May 31, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown on the spot in final days of writing new state budget — Brown’s parsimonious attitude didn’t quiet the virtually unanimous demands by his fellow Democrats in the Legislature for more spending – or “investment” in the current parlance – on early childhood education, low-income housing, welfare and other expensive services. So that makes the next two weeks a gut check. As Brown negotiates a final budget with legislative leaders, will he hold fast or give ground to the demands of legislators, unions and other advocacy groups that want him to loosen his purse strings? Walters column in Sacramento Bee 

In California, varied election filing practices reveal a system struggling to catch up — More than half of California’s counties — most of them small and rural — don’t provide online access to campaign finance records, and they say they aren’t likely to change any time soon, an assessment of county-level contribution records shows. LA Times article

Valley politics

Decades of Kern political history goes online — The Kern County Elections Division has opened a digital wormhole into our electoral past. Staffers have scanned a veritable mountain of historical elections documents into digital files and linked to it online. Bakersfield Californian article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

Primer for the 2016 primary — In a week Californians will be going to the polls for the California primary. They’ll vote for their party’s candidate for president, will narrow the 34 candidates for senator to the top two, decide on a proposition to allow the state government to suspend without pay any of its members if malfeasance is suspected and decide a number of local races. Stockton Record article


As U.S. admits migrants in a trickle, critics urge Obama to pick up the pace – Nearly eight months into an effort to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States, Mr. Obama’s administration has admitted just over 2,500. And as his administration prepares for a new round of deportations of Central Americans, including many women and children pleading for humanitarian protection, the president is facing intense criticism from allies in Congress and advocacy groups about his administration’s treatment of migrants. New York Times article 

Wall a fact of life for border neighborhoods – In the residential and commercial neighborhoods around the San Ysidro Port of Entry, it can be hard to tell where Mexico stops and the United States starts. Baja California license plates fill parking lots on the U.S. side as shoppers stock up at discount stores and high-end outlets, while cars with California plates head south for weekend frolics or cheaper housing. San Diego Union-Tribune article

U.S.-Mexico border sees a resurgence of Central Americans seeking asylum — Immigrants fleeing gang violence in Central America are again surging across the U.S.-Mexico border, approaching the numbers that created an immigration crisis in the summer of 2014. While the flow of immigrants slowed for much of last year, nothing the U.S. government does seems to deter the current wave of travelers. NPR report

Other areas

Karin Klein: E-cig, tobacco-age laws are good intentions gone awry – When it comes to cigarettes – and their aerosolizing buddies, e-cigarettes – the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown have been thinking with their raw instincts. And raw instincts don’t make for sensible laws, even when intentions are good. Klein in Sacramento Bee

West Sacramento alters social media policy to avoid political issues – The city of West Sacramento changed its social media policy for the first time since 2011 to prevent the city’s accounts from broadcasting personal opinion or endorsing certain candidates or measures. Sacramento Bee article 

Foon Rhee: The last Memorial Day of Obama’s presidency — Monday marked Rancho Cordova’s 10th annual Memorial Day ceremony at the VA Medical Center at Mather – and we’ve been at war, in one way or another, for every one of them. This one was particularly fraught because it was the last Memorial Day of the Obama presidency. The next observance will be under a new commander in chief, who could be very different from Obama. Rhee in Sacramento Bee

Presidential Primary in California

Clinton and allies step up California efforts as primary draws near – Hillary Clinton’s campaign had once hoped the California primary could be a coronation for the former secretary of State, the last major stop en route to claiming the Democratic presidential nomination. Instead, it has turned into a dogfight with Bernie Sanders, who has been campaigning nonstop through the state. With at least one public poll showing the race now a tie, the Clinton campaign has decided to step up her appearances in the state. LA Times article 

Five things Clinton needs to do to win the California primary – So how does Clinton hold on to California, a state she won easily in the 2008 primary againstBarack Obama? Here are five things she needs to do. The Hill article 

Animal rights activists disrupt Sanders rally in Oakland – A group of animal rights activists briefly interrupted a Bernie Sanders rally in Northern California when they jumped barricades and tried to rush the podium. AP articleSan Jose Mercury News article

Tom Fife: At closer look, Trump is right that there is no drought — Liberals have blocked our water and dried up our Valley. (Read, “The Scorching of California” by Victor Davis Hansen, a great article on how California water issues.) For the past 50 years, California’s infrastructure has not expanded to meet the needs a growing population. Environmental laws keep us from using the water and even if we can we’ll still need major infrastructure expansion. Trump is a fixer. He wants to fix it. Fife column in Visalia Times-Delta

Joe Altschule: Dear Abby comes to Tom’s aid — When wacky Donald comes to the Central Valley and tells us that there is no drought that is pretty much direct evidence that he is totally without any actual understanding of what we’ve been experiencing for the past five years. Altschule column in Visalia Times-Delta

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

Many Dream Act scholarships for undocumented students go unused – Undocumented college students are leaving a wealth of unspent aid money on the table five years after the passage of the landmark California law that provides those immigrants grants for higher education. EdSource article

At least 29 shootings, 14 dead in Bakersfield area past two months — Two fatal shootings over the holiday weekend marked the 13th and 14th homicides by gunfire in the Bakersfield area within the past two months. There have been at least 29 shootings resulting in injury or death in Bakersfield since April 1, according to a tally by The Californian. Just one more fatal shooting and the city will have tied the number of homicides it had for all of 2015.  At least 23 people have been injured. Bakersfield Californian article

Jobs and the Economy

Modesto meeting to talk about homelessness – Modesto and other officials will hold a public meeting Wednesday evening to talk about developments in the effort to find long-term solutions to homelessness. Modesto Bee article

Old and on the street: The graying of America’s homeless – The emergence of an older homeless population is creating daunting challenges for social service agencies and governments already struggling to fight poverty. New York Times article

Clean-energy jobs surpass oil drilling for first time in U.S. – The number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered. Bloomberg article 

Jeff Jardine: Hurrying up to wait for $509,000 settlement between Riverbank, auctioneer – Most anyone who ever spent time in the Army is familiar with the sarcastic term “hurry up and wait.” In Riverbank, that saying is worth over a half-million bucks. Jardine column in Modesto Bee

CFPB case would take Google’s payday lending crackdown on step further — Type “need cash now” into a Google search and the first few results are ads from high-interest lenders or companies that refer customers to them. That will change come July, when Google has said it will stop selling ads to payday lenders and other companies in the business of short-term or high-interest consumer loans, closing off one of the industry’s most effective avenues for finding customers. LA Times article

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Second former Bakersfield Police Department detective facing charges, choices — Even as thousands of Kern County residents took a day off from work Monday, former Bakersfield police Detective Patrick Mara was with his family facing down one of the most difficult decisions of his life. Bakersfield Californian article


California considers huge tuition hikes for out-of-state students – In the latest attempt to restore in-state students’ access to the University of California, legislators are proposing changes that would put the system on track to become the nation’s most expensive public college option for nonresidents. San Jose Mercury News article

Modesto City Schools to review its work for black students – How effectively Modesto City Schools are serving black students, dealing with campus conflict and reaching out to families will take up much of the board meeting Tuesday evening. Modesto Bee article

Scott Moore: Striving to boldly serve working adults at Fresno State – The dean of Continuing and Global Education and interim executive director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fresno State writes, “In a letter to the editor April 20, Matt Teresi encouraged Fresno State to “be bold” and offer more classes to students who are working adults. Teresi has a point, and the university is working on it. While Fresno State does not have a specific office for returning adults, we are building programs and opportunities that are friendly to full-time workers and the working adult population.” Moore op-ed in Fresno Bee 

Fieldworker first in family to graduate — The same year Eliana Fernandez started working in the fields with her mother just north of Delano, she was ready to drop out of school. But now Fernandez has turned things around. One of four siblings — including a sister who is older — Fernandez has become a role model. She will be the first in her family to earn a diploma when she walks across the stage Wednesday at Valley High, a continuation school in Delano. Bakersfield Californian article

Ben Holt student wants to return to Stockton — This year, Stockton is home to three winners of the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, one that can take care of all college expenses, including graduate degrees. Among the students chosen is Rodolfo “Rudy” Gallegos, an 18-year-old senior at Aspire Benjamin Holt College Preparatory Academy in north Stockton. Stockton Record article 

Portrait of an American hero: Students’ unique poster project honors San Joaquin veterans — While many veterans are remembered at somber ceremonies at cemeteries on Memorial Day, the seniors at Weber Institute honored local servicemen and women in a unique way Monday. Seven local veterans were presented with homemade posters at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Luneta Post 52 on Monday, all created by the Weber Institute’s Class of 2016. Stockton Record article 

Folsom’s PowerSchool continues acquisitions tied to educational data — Increasingly, school administrators are seeking one system that can manage all student data, and PowerSchool chief executive Hardeep Gulati is moving strategically and swiftly to satisfy them. In early May, he made the Folsom-based company’s third acquisition since November 2015. Sacramento Bee article

Health/Human Services

Prince’s death casts spotlight on anti-opioid addiction drug – It was an intervention that never happened, and it featured two stars: Prince, an adored music icon, and buprenorphine, an obscure drug hailed as a revolutionary tool to fight opioid addiction. LA Times article