March 13, 2017


Political Stories

Top stories


Dan Walters: Jerry Brown wants to kill a test of coordinated services — The “Coordinated Care Initiative” is one of those uber-wonky, densely complex, acronym-laden pieces of governmental policy that may affect millions but only a handful of folks even profess to understand. And they may not have to even try to understand it, because Gov. Jerry Brown wants to give it the boot after a half-decade. Walters column in Sacramento Bee


California Democrats unveil expansive aid plan with goal of making public colleges ‘debt-free’ — Seizing on growing concerns over college affordability, California lawmakers are poised to propose what would be the most generous college aid plan in the nation, covering not just tuition but also living expenses that have led to spiraling student debt. LA Times article


George Skelton: Will California spend more on water projects? ‘It depends on how thirsty the governor is,’ de Leon says —  If there ever was a politically ripe time to spend lavishly on water projects, this is it. But Sacramento Democrats are settling for a drop in the bucket. Skelton column in LA Times


Valley politics


Debbie Avila and Rebecca Ortega-Harrington: We are outraged anyone would invite Ann Coulter into our home – Avila, a Modesto resident and registered Republican, and Ortega-Harrington, a Modesto resident and registered Democrat, write, “Hate speech is both dangerous and ugly when it comes from someone like Ann Coulter. It is even more dangerous when it is encouraged by one of our county’s elected leaders. By welcoming a high-profile figure known for her incendiary rhetoric to speak in our county, Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini is encouraging the criminalization and dehumanization of communities of color. He is helping to perpetuate a culture of hatred that can, and has, led to violence.” Avila/Ortega-Harrington op-ed in Modesto Bee


Statewide politics/Ballot Measures


Schwarzenegger knocks down Senate rumors — Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the subject of buzz about a possible return to politics, told his fans on Facebook Sunday that his first mission will be to work on redistricting reform — not the U.S. Senate. Politico article




Jose Gaspar: A parental talk like no other — Parents can shield their children from only so much before they catch on that something is amiss. Sooner or later parents must have a talk with their children about an issue that is usually kept quiet. For a countless number of Kern County families, parents who are in the country illegally confront the reality of telling their kids that one day they might come home from school and find mom and dad have been picked up and deported by immigration agents known as ICE. Gaspar column in Bakersfield Californian


Fearing deportation, Bay Area immigrants rush to make U.S.-born kids dual Mexican citizens — Fearing deportation under the Trump administration, Mexican immigrants across the state are rushing to register their American-born children as dual citizens — an emergency plan in case they’re deported and compelled to uproot their families to Mexico. San Jose Mercury News article


Fearful parents sign papers for friends to care for kids in case they’re deported — The fear among immigrants in the United States illegally has reached such a pitch that some have altered their lifestyles, won’t answer the door if someone knocks and pay close attention to reports of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions on social media and the news. But Larry Love, who leads a Mormon stake in Salt Lake City, said many like Napola are going a step further: finding trusted people to sign power of attorney papers to ensure their U.S.-born children could continue to thrive in the country if they’re deported. LA Times article


Other areas


In the battle over California climate policies, green projects are now in the hot seat – By paying for offsets, companies can generate environmental benefits anywhere in the country — they are not required to invest in green projects in California — as an alternative to cleaning up their own operations. Now that lawmakers are debating how to continue the state’s fight against climate change, the system is being targeted by some environmentalists who would rather force industry to directly reduce its emissions. LA Times article


The 5 big numbers to look for in the CBO report on health care reform – We asked experts from both parties – health economists, consultants and people who led the C.B.O. – to provide some plausible estimates for the report’s most important questions. Their answers provide a useful background for understanding the bounds of the possible in the report and why there’s so much uncertainty around its estimates. New York Times article


Trump said no Americans would lose coverage under Obamacare repeal. Paul Ryan won’t make that promise – House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that he doesn’t know how many Americans would lose coverage under his proposal to revise the Affordable Care Act, which is under fire from fellow Republicans, AARP and virtually every sector of the U.S. health-care industry. Washington Post article


Paul Ryan’s repeal of Obamacare could spark ‘death spiral’ in some insurance markets — House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Affordable Care Act is in a “death spiral,” but his own repeal legislation could, in fact, be the spark that causes insurance markets to unravel in certain areas of the country, according to a new analysis. McClatchy Newspapers article


Sacramento battle over telling patients about doctors’ problems — While few doctors are on probation — less than 1 percent — the reasons for being placed on the list can range from sexual misconduct to gross negligence to overprescribing opioids that led to multiple patients dying. How patients find out whether their doctor is on probation is a contentious fight in the state Capitol. San Francisco Chronicle article


Presidential Politics


Trump wants faster growth. The Fed isn’t so sure – For President Trump and his economic advisers, the strong February jobs report was a cause for celebration — and a first step toward delivering on the president’s promise of faster economic growth. For the Federal Reserve, it was the final confirmation that the time had come to raise interest rates to prevent the United States economy from overheating. New York Times article


Trump lets key offices gather dust amid ‘slowest transition in decades’ – From the moment he was sworn in, President Trump faced a personnel crisis, starting virtually from scratch in lining up senior leaders for his administration. Seven weeks into the job, he is still hobbled by the slow start, months behind where experts in both parties, even some inside his administration, say he should be. New York Times article


Trump administration is said to be working to loosen counterterrorism rules – The Trump administration is exploring how to dismantle or bypass Obama-era constraints intended to prevent civilian deaths from drone attacks, commando raids and other counterterrorism missions outside conventional war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations. New York Times article


The new Party of No – How a president and a protest movement transformed the Democrats into a party far more comfortable in the opposition role. New York Times article


Seeing red: Membership triples for the Democratic Socialists of America — The surge of activism sweeping the U.S. since Donald Trump’s election has energized the nation’s largest socialist organization, which has tripled in size over the last year to claim more than 19,000 dues-paying members. That’s a record for the DSA, which was founded in 1982. LA Times article


California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories


Oakdale wants more in return for hidden tax to Oakdale Irrigation District – Everyone with property in Oakdale pays taxes to the Oakdale Irrigation District, which delivers no water to any property in the city. The fact that city dwellers are subsidizing outlying farms – at more than $1 million a year – goes largely unnoticed. It’s rolled into property tax and doesn’t show up as a separate item on tax bills. Modesto Bee article


Girls now outnumber boys in high school STEM, but still lag in college and career – High school engineering classrooms look a lot different than they did a few decades ago, and it’s not just because of computers. Those classes now have girls. Lots of girls. EdSource article


Jobs and the Economy


Perea puts sushi restaurant owner on blast over Hispanics comment on Facebook — The owner of a sushi restaurant in northeast Fresno is facing backlash for a post on Facebook that he’s calling an “off-color joke.” Steve Wayte created the post Friday night on his personal Facebook page after his staff at Roll One For Mi complained about Hispanic patrons who did not leave a tip. Fresno Bee article


Stockmarket moves again, expands – When the Stockmarket returns next month, co-founder Amy Sieffert said the event’s third different location will offer more opportunity for creativity and space than ever before. Stockton Record article


Future Apple, Google campuses go for workplace glamour — Next month, Apple will inaugurate its circular “spaceship” campus, an eye-catching Cupertino landmark that will house some 12,000 employees of the world’s most valuable company under a single roof. About 10 miles away in Mountain View, Google is moving past the planning stage for a futuristic campus that, when it opens in 2019, will be the first major real estate project the search engine giant has built from scratch. San Francisco Chronicle article




Don Nottoli and Kathy Miller: We can find water solutions together – Nottoli, chairman of the Delta Counties Coalition and a Sacramento County supervisor, and Kathy Miller, a member of the Coalition and a San Joaquin County supervisor, write, “Twin tunnels proponents have wasted valuable resources on the project at the expense of many other water solutions, which could have been operational during this year’s extraordinary drought and runoff. The consequences are lost opportunities and a waste of precious resources.” Nottoli/Miller op-ed in Sacramento Bee


Don Curlee: Farm growth is more than crops — It might be possible these days to start farming with a shovel, a wheelbarrow and a plot of land, the way some organic enthusiasts did in the ‘80s. But expect growth to overtake you. Curlee in Visalia Times-Delta


Criminal Justice/Prisons


Drivers could pay a lot more when cops tow their cars — The Modesto Police Department is back with a new proposal that still will cost some drivers a lot more money when they get their cars towed because of driving-related offenses, including driving under the influence or on a suspended license. Modesto Bee article




Turlock schools to study Measures N and O projects — The Turlock Unified School District board will hold a study session at 6 p.m. Monday at the district office to discuss plans for spending bond proceeds from Measures N and O. Voters passed the school bonds in November, approving $40.8 million for elementary schools and $48 million for high schools. Both passed by more than a 2-to-1 margin. Modesto Bee article


UCSD scientists worry Trump could suppress climate change data – UC San Diego may accelerate plans to preserve its climate data due to growing concerns among faculty members that the Trump administration could interfere with their work. LA Times article


Health/Human Services


Residents here more likely to suffer stroke — Tulare County is among California’s higher stroke counties. Of the more than 300,000 Tulare County adults, between 25 and 29 percent will suffer from a stroke, according to a study recently released by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Visalia Times-Delta article


Health fair serves as safety net for uninsured — Here’s a dose of reality: With all the recent talk of greater access to health care, for hundreds if not thousands of people in Stockton a visit to the doctor still remains out of reach. Stockton Record article


Land Use/Housing


San Joaquin County supervisors fail to overturn B&B denial – Despite their willingness to work with their neighbor, a couple’s plan to operate a bed and breakfast north of Lodi has been shut down. Stockton Record article




Sacramento International Airport hopes for service to Asia, Europe — Hiking the Great Wall of China. Sampling sushi at a Tokyo fish market. A weekend shopping trip to London. Travel to those far-flung locales could soon be easier, if airlines begin nonstop service from Sacramento International Airport to Asia and Europe. Once considered unrealistic due to limited market demand, nonstop flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, London and Frankfurt could become reality, thanks to technological advances in aircraft and fierce competition in the aviation industry. Sacramento Bee article


Other areas


Fresno Bee: Fresno must do marijuana right, not rush to decision – Some cities are moving ahead quickly. Last week, Sacramento and Los Angeles approved laws for commercial cultivation, including a framework for licensing, taxing and zoning marijuana businesses. Good for them. By going bravely into the new frontier, they provide other cities – Fresno among them – the opportunity to study their proposals and decide the best course of action. Fresno Bee editorial


Valley Editorial Roundup


Fresno Bee – Some cities are moving ahead quickly. Last week, Sacramento and Los Angeles approved laws for commercial cultivation, including a framework for licensing, taxing and zoning marijuana businesses. Good for them. By going bravely into the new frontier, they provide other cities – Fresno among them – the opportunity to study their proposals and decide the best course of action.


Merced Sun-Star – Convinced that “paid, professional” protesters are behind demonstrations against President Donald Trump, Republican lawmakers in several states are pushing bills that chip away at the First Amendment. Protesters would be subject to additional crimes for blocking highways and heckling elected officials.