POLICY & POLITICS
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. on Monday reached a confidential settlement with a former employee, rather than face punitive damages for wrongfully firing her in January 2015 from the Shaw Avenue restaurant across from Fresno State.
Vote-by-mail ballots started going out May 8 to Kern County residents who've requested them, but political candidates apparently still have time to make their cases.
A social media campaign attacking gubernatorial frontrunner Gavin Newsom for an old affair, and subsequent romantic relationship with a 19-year-old when he was 39 is seeking to raise moral and ethical questions about the former San Francisco mayor before the June 5 primary.
● Democrat Gavin Newsom attacks GOP's John Cox on gun control The Sacramento Bee
● Janice Hahn backs Gavin Newsom for California governor Los Angeles Times
● Democratic congressional candidate's ad could lead to false impressions Sacramento Bee
● Gavin Newsom's latest ad attacking Republican on gun issue is mostly accurate Sacramento Bee
On Tuesday, May 15, candidates for California’s next governor will gather in Los Angeles to discuss issues vital to children and families, including educational equity.
A Greek-American businesswoman and former U.S. ambassador running for office in California has told Greek Reporter: “The American Dream is what made this country great, and we must keep this pathway open for everyone.”
● Candidates Are Spending Big to Become California's next Lieutenant Governor NBC Southern California
San Francisco Chronicle
Polls show Harris is viewed favorably by 73 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents — making her more popular than even longtime U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Gov. Jerry Brown.
● DA candidate Phillips lands Sen. Kamala Harris' endorsement Sacramento Bee
● Sen. Kamala Harris to skip UC Berkeley commencement in support of striking workers Los Angeles Times
● US Senator Kamala Harris Endorses Sacramento County DA Candidate CBS Sacramento
● US Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, has withdrawn from being the commencement Daily Californian
● The Latest: Senator boycotts speech due to UC labor dispute Washington Post
● Women Reaching New Levels in Political Donations Roll Call
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Former President Barack Obama urged Californians to return "one of America's most effective champions for progress to the Senate," in a statement released by Feinstein's campaign.
● Obama endorses Feinstein NBCNews.com
● Neo-Nazi running second to Feinstein in Senate poll in California San Francisco Chronicle
● A neo-Nazi running second? Why some California polls have bizarre results San Francisco Chronicle
● California doesn't need a provocateur in the Senate. It needs a leader. Reelect Dianne Feinstein Los Angeles Times
● Robocall attacks Dianne Feinstein with anti-Semitic slurs San Francisco Chronicle
● Feinstein's clout is too critical in Trump era. De León is our second in top two Sacramento Bee
● Why California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has amply earned re-election The San Diego Union-Tribune
● Sacramento Bee endorsements Sacramento Bee
Long Beach Post
Like so many candidates before him seeking endorsements and support, U.S. senate candidate Kevin de Leon journeyed to Long Beach Monday morning for a fundraiser hosted by some of the city’s elected officials.
● Senator Kevin De León Endorses 58th Assembly Candidate Friné Medrano Los Cerritos News
Los Angeles Times
Weeks before the June 5 primary, the race for California attorney general has incumbent Xavier Becerra and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones trading jabs over campaign contributions as the Democrats prepare for a possible showdown in November.
California Republicans are struggling to hold onto key congressional seats in this year’s midterm election.
● Log Cabin endorses out GOP CA candidates Bay Area Reporter
● A GOP surprise: House midterm hope in California Politico
NPR has reported on elements of potential answers to that question and shown some reasons for Republicans to find shelter — from the record number of GOP retirements, the record number of women running and special election victories to early strong Democratic turnout and continued division among the Republican base.
Denying democratic judges reelection entirely because of the political party of the governor who appointed them is all about politicizing the bench and it is an enormous threat to judicial independence.
If North and South Korea can have a peace summit, why can’t California and Texas do the same? The United States desperately needs its two biggest states to figure out how to keep the country together.
Efforts to legalize sports gaming in California have new momentum from Monday’s U.S Supreme Court ruling. But it’ll take years, if ever, before you can legally bet on the Giants or Dodgers at your nearby casino, card room or race track — or even online.
● California voters could act on legalized sports betting as early as November San Francisco Chronicle
● US Supreme Court strikes down federal ban on sports betting The Whittier Daily News
● Legalized sports betting emerges from dark ages; bet you don't know why it took so long The Mercury News
● California moves to allow legal bets on 49ers, other sports teams Sacramento Bee
● What the Supreme Court ruling on sports betting means for California The Desert Sun
● Could the Supreme Court's sports gambling decision mean legal betting in California? The San Diego Union-Tribune
● Voters Could Decide Fate Of Sports Betting In California CBS Sacramento
● Could sports betting boost the action at horse racing tracks? Los Angeles Times
● California sports betting would need constitutional change Sacramento Bee
● Sports Betting Could Lead to More Govt. Spending. How About Tax Relief? Fox and Hounds Daily
Los Angeles Times
Thanks to the top-two primary, the June 5 election could effectively decide California's next governor. It will set the direction for crucial U.S. House races that this fall will determine who controls Congress.
New York Daily News
A Trump administration official wanted to set up a system to monitor the communications in the White House as part of an effort to stop leaks to the press, according to a report.
● White House Aide's Plan to Stop Leaks: Spy on His Co-Workers Daily Beast
Members from both parties are reacting skeptically to President Donald Trump’s intention to help troubled Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, saying they are concerned he is reversing his pledge to get tough on Beijing.
● Wilbur Ross: We’re Exploring ‘alternative remedies’ for ZTE Ban Politico
● Trump supporters suffer unintended consequences of his policies Washington Post
● Trump Lets ZTE Off the Hook WSJ
Inspector General Arthur Elkins wrote in response to inquiries from Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) about what threats prompted Pruitt’s nonstop security, which has cost in excess of $3 million.
New York Times
While Mr. Trump remains an overpowering personality in Republican politics, he is mostly uninterested in the mechanics of managing a political party. So Mr. Trump’s supremely disciplined running mate has stepped into the void.
The #MeToo movement has taken down some of the biggest names in the U.S. — but it hasn't resulted in tangible changes for the majority of workplaces in America.
That's according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, which found that just 32 percent of people in the U.S. said their employer has done anything new to keep their workers protected from unwanted sexual advancements in the #MeToo era.
Recently, it seems as though a growing chorus of progressives have begun to complain about how our governing institutions distort the true will of the voters. The Daily Beast recently published an illustrative example of this genre by David Faris:
Following through on its pledge to reform safety net programs, the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means released a discussion draft to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING
Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Candidate for Governor: Delaine Eastin” – Guest: Delaine Eastin, Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Candidate for Governor. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: “Gubernatorial Candidate Delaine Eastin & The Price of Education” – Guests: Delaine Eastin and Judy Lin, CALmatters Reporter. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, May 20, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Race for Governor: Amanda Renteria” – Guest: Amanda Renteria. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.
California’s farmers work long days in a risky business, and most aren’t getting rich in the endeavor. But on top of the challenges faced by the industry at large, farmers of color own less land, make less money, and receive less government support than their white counterparts, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
● Letter: Proposed Farm Bill denies food aid to children over 6 The Mercury News
● Don't let the farm bill overrule state food laws The Hill
● Analysis: The new Farm Bill's pesticide provisions are a sneak attack on the environment Environmental Health News
● Once again, the farm bill is stuffed with food stamps The Hill
● Federal farm bill will take food from needy California families The Sacramento Bee
California farmers say they've already seen a decline in market and even though there is no fresh romaine coming out of Yuma, the CDC recommends people avoid it unless you can verify it did not come out of the Yuma region.
Just 5 percent of California farmers use cover cropping, but that’s likely to increase as researchers work to quantify the amount of water that can be saved by the practice and its benefit for river ecosystems.
Western Farm Press
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $213,349 research grant to the California Dairy Research Foundation in collaboration with University of California scientists to study methane emissions at California dairies.
● Emergency fund prepares for struggling dairy farms Rutland Herald
Genetic Literacy Project
The US Department of Agriculture’s recent decision to stay out of the business of regulating gene-edited crops could be a game changer for a sector long dominated by a handful of companies armed with massive research and development budgets.
California’s legislators are scheduled to hold 10 hearings on proposed cannabis legislation during the week of May 14, 2018.
● State Marijuana Laws Dodge Supreme Court Bullet Marijuana Moment
● Anti-medical marijuana group takes unusual step KUTV 2News
● Gov. Brown's budget increases cannabis tax revenue estimates despite disappointing first quarter The Mercury News
CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
A field filled with thousands of opium poppies — enough to make $45,000 worth of heroin — was discovered by Monterey County sheriff's deputies. Over the weekend, authorities eradicated an acre of the poppies, according to a Facebook post from the Sheriff's Office.
● California police find poppy field in suburban town UPI.com
CalFire announced that all burning in Madera and Mariposa counties below 2,000 feet elevation is suspended beginning Thursday, May 17, at 8 a.m.
With great swaths of both Northern and Southern California still reeling from hellish 2017 wildfires, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order and new budget plan mandating control burns and forest thinning.
● PG&E Opens New California Wildfire Safety Operations Center Claims Journal
ECONOMY / JOBS
This paper analyzes the impact of two new international tax provisions passed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on US multinational corporations’ location of new capital. It suggests that a US multinational corporation can do better by locating a new investment in the US.
Economic volatility varies substantially across democracies. We study how the difference between federal and unitary systems of government can contribute to such variation.
Although the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped below 4 percent for the first time in over a decade, many across the country remain despondent. Carol Graham highlights new research on how optimism—or its absence—is related to life expectancy.
Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a $15-an-hour job for all Americans. AEI’s Michael Strain argues that the senator’s proposal would be impossible to execute and is demoralizing to workers.
LA Daily News
In a March survey, the Public Policy Institute of California found that, along with hot-button issues like immigration and gun and school safety, education is a top concern for the state’s voters, with 64 percent saying the candidates’ positions on K-12 issues were “very important” — a sentiment that crossed party lines but was more common among Democrats (69 percent) than Republicans (55 percent).
● A few rich charter school supporters are spending millions to elect Antonio Villaraigosa governor Los Angeles Times
● Bloomberg joins rich charter proponents in backing California governor hopeful New York Post
Congressman Kevin McCarthy announced Friday the recipients of the 23rd Congressional District of California 2018 Merit Award for five students in the Porterville Unified School District.
Despite a longstanding state law requiring California’s public schools to provide arts education, only 38 percent of students have access to music, dance, theatre or visual arts classes. Compounding this injustice, students with little or no access live predominantly in low-income communities.
Teachers at Fremont High are among a growing number of educators in Oakland Unified charged with changing the district’s approach to behavioral issues through restorative practices. This work departs from traditional school discipline in that it focuses less on punishment and more on righting wrongs and building healthy relationships within the school.
All 114 campuses in the California community college system will soon be smoke and tobacco-free. The Board of Governors voted Monday to adopt a new resolution banning smoking and tobacco.
Los Angeles Times
Cal State's leaders say that to keep their campuses' quality from slipping, they need much more money than the state is giving them. This year, they're also at odds with Gov. Jerry Brown on the question of whether any extra money should come in one-time bursts or be ongoing.
The University of California and the AFSCME 3299 union representing 24,000 service and patient-care workers have no plans to return to the bargaining table and each side is blaming the other for the impasse and an ensuing three-day strike that began on May 7.
● Gov. Jerry Brown releases May budget plan, increases UC funding Daily Bruin
The California Department of Education is in the process of developing a model ethnic studies curriculum for schools around the state. Meanwhile, a bill has been introduced in the state assembly that, if passed, would require ethnic studies instruction.
The Bakersfield Californian
Many on the right insist that California's tough environmental rules are strangling its businesses. Evidence to the contrary emerged last week in news that California has just zoomed past Britain to become the world's fifth-biggest economy. California must be doing something right.
The Sacramento Bee
The California Air Resources Board is finalizing a plan to spend $423 million of Volkswagen's money on financial incentives to persuade trucking companies, mass-transit agencies, tugboat operators and other major polluters to upgrade their fleets and buy greener vehicles.
Three companies found to have sold toxic lead paint for decades—despite knowing it posed health hazards for children—are waging a major battle to avoid paying the several hundred million dollars in liability that California courts have slapped on them. And they’re asking you, the California voter, to help them get their way.
It’s only May, and it’s already shaping up to be a stressful summer for many western states. Low mountain snowpack is a big part of the problem.
SF Bay Area Indymedia
The state agency charged with regulating California’s pesticide industry allows manufacturers to make up their own usage rules, continues to allow a brain-damaging chemical to be used on food crops, is slow to hold applicators accountable when workers are poisoned, and routinely ignores community input in its rulemaking process.
● National Wildlife Refuges Contaminated with Thousands of Pounds of Toxic Pesticides Beyond Pesticides
With one of the key findings showing that chemicals in the water supply are more hazardous to humans than the EPA has previously disclosed, White House aides reportedly moved quickly to keep the report under wraps.
● White House, EPA headed off chemical pollution study Politico
● At Pruitt's EPA, Stricter Limits to Protect Americans from Toxic Fluorinated Chemicals are 'Nightmare' Environmental Working Group
● EPA's 'safe' PFAS level is 6 times too high, blocked report says MLive.com
California Energy Commission - State of California
Moving to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent, the California Energy Commission today adopted building standards that require solar photovoltaic systems starting in 2020. The building energy efficiency standards, which are the first in the nation to require solar, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.
● Taxpayers lose again with new solar panel mandate OCRegister
● California Energy Commission Mandates Solar For All New Homes GlobeNewswire
A group of California lawmakers wants to block a funding increase for the regulatory agency that oversees the state's oil and gas industry, unless it tackles a backlog of applications for dozens of drilling projects.
San Francisco Chronicle
The top six gubernatorial candidates not only differ when it comes to single-payer, they disagree on what to do next to fix the state’s $400 billion health care industry.
The new Pediatric Specialty Center takes up the entire third floor of the North Medical Plaza across the way from Community Regional Medical Center.
San Francisco Chronicle
The internet has helped love bloom for many couples, but it’s also played a role in a 45 percent jump in sexually transmitted diseases over five years in California, a surge not seen in nearly three decades, health officials said Monday.
● Report finds cases of STDs reach all-time high in California Washington Post
California’s own Breast Density Law is in danger of being terminated on Jan. 1, 2019, if state legislators don’t act to renew it this year. When it comes to breast cancer, early diagnosis is critical for a good prognosis, said Dr. Richard W. Reitherman, medical director of breast imaging at the Memorial Care Breast Center at Orange Coast Memorial in Fountain Valley.
Los Angeles Times
The biggest provider of Title X services is also the GOP's current favorite healthcare punching bag: Planned Parenthood, which operates 13% of the clinics funded under the program and cares for about 40% of the patients. And now the Trump administration is steering the program itself in the wrong direction.
Los Angeles Times
A new research letter reports that doctors who received free meals and other kinds of payments from pharmaceutical companies tended to prescribe more opioid painkillers to their patients over the course of a year. Meanwhile, doctors who didn't get such freebies cut back on their opioid prescriptions.
This article models how changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect the section 213 deduction for medical expenses for 2017 and 2018. It also discusses the legislative history of the deduction and its function as an informal insurance product.
Tom Pratt, a moderate Democrat, is running in the race for state Senate’s 8th district, which encompasses more than 30,000 square miles, close to 1 million residents and nearly a dozen counties.
Los Angeles Times
The state's top cop is suing Sutter, accusing one of the nation's biggest health systems of systematically overcharging patients and illegally driving out competition in Northern California.
Sponsors of SB 1249, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, launched a media campaign on Monday by taking over every ad on the homepage of the Sacramento Bee for 24 hours.
Los Angeles Times
Standing before 51 troops during a Monday morning news conference, Gloria Chavez — the new Border Patrol chief in the El Centro sector — said the unarmed Operation Guardian Support soldiers would serve in support roles and won't be asked to arrest any suspected gun runners, drug mules or immigrants crossing the border illegally.
● California National Guard won't carry guns or make arrests on southwestern border The Desert Sun
Public Policy Institute of California
A solid majority of Californians (61%) support the state taking action to protect undocumented immigrants. But there is a stark partisan divide: the March PPIC Statewide Survey found eight in ten Democrats in favor of and eight in ten Republicans opposed to the state taking action.
● California’s defiance of immigration law creates stark divide Washington Post
● ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Are Working in the Trump Era, But at a Surprising Cost Pew Charitable Trusts
Tomas Jimenez, a sociology professor at Stanford, tells NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro that recent arrivals assimilate just as fast as previous generations.
An undocumented immigrant, Lizbeth Mateo, did receive an official appointment by the state of California. But the headline creates a misleading impression by omitting key information about the nature of her post
Demolition has begun on the old McHenry Avenue bridge over the Stanislaus River that connects San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
A Fresno Superior Court judge ordered the city of Fresno to rescind an ordinance set to go into effect this week that would've shut down a majority of local recycling centers by restricting where they could operate as a way to deal with homeless people and crime.
Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown’s embrace last week of a $2-billion bond to fund homeless housing could make for an even busier ballot in November.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently voted 5-0 to add some new provisions to the state’s building code. Among them is the requirement that, as of 2020, all new house and multi-family residences of three stories or less, along with all major renovations, must be built with solar panels.
Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown is massaging the final state budget of his long career, and his No. 1 priority is simple: Don't leave his successor the same mess he did the last time. Friday's revised budget proposal has an $8.9 billion surplus.
● Editorial: Gov. Jerry Brown's final gift to California is a responsible budget San Francisco Chronicle
● Walters: Jerry Brown holds the line in last budget CALmatters
● First Look: May Revision Includes Some Key Advances, but There Is Still Significant Room for Additional Investment California Budget & Policy Center
● New Tuolumne County Courthouse Still In Governor's Budget MyMotherLode.com
● Governor Brown Issues Legislative Update Imperial Valley News
● Sacramento courthouse project gets boost in budget revision Sacramento Bee
● EDITORIAL: How not to blow California’s $8.80-billion windfall Los Angeles Times
The Sacramento Bee
Most California public workers and retirees are feeling a little better about their pensions, but their bosses are very worried. A new survey by the California Public Employees’ Retirement showed a steep drop in confidence in the $355 billion pension fund among government executives.
● The realities of California's pension crisis OCRegister
Californians spent six years breathing dangerous exhaust fumes from illegal diesel cars produced by Volkswagen. Now the state's air pollution cops are crafting a remedy for that damage that has been done.
Commercial Carrier Journal
With another gain in diesel prices last week, truckers are paying at least $3 per gallon in all regions across the country for the first time in over three years.
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
The legislation that would have imposed the ban, Assembly Bill 1745, died last month, but bad ideas in California have a way of recurring like nightmares. We will see this proposal again, either as legislation next year or perhaps even as a ballot initiative.
The Bakersfield, Calif., City Council voted May 9 to approve the “Making Downtown Bakersfield” Station Area Vision Plan and Environmental Impact Report to continue revitalization efforts in the city.
The lush farming region has faced seawater intrusion from Monterey Bay for decades. But it has become an emergency due to unregulated well drilling, explains Gary Petersen, general manager of the Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency.
San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority
Del Puerto Water District received top honors among a statewide field of competitors for its project to deliver highly treated wastewater from the cities of Turlock and Modesto to farmland and wildlife refuges on the Westside.
Traditional Armenian foods will be shared Thursday, May 17 as the 41st Armenian Food Festival comes to the Visalia Elks Lodge. This annual fundraiser benefits St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, a spiritual fixture in Yettem since 1911.
Spending time in McLane? Get to know this Fresno neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from the city's favorite deli to a hidden Indian restaurant.
Multicultural Arts Center
Help celebrate those who have given so much to the arts in the community by honoring them this Thursday, May 17 at the Excellence in Arts Awards! Tickets are only $25. Hors d'oeuvres will be served during social hour at 6:00, with light entertainment and no-host bar, and the awards will be handed out starting at 7:00.
Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau
The railroad’s popular “Moonlight Specials,” offered on Saturday evenings with the first ride, Saturday, May 19th, 6:30 p.m. and includes a train ride, barbecue dinner and entertainment.