POLICY & POLITICS
In 2015, Alene Anase was asked by her employer Alpha Omega Winery to serve guests as part of a charity cruise on the San Francisco Bay. But what she expected to be a routine shift serving wine turned into a nightmare, according to court documents.
Valley Public Radio
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood is seeking a fourth term in office, but he's being challenged by one of his top deputies.
The midterm election is June 5. In preparation for the election, the Sentinel has asked candidates in local races to answer five questions so voters can get to know the candidates.
The Turlock City Council on Tuesday evening appointed Bob Lawton as its next city manager. The council vote was 5-0, and Lawton will start July 12.
Terry Withrow faces two challengers as he seeks a third term on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in the June 5 primary: Salida advocate Katherine Borges and Modesto Councilman Tony Madrigal.
The Modesto Bee editorial board has interviewed candidates, conducted candidate forums and deliberated the qualifications of many candidates for various offices. Our following recommendations are those upon which board members could reach consensus.
Early on Feb. 2, 2016, a van carrying members of the California Conservation Corps paused at a stop sign on a country road near the Central Valley town of Reedley. Then the van rolled into the intersection, where it was broadsided by a 40-ton gravel truck and trailer, killing three corps members and leaving another with catastrophic brain and spinal injuries.
Public Policy Institute of California
Democrat Gavin Newsom is likely voters’ top choice in the state’s gubernatorial primary; Republican John Cox and Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa are in a close race for the second spot on November’s ballot.
● Polls show close race for second in California governor campaign San Jose Mercury News
● Watch: Talking about the new USC/LAT poll Los Angeles Times
● Newsom leads governor’s poll, with Cox and Villaraigosa fighting for second San Francisco Chronicle
● Walters: Campaigns try to fool California voters CALmatters
● California Governor’s Race Is All About Second Place Capital Public Radio
● Newsom strategy: Face Republican in the fall by knocking Dems out in June San Francisco Chronicle
● Meg Whitman backs Antonio Villaraigosa for governor Los Angeles Times
● Pro-Antonio Villaraigosa group attacks a Republican as a Pelosi tool San Francisco Chronicle
Listen to “Are California’s Voting Systems Safe?” from KQED’s The California Report in Podcasts.
In the governor’s race alone, the top candidates have raised over $50 million to broadcast their messages. Even so, 40 percent of likely voters say they haven’t paid attention to the campaign.
● Why these 2 California Republicans just keep winning Los Angeles Times
● Democrats Take a Page From GOP: Target the State Houses Wall Street Journal
● Billionaires' money helps a most unlikely candidate Press-Enterprise
Governor Jerry Brown, who filed suit against the EPA with more than a dozen other states to preserve the tailpipe emissions limits, said in an interview in Sacramento that he doesn't expect a quick resolution to the case. Rather, he said, "it has to wind its way through the courts."
The California Supreme Court will decide whether Facebook and other social media companies must turn over user content to criminal defendants.
San Jose Mercury
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein built her very long and successful political career staking out the Democratic party’s moderate turf: But, Feinstein revealed Wednesday that she’s shed her support for the death penalty “as it exists today.”
Despite facing a federal investigation into questionable campaign spending, a new poll shows Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter holds a significant lead ahead of California’s 50th District June 5 primary.
A federal judge in New York ruled Wednesday that President Trump is in violation of the Constitution when he blocks users on Twitter.
● Blocked by Trump: Twitter Users Sound Off on Being Barred New York Times
● Trump Twitter ruling: What it takes to get blocked by the president Washington Post
A new poll found most Americans don’t like what Congress has been doing the past few years, even if they don’t know the major players in office.
San Francisco Chronicle
For causes that unite members of Congress across party lines, there’s nothing like doing the bidding of their contributors.
● The Art of a Banking Deal Wall Street Journal
Commentator Cokie Roberts talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep and answers listener questions about the history of women in American politics.
The Economist Radio
Listen to Babbage: Fake views from The Economist Radio (All audio) in Podcasts.
The NFL has actual problems. Players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem to protest racial injustice has never been one of them.
● EDITORIAL: The NFL kneels before the altar of profits Los Angeles Times
MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING
Sunday, May 27, at 5 p.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: “Candidate for Governor: John Chiang” – Guest: John Chiang, State Treasurer and Candidate for Governor. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ) – Maddy Report - Valley Views Edition: “Gubernatorial Candidate John Chiang and California's Future” – Guests: State Treasurer John Chiang and PPIC Experts: Sarah Bohn, Alvar Escriva-Bou, Paul Warren, Magnus Lofstrom and Brandon Martin. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.
Sunday, May 27, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – El Informe Maddy: “Fighting Fire with Fire: Rethinking forest management” – Guest: Little Hoover Commission Representative, Julissa Delgado. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.
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Pew Charitable Trusts
Midwestern farmers breathed a sigh of relief this week when Chinese trade negotiators in Washington agreed to suspend tariffs and increase purchases of U.S. agricultural products. But the trade fight is likely to continue.
If you've avoided romaine lettuce because of the E. coli outbreak, you can start buying it again.
Los Angeles Times
Most cities in California have refused to allow pot businesses, and there are tough rules for those who want state licenses to grow, distribute and sell marijuana. Both factors have contributed to lower-than-projected sales, which are expected total $1.9 billion this year instead of the initial estimate of $3.8 billion, according to a cannabis research firm.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE / FIRE / PUBLIC SAFETY
One of Governor Jerry Brown’s first big moves as governor was a proposal to massively change how the state dealt with nonviolent offenders. Assembly Bill 109 shifted their sentences from state prison to county jails, and let them report to county probation departments rather than state parole officers.
San Francisco Chronicle
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a request by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón to review California judges’ authority in how they set bail for pretrial defendants, setting aside an appellate ruling that required them to consider a person’s financial status before requiring payment for release from jail.
There’s a high tech way to trace guns and spent shell casings to unsolved crimes, but we’ve discovered the technology isn’t being used by most of law enforcement because of costs, manpower and entrenched attitudes.
San Jose Mercury News
A package of bills making its way through the California legislature could change the career outlook for people who have gone through job training programs in prison but been denied access to higher paying jobs because their records prevent them from getting licensed.
Arresting and incarcerating youth does nothing to get to the root of their behavior and can have consequences that last a lifetime.
Research has shown that education and employment programming for prisoners improves postprison employment and delivers a positive return on investment.
San Francisco Chronicle
This week, California lawmakers can match words with deeds when it comes to disclosing police misconduct. A bill before the Legislature would end the special protections that seal off personnel records of officers who harm the public, break department rules or face legal trouble.
Cal Fire has a new internal affairs unit that allows the state fire department to handle discipline consistently for the first time.
Brandon Pratt, Professor of Biology at California State University, Bakersfield says in addition to warming the change in rainfall is also a direct link to wildfires.
Listen to “More to the Story: Wildfires from Reveal” in Podcasts.
ECONOMY / JOBS
California Budget & Policy Center
In the coming weeks, legislative leaders and Governor Jerry Brown will work toward finalizing a state spending plan for 2018-19, the budget year that starts on July 1, 2018.
In general, both effective marginal and average tax rates have come down, though debt-financed investment is now treated less favorably than it was under the old regime.
If Tom Hallinan is elected to the Board of Equalization, he has no intention of ever running as an incumbent. That’s because Hallinan’s sole purpose in running is to put the ineffective, unnecessary and scandal-ridden bureaucracy out of existence.
California Business Roundtable
The California Center for Jobs and the Economy issued a new report today assessing the extent to which the state has transitioned to a Green Economy and concluding that green job “growth” to date is largely due to reclassification of existing jobs and the miscounting of temporary construction and other indirect jobs.
Capital Public Radio
Business leaders up and down the state say California’s expensive housing makes it challenging to recruit new workers — and to keep existing employees here.
A package of bills making its way through the California legislature would prohibit many state licensing boards — including those that oversee barbers, building contractors, paramedics and social workers — from using arrest or conviction records as the sole basis to deny professional licenses to applicants with nonviolent criminal arrests or convictions.
A new study overturns economic orthodoxy and shows that unions reduce inequality.
The Fresno Bee
Fresno police have arrested the person suspected of making social media threats against Valley Oak Elementary School students. The threats were made overnight on Instagram, and were spotted by parents who reported them to the school.
CUSD clarified its student pick-up policy after a Clovis Elementary parent submitted a letter to the Roundup speaking out on the matter.
Foothill, Highland and Independence high schools have been honored for their leadership in getting students up to grade level and beyond. The schools will be given a banner to display their accomplishment on their campuses.
The Business Journal
Broadway superstar and Fresno native Audra McDonald will be in town Saturday for a special ceremony to name the Roosevelt High School theater after her.
The leading candidates for state superintendent of public instruction on Wednesday strongly opposed state campaign finance laws that have allowed millions of dollars from charter school backers and labor unions to pour into their race.
● Get to know Superintendent of Schools candidates Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck San Diego Union-Tribune
Fox & Hounds
A promising public-private partnership is taking shape in the Legislature that focuses on high school and college completion, along with meaningful workplace experiences.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is education’s version of Gross Domestic Product: a national indicator of the overall education health of the country. By that line of thinking, it’s difficult to see anything but stagnation in the numbers. We’re in an educational recession.
In recent months teachers in five states have struck for better pay or benefits. The plight of teachers is traceable to a couple of developments.
The college has been selected by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office as one of 11 community colleges to be given a share of $20 million through the state’s Innovation Awards, which recognize developments in student success.
● Cal State plans big lobbying push for more state money Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Chronicle
The University of California regents grilled top UC officials Wednesday about why they missed a critical deadline for complying with the recommendations in a 2017 state audit that uncovered $175 million squirreled away in President Janet Napolitano’s office.
Los Angeles Times
The body that represents USC's faculty called on President C.L. Max Nikias to resign Wednesday in the wake of revelations that the university's longtime gynecologist faced years of accusations of misconduct by students and colleagues at the campus' health clinic.
Employers' hiring projections for new grads cratered by nearly 22% in the spring of 2009. Once the economy began to pick up a few years later, the recession grads would have to battle for entry-level positions with those just coming out college.
In dramatic fashion, state lawmakers on Wednesday ripped into a California ballot initiative to have taxpayers, not paint companies, pay for lead-paint cleanup while overturning a landmark court ruling that made three manufacturers liable for the cost.
● Commentary: Public Nuisance Litigation is a Nuisance Public CEO
Last year, California did what Washington, D.C. has failed to do. Democrats and Republicans worked together to reduce pollution while protecting jobs and the economy. We did this by extending California’s landmark cap-and-trade program.
● Prop. 70 will undermine California’s climate investments Sacramento Bee
● Clean Energy Money From Cap-And Trade Continues To Roll In To California Capital Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
Sierra Pacific Industries has built a billion dollar empire in the forests of the Sierra.
California’s top air-quality official held a series of meetings with auto industry and federal officials in Washington on Wednesday who re-affirmed a desire to maintain a single national standard for auto efficiency.
A newly-unveiled Trump administration proposal would not just block groups like Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funds. It also could pave the way for a host of previously ineligible organizations — some of whom oppose contraception — to receive funds through the federal government's family planning program.
A major Veterans Affairs reform has passed the Senate by 92-5 and is on its way to the White House. The $55 billion bill will change how the VA pays for private care, expand a VA caregiver program and start a review of the VA's aging infrastructure.
Tulare hospital's Board of Directors will consider seeking proposals from those interested in managing or leasing Tulare Regional Medical Center.
It may say "fruit" on the label, but don't let that fool you: according to the World Cancer Research Fund, cutting out sugary drinks - including fruit juice - is a major step that could help you slash your risk of getting cancer.
It’s a big question for smokers and policymakers alike: Do electronic cigarettes help people quit? In a large study of company wellness programs, e-cigarettes worked no better than traditional stop-smoking tools, and the only thing that really helped was paying folks to kick the habit.
Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, has devised what could be a powerful new way to hold hospitals accountable for the quality of their care.
Los Angeles Times
An appeals court Wednesday refused to block a court decision that said a California law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives was passed illegally.
The Tulare County Board of Supervisors, following a staff presentation and lengthy public comment period that lasted nearly two hours, voted to adopt a resolution opposing California's Sanctuary State law.
Migrant children in custody of United States Customs and Border Protection officers were routinely beaten, kicked and shocked with Tasers, and some were threatened with sexual violence or death, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union.
● ACLU: Records show widespread abuse of immigrant children detained at border San Diego Union-Tribune
● Trump warns against admitting unaccompanied migrant children: ‘They’re not innocent’ The Washington Post
Rep. Jeff Denham said Wednesday he plans to hold back the final signatures needed to activate a discharge petition that would force a vote on four immigration measures affecting so-called “Dreamers” — saying that negotiations between GOP leaders and conservatives are headed in a positive direction.
● Three reasons moderate Republicans are backing an immigration vote Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
Trump’s rhetoric makes it harder for police to work with law-abiding Latinos against the gang.
As housing prices continue to hit record highs, economic divisions are deepening across the state. The details are intricate, but the overall picture is clear: Our strong but dysfunctional economy is driving away families the state needs for sustainable economic growth.
Los Angeles Times
In an age of housing shortages and skyrocketing home prices, one woman saw an opportunity to design a 21st century mobile home that was less about recreation and more about function.
Capital & Main
Homeless veterans live solitary and nomadic existences. At night, some sleep in cars parked near VA facilities, under freeway overpasses or in public parks.
Mayor Lee Brand is calling the $1.1 billion 2019 budget a roadmap to a better Fresno. "We are in the best fiscal health this city has been in in a very, very long time, so we've been slowly growing the budget over the last few years," says Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan-Schecter.
The city of Fresno is getting so many reports about litter and illegal dumping that an additional litter control crew is being added to the city budget, officials said Wednesday in announcing the $1.115 billion plan for fiscal year 2019.
A national nonprofit organization that researches financial practices at the local and state levels has reported that Stockton is one of the most fiscally solvent cities in the country.
It is with the city's efforts to build support for a proposal to raise Bakersfield's sales tax rate from 7.25 percent to 8.25 percent. If the City Council approves at a meeting set for June 20, the increase will appear on local ballots come November.
Legislative Democrats have settled on their top priorities for upcoming California budget negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown.
Consider these two scenarios: A family spends Saturday afternoon at the local shopping center, buying a new washing machine, summer sandals, children’s books and dog food. With every purchase, the state takes its cut, courtesy of California’s 7.25 percent sales tax.
As everyone knows – or should know – California’s huge public employee pension system is very short of the money it needs to cover all of the retirement promises made to nearly two million workers and retirees.
Fox & Hounds
At his latest state budget press conference, Gov. Jerry Brown made it clear there will be no state cavalry riding to the rescue of local governments battling the pension monsters local officials created.
Los Angeles Times
The Internal Revenue Service is preparing to block attempts by California and other states to help their residents avoid a new limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes included in the Republican tax overhaul.
Los Angeles Times
President Trump's tax overhaul could wreak havoc on prenuptial agreements nationwide — and maybe even his own.
Aadly, America’s forthcoming “economic tsunami” is so predictable that our government issues an annual warning forecasting the year when — absent real reform — the monster waves will overtake all Social Security recipients and substantially reduce payments.
If you haven't been the DMV lately, be prepared to wait... and wait... and wait.
Los Angeles Times
As a new poll found a majority of California voters want to repeal increases to the state's gas tax and vehicle fees, Gov. Jerry Brown has begun campaigning to preserve them, arguing the sacrifice is needed to fix long-neglected roads and bridges and improve mass transit.
● Gas tax funds millions in SJ roadway repair and rehab work Stockton Record
In an era of political tribalism, infrastructure investment is one of the few areas of American public policy that polls well among everyone. Which makes sense; who doesn’t like the idea of filling potholes, new airport terminals, and water systems that don’t burst?
A proposed water plant for Ceres and Turlock faces potentially significant opposition from the Modesto Irrigation District, whose attorney fears potential erosion of water rights because the cities’ environmental studies aren’t up to snuff, the attorney said.
Memorial Day weekend is unofficially seen by some as the start of the summer season, and this year, it means the start of floating/boating season.
The Sacramento Bee
More than one million Californians receive unsafe tap water at home and in schools and have to live with the fear that arsenic, nitrates or lead is slowly poisoning them. They spend more than 10 percent of their income to buy water and still pay high rates for tap water they can’t drink.
ABC Action News
Under the proposed State Senate Bill 623, Californians would see an additional 95 cents per month on their water bills.
Some environmentalists go so far as to call the desalination proposal for south Orange County, just north of Doheny State Beach, a “good” approach.
The Fresno Chaffee Zoo this week announced two new animals: a female Komodo dragon, Saphira, and a rescued male sea lion, Hendrix. Saphira is Fresno's first female Komodo dragon.
The Kern County Fair will open this fall with "Good Vibrations" courtesy of a performance by the Beach Boys, who return to the Budweiser Pavilion on Sept. 19.
A growing body of research is highlighting the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, with numerous studies showing that a chronic lack of shut-eye can increase your risk of death.
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Maddy Institute Updated List of San Joaquin Valley Elected Officials HERE.
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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