March 26, 2015


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Political Briefs

Top stories

 Senate approves California drought relief bill amid Republican complaints — Responding to a drought that shows no sign of abating as it enters a fourth year, the California State Senate on Wednesday advanced a $1.1 billion relief package that mostly allocates previously approved funds.  Sacramento Bee article; AP article

 Kamala Harris seeks to kill ‘block the gays’ ballot measure — California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a court Wednesday to intervene and allow her to block an incendiary proposed ballot measure authorizing the killing of gays and lesbians.  Capitol Alert; LA Times article; KQED report

Valley politics

 Editor’s Note – Rachel Garza not considering run for Congress – Yesterday’s Maddy Daily linked to a Bakersfield Californian article noting that Rachel Garza of Kingsburg was considering running for the 21st Congressional District seat.  Garza contacted the Maddy Institute yesterday to say she was not considering running for the office.  We apologize for any confusion.

 After losing Fresno County judge’s race, Hill joins Hammerschmidt Broughton law firm — When Rachel Hill was last in the news, she was on the losing end of the most expensive judge’s race in Fresno County Superior Court history, a million-dollar plus campaign that was won by her opponent, former prosecutor Lisa Gamoian. Now,almost five months after the election and with Gamoian settling into her seat on the Fresno County bench, Hill has landed on her feet.  Fresno Bee article

 Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

 ‘Shoot the gays’ initiative countered by ‘Intolerant Jackass Act’ – A Southern California attorney’s “shoot the gays” initiative is apparently headed for circulation. While some of its would-be targets have asked the State Bar to take action against the author, a local writer, politician and TV commentator is suggesting a more in-your-face expression of disapproval: the “Intolerant Jackass Act.”  San Francisco Chronicle article

 Californians worry about water, favor legalizing pot and like Jerry Brown: poll —  Californians support Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, worry about water and increasingly favor legalizing marijuana, a new poll shows. About 55 percent of adults approve of the job Brown is doing, down from an all-time high of 61 percent in January, but still pretty good marks, according to the latest poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.  Reuters article

 Poll: Support for legalizing marijuana rising in state – Support for legalizing marijuana in California appears to be growing gradually stronger, amid talk of renewed efforts to bring a proposal to the state ballot to legalize its use, a statewide poll found Wednesday.  AP article

 Newsom’s group draws state’s road map to legal pot – California takes the next step toward legalizing the nonmedicinal use of marijuana Thursday when experts led by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom unveil a policy road map that includes such issues as taxes, driving under the influence and children’s accessibility.  San Francisco Chronicle article

 Joe Mathews: Prop 30 Plus — Reading and listening to (and hearing some background talk) about what sort of tax plan the state’s leaders might offer voters next year, two things are clear to me. The first is that we will see an extension of at least the income tax rates that were part of Prop 30. The second is that we will see one other tax hike that is packaged as a tax reform to accompany the extension. Call this “Prop 30 Plus.”  Mathews in Fox & Hounds


 George Skelton: Attitudes shift on immigration, but unity eludes other issues – In a new statewide poll released Wednesday night, the Public Policy Institute of California reported that the vast majority of voters now favor providing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally. They’d need to meet certain conditions, including paying back-taxes, passing a criminal-background check, undergoing a waiting period and learning English.  Skelton column in LA Times article

 Medi-Cal rolls could swell under Obama’s deportation relief plan — President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which have sparked a fierce political backlash nationwide, could also provide an unlikely boost for another of his goals: increasing health insurance signups.  LA Times article

 Other areas

 Aid-in-dying bill passed by California Senate panel – Legislation that would allow physicians in California to provide lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients to hasten their deaths passed the first committee Wednesday after some two hours of often-emotional testimony.  LA Times article

 Aid-in-dying bill gets support in video from woman who died last year – Four months after her death, Brittany Maynard urged state lawmakers in a video released Wednesday morning to approve a bill that would allow physicians in California to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients to hasten their demise.  LA Times article; AP article; KQED report

 Gail Marshall: We’re California: Let’s making voting fun – The associate editor of the Fresno Bee’s opinion pages writes, “Valley people love competitions. Why not pit cities against each other for big prizes? The city that gets the most voters gets a Taylor Swift or U2 concert with tickets given to voters. Or appeal to our philanthropic side and the winning city gets to choose a charity. We could bring clean water to one of our neighboring towns.”  Marshall column in Fresno Bee

Dan Walters Daily: California’s poor government transparency is shameful – California ranks worst in the nation for transparency on state spending, Dan says. Dan Walters Daily in Sacramento Bee

 Wealthy donors attract GOP presidential candidates to California – A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won California since 1988 but that doesn’t stop GOP candidates from visiting the Golden State. That’s because it’s home to so many wealthy donors. (Remember the stat that California has more billionaires than any other state — and almost any other country?)  LA Times article

 Obama ready to sign bill revamping Medicare doctor fees — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he’s ready to sign “good, bipartisan” legislation protecting physicians from steep cuts in Medicare reimbursements and bolstering health programs for children and the poor as Senate Democrats seemed to soften their opposition to the package.  AP article

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File
News Briefs

Top Stories

 Poll: Californians say their neighbors could do more to conserve water — In the fourth year of drought, Californians overwhelmingly believe people in their regions aren’t doing enough to conserve and think the water supply in their area is a major problem, according to a new poll released late Wednesday.  Sacramento Bee article; John Myers in KQED; San Francisco Chronicle article

 Valley population keeps growing despite outward migration — The central San Joaquin Valley’s population grew by about 52,000 between the 2010 U.S. Census and mid-2014. Of the region’s four counties, only in Kings County did the population fall in the four-year period.  Fresno Bee article

 Jobs and the Economy

 Valley economic index reveals sluggish growth – The Central Valley was in slow growth mode for February, with many still feeling the pain of the West Coast dock disputes last month, according to a new economic index report.  The Business Journal article

 Summit examines cracks in Kern economy – Local business and government leaders got a close look Wednesday at the cracks forming in Kern County’s economy as a result of drought and sharply lower oil prices. At an annual meeting that was much less optimistic than in recent years, economists and local specialists predicted substantial reductions in the county’s agricultural output and continuing pain in its oil fields.  Bakersfield Californian article; Video from Kern County Economic Summit in Bakersfield Californian

 Drought creeps into Kings County economic forecast – In recent years, recession was the spoiler in the annual economic development report issued by Kings County Economic Development Corp. But in the 2015 edition presented to county supervisors this week, there’s a new boogieman in town: California’s historic drought, now in its fourth year.  Hanford Sentinel article

 Rack ‘em up: Coveted retailer finally arrives in Bakersfield – Nordstrom Rack will open its highly anticipated first store in Bakersfield Thursday, and the grand opening will feature prizes, food and other incentives for shoppers. Developer Castle & Cooke can be forgiven if it’s privately feeling a little smug about the long-awaited coup.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Barnes named head of Kern Community Foundation – Kristen Barnes, a longtime champion of local philanthropy, has been named president and CEO of the Kern Community Foundation, it was announced Wednesday. Barnes, who takes over the job April 6, replaces Jeff Pickering, who is leaving to take a job in Florida.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Local credit unions see growth – Credit unions headquartered in Tulare County and throughout the Central Valley saw exponential growth from Dec. 31, 2013 through the following year, according to data released by the California Credit Union League, and the group’s chief economist is expecting continued growth through the current year.  Visalia Times-Delta article

 Gallo acquires another Sonoma winery – E.&.J Gallo Winery of Modesto has purchased J Vineyards & Winery, a producer of premium sparkling and still wines in Sonoma County. The deal, at an undisclosed price, expands a Gallo presence in Sonoma that dates to the 1990s.  Modesto Bee article

Storyland and Playland board members resign, fundraising to start – The Rotary Storyland and Playland board resigned Wednesday night except for one board member who will join a new management committee overseen by Fresno Chaffee Zoo Corporation officials.  Fresno Bee article

 Divided Bakersfield council Oks parking structure renovation – The city’s downtown parking structure will get its first update in at least 10 years, opening up more than 400 spaces to the public at increased fees, the Bakersfield City Council decided Wednesday.  Bakersfield Californian article

 Cities near LA, County consider raising minimum wage – Some analysts have warned that if Los Angeles raises its minimum wage, businesses will flee beyond the city limits, to places like Burbank and Long Beach where they can pay employees less. But not long after Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed raising the Los Angeles minimum wage last September, Santa Monica and West Hollywood began studying the possibility…and keeping tabs on L.A.  KPCC report

 Mayor Ed Lee faces fire over who benefits as San Francisco booms – In the years since Lee became mayor and cozied up to tech, San Francisco’s unemployment rate has been more than cut in half, the skyline has been transformed, city coffers are plump, and philanthropists are stepping up to help fund everything from hospitals to schools. But anxiety is skyrocketing along with housing costs, as many fear the city they love is vanishing. “Evict Ed Lee” graffiti abounds.  LA Times article

 Joe Mathews: Without a boost from China, where would California be? – On the housing market, the economy, education and culture, China does a lot for California. Can it help on infrastructure next? Mathews in Sacramento Bee

 New fees would hold LA bar, restaurant developers to their promises — Los Angeles could soon add some city fees to make sure developers of new bars, restaurants and clubs follow through on promises they make in return for getting permits.  LA Times article

 Carson stadium supporters declare ‘mission accomplished’ – Supporters of an NFL stadium in Carson needed 8,041 signatures to get their project on the city-wide ballot, and submitted more than 15,000 to their city clerk on Wednesday, according to the group Carson2gether. KPCC report

 Win or lose, discrimination suit is having an effect on Silicon Valley – She was a junior partner at one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful venture capital firms. But was Ellen Pao a greedy underperformer? Or was she a victim of a sexist corporate culture? That’s the choice confronting a jury in a trial that has riveted an industry struggling to attract and keep talented women in the workforce.  LA Times article; San Francisco Chronicle article

 Folsom approves higher park fees for development — The Folsom City Council voted late Tuesday to more than double the fees charged on new homes to pay for parks. The fee increases affect various types of development in Folsom. On a single-family home, fees will go from $2,910 to $6,501 starting July 1. Sacramento Bee article


Asian citrus psyllid quarantine expanded in Madera County – The state is expanding a quarantine in a portion of Madera County to protect against the Asian citrus psyllid after an insect was found east of Madera, in the Bonadelle Ranchos-Madera Ranchos area.  Fresno Bee article

 Aggie’s bottle water collection nets 700 gallons – The water drive headed by Aggie the Cow, the mascot for AgVentures! Learning Center, netted 700 gallons of bottled water last weekend. AgVentures! Learning Center Ag Education Coordinator Kerissa Postma-Chapman said the drive was to collect bottled water for county families affected by the drought. The water was given to the Porterville Area Coordinating Council, the agency that will distribute it to the families. Visalia Times-Delta article

 Bill would create organic-type labels for nonmodified food – Inspired by the popular “USDA organic” label, House Republicans are proposing a new government certification for foods free of genetically modified ingredients. The idea is part of an attempt to block mandatory labeling of foods that include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  AP article

 ‘First Look’: Water expert panel at Kern County Economic Summit — Wednesday on “First Look with Scott Cox,” Californian columnist Lois Henry made her appearance via telephone and talked about her participation in the Kern County Economic Summit, live from the DoubleTree Hotel. Henry put together a panel of experts to talk about the economic impact of water in Kern County.  Bakersfield Californian article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

 Dyer touts system to spot sources of gunfire – The day is coming when Fresno police officers responding to gunfire in high-crime neighborhoods will know the shooting’s precise location almost before the “bang” has faded. Chief Jerry Dyer on Thursday will ask the City Council to approve a contract that would bring gunshot-spotting technology to parts of Fresno routinely plagued by deadly crime.  Fresno Bee article

 Janine Nkosi and Booker T. Lewis II: We can end Fresno cycle of crime – Nkosi, a sociology lecturer at Fresno State, and Lewis, pastor of Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church in southwest Fresno, write, “Prop. 47 offers the opportunity to change the course of history and offer positive change for Californians. While the six offenses changed can still lead to arrest, detainment and up to a year in jail (if convicted), the law calls for a new way to approach safety, including more effective forms of accountability, new partnerships and new investments — all geared toward addressing crime’s root causes.”  Nkosi/Lewis op-ed in Fresno Bee

 Arrest record of Merced DA’s son to be ‘sealed and destroyed,’ judge says — The arrest record of Ethan Morse, son of District Attorney Larry Morse II, does not exist any longer, a judge ruled Wednesday. The Attorney General’s Office did not oppose the motion to destroy the arrest record. State attorneys prosecuted the case because of the involvement of the Merced district attorney’s son.  Merced Sun-Star article

 ‘A monumental day for us’ — Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones watched with pride and satisfaction Thursday afternoon as 45 new graduates of the San Joaquin Delta College Peace Officer Academy marched in for inspection outside Atherton Auditorium.  Stockton Record article


 Cal State efficiencies save millions, but state funding still sought — Smaller budgets and increased numbers of students are forcing California State University campuses to take far-reaching cost-cutting measures that are saving millions of dollars on technology, energy and operations, officials said Wednesday.  LA Times article

 California teachers unions promote charter school bills — California’s politically potent teachers unions are promoting bills requiring charter schools to hold open meetings and to consider all applicants while cracking down on for-profit charter operators.  Capitol Alert

 Nan Austin: Turlock university burnishes its right-brain credentials — Great writing – a terrific goal, but our local liberal arts university sees it as just the ladder. The goal is to write a new narrative for majors steeped in creativity and commentary during an era dominated by science, engineering and technology.  Austin in Modesto Bee

Teachers show support for Fresno vice principal – Scandinavian Middle teachers and staff have a message for the public: We support vice principal Joe DiFilippo. About a dozen educators from the school came to Fresno Unified’s school board meeting Wednesday night to deliver a letter signed by more than 30 teachers there, offering their support for DiFilippo who is on paid leave after being recorded on a student’s cell phone saying, “I just don’t like the black kids.”  Fresno Bee article

 Sandy Torosian: Know your rights when it comes to Common Core – The member of Parents Against Common Core writes, “Parents and guardians, I urge you to exercise your fundamental right to direct the education of your children. Show your disapproval of this government experiment by opting out of the assessments and data gathering that are built into the Common Core State Standards. Opt out, refuse the tests, find support and know your rights!”  Torosian op-ed in Fresno Bee

 Former Texas university executive tapped as next CSU Sacramento president — Robert S. Nelsen, the former president of University of Texas-Pan American, was named Wednesday as Sacramento State’s next president.  Sacramento Bee article; Sacramento Bee editorial

 Mathematics and sociology leaders to speak at UC Merced commencement — UC Merced’s 10th graduating class will hear keynote addresses from two innovative academic leaders, the university announced Wednesday. Richard A. Tapia, a mathematician and professor at Rice University in Houston, and Cora B. Marrett, former deputy director and acting director of the National Science Foundation, will speak at the campus’s commencement ceremonies May 16 and 17.  Merced Sun-Star article

 Classes combining kindergarten, transitional kindergarten pose challenges – As a result of a new state law, California schools instituted transitional kindergarten to give 4-year-olds who were previously eligible for kindergarten an extra year to adjust to school and experience a less academically-oriented curriculum. But many thousands of those children are in classrooms with kindergartners, leaving teachers to figure out how to accommodate the new approach for 4-year-olds while preparing the 5-year-olds for 1st grade.  EdSource article

 Merced students get hands-on training in green tech — Yosemite High and Merced Adult School students are getting the unique opportunity of taking their learning experience outside the classroom.  Merced Sun-Star article


 Funds for safety went utility execs’ pay instead, PUC president says – Money collected from ratepayers and earmarked for pipeline safety was instead spent on executive pay raises by the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., in the months before a deadly pipeline explosion in 2010, lawmakers were told Wednesday.  LA Times article

 Feds probe PG&E report on California nuclear plant safety – Federal investigators have launched a probe into whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission erred when it let Pacific Gas and Electric Co. change earthquake safety standards at the Diablo Canyon power plant without public hearings, The Chronicle has learned.  San Francisco Chronicle article

 Supreme Court justices appear split over EPA powers – Some environmental protections could face a hazier future after a Supreme Court argument Wednesday in an important clean-air case that’s already divided states and leading energy companies.  McClatchy Newspapers article

 Congress members urge $16 million to fund early quake warning system — More than 30 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are urging their colleagues to allocate $16.1 million in the next federal budget for an earthquake early warning system, which could give people as much as a minute’s warning before severe shaking arrives.  LA Times article

 Garcetti says state should give tax breaks for quake retrofits – Flanked by property owner and tenants’ rights advocates, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged state lawmakers Wednesday to support a bill that would give owners a 30% tax break off the cost of seismically retrofitting vulnerable buildings.  LA Times article

 LA could wind up covering much of $1.3-billion river project cost — Last year, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced what sounded like a breakthrough on the Los Angeles River, saying the federal government was backing a $1-billion restoration project — and looking at sharing the costs equally. Ten months later, city budget analysts say the effort to remake an 11-mile stretch of riverfront has a considerably higher price tag: around $1.36 billion.  LA Times article

 Officials mulling annual pass requirement for Hart Park — Kern County Parks and Recreation leaders are kicking around the idea of creating an annual pass to use one of the county’s signature park spaces — Hart Park along the Kern River northeast of urban Bakersfield.  Bakersfield Californian article

 In New York state, fracking ban fuels secession talk — The national debate over fracking, which critics say can pollute groundwater and endanger public health, heated up last week when the Obama administration announced the first-ever federal regulations on the practice. But nowhere is fracking as heated an issue as in the stretch of New York known as the southern tier, where Cuomo’s ban has spurred talk of secession.  LA Times article

Health/Human Services

 Hospitals note uptick in ER visits post-Obamacare – Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect last year, hospitals across the Central Valley have seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients visiting their emergency departments. According to annual reports from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the number of Valley patients paying for emergency department visits out of pocket has decreased across the board.  The Business Journal article

 Record-breaking Kids Day donations total more than half a million dollars – This year’s Kids Day donations totaled $545,546 for Valley Children’s Hospital, said Marshall McDowell, director of audience development at The Bee. Fresno Bee article

 Air pollution takes a double toll on babies’ brains – A common pollutant in vehicle exhaust, power plant emissions and secondhand cigarette smoke can shrink white matter in fetal brains and cause further developmental damage during the toddler years, a new study suggests.  LA Times article

 Changes, errors in benefits can leave veterans in bind – Once called the best-kept secret of veterans benefits, “aid and attendance” has become an important resource for older veterans needing long-term care or help with dressing themselves or other daily functions.  Modesto Bee article

 On Medi-Cal now, lose your house later?  — While federal law mandates that states recover for nursing home care, the law makes it optional that states recover for medical services — doctor visits, hospital stays and the like — for people 55 and over. Advocates say most states do not do this optional recovery, but California does.  KQED report

 A FRESH initiative to get healthy – The Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce has launched a fresh (literally), new program to help area businesses boost employee wellness. Stockton Record article

 Tulare hospital board seeks parcel tax support — The Tulare Regional Medical Center Board of Directors will again seek local financial support to build the hospital’s expansion tower. Visalia Times-Delta article

Land Use/Housing

 Commission rejects cities’ demands, Oks farmland formula – The fight against urban sprawl notched a narrow victory Wednesday, despite objections from seven of Stanislaus County’s nine cities. The 3-2 vote by leaders of a growth-guiding agency simply defined one way cities can choose to help preserve farmland, but was seen by cities as an affront to their land-use authority.  Modesto Bee article

 George Hostetter: Fresno City Hall and real estate: Perpetual action — A dozen quick thoughts on the amazing world of land-use policy at Fresno City Hall.  Hostetter in Fresno Bee

 Old Eagles Lodge in Mural District being razed for parking lot — Buildings are going up and coming down in downtown Fresno’s Mural District. Granville Urban Development has quickly gotten its newest residential project called The Lede, at Van Ness Avenue and Stanislaus Street, off the ground. Concrete pads are down and framing has started. On Tuesday, ValleyPBS joined the club. Fresno Bee article

Other areas

 Stockton charter panel will undergo changes – It took 85 minutes Tuesday night for Stockton City Council to appoint no new members to a citizen’s commission that is studying proposed amendments to Stockton’s charter. Nonetheless, changes will be coming to the commission in the weeks and months ahead.  Stockton Record article

 Stockton Record: Activist’s comments collide with politics in failed committee bid – Parents have been issuing an important two-word warning to their children ever since the proliferation of social media became part of everyday life. Be careful.  Stockton Record editorial

 Summit focuses on challenges faced by youth – More than 100 young people, community leaders and activists turned out Wednesday in downtown Stockton for a summit focusing on the challenges of the city’s youth, most specifically its boys and young men of color.  Stockton Record article

 Coalinga city manager resigns – Coalinga city manager Rene Ramirez announced he is resigning from his post effective March 31. Marissa Trejo, Coalinga’s human resources director, was appointed interim city manager. She assumed the role on Tuesday. Fresno Bee article

Program looks at culture of sexual violence – Life-sized red silhouettes representing real San Joaquin County adults and children who were killed in acts of domestic violence served as visual reminders at an event to raise awareness about the work being done to stop the cycle of abuse.  Stockton Record article

 Four reasons California state building upkeep lags – If California’s 58 state buildings were people, a quarter of them would be old enough for AARP and nearly half could draw pensions based on at least 30 years of government service. Many suffer the aches of age: Maybe the plumbing doesn’t flow like it used to. Or the wiring needs a good once-over. Or the roof needs replacing instead of a patch.  Sacramento Bee article

 On Valley Edition: New Fresno Art Museum Director Michele Ellis Pracy — The Fresno Art Museum is one of the valley’s cultural gems, with exhibits and educational programs at its facility in Fresno’s Radio Park. For the past year however, the museum was without an executive director.  Now the museum has a new executive director, Michele Ellis Pracy, who joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her background in museums, and her vision for one of Fresno’s most vital cultural institutions. KVPR report

 Jeff Jardine: Ceres golf course owner Phipps loses a different kind of fight – Not long ago, River Oaks Golf Course owner Michael Phipps thought his neighbors would be his biggest opponents as he tried to develop the front nine into housing. Instead, kidney disease claimed him Sunday at age 58.  Jardine column in Modesto Bee

 Atwater flight academy’s simulator takes elected officials for a ride – A multimillion-dollar flight simulator at Sierra Flight Academy gave a Merced County supervisor the flight of his life this week.  Merced Sun-Star article

 Harry Baker in grave condition; molestation trial unlikely — Harry Baker’s felony molestation trial likely won’t happen because he is in grave condition, the former Madera County supervisor’s lawyer said Wednesday.  Fresno Bee article

 Can California Chrome shine in Dubai’s World Cup? — This galloping adventure gives new meaning to globetrotting. More than 8,000 miles from home, California Chrome will attempt Saturday to win the world’s richest horse race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Representing the United States in an international equine spectacle, the Cinderella colt with humble central San Joaquin Valley roots will try to add another chapter to his fairy tale career.  Sacramento Bee article

Valley Editorial Roundup

Fresno Bee – For the third year running, Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, is pushing legislation to provide public access to otherwise confidential reports about groundwater wells. Her Senate Bill 20, which cleared its first committee Tuesday, clearly warrants approval by the full Legislature.

Merced Sun-Star – Ted Cruz finds green eggs and ham are not bad after all.

Modesto Bee – Ted Cruz finds green eggs and ham are not bad after all.

Sacramento Bee – New Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen has a big job ahead of him. Regional leaders need to welcome him and help him succeed; Ted Cruz finds green eggs and hamare not bad after al.

Stockton Record – Activist’s comments collide with politics in failed Stockton committee bid.



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 challengeThe 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

 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.

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.

Maddy Institute on Facebook and Twitter – To learn about Maddy Institute activities (e.g. The Maddy Report tv show, The Maddy Associates’ Luncheons, the Maddy Legislative Intern Program), become a fan of the Maddy Institute on Facebook or log on to And if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please add us and follow us!

The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno was established to honor the legacy of one of California’s most principled and effective legislative leaders of the last half of the 20th Century by engaging, preparing and inspiring a new generation of governmental leaders for the 21st Century. Its mission is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

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