March 23, 2015


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

Political Briefs

Top stories

Dan Walters: Low-income housing plan needs GOP votes on taxes – The low-income housing squeeze is very real, as a report from the Legislature’s budget analyst, Mac Taylor, highlighted last week. Poor families must shell out two-thirds of their incomes to pay California’s high rental rates. But that tactical miscue – failing to use the Assembly supermajority when it still existed – may thwart one effort to do something about it. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown: ‘I’d need a time machine to run for president’ – Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if he would jump in the race if he was 10 years younger, Brown said without hesitation, “Yes, I would.” The governor continued, “If I could go back in a time machine and be 66, I might jump in. But that’s a counterfactual, so you don’t need to speculate on that.”  LA Times article

Gov. Brown

Jerry Brown calls Ted Cruz ‘unfit’ to run for president — California Gov. Jerry Brown says U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’ views on climate change make the Texas Republican unfit to run for president and that he would entertain making another bid for the White House himself if he were younger.  AP article

Jerry Brown: Opposition on climate change ‘borders on the immoral’ — Gov. Jerry Brown said opposition to steps President Barack Obama is taking on climate change “borders on the immoral,” as he tore into Republicans in an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  Capitol Alert

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Sacramento Bee: Deter the deluded: Raise initiative fee — Right now, anyone with $200 can submit an idea to the attorney general, who then must draft a title and summary for the measure. It’s an unnecessarily low first hurdle. Sacramento Bee editorial

Other areas

Tim Donnelly gets radio show in ‘socialist republic of California’ — Tim Donnelly, the former assemblyman and tea party stalwart who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, is turning to talk radio. “The Tim Donnelly Show” will debut in Southern California’s high desert region on April 15, tax day.  Capitol Alert

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Briefs

Top Stories

California overtime tops $1 billion, hits pre-recession high — Overtime for California’s state workers rose 20 percent last year and topped $1 billion even though there are 20,000 fewer employees than in pre-recession 2008, the last time the state paid out so much, according to new payroll data.  AP article; AP: Top 5 California department overtime spending in 2014

George Skelton: Thirsty crops should require state regulation — No one in Sacramento wants to tell farmers how to use water — what they can and cannot plant and irrigate. No edicts equivalent to “lawn-watering only twice a week” or “hosing down the driveway is forbidden.” Maybe, however, it’s time for state government to consider regulating crops based on their water needs as California’s drought lingers menacingly and we head into the uncertain future of global warming.  Skelton column in LA Times

Jobs and the Economy

California tops other states in job growth – Total jobs created in the 12 months ending Jan. 31 show California leading other states. California gained 498,000 new jobs, almost 30% more than the Lone Star State’s total of 392,900 for the same period.  LA Times article

Chinatown businesses, supporters worry about impact of high-speed rail work – Around 25 business owners and supporters of Fresno’s Chinatown gathered Sunday afternoon to share their concerns about the imminent high-speed rail construction along Kern and F streets. Road closures and construction are set to begin March 30, moving utility lines to make way for the future rail line.  Fresno Bee article

Oil markets, strong production lead U.S. gas prices lower The average national price of a regular gallon of gasoline has dropped 4 cents in the last two weeks to $2.50. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that falling oil prices and strong production at U.S. refineries led to lower numbers at the pump. The drop during the two-week period ended Friday comes despite labor strikes at some refineries.  AP article

LAO: Consider phasing out retiree health care – Last week, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, noting that most of the plan bypasses the Legislature, recommended that lawmakers hold hearings on state worker retiree health care, going back to square one, 1961, when the benefit began.  Calpensions article

‘No way of enforcing’ Airbnb law, San Francisco planning memo says — San Francisco’s highly touted Airbnb law — aimed at regulating short-term tourist rentals in private homes and apartments — is unworkable, according to the city department charged with enforcing it.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Home construction resuming in Riverbank — After a long dry spell, homebuilding could return soon if city leaderson Tuesday approve a plan for 96 houses north of Riverbank High School.  Hanford Sentinel article

Liquor store squeezed out in Sacramento’s new downtown — There’s probably not a place in the new downtown for a guy like Jafar Nassar. Nassar runs a little shop called Jade Liquor on Seventh Street, next to what used to be the Hotel Marshall, the city’s dingiest flophouse. His most expensive bottle of booze runs 22 bucks, and he has an entire shelf of those airplane-style mini bottles.  Sacramento Bee article


Gray introduces bills to reduce impact of drought – Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, has proposed three water bills aimed at reducing the impact of the drought on farmers statewide and stimulating Central Valley agriculture.  Merced Sun-Star article

Luis Alejo and Devin Mathis: Tulare County water crisis needs immediate attention – Assemblymembers Alejo (D-Salinas) and Mathis (R-Visalia) write, “California has an obligation to guarantee that the state’s emergency drought funds are a part of a sustainable plan for East Porterville. Investments made now can be a part of a permanent solution for clean and affordable drinking water. As our partnership clearly demonstrates, water is not a partisan or geographic issue. It is a human issue, and one we will fight for.”  Alejo/Mathis op-ed in Fresno Bee

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Zachary Norris: It would be a devastating mistake to dismantle Prop 47 – The executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland writes, “Instead of trying to go behind the backs of voters with anti-Proposition 47 bills, we need all legislators to focus their efforts on ensuring that the savings from the initiative actually go toward resources that will make our communities safer and stronger, such as increasing access to health care and starting restorative justice programs in schools.” Norris op-ed in Sacramento Bee

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case on San Francisco Police Department shooting of mentally ill woman —The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case Monday that’s being closely watched by law enforcement and advocates for the mentally ill — on an appeal brought by San Francisco.  KQED report


Cal State to consider adding new degree programs — From hospitality management to cybersecurity, campuses across the Cal State University system are planning to implement new degree programs over the course of the next decade. Trustees for the 23-campus system this week are expected to approve 29 projected degree programs when they modify the CSU Academic Master Plan, amid several discussions and decisions planned for their regularly scheduled session at the Chancellor’s Office.  LA Daily News article

Modesto City Schools technology upgrade on agenda — The Modesto City Schools board will hear an update on district investments in technology, including future projects to prepare for the day when all students carry computers to school, at their meeting tonight.  Modesto Bee article


EPA rule on power plant emissions faces formidable hurdle in Supreme Court – Twenty-five years in the making, a new nationwide rule is set to take effect this spring that will sharply restrict coal and oil-fired power plants from releasing mercury, arsenic and other hazardous pollutants into the air and, eventually, into rivers and lakes. But the rule faces a final and formidable hurdle when the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday from lawyers for the coal and power industries, who say it may be “the most costly rule” ever adopted under the Clean Air Act.  LA Times article

Sacramento Bee: Pay for fighting fires like natural disasters – An out-of-control wildfire is just as much a natural disaster as a hurricane or flood. Just ask Californians who fled for their lives or saw their homes burn down in recent years. But that’s not how wildfires are handled in the federal budget, and it’s taking money away from worthwhile programs in our national forests and parks.  Sacramento Bee editorial

Sacramento airport plans to build on-site solar farm – Sacramento International Airport officials say they are within weeks of signing a deal to build two large solar farms on airport grounds that will allow them to save $15 million on energy bills over the next two decades.  Sacramento Bee article

Sierra Nevada pine tree die-off worsens as beetles thrive in drought — A massive die-off of pine trees in the southern Sierra Nevada caused by beetles attacking drought-stressed trees is turning forests brown and creating a fire tinderbox. From El Portal in Mariposa County to Kernville in Kern County and beyond, stands of dead trees are striking fear in the hearts of mountain residents.  Fresno Bee article

After mystery spill ravaged bay, law pushed to galvanize response — Two California senators, angered by the tepid reaction to a mystery goo that has killed hundreds of birds on San Francisco Bay, are introducing legislationMonday to close a loophole that effectively froze state funding and prevented a unified multiagency response to the crisis.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Health/Human Services

Vaccination holdouts a disparate mix of rural, populous counties — Much of the public focus on vaccination efforts has been on places like Marin County, which is often held up as a hub of anti-vaccination sentiment in the state, and not entirely without merit. But there are many smaller, more rural counties like Mariposa that have much poorer rates of childhood immunization.  San Francisco Chronicle article

Diabetes study shows benefits of expanded Medicaid under Obamacare – Low-income patients with diabetes are getting better access to medical care in states that have expanded Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act, suggests a new study that provides one of the first indications of the sweeping law’s health effects.  LA Times article

Boy battles rare disorder usually found in girls — There are only roughly 1,000 confirmed cases of CDKL5 Disorder worldwide, about 250 of which are in the United States. One of those is Braylon, who lives in Tehachapi with his mother, a teacher, and stepfather, a technician in the wind energy industry. His parents are sharing their story to raise awareness about the disease, which is frequently misdiagnosed as epilepsy, cerebral palsy and autism. Bakersfield Californian article

Infected bat found in San Joaquin County home tests positive — A bat found in a San Joaquin County home has tested positive for rabies, health officials said last week. Such cases have become increasingly rare in recent years. Stockton Record article

Other areas

Longtime Stanislaus bailiff, last from former Marshal’s Office, retires — When Stanislaus County sheriff’s Deputy Richard Smith, a bailiff in Department 9, retired on Friday, he took a piece of history home from the courts – himself. Smith, 59, was the department’s last remaining deputy marshal from before the Marshal’s Office and Sheriff’s Department merged in 1992.  Modesto Bee article

Remembering the fallen: Veterans raising funds for new Vietnam memorial — James LaBarber’s name is slowly disappearing from a slab of stone erected in a downtown Stockton park some 42 years ago to honor San Joaquin County servicemen killed in Vietnam. But his memory never will fade from the mind of Jerry LaBarber, his older brother. Growing up in Stockton, they did everything together: hunting, playing baseball or mowing lawns for money. Stockton Record article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – At legislators’ prodding, Gov. Jerry Brown began unfurling his tight fist by agreeing to spend $1.1 billion to combat the drought. The question: What took him so long?

Sacramento Bee – An out-of-control wildfire is just as much a natural disaster as a hurricane or flood. Just ask Californians who fled for their lives or saw their homes burn down in recent years. But that’s not how wildfires are handled in the federal budget, and it’s taking money away from worthwhile programs in our national forests and parks;Deter the deluded by raising the initiative fee.