George Skelton: Pouring bullet train money into water development could backfire — The time seems ripe for a ballot initiative to shift what’s left of the bullet bonds — $8 billion remaining from the original $10 billion — to needed water projects. In fact, a recent poll by the Hoover Institution found that 53% of Californians favored the notion and only 31% were opposed. But hold on. This proposal isn’t as simple as just trading the train for water. There’s a lot more to it. Skelton column in LA Times
Governor can pursue inmate ballot measure — The California Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Gov. Jerry Brown can continue pursuing a plan to reduce the state’s prison inmate population by releasing certain non-violent felons early while it considers a legal challenge. AP article
Jerry Brown’s judicial friend steps away from PUC email case — Appellate Justice J. Anthony Kline, one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s oldest friends, has quietly stepped away from handling a case involving Brown’s communications with the Public Utilities Commission. Sacramento Bee article
Jerry Brown, first lady win shotgun and propane in raffle — Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife went to a charity dinner in Colusa County over the weekend and left with a new shotgun and several canisters of propane, Brown’s office said. Sacramento Bee article
This California congressman wants Cuba to send back the man who hijacked his plane 44 years ago — As U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba normalize, a California congressman wants to know what the federal government is doing to bring back the man who kidnapped him and a plane full of people in November 1971. Rep. Jerry McNerney is hoping the matter will come up when President Obama visits Cuba later this month. LA Times article
Kern supervisor kicks off campaign with gas station coffee and donuts — Kern County Supervisor David Couch will kick off his re-election campaign Thursday — but not like you’ve seen before. Usually these are well-coordinated news events held in a prominent public spaces such as the Liberty Bell in front of Kern County Superior Court. Supporters stand behind the candidate and news photographers and a reporter or two stand on the other side. Bakersfield Californian article
Statewide politics/Ballot Measures
Joel Fox: 40 years later, Prop 13 to be a main attraction on 2018 ballot — On the 40th anniversary of Proposition 13 passing, the iconic property tax measure could very well be a leading issue on the 2018 ballot both with a ballot initiative or two and a prime topic in the gubernatorial campaign. Fox in Fox & Hounds
Competition for ballot signatures heats up — The number of California ballot initiatives attempting to qualify for the November election has driven up the price of gathering voter signatures, and the competition has forced out at least one ballot measure. Capital Public Radio report
California leaders tell Supreme Court that undocumented immigrants are making the state stronger – A cross section of California leaders in business, education, law enforcement and religion joined Tuesday in urging the Supreme Court to upholdPresident Obama‘s plan to offer temporary relief and work permits to as many as 5 million immigrants who have been living in the U.S. illegally. LA Times article
Illegal immigration by children and families dips slightly on U.S.-Mexico border — The number of children and family members caught crossing the southern border fell again slightly last month, according to new government figures, but is expected to increase seasonally this summer ahead of the U.S. presidential election. LA Times article
U.S. continues to deport Central American migrants — Since late January, the immigration authorities have arrested 336 migrants from Central America for deportation, part of a continuing operation to toughen border enforcement, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday. New York Times article
New GOP leader wants to give a ‘hand up’ – Chad Mayes, 38, believes he can make his party relevant in this blue state by moving away from social issues like gay marriage and abortion, and focusing instead on quality of life issues like housing affordability and the need for middle-class jobs. Fueled by his Christian faith and a pragmatic style, Mayes is trying to make poverty alleviation a key focus for Republicans. CALmatters article
California lawmakers near vote on raising smoking age to 21 – California’s Senate is poised to vote on a sweeping package of anti-smoking measures_including raising the smoking age to 21— as lawmakers try to crack down on tobacco use and the health problems that flow from it. AP article
Soda tax is again before California legislators – California lawmakers have again introduced legislation to impose a fee on sodas and other sugary beverages — not a true tax, but a “health impact fee” to be paid by beverage distributors. KQED report
California bill would let gig workers organize, negotiate – Gig workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as many other contractors, would gain the right to collectively bargain over wages and working conditions under legislation being considered in California. San Francisco Chronicle article; San Jose Mercury News article
Sacramento Bee: Sacramento County can’t afford more election mishaps – Before it’s too late, Sacramento County supervisors have to ask themselves: Are they absolutely sure that this year’s momentous elections will run smoothly under Registrar Jill LaVine? Some city clerks haven’t been, and neither are we. Sacramento Bee editorial
In visits to Valley, Nancy Reagan often played surrogate for husband – Forty years ago this month, Nancy Reagan visited Fresno, playing the role of stand-in for her husband, Ronald Reagan. She’d been in these parts before. A coffee in Visalia, a lunch in Dinuba and a tea in Hanford during one visit to the central San Joaquin Valley. And always, it seemed, in a similar role. Fresno Bee article
Farewell to Nancy Reagan: Public gathers to pay respects — The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, in Simi Valley, has invited the public to pay respects to former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who will “lie in repose” there Wednesday and Thursday, before her burial in a private ceremony Friday. LA Times article
Bill Whalen: Two Oaklands could have deciding role in Trump-Clinton race — After Tuesday’s returns from Michigan – a big win for Donald Trump, a frustrating upset loss for Hillary Clinton – it’s time to think of the fall election and a tale of two Oaklands. That would be the city 80 miles to the west of Sacramento and the Michigan county 2,300 miles to the east, just to the northwest of Detroit. Whalen column in Sacramento Bee
Two California judges on Obama’s short list for Supreme Court — Two California judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit are reportedly on the Obama administration’s short list to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. KQED report
California Government Today:
High-speed rail agency adds money, time to right-of-way contracts — More time and money are being allocated to property acquisition for high-speed rail sections in the San Joaquin Valley – a process that continues to take the California High-Speed Rail Authority much longer than originally expected and threatens to slow progress on construction in the region. Fresno Bee article
Westlands Water District will pay big fine to settle SEC civil charges — The giant Westlands Water District in west Fresno County will pay $125,000 to settle Securities and Exchange Commission civil charges that it misled investors about its financial health, officials said Wednesday. McClatchy Newspapers article;LA Times article; Sacramento Bee article; AP article; Stockton Record article
Jobs and the Economy
February business index stays positive, points to future growth – Despite dipping from last month’s reading, for the 27th consecutive month, the February 2016 San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index points to continued growth, according to its author. The Business Journal article
UC Merced seminar seeks ‘rural justice’ – Rural community advocates and academic researchers came together at UC Merced on Wednesday for a daylong seminar aimed at improving the lives of people living in farming regions. Merced Sun-Star article
Paul McCartney schedules April 13 concert at Fresno’s Save Mart Center – It’s not often that the Save Mart Center holds a news conference to announce an upcoming event. It’s happened only a handful of times in the arena’s 12 years of operation, and only for the biggest names – like opera tenor Andrea Bocelli, who was the arena’s first performer in 2003. Add Paul McCartney to the list. Fresno Bee article
Notices on Modesto sewer rate increase in the mail – Modesto’s property owners and sewer customers soon can let the city know whether they oppose a proposal to raise sewer rates over the next five years. The notices of the proposed rate increases were expected to be in the mail Thursday ahead of an April 26 public hearing in which the City Council will consider adopting the increases. Modesto Bee article
McNerney bill takes aim at ‘predatory lawsuits’ – Rep. Jerry McNerney hopes to aid small businesses who have been plagued by “predatory lawsuits” over disabled access to their premises. The Stockton Democrat announced Wednesday federal legislation that would give businesses 90 to 120 days to correct any deficiencies under the Americans with Disabilities Act before they could be sued and face penalties. Stockton Record article; Capital Public Radio report; Modesto Bee article
CalPERS settles with ratings agency over housing bubble investment — CalPERS said Wednesday it has agreed to a $130 million settlement with one of the top Wall Street credit-ratings agencies over a disastrous series of investments made during the housing bubble. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article
LA County report lays out options for tax measures to fund homelessness efforts – Los Angeles County analysts laid out five options Wednesday for raising money to pay for ongoing efforts to combat homelessness — most of them involving voter-approved tax increases. LA Times article
Sacramento ethanol maker reports loss – Pacific Ethanol, Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss Wednesday as the company continued to grapple with a slump in ethanol prices. Sacramento Bee article
Modesto eateries set to air on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ – Modesto will be on the national TV menu next month thanks to “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Episodes of the hit series featuring two of the three eateries visited by celebrity chef and TV host Guy Fieri have been scheduled to air in April on the Food Network. Modesto Bee article
Evening farmers market in the works for 10th Street in Modesto – An evening farmers market is expected in downtown Modesto in May or June under a plan by the Modesto Certified Farmers Market and the nonprofit Modesto Improvement Partnership. Modesto Bee article
LA jumps to world’s 8th most expensive city for travelers and expats, study says – Los Angeles is now the eighth most expensive city in the world for tourists and foreign businesspeople, a study released Thursday said, as a rising U.S. dollar has pushed the City of Angels ahead of pricey metropolises including Tokyo and Shanghai. LA Times article
California’s janitors, security guards face ‘inferior working conditions’ — Tuesday’s rallies — which also marked International Women’s Day — came as a new study released by UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education linked subcontracting work to lower wages, fewer benefits, risk of sexual assault and other employment law violations compared to non-subcontracted workers. KQED report
Silicon Valley nonprofits set to lose United Way funding — In the shadow of high-tech titans and overnight millionaires, Silicon Valley nonprofits are fighting harder than ever for a piece of the pie, but that struggle just got tougher for nearly 25 local groups that serve the Bay Area’s most needy residents. San Jose Mercury News article
Lockheed Martin joins race to make long-haul airships — The secretive Skunk Works in Palmdale has over the years spawned such sleek aircraft as the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter. Today, one of the facility’s hangars houses a 120-foot-long, 21-foot-tall dirigible that resembles a cloud with three puffs — the prototype of a much larger hybrid airship that Lockheed Martin Corp. has touted as a way to deliver heavy cargo and personnel to remote locations. LA Times article
El Nino’s winter storms are no cure-all for California drought – The El Niño storms drenching California won’t suffice to solve the state’s drought and won’t permanently save the Central Valley’s vulnerable salmon, federal scientists are cautioning. McClatchy Newspapers article
Fresno Bee: Bureau of Reclamation should increase Delta water exports – There’s no other way to say it. The federal Bureau of Reclamation’s decision Wednesday to export less water south from the Delta than is legally allowed defies common sense. Fresno Bee editorial
Bakersfield tree death total exceeds 1,500 – California’s drought and state-mandated water conservation killed more than 1,500 city trees in Bakersfield last year, and more coastal redwoods than any other species. Bakersfield Californian article
Flood fears grow as atmospheric river streams into Bay Area — An atmospheric river that’s set up over the Pacific Ocean is taking aim at the Bay Area and will deliver several super soakers starting Thursday, forecasters said. San Francisco Chronicle article
Holy El Nino! Shasta Lake may fill up this month – In a Slate story about the soakings walloping California this month, meteorologist Eric Holthaus made a bold statement. “The series of storms could double the current snowpack in the Sierra, and fill Shasta Reservoir…” he wrote. San Francisco Chronicle article
Dairy group goes on the offensive in Sacramento — Modesto-based Western United Dairymen (WUD) has hired a new, high-profile lobbyist and is in the process of rebranding itself as a “major player” in Sacramento, according to the organization’s CEO. The Business Journal article
The Numbers Crunch: Injustice comes at a high price for taxpayers, too – It’s impossible to calculate the cost of lost freedom. How do you place a value on all the time missed with family and friends while in prison for a crime you didn’t commit? But a first-of-its kind study tries to compute the dollars-and-cents price of injustice to California taxpayers. The Numbers Crunch in Sacramento Bee
Study tallies cost of wrongful convictions – A study on the cost and number of wrongful convictions and erroneous prosecutions in California since 1989 says the city and county of San Diego have issued $10 million in payments and settlements to people who claimed they were wrongly arrested or prosecuted. San Diego Union-Tribune article
Jury finds correctional officer not guilty in sex assault case – A correctional officer who was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage inmate at Juvenile Hall sobbed as a jury found him not guilty on all counts Wednesday. Bakersfield Californian article
Inmate with famous photo released from prison – America’s most wanted convict has been released from federal prison and is reportedly preparing to launch his modeling career. Jeremy Meeks gained fame nearly two years ago after the Stockton Police Department arrested him as part of an Operation Ceasefire enforcement mission in June 2014. When the Police Department posted Meeks’ mug shot on its Facebook page, the photo went viral, generating more than 100,000 likes, 26,000 comments and 12,700 shares. Stockton Record article; LA Times article; San Francisco Chronicle article
65-year-old man dies in custody, held for a crime he did not commit — It wasn’t until after his death that the Alameda County coroner determined what killed Cameron: acute bacterial meningitis. Now, Stubbs’ family wants answers. LA Times article
Two women named to lead Cal State campuses in Chico and Channel Islands — California State University trustees named two women to lead the Chico and Channel Islands campuses, paving the way for the nation’s largest university system to have more women serving as presidents than at any time in its history. LA Times article
UC President Janet Napolitano: Davis chancellor should stay despite mistake – University of California President Janet Napolitano said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi made a mistake when she accepted a position on the board of a for-profit universitylast month, but added that Katehi should not have to resign over the controversy. Sacramento Bee article
Bard College in Delano agrees to $4 million settlement — Bard College officials in Delano have agreed to pay a $4 million settlement to resolve allegations that it took federal grant funding without complying with the conditions of that grant, U.S. Department of Justice officials announced Wednesday. Bakersfield Californian article
Cal law dean on leave, accused of sex harassment – The dean of the prestigious UC Berkeley School of Law was placed on indefinite leave of absence at reduced pay Wednesday after his assistant filed a sexual harassment lawsuit alleging that he hugged, kissed and touched her during 2014 and 2015 and that the campus did nothing to stop it. San Francisco Chronicle article; LA Times article
Sacramento Bee: Yes means yes for UC law school deans, too – A task force, prompted by the Marcy case, has been reviewing sexual harassment policy at the UC; a report is due in April. We hope it makes it clear, to the extent it isn’t already, that “yes means yes” isn’t just for students, and sexual harassment is sexual harassment, even for people with Ph.Ds. Sacramento Bee editorial
Fresno Unified questions Trustee Ashjian’s bidding practices – Fresno Unified Trustee Brooke Ashjian – who has long questioned the school district’s bidding practices – is now having his company’s bidding practices questioned by the district. Fresno Bee article
Helping their ‘elders’ – Lincoln High School students were given a glimpse into how much their younger peers are using technology on Wednesday. This marks Teen Tech Week, in which school and public libraries make time to showcase available digital resources and services for teens to assist them in school. Stockton Record article
Proposed history-social sciences tests raise concerns about testing burden – California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is recommending that California develop new annual standardized history-social science tests, but several State Board of Education members raised questions about the need for the test at their meeting in Sacramento Wednesday, saying it could run counter to California’s efforts to lighten the testing load on both students and their teachers. EdSource article
Richard Young: Are Bakersfield students learning anything of the history of the country? – The retired attorney writes, “I asked a Bakersfield teacher friend to lend me a junior-level history book recently used in our schools. Were Bakersfield students learning anything of the history of the country in which we live? That was my question and, unfortunately, the answer is that they are not learning much at all. And it’s not their fault.” Young op-ed in Bakersfield Californian
Tulare County Office of Education gets 21st century upgrade – When Jim Vidak addressed the audience prior to Wednesday’s ribbon cutting, he quoted a portion of TCOE’s mission statement which he believed was well-suited for the day’s event. The county’s superintendent of schools then dedicated the new Tulare County Office of Education building. Visalia Times-Delta article
LA County report on special education sees ‘crisis’ – Some students with disabilities in Los Angeles County are getting shortchanged by the bureaucracy that is supposed to ensure they receive a good education, according to a consultant’s report discussed on Tuesday. LA Times article
LA Unified teachers, but not administrators, will escape budget-related layoffs this year — No teachers in the L.A. Unified School District will get pink slips for cash flow reasons this year. That’s thanks in part to a one-time influx of cash from the state and Gov.Jerry Brown’s proposed budget that allocates more funding to schools. The last time the district didn’t send teachers these notices was 2013. LA Times article
Oil industry insists on continuing need for wastewater disposal pits — For decades Kern County oil producers have disposed of wastewater by dumping it into open pits where it’s been left to evaporate and seep into the ground, degrading some local groundwater. Use of injection wells is the more environmentally sensible way to get rid of “produced water,” which surfaces with every barrel of oil pumped from the ground and contains varying concentrations of contaminants. But Kern’s oil patch continues to depend heavily on the pits, judging by the strong turnout and comments made at a workshop Wednesday in Bakersfield. Bakersfield Californian articl
Southern California air quality board is sued over adoption of industry-friendly smog rules — Community groups and environmentalists filed suit Wednesday over Southern California air quality regulators’ adoption of oil industry-backed smog regulations, saying the measures are so weak they violate state law and will hurt public health. LA Times article
Guadalupe Martinez: Valley legislations need to improve on environmental justice – The assistant director of the Center of Race, Poverty & the Environment writes, “In Kern County and throughout California, we need leaders who acknowledge the disproportionate environmental and climate impacts suffered by the most vulnerable communities, and work in partnership with residents to advance solutions that will protect and benefit impacted communities.” Martinez op-ed in Bakersfield Californian
Coastal Commission appoints interim to replace ousted director — In its first meeting since firing its executive director, the California Coastal Commission on Wednesday appointed an interim chief and prepared to discuss the search process for a permanent replacement. KPCC report; LA Times article
Randy Hanvelt: Action can’t come soon enough for California forests – The Tuolumne County supervisor writes, “Last year, a staggering 893,000 acres burned across California – including over 537,000 acres of national forest land. Heavy fuel loads in our national forests, combined with the effects of drought, insect, disease and climate change, mean this wildfire season could bring more destruction to the Golden State. While there is broad agreement on the need to treat fighting wildfires like other natural disasters, this crisis demands a more comprehensive solution.” Hanvelt op-ed in Sacramento Bee
Jeff Jardine: They came, sawed and conquered 100-year-old Modesto tree — When Angel Gomez and his wife went house hunting in Modesto in 2010, the big valley oak in the back yard sealed the deal. “My wife didn’t like the house at all,” he said. “But when we looked at it a second time, it was, like, 110 degrees that day and (the yard) was so nice and shady.” Jardine column in Modesto Bee
Nearly half of Fresno County adults show early signs of diabetes, UCLA study says – Nearly half of the adults in Fresno County are on the path to diabetes, according to a new report. The San Joaquin Valley has more young adults with prediabetes than any other part of the state, with 37 percent of people ages 18 to 39 having high blood sugar levels. Fresno Bee article
Nearly half of state’s adults at risk of getting diabetes, study finds – Are we slurping and couch-potatoing our way into diabetes? In a first-ever study, an alarmingly high number of California adults – and even those under age 40 – are considered prediabetic, meaning they are at higher risk of developing life-threatening Type 2 diabetes. Sacramento Bee article; LA Times article
New procedure allows kidney transplants from any donor – In the anguishing wait for a new kidney, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists may never find a match because their immune systems will reject almost any transplanted organ. Now, in a large national study thatexperts are calling revolutionary, researchers have found a way to get them the desperately needed procedure. New York Times article
Your health app may be selling your personal health data — Turns out that, unlike every other entity that collects your health information and makes you read privacy policies ad nauseum, apps do not generally have to abide by federal health privacy laws. And many health apps are taking advantage of that to share sensitive health information with advertisers and other third parties, according to a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association. KQED report
UC Merced and trust split 1,200 acres — UC Merced and the Virginia Smith Trust have agreed to split the 1,256-acre tract of land just south of the campus, officials announced Wednesday. Merced Sun-Star article
Merced County pedestrian death rate outpaces national increase, study says – Pedestrian deaths in the United States climbed sharply during the first six moths of last year, according to a new traffic study – and Merced County reported an even more dramatic spike. Merced Sun-Star article
Caltrans finishes up at 12th Avenue in Hanford — Following months of lane closures and traffic delays, Caltrans has nearly completed construction on the 12th Avenue interchange. Construction for the $23.7 million project started in late 2014 in an effort to address traffic flow and safety issues by widening the overpass, improving the on- and off-ramps located north of Highway 198 and relocating the ramps south of 198. Hanford Sentinel article
ACE derailment: Passenger still shaken — Naveed Mozaffar said on Wednesday that the images from Monday night’s Altamont Corridor Express derailment in Niles Canyon are still fresh in his mind. Mozaffar, a software engineer in Santa Clara, had been commuting from his home in Mountain House for nearly two years, splitting his time between his car and the ACE train. Stockton Record article
Sacramento light rail hiring 30 fare checkers to crack down on cheats — Hoping to improve its light-rail train system before the downtown arena opens this fall, Sacramento Regional Transit announced Wednesday that it will hire 30 fare checkers this spring and have them patrolling most trains in the system by summer. Sacramento Bee article
BART’s multi-million ‘big problem’ is fighting grime – BART is taking steps to spiff up its image — and its stations — with a multimillion-dollar “brightening project” targeting grime that’s piling up on the aging system. San Francisco Chronicle article
7 key Bay Area transportation projects likely to lose funding — Seven Bay Area transportation projects that could untangle congested interchanges, make East Bay BART stations brighter and more comfortable, create better routes for bicyclists and smooth the drive for commuters may be delayed for years, regional transportation officials decided Wednesday. San Francisco Chronicle article
Tehachapi City Council considers banning medical marijuana dispensaries – The Tehachapi City Council considered an ordinance Monday night that would prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries, cooperatives and collectives — and heard from several people who support the use of marijuana. Tehachapi News article
How Cal Fire Academy chief emerged from scandal unscathed — About a month before Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott punished George Morris III’s staff, he promoted Morris to Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit chief, one of only 21 such jobs statewide. The move included a $400-per-month pay raise, to just under $136,000 annually – and distanced Morris from the disgrace that consumed the academy he had run. Sacramento Bee article
Valley Editorial Roundup
Fresno Bee – There’s no other way to say it. The federal Bureau of Reclamation’s decision Wednesday to export less water south from the Delta than is legally allowed defies common sense.
Merced Sun-Star – There’s no other way to say it. The federal Bureau of Reclamation’s decision Wednesday to export less water south from the Delta than is legally allowed defies common sense.
Sacramento Bee – A task force, prompted by the Marcy case, has been reviewing sexual harassment policy at the UC; a report is due in April. We hope it makes it clear, to the extent it isn’t already, that “yes means yes” isn’t just for students, and sexual harassment is sexual harassment, even for people with Ph.Ds; Sacramento County can’t afford more election mishaps.
Stockton Record – Thankful that everyone lived: Commuter train derailment could have been a tragedy.
Sunday, March 13, at 5 p.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “The Governor’s 2016 Budget: Sunny Today, Rain Tomorrow?” – Guest: Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor and Fred Silva, fiscal policy analyst with California Forward. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.
Sunday, March 13, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580 (KMJ) – Maddy Report-Valley Views Edition: “Governor Brown’s 2016 Budget: What It May Mean for the Valley” – Guests: Fresno Bee opinion page editor Bill McEwen and Fresno State political science professor Jeff Cummins. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director Mark Keppler.
Sunday, March 13, at 7 a.m. on Fresno Univision 21 (KFTV)– El Informe Maddy Report: “Californians and Civic Engagement” – Guest: Mony Flores-Bauer of the League of California Voters in California. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Deputy Director Ana Melendez.
The Maddy Report airs throughout California on The Cal Channel. Check http://www.calchannel.com to find the Cal Channel and schedule in your area. You also can view previous Maddy Report programs in their entirety at http://www.maddyinstitute.org/policy-analysis/the-maddy-report-tv.
- Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and other university officials will participate in a Community Conversation at the Reedley College Student Center in Reedley on April 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Seating for this free event is limited, so RSVPs should be made by Tuesday, April 5, at www.fresnostate.edu/presidentrsvp using the code “Reedleyforum.”
- The 2016 San Joaquin Valley Parks Summit will be held at Bitwise South Stadium in Fresno on Thursday, May 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration launches March 1. More information: Jenna Chilingerian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 challenge — The 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 at www.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/
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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.
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