Avenue. People whiz by without even knowing what it was. Fitz’s Stockton in Stockton Record


 U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein: How DC can help fight the drought in California — The tremendous challenge of upgrading our water infrastructure will require federal cooperation. That’s why I plan to introduce drought legislation soon to lay out the federal role in this long-term effort. Feinstein op-ed in LA Times

 Can Californians create enduring drought relief? – Forging a more lasting solution to California’s water woes will be more daunting, requiring something that has eluded the state for decades: compromise between the warring tribes of California, the north and the south, environmentalists and agriculture. LA Times article

 Michael Turnipseed: Restore balance to state water picture by backing Brown’s plan – The executive director of the Kern County Taxpayers’ Association writes, “KernTax, along with many other organizations in our region, supports comprehensive solutions to address the debilitating drought and continued population growth. Updating the state’s archaic water distribution system is absolutely vital to our regional economy, jobs and quality of life.” Turnipseed op-ed in Bakersfield Californian

Drought spurs sports to look at water use on fairways and fields – In the midst of a historic dry spell, with Gov. Jerry Brown demanding that Californians reduce water usage by 25%, sports such as golf, baseball and football must find new ways to care for acres of grass. LA Times article

 ‘We can feed the county’ — A new study says 90 percent of the nation could subsist on locally grown agriculture, and you might believe that was already happening if you stopped by Sergio Covarrubias’ booth at the downtown Stockton farmers market on Friday. Stockton Record article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Federal trial will probe whether Sanger police were justified in shooting Marine vet – A federal civil rights trial that begins Tuesday will explore whether Sanger police officers were justified in shooting 46-year-old Charles “Charlie” Salinas, a Marine veteran with a history of alcoholism, mental illness, a criminal record, and a death wish. Fresno Bee article


 Dan Walters: A shortage of teachers hits home – While local school officials are empowered to decide how the special financing is to be spent, the warning implies the state will look askance at siphoning it into broad salary hikes – although what would happen to noncompliant districts is uncertain. It’s a minor victory for school reform groups, which have pressed the state to closely monitor the LCFF money. But it doesn’t do anything about the teacher shortage, which will only grow worse. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

 Local funding, Common Core combined are ‘extraordinarily ambitious’ – For more than three decades, Lenny Mendonca has analyzed big problems and recommended big fixes in government – both for pay, as a senior executive with the Washington, D.C., and San Francisco offices of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, and now as an adviser and board member of a dozen nonprofit organizations. EdSource article

 Public university leaders’ pay soars as inflation rate slips – As the rate of inflation fell to below 1 percent last year, pay for public university presidents soared by nearly 7 percent, the latest survey of executive compensation from the Chronicle of Higher Education reveals. Median pay for heads of the nation’s public universities rose from $401,000 a year in 2013 to $428,000 in 2014, almost four times more than what full-time professors earn, on average, at the same schools, the survey found. San Francisco Chronicle article

 Pacific names two to Board of Regents – An associate justice for the California Court of Appeals and the deputy director for an education initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were elected to University of the Pacific’s Board of Regents in April. Andrea Lynn Hoch, a 1984 graduate of Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, and Donald “Don” Shalvey, the co-founder of Aspire Public Schools, will serve on Pacific’s governing board beginning July 1. Stockton Record article

 Sesame Street’s educational impact is comparable to preschool, study finds — The most authoritative study ever done on the impact of “Sesame Street,” to be released on Monday, finds that the famous show on public TV has delivered lasting educational benefits to millions of American children – benefits as powerful as the ones children get from going to preschool.Washington Post article


 California keeps talking climate change, but who’s listening? – While California’s environmental polices have long served as a model for other governments, including on fuel efficiency and emission standards, the resonance of the broader climate change message remains unclear. Sacramento Bee article

 Keeping fish on track — Yes, it will rain again someday. And when it does, and the Calaveras River once more becomes a flowing stream, officials want to give migrating fish their best possible chance at journeying to prime spawning habitat below New Hogan Dam. Stockton Record article

 Firm in California oil spill called a rupture ‘unlikely’ — A Texas company whose ruptured pipeline created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years had assured the government that a break in the line, while possible, was “extremely unlikely” and that state-of-the-art monitoring could quickly detect possible leaks and alert operators, documents show. AP article

Health/Human Services

 Kaiser Permanente workers to get raises – Capping negotiations involving hundreds of people over three months, Kaiser Permanente has reached a three-year agreement offering annual raises of 2 to 4 percent to 105,000 health-care employees ranging from maintenance workers to pharmacists. San Jose Mercury News article

 Medi-Cal boom brings capacity questions – Today, more than 12 million Californians, nearly one-third of the state’s total population, are enrolled in the government’s health insurance plan for low-income, disabled and disadvantaged residents. Franklin said supply of health care services is not always keeping up with demand. San Diego Union-Tribune article

 Drought, heat suggest West Nile virus danger in Sacramento region – Rising temperatures and a historic drought suggest that the Sacramento region and Central Valley will likely see high West Nile virus activity this summer, researchers say. Sacramento Bee article

 Bay Area hospitals seeing birth rates inch back up after recession — Hospitals around the Bay Area appear to be sharing in the joy, reporting that the number of births has finally started inching up to pre-recession levels. John Muir, Lucile Packard, UC San Francisco, Kaiser Permanente and Contra Costa Regional hospital systems all say they are seeing a rise in births after a slowdown during the economic slump. San Jose Mercury News article


BART to halt San Francisco-East Bay service for 5 days of track upgrades – BART is preparing to halt all train service between San Francisco and the East Bay over the upcoming three-day Labor Day weekend — and the first weekend of August as well — for what is being billed as “critical track maintenance” near the entrance to the system’s Transbay Tube. San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

 Hoops sitting streetside? Modesto calls a foul — Mobile homes and mobile hoops; most cities have rules regulating both. Residents of Mayflower Street in north Modesto learned about the latter on Thursday when they received courtesy notices stating their basketball hoops can’t be left in the street or on the sidewalk. Modesto Bee article

 Suicide rate of female military veterans is called ‘staggering’ — New government research shows that female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women, a startling finding that experts say poses disturbing questions about the backgrounds and experiences of women who serve in the armed forces. LA Times article

 In 25 years, San Francisco will be a lot whiter — San Francisco, which prides itself on its diversity and progressiveness, may be well on its way to returning to the white-dominated society it was in the middle of the last century. San Francisco Chronicle article