November 17, 2017

17Nov

TOP POLITICAL STORIES​​​​​​​

 

Local/Regional Politics:

Maddy Associates Luncheon with Democratic Candidate for Governor Antonio Villaraigosa

The Maddy Institute – Fresno

On Friday, November 17, 2017, The Maddy Institute will be hosting Democratic Candidate for Governor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Assembly Speaker and Los Angeles Mayor. Business and Community leaders have been invited to attend this private event in Fresno, CA.

Sacramento police close sexual misconduct investigation into California assemblyman

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento police on Thursday closed their investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct by Assemblyman Devon Mathis without bringing charges against the Visalia Republican. “Detectives were unable to substantiate that a crime occurred,” Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Linda Matthew wrote in an email. “At this time the case has been closed.”

See also:

Bullet train project delays environmental review timeline

Fresno Bee

California officials have pushed back the deadline to 2020 for completing environmental reviews for the proposed high-speed rail line from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The updated timeline is yet another delay in California’s $64 billion project to create a bullet train that will travel between the two cities in less than three hours. The environmental reviews, which will finalize the route the train will take, were originally slated for completion this year. Officials bumped the deadline back to 2018 in March, and now to 2020.

Human trafficking: Survivor now an advocate

Fresno Bee

Arien Pauls doesn’t look like someone who’s been through hell. She flashes an easy smile as she speaks. Her voice is soft, but her words are deliberate and flow with eloquence. She has a distinct rockabilly style, with one arm bearing a tattoo modeled from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and a hair clip featuring two large pink roses. Looking at her, it’s hard to imagine that a man she loved forced her into slavery.

Tulare County DA serves search warrant at Tulare Regional Medical Center

ABC30

The hospital temporarily closed two and a half weeks ago when the new board of directors decided to pull the hospital’s state license. In a statement sent to Action News, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward confirmed that there was a search warrant served at the hospital for business records and e-mails.

Federal judge scolds Tulare hospital, HCCA

Visalia Times-Delta

A federal judge scolded both sides of the aisle Thursday morning during another hearing where Tulare Local Healthcare District attorneys asked for an expedited end to the hospital’s management agreement. Originally, the judge ruled Healthcare Conglomerate Associates had until Nov. 27 to pack up and leave. Hospital officials wanted the keys back sooner. “Many things have been done in an extremely short amount of time,” Judge Rene Lastrero. “This is not something the court appreciates.”

Forbes puts Stockton Mayor Tubbs on 30 Under 30 list of young stars

Stockton Record

Once again, Stockton has made a Forbes magazine list, but this time the recognition is positive.

County preparing plans for medical marijuana delivery while opponents consider next step

Bakersfield Californian

Just weeks after Kern County supervisors approved an outright ban on commercial cannabis, officials have started the process of developing rules that would allow marijuana businesses to deliver the drug to medical patients in the county.

Madera Oversight Coalition (MOC) reaches lawsuit settlement with Vulcan Materials Company on Austin Quarry Project

Sierra Star

Madera Oversight Coalition, CalMat Co. dba Vulcan Materials Company Western Division, and property owner Michael William Urrutia have reached a settlement agreement regarding the Austin Quarry project located in Madera County.

ACLU Reports Slam Central Valley Law Enforcement for Excessive Use of Force | The California Report

KQED News

Two new ACLU reports have put Central Valley law enforcement in the spotlight. They find excessive use of force by the Fresno and Bakersfield police departments and Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Democratic campaign billboard shows Trump, Devin Nunes on Vladimir Putin’s leash

Washington Examiner

Andrew Janz, a Democratic candidate vying for California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes’ seat, debuted a billboard on display in the San Joaquin district that showcases President Trump and Nunes on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leash.

 

State Politics:

CA government to run budget surplus in 2018

Sacramento Bee

The state budget is in good shape to weather a moderate recession, and lawmakers should be able to sock away more money in reserves next year, according to projections the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office issued Wednesday. The LAO’s outlook shows the state would finish its 2018-19 budget year with more than $19 billion in reserves – assuming lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown don’t make any more spending commitments. About $11 billion is obligated for the state’s rainy-day fund.

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National Wave of Sexual Harassment Scandals Complicates de León Run Against Feinstein

KQED | California Report

Timing is everything in politics as in life, and by that measure the moment of state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s announced challenge of Sen. Dianne Feinstein was less than fortuitous. Forty-eight hours after de León released avideotaped message that he was running, some of the most powerful women in Sacramento politics released a letter describing a long-standing climate of sexual harassment and worse at the state Capitol. Their message: “Enough.”

See also:

Covered California sees 23 percent jump in health insurance signups

San Francisco Chronicle

The number of new customers signing up for health insurance through the state exchange Covered California jumped 23 percent during the first two weeks of open enrollment compared to the same period last year, Covered California officials saidThursday.

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California soon will have a lot more old people, and that will change everything

Orange County Register

In a state known for youth, a recently released report unmasks the face of California and reveals we’re getting more wrinkled by the minute. The number of people age 60 and older will jump 40 percent by 2030, says the federally mandated California State Plan on Aging. Within the next 13 years, the number of people 85 and over will soar by 37 percent and hit the 1 million mark.

Antonio Villaraigosa says he hopes to increase voter turnout in the Latino community

Los Angeles Times

Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa joined former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and Mickey Ibarra, former director of intergovernmental affairs for former President Bill Clinton, at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes on Wednesday evening to read excerpts from the book “Latino Leaders Speak: Stories of Struggle and Triumph.”

New rules with hefty fees set for growing and selling marijuana in California

Los Angeles Times

California officials proposed new rules Thursday for the growing, transporting and sale of marijuana when the state begins issuing licenses in January, and industry officials said the regulations and hefty fees are a mixed bag. The regulations, which are subject to public hearings before they are finalized, do not limit the size of cannabis farms, but require every plant to be traced from farm to sale. Security will be required at farms, trucks and pot shops, and cannabis cannot be marketed toward minors.

See also:

California proposal: No kids? Then don’t pay school taxes

Fox News

A California man has proposed a ballot measure to exempt residents who don’t have kids in state public schools from paying the taxes to fund them.

Millions of Californians will soon have to visit the DMV. Here’s why

Sacramento Bee

As the deadline to meet new federal standards for state licenses and ID cards approaches, Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Sacramento and around the state are preparing for a rush.

FACT CHECK: Did the California Senate Vote 28-8 to Exempt Itself from California Gun Laws?

Snopes

In November 2017, a number of dubious web sites published articles trumpeting the claim that the California Senate passed a law exempting legislators from the state’s own gun control laws.

Federal Politics:

Most of California’s House Republicans vote to pass GOP tax bill; three vote against it

Los Angeles Times

Eleven California Republicans joined their House colleagues Thursday to approve a tax overhaul expected to have broad negative effects on Californians’ taxes. Several said they supported the bill because they think the Senate will make it better. Three Republicans — Reps. Darrell Issa of Vista, Tom McClintock of Elk Grove and Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa — joined California’s Democrats in opposing the bill.

See also:

U.S. regulator votes to loosen media ownership rules

Reuters

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to remove key roadblocks to increased consolidation among media companies, potentially unleashing new deals among TV, radio and newspaper owners as they seek to better compete with online media. The Republican-led FCC voted 3-2 to eliminate the 42-year-old ban on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a major market. It also voted to make it easier for media companies to buy additional TV stations in the same market, and for local stations to jointly sell advertising time and for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets.

Senate Ethics Committee Could Get Real Busy, Real Soon

Roll Call

The Senate Ethics Committee may soon become one of the most active panels in the chamber. It is all but assured the committee will investigate allegations that Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken groped and kissed a Los Angeles news anchor during a 2006 USO tour. (Franken was not a U.S. senator at the time.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Franken himself have all called for the panel to take up the case.

Other:

The many warning signs before a gunman’s rampage

Los Angeles Times

Before he killed five in a series of shootings earlier this week, Kevin Neal’s penchant for firing off guns and threatening neighbors was well-known in Rancho Tehama, even though he was barred from having any guns in his possession. In February and again in March, a court had ordered him to turn in all of his weapons as part of a temporary restraining order granted to residents in this rural area of Northern California who claimed Neal was harassing them. Court records show that neighbors continued to complain about gunfire and other problems with Neal for much of the year.

See also:

‘Proof of Citizenship’ Voting Laws May Surge Under Trump

Pew Charitable Trust | Stateline

Emboldened both by President Donald Trump’s claim that millions of noncitizens voted in 2016 and by his creation of a panel to investigate the alleged fraud, lawmakers in several states want to require people registering to vote to provide proof of their citizenship – even though federal registration forms don’t require it.

 

MADDY INSTITUTE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMMING

 

Sunday, November 19, at 5:00 p.m. on ABC 30 – Maddy Report: Voting in California: No Longer Coming to a Neighborhood By You– Guests: Mindy Romero with University of California – Davis, Dan Walters with CalMatters and John Myers with Los Angeles Times. Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, November 19, at 10:00 a.m. on Newstalk 580AM/105.9FM (KMJ)– Maddy Report ​ – Valley Views Edition​: “State and Valley Participation: We Can All Do Better” – Guests: Registrar of Voters, Kristine Lee (Kings Co.), Brandi Orth (Fresno Co.), Barbara Levey, (Merced Co.) and Justin White, (Chief Assistant to the Madera Co Clerk). Host: Maddy Institute Executive Director, Mark Keppler.

Sunday, November 19, at 7:30 a.m. on UniMas 61 (KTTF) – Informe Maddy Opportunities for New Businesses in the Valley. Guests: Dora Westerlund, CEO of The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation; Yeru Olivares, CFO of The Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation; Yolanda Garcia, Owner of YO’MAMMAS! and Robert Zapata with the Opportunity Fund. Host: Maddy Institute Program Coordinator, Maria Jeans.

Support the Maddy Daily HERE. Thank you!

 

Topics in More Detail…

 

EDITORIALS

Secretary saved so many lives in Tehama

Modesto Bee

She heard the shots, knew they were close and ordered a lockdown, getting the kids to safety before the shooter arrived

 

On trade with Asia, Trump puts America last

Sacramento Bee

In a presidency of lowered expectations, it’s a relief that during his Asia tour Donald Trump managed to avoid saying anything provocative enough to start a war. Yet he still did long-term damage to America’s influence and relationships in the Asia-Pacific – and to the economy of California and the rest of the nation – by talking tough on his wrongheaded “America First” approach on trade.

Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ raises a question: Is Sacramento more talented than we thought?

Sacramento Bee

Without more support for the arts, we won’t know. Fortunately, fresh momentum for Sacramento’s creative economy is gathering.

Finish off California’s zombie tax board

San Francisco Chronicle

Amid accumulating reports of malfeasance and mismanagement, California’s Board of Equalization, a 138-year-old relic with no counterpart nationwide, has faced an enduring question: Why does it exist?

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AGRICULTURE/FOOD

Hanford farmer and water expert appointed to state agency by Trump administration

Fresno Bee

Aubrey Bettencourt of Hanford has been appointed by the Trump Administration to be the state executive director for the United States Department of Agriculture’s California Farm Service Agency. Bettencourt, who joined the state FSA team on Monday, is well known in agricultural circles, locally and statewide. She most recently held the position of executive director of the Hanford-based California Water Alliance, a position she’d held since 2010.

California pot rules open way for potentially larger fields

Fresno Bee

California released long-awaited rules Thursday that will govern the state’s emerging legal marijuana industry, while potentially opening the way for larger-scale cultivation that some fear could strangle small-farm growers. The thicket of emergency regulations will allow the state to begin issuing temporary licenses for growers, distributors and sellers on Jan. 1, when recreational sales become legal.

See also:

County preparing plans for medical marijuana delivery while opponents consider next step

Bakersfield Californian

Just weeks after Kern County supervisors approved an outright ban on commercial cannabis, officials have started the process of developing rules that would allow marijuana businesses to deliver the drug to medical patients in the county.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE​ ​/​ ​FIRE​ ​/​ ​PUBLIC SAFETY

Crime:

California’s problems with money bail were created by the courts, bond agents say

Sacramento Bee

A high-profile push to scrap California’s bail system, which critics contend has created an unequal system of justice based on wealth, fell short in the Assembly last session amid concerns about cost and the effect on public safety. But Gov. Jerry Brown announced he would continue to work on the issue with legislative proponents and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

ACLU Reports Slam Central Valley Law Enforcement for Excessive Use of Force | The California Report

KQED News

Two new ACLU reports have put Central Valley law enforcement in the spotlight. They find excessive use of force by the Fresno and Bakersfield police departments and Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Interactive visits in San Bernardino jails strengthen parent-child ties cut by incarceration

CAFWD

More time together allows families to normalize relationships, reduces chance of a return to jail

Public Safety:

Where and when to get help after a disaster

San Francisco Chronicle

So your life has been upended by a disaster. There are plenty of places you can turn for help, but it pays to act as soon as you can.

Fire:

Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall

Consumer Reports

Kidde has recalled more than 40 million fire extinguishers used in homes, vehicles, and boats because they can become clogged or fail to discharge during a fire. The company has received one report of a related death in 2014, when a fire extinguisher failed to work during a car fire. There have been 16 injuries, 91 reports of property damage, and 391 reports of the extinguishers either not working at all or not working properly.

ECONOMY / JOBS

 

On trade with Asia, Trump puts America last

Sacramento Bee

In a presidency of lowered expectations, it’s a relief that during his Asia tour Donald Trump managed to avoid saying anything provocative enough to start a war. Yet he still did long-term damage to America’s influence and relationships in the Asia-Pacific – and to the economy of California and the rest of the nation – by talking tough on his wrongheaded “America First” approach on trade.

Stocks soar. Thank you for shopping at Walmart

CNN

Stocks soared Thursday thanks to strong quarterly results and healthy outlooks from Dow components Cisco Systems (CSCO, Tech30) and Walmart (WMT). The Dow rose nearly 200 points, snapping a two-day losing streak, and is back within a hair of its all-time high. Sure, the House’s passage of a tax reform bill didn’t hurt market sentiment either, but let’s be honest. There are still many questions about what the Senate’s tax bill will look like.

EDUCATION

 

K-12:

Fresno County honors best of educational workforce

Fresno Bee

Three people were honored with Fresno County Educator of the Year awards in a Thursday night ceremony at William Saroyan Theater. Ray Zavala of Clovis Unified School District is the School Employee of the Year. He is plant supervisor at Pinedale Elementary and has worked in education for 22 years.

Open Reporting: Help us explore how pension costs are hitting schools

CALmatters

California has never spent more on public schools than it does today, but the amount it invests per-pupil still ranks near the bottom compared to other states. With one particular fixed cost expected to grow rapidly over the next few years, things could get even worse. I’m talking about pensions—the amount of money school districts must contribute annually to cover their teachers and other staff members in retirement.

The importance of a diverse teaching force

Brookings Institute

In a recent study, Lindsay, Blom, and Tilsley present an impressive analysis of the disparities between the racial composition of American children and the racial composition of the American teaching force.

Higher Ed:

UC regents admonish UC President Janet Napolitano for approval of interference in state audit

Los Angeles Times

University of California regents meeting on Thursday admonished UC PresidentJanet Napolitano for agreeing to a plan that led to interference in a state audit on the operation of her office. Her approval of a plan in which top aides would preview campus administrators’ confidential survey responses “reflected poor judgment and set in motion a course of conduct that the Board of Regents finds unacceptable,” board chairman George Kieffer said in a statement after the regents met behind closed doors for nearly five hours.

University of California to open free speech center in Washington DC

San Francisco Chronicle

The University of California, the site of several free-speech clashes and a First Amendment lawsuit this year, announced Thursday that it will open a center in Washington, D.C., to tackle questions of open expression in the way it does best: through research.

University of California to bid on managing nuclear lab

San Jose Mercury News

The University of California’s governing board has given the 10-campus system approval to bid on a contract to manage the federal government’s premier nuclear weapons facility. The Board of Regents voted Thursday to allow the UC to enter a bid for running the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The birthplace of the atomic bomb and still one of the nation’s premier nuclear research facilities, the lab has struggled in recent years with a string of safety lapses involving the handling of plutonium and radioactive waste.

College Graduates and California’s Future

Public Policy Institute of California

The University of California Board of Regents invited Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO, and Hans Johnson, PPIC senior fellow and director of the PPIC Higher Education Center, to present their perspectives on the role of higher education in California’s future, November 16, 2017.

Fewer Foreign Students Means a Smaller Contribution to U.S. Economy

Bloomberg

The U.S. could lose its status as the top destination for international students in the not-so-distant future if new enrollments continue to recede – a change that will come at an economic cost.

ENVIRONMENT/ ENERGY

 

Environment:

Climate change: Jerry Brown says he’s talked enough, wants to ‘get something done’

San Jose Mercury News

The camera and lights switched on and Ole Torp, the Charlie Rose of Norway, leaned in, silver hair flashing, and posed his first question to Gov. Jerry Brown. “Is the world going to hell?” “Yes,” Brown answered swiftly. The interview, taped last week in Oslo, was declared a fabulous success, one the television audience would quite enjoy. How to explain the climate-change world’s curious embrace of a man with so apocalyptic a message? On a nearly two-week swing through Europe, starting at the Vatican and ending this week at the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, Brown offered a bleak appraisal of the global future:  We are on a trajectory toward hell. It’s a headlong rush to a very unpleasant outcome. Mankind is on the chopping block.

See also:

Metal recyclers prepare for electric car revolution Reuters

Recycling companies are honing processes to extract metals from old batteries more cheaply and efficiently so they can capitalize on an expected shortfall in materials such as cobalt and lithium when sales of electric cars take off. The main obstacle recyclers face now is a shortage of spent batteries to recycle to make their technology cost-effective, but those at the forefront of the industry are confident the supply, and profits, will come.

See also

Energy:

Claims abound on California’s ‘highest-in-the-nation’ costs. Not all are factual.

PolitiFact

It’s a common refrain: California has some of the ‘highest-in-the-nation’ costs, from gas and water to electricity and taxes. Some of these assertions are supported by the facts, while others are as exaggerated as Yosemite’s granite domes are striking. GOP candidate for governor John Cox seized on these expenses in a recent Capital Public Radio interview. “We’ve got the highest water bills, the highest electricity bills, the highest gasoline – and gas tax. Of course, we’ve got the highest income and sales taxes in the country.”

See also:

HEALTH/HUMAN SERVICES

US health agency to crack down on risky stem cell offerings

Sacramento Bee

U.S. health authorities announced plans Thursday to crack down on doctors pushing stem cell procedures that pose the gravest risks to patients amid an effort to police a burgeoning medical field that previously has received little oversight. The Food and Drug Administration laid out a strategy for regulating cell-based medicine, including hundreds of private clinics that have opened across the nation in the last decade. Many of the businesses promote stem cell injections for dozens of diseases including arthritis, multiple sclerosis and even Alzheimer’s. They can cost $5,000 to $50,000, but there’s little research that such procedures are safe or effective.

ACA health plans report surge of new consumers during open

Sacramento Bee

Covered California announced Thursday that more than 48,000 new consumers have signed up for health insurance offered under the Affordable Care Act, an increase of 23 percent over the same period a year ago.

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IMMIGRATION

Oops, We Lost Your DACA Application

NPR

Thousands of Dreamers thought they had met the final deadline to renew their DACA status last month. But some of those applications got stuck in the mail.

Detention Push Ignites New Deportation Battles

Pew Charitable Trust | Stateline

Expansion of detention centers to support a Trump administration push for more deportations is meeting resistance in some states and cities.

LAND USE/HOUSING

 

Land Use:

Decision about public access to San Joaquin River delayed – again – at marathon meeting

Fresno Bee

In a meeting that lasted almost seven hours Wednesday, the San Joaquin River Conservancy Board moved only a little bit toward approving a plan for a key piece of land. The board listened to 55 people during public comment and hours of debate from the dais before unanimously approving the overall environmental report for the River West Open Space Area.

Housing:

 

Your frequently asked California housing crisis questions—answered

CALmatters

A few months back, we created an explainer to answer two questions: How bad is California’s housing crisis, and how did it get so bad? We tried to cover as much ground as possible—from affordable housing funding to Proposition 13 to why no one else in your apartment building cleans out the lint filter after using the communal dryer. But we knew we couldn’t get to everything. So we asked readers “What did we miss? What questions do you still have about California’s certifiably insane housing market that we didn’t answer?”

Housing industry unites against proposed tax reform plan

Visalia Times-Delta

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act proposed by Congress will slash the mortgage interest deduction in half from $1 million to $500,000, double the standard deduction and reduce the capital gain exemption, allowing homeowners to deduct profits from a home sale only once every five years instead of two. This proposal was immediately opposed by the mortgage industry and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Both those powerful homeownership lobbies have united to oppose the tax reform plan in its current form.

4-of-5 Southern California homes are “unaffordable,” at least by one measurement

OCRegister

Remember the last time Southern California homebuying was somewhat reasonably affordable? Say, oh, 2012? Well, the economy’s improved in the years after the Great Recession ended — locally and nationally — and fortunately for house hunters, mortgage rates haven’t budged much from near historical lows. So, I wondered: How does Southern California’s shift in five years from modestly affordable to nearly-impossible-to-swallow pricing compare with the rest of the nation? Please note that in many big towns around the nation it’s a struggle to buy a house and remain financially solvent.

See also:

 

Young and homeless in America

EdSource

More than 4 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of young adults nationwide were living on the street, in cars or shelters, or couch-surfing at some point in the last year, according to a sweeping study by the University of Chicago released Wednesday. The study, “Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America,” was based on random phone surveys of 26,000 young people ages 13 to 25, and represents one of the most accurate, wide-ranging overviews ever conducted of homeless youth, a group whose numbers have long eluded researchers, educators and social workers, homeless advocates said.

 

California Today: Rain Brings Health Hazards to the Homeless

New York Times

The first drenching rains of the season, an atmospheric river that came ashore this week, flooded roadways and snarled traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday. For one group of residents, the region’s homeless, the rains were more than just an inconvenience. Damp and cold conditions bring influenza and infections to the crowded tent encampments that have swelled in recent years as soaring property prices have sent more people onto the street.

U.S. housing starts hit one-year high; permits increase

Reuters

U.S. homebuilding jumped to a one-year high in October likely as disruptions caused by recent hurricanes in the South faded and communities in the region started replacing houses damaged by flooding. The sharp rebound in home construction reported by the Commerce Department on Friday could ease concerns about the housing market, which has been a drag on the economy since the second quarter.

PUBLIC FINANCES

California’s state budget could soon be flush with $7.5 billion in unexpected cash, analysts say

Los Angeles Times

 Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers could have a net budget windfall of some $7.5 billion by the summer of 2019 under a new analysis that attributes most of the cash to capital gains income earned by California’s most wealthy taxpayers.

GOP Tax Plan May Make Business a Target for Tax Raisers in CA

Fox and Hounds Daily

If the tax plan passes congress, California business better have a shield because they will be the target of tax increase activists. The House vote on the GOP tax bill was step one. There is a ways to go before the tax cut plan becomes law and on the Republican side there is still last minute jockeying for changes to the final plan that would end up on the president’s desk. Even the state and local tax deductions issue might be altered allowing the deductions to stand if some GOP-oriented economists have their way.

House Approves GOP Tax Overhaul

Roll Call

House Republicans on Thursday passed their tax overhaul bill, 227-205, which will now go to the Senate and be used as a vehicle to pass its own measure. Thirteen Republicans voted against the measure; no Democrats voted for the measure. If the Senate passes its own measure, GOP leaders say they’ll form a conference committee to reconcile the differences. No Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the tax bill, which is moving through the budget reconciliation process so that the Senate can also pass it without Democratic votes if needed.

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TRANSPORTATION

Millions of Californians will soon have to visit the DMV. Here’s why

Sacramento Bee

As the deadline to meet new federal standards for state licenses and ID cards approaches, Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Sacramento and around the state are preparing for a rush. The new standards mean California fliers who rely on their driver’s license to board domestic flights will no longer be able to do so beginning Oct. 1, 2020, unless they come equipped with the federally approved IDs and licenses or a different form of acceptable identification, such as a valid U.S. passport or military ID, the DMV said.

Volkswagen to spend over $40 billion on electric and self-driving cars

Reuters

Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) leaders on Friday approved a five-year spending plan that aims to further the German automaker’s goal of transforming itself into a leading force in electric cars. Europe’s largest carmaker by unit sales will spend more than 34 billion euros ($40 billion) on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022, it said on Friday following a supervisory board meeting.

See also:

WATER

Meet the Modesto Irrigation District’s new — really new — manager

Modesto Bee

For the first time in 30 years, Modesto Irrigation District leaders picked an outsider to run the utility. Scott Furgerson, from Sempra Energy in Southern California, will become MID’s general manager Nov. 27, with an annual salary of about $275,000. The MID board chose him over five other finalists, including unnamed candidates employed by MID.

Storm boosts Sacramento’s rainfall total, Sierra ski resorts to open Friday

Sacramento Bee

After a slow start on rainfall this season, the Sacramento region got a big boost from a subtropical system that moved through the area Wednesday night and Thursday. Downtown Sacramento’s average rainfall total at this point in the season, which began Oct. 1, is 2.18 inches, said Jim Mathews, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, this season’s total stood at 2.12 inches, he said.

“Xtra”

Take me home! Animals available for adoption

Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Animal Services 3951 Fruitvale Ave., 868-7100, Facebook.com/KernCountyAnimalServices. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Visit any Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. for a weekly low-cost vaccination, licensing and microchipping clinic.

Worth noting: Hundreds of Arvin kids given new shoes; highway dedication; Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign and more

Bakersfield Californian

About 600 students at Haven Middle School in Arvin were given new shoes, socks and other items on Thursday. The Arvin Assembly Church partnered with other businesses and organizations to give students the items at the school gym Thursday morning. The Arvin Union School District paid for the new socks while a shoe company, whose name was not disclosed, provided the shoes. The Arvin Lions Club also donated money so that each student could have a bag for their items.