May 9, 2016


Political Stories

Top stories 

If you registered to vote at the DMV, check again – If you’ve visited the DMV in the last few weeks, you may have noticed that you can now complete your voter registration at the same time you renew your driver’s license — without having to fill out a separate form. But it’s a little more complicated than that. LA Times article

Northern California counties battle over June 7 marijuana measures – As California eyes legalizing recreational marijuana use, local jurisdictions are sparring over how to regulate pot production and sales, with controversial cultivation measures in Nevada and Yuba counties topping the list of five initiatives set for a June 7 vote. Sacramento Bee article

Valley politics

Voter registration climbs in Merced County as primary nears – The number of registered voters in Merced County has continued to rise as the June 7 election approaches, but it has yet to reach the peak of the last presidential election year, according to the Registrar of Voters Office. Merced Sun-Star article

County budget a top issue in Kern supervisor’s race — A criminal prosecutor is challenging David Couch for his 4th District seat on the Kern County Board of Supervisors, particularly on his handling of the troubled county budget. Couch, in turn, says opponent Robert Owen doesn’t have a full grasp of the issues. Bakersfield Californian article

Bakersfield mayoral candidate profile: William Minnick — William M. Minnick, 44, security officer, Allied Nation Wide. Bakersfield Californian article

Statewide politics/Ballot Measures

California primary season: Turnout may still be huge – Arguing that California voters will belie the predictions of political analysts that legions of them will stay away from the polls, some voting experts say to expect a robust launch of the June 7 primary election, which begins Monday with early voting and millions of ballots being mailed to households across the Golden State. San Jose Mercury News article

State Republicans just trying to keep their seats in the Legislature — When it comes to presidential election year politics in California, Republicans in the Legislature have one strategy: Play defense. They will attempt to hold on to their 14 seats in the 40-member Senate and 28 seats in the 80-member Assembly. The first test will be the June 7 primary. San Francisco Chronicle article

The key to legalizing weed in California is found at church — The reason marijuana might actually be legalized for adult recreational use in California this November is because professionals — not stoners — are running the campaign this time. San Francisco Chronicle article

California elections are a bonanza for signature-gatherers — It’s a banner year for paid signature-gatherers like Kriston, who came to San Diego after three months working in Orlando, Florida, on state ballot measures there. He is weighing offers to move to Missouri and Minnesota after California’s season ends. The Hungarian immigrant now makes more than the $1,200 to $1,500 a week he earned as a truck driver. AP article


Border wall: Once-busy spot grows quiet — Jose Arias Martinez is 83 and has lived in Tijuana’s Colonia Libertad neighborhood for 40 years. He remembers when a patch of American soil a few hundred yards from his house was the busiest and most famous spot on the U.S.-Mexico border for illegal crossings. San Diego Union-Tribune article

Other areas

George Skelton: Bernie Sanders’ idea for free tuition at public colleges deserves an A – Bernie Sanders wants everyone to be offered a tuition-free college education and he’s called crazy. America can’t afford it, naysayers scoff. He’s just pandering to young voters. But too many of us in California forget: This state did provide tuition-free college for generations. That helped California achieve greatness by broadening the middle class and providing opportunities for upward mobility not available in other states. Skelton column in LA Times

Vandals hit home of Trump supporter in Ceres — A vocal supporter of presidential candidate Donald Trump woke up to find his home and vehicles vandalized. The Trump banner and American flag mounted on his garage were gone. Modesto Bee article

Costa Mesa will pay $55,000 to settle a claim over the voting power of Latino residents – Costa Mesa will pay $55,000 to help resolve a claim that the city’s current election system dilutes the voting power of Latino residents, according to terms of a recent settlement announced by city officials. LA Times article

Jason Hughes: Real estate brokers should represent only one client – The president and CEO of Hughes Marino writes, “Nearly two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to require real estate brokers and their salespeople to disclose when they are acting as dual agents, representing both sides in a commercial real estate transaction. Senate Bill 1171 was an important first step to limit conflicts of interest and clarify what duties brokers owe their clients, but as the main architect of that law, I’ll be the first to admit that much work remains to be done. Now, the California Supreme Court has the opportunity to take a second step in the Horiike v. Coldwell Banker case. Hughes op-ed in Sacramento Bee

California Government Today:

Senate Daily File

Assembly Daily File

News Stories

Top Stories

Dan Walters: Water rights will be next big California fight — The PPIC report on water policy reform, released last year, notes that California already has laws on the books, rarely invoked, that might allow regulators to abridge even the most senior water rights on grounds of public health or safety or environmental damage. A case pending before the water board, however, indicates that the long-simmering water rights issue is beginning to boil. Walters column in Sacramento Bee

New North Fork casino compact would exempt it from tribal payments – The North Fork Mono Indians, who have tried for years to build a casino at a 305-acre site near Madera, have a new proposed gaming compact awaiting approval from federal Department of the Interior officials that could finally launch the project. But opponents say that new compact would give the North Fork tribe a multimillion-dollar break. Fresno Bee article

Jobs and the Economy

Stockton: Tiny houses could tackle big problem – The city soon may take a tiny step toward bringing tiny or micro houses to Stockton as part of a solution to homelessness. The City Council’s legislative committee last week approved proposed amendments to Stockton’s municipal code, which currently creates obstacles to the establishment of a community of tiny homes. The changes must still be approved by the full council. Stockton Record article

Betty Yee: If women’s wallets could talk – California’s controller writes, “As the state’s chief fiscal officer, my primary job is to guard the state’s financial health. However, I am equally concerned about the financial well-being of individual Californians. We must not allow senior women to fall into deep debt, foreclosure, bankruptcy, and even homelessness because of the retirement crisis. This is not only a moral issue for men and women, but it is imperative for a stable economy.” Yee op-ed in Fresno Bee

After LA cleared out homeless encampments, here’s what happened to some Tujunga Wash dwellers — After a decade in the riverbed, Dave Curry was ready to try living under a roof. With the help of a San Fernando Valley housing agency, Curry got aSection 8 voucher and went looking for an apartment. He was a few weeks into his search when his campsite in Tujunga Wash was demolished. Curry was one of about 30 men and women uprooted last fall in a series of cleanups conducted by the city of Los Angeles and nearby residents. A few slipped back into the wash. But most dispersed, leaving no record of where they went or how their lives changed. LA Times article


Hot summer, dry winter predicted for Valley – Based on weather models and patterns following past El Niños — the result of warmer-than-average temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean — forecasts indicate California is going into a fifth drought year with odds high for some extremely hot summer days in the central part of the state. Visalia Times-Delta article

Don Curlee: Overtime pay cheats workers — The truth of the old adage about making hay while the sun shines is apparently being lost on theCalifornia Legislature. It’s thinking about shrinking the agricultural work day by expanding overtime provisions for farm employees. Curlee column in Visalia Times-Delta

Criminal Justice/Prisons

Two Modesto police officers honored for saving man’s life – Modesto police Officers Jeremy Davis and Juan Arroyo had just arrived at a family disturbance call when a dispatcher radioed that a different call of a suspicious person had changed to a medical aid call involving a man who was not breathing. Modesto Bee article

Hundreds plan to strike at San Francisco City Hall against police killings — Five activists who refused to eat for 17 days, along with hundreds of their supporters, plan to hold a general strike Monday at City Hall in their push for the removal of San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, raising the specter of disrupted city business and renewed clashes between sheriff’s deputies and protesters. San Francisco Chronicle article

Kern deputy arrested for drugs arrested again on four felony charges — A Kern County Sheriff’s deputy who was arrested Friday on suspicion of being on drugs while working at the courthouse was arrested again Saturday night on four felony counts including spousal abuse and child cruelty. Bakersfield Californian article


The federal government wants colleges to limit questions about applicants’ criminal records – U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. wants colleges to stop asking applicants about their criminal histories early in the admissions process, he will announce at UCLA on Monday. Asking applicants for information about their criminal history can prevent them from finishing their applications, King says. LA Times article

State board to choose school improvement metrics – The State Board of Education on Wednesday is planning to choose a handful of statewide metrics to measure student performance as part of its creation of a new school accountability system. EdSource article

Modesto City Schools to weigh steps to calm meetings – After a series of contentious meetings, the Modesto City Schools board will discuss changing meeting protocols Monday to allow the board president to clear the room if things get rowdy. Modesto Bee article

Sacramento Bee: Time for California school kids to get breakfast after the bell — For several years, the adults running the schools in this state have resisted proven and common sense remedies to this problem. This needs to change. Sacramento Bee editorial


Mike Dunbar: Nothing but the grizzly truth about the bear plan — Yes, your honor, we are asking that you invite Mr. Horribilis into your home. Who wouldn’t want to have to a few cuddly, berry-eating 10-foot grizzly bears as pets? Any questions? What’s that, your honor? What do you mean that environmentalists in suits scare you more than grizzly bears? Dunbar column in Modesto Bee
Health/Human Services 

Getting word out on Medi-Cal expansion to undocumented children a challenge — Approximately 2,000 undocumented children living in San Joaquin County will be eligible to receive full health coverage through Medi-Cal starting May 16, according to the Department of Health Care Services. As a result, local nonprofits and other organizations are busy reaching out to the community in hope that families with children who are not enrolled will sign up. The challenge, however, is easing fears of a potential immigration fallout. Stockton Record article

Swaddling may increase the risk of SIDS – Swaddling a baby may increase the risk for sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, a new analysis concludes. New York Times article

Drones from Bay Area startup to deliver vaccines in Africa — A Bay Area robotics startup plans to use drones to deliver vaccines and blood for transfusions to hard-to-reach areas of Rwanda — with some help from UPS. San Francisco Chronicle article

Other areas

City Beat: Here’s to Sacramento’s true stars — Will it draw tourists from around the country and inspire a thousand selfies? Or will we walk right over them without noticing? Is Sacramento’s Walk of Stars an indication that the city’s “branding” obsession has gone too far? The first names to be included in the Walk of Stars are to be unveiled Monday morning. Sacramento Bee article