Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

2016 election

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The impact of a Donald Trump presidency on the Central Valley is still a great mystery. However, modern American presidents have broad powers that they can put into effect quickly. There are more than a few very specific actions Trump could take that would directly affect Central California.

Some of the bigger promises made by president-elect Trump will require the cooperation of the Republican-controlled Congress. Promises like a border wall, mass deportations, and repealing Obamacare will take some time.

Forty years ago, when Jerry Brown was first governor, he signed a law that dramatically changed the way California sentenced criminal offenders. Previously, under the indeterminate sentencing law, many inmates received inconclusive sentences instead of a fixed term. It was up to a parole board to decide when an inmate was ready to re-enter society.

Under the law signed by Brown in 1976, the state shifted to a determinate sentencing structure — and in the years following, lawmakers and voters piled on dozens more laws that added years to prisoners’ terms.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The future of one of the most prominent public officials in Fresno could be on the line Tuesday, but his name won’t even be on the ballot. The results of a vote on a local school bond and the political leanings of two new Fresno Unified School Board Trustees could be a signal about how much local support there is for district superintendent Michael Hanson.

Voters in Fresno are casting ballots on a $225 million school bond called Measure X and on two new trustees to take a seat on the board.

As Election Day draws closer, the race between incumbent Republican David Valadao and Democratic challenger Emilio Huerta in California's 21st Congressional District is heating up. FM89's Joe Moore reports both sides have turned recently to negative TV ads in an effort to gain an edge.

If you were watching the World Series in Fresno or Bakersfield, or most any other TV program you probably heard an ad that sounded a lot like this…

PRO VALADAO AD: “This is a story of corruption, of how Emilio Huerta got rich hurting the poor.”

California Voters Will Decide Fate Of Plastic Bags

Oct 28, 2016
plastic bags - p
Day Donaldson / Flickr Creative Commons

Day Donaldson / Flickr Creative Commons

Plastic bag manufacturers have one last chance to keep their product in the nation’s largest market.  The industry has placed two measures on California’s November ballot. One is a referendum on a law that bans single-use plastic bags. The other would require retailers to send bag fee revenues to an environmental fund. 

File photo: Several people listen to a speaker express her opposition to the Citizens United ruling at an Occupy Courts protest in Los Angeles.
Corey Bridwell/KPCC

File photo: Several people listen to a speaker express her opposition to the Citizens United ruling at an Occupy Courts protest in Los Angeles in 2012. Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Among the 17 statewide ballot measures California voters face in the general election is Proposition 59, a rare advisory initiative that, if approved, would direct the state's elected officials to work on reversing the effects of Citizens United.

City of Fresno

For the last seven-and-a-half years, Lee Brand has been the Fresno City Council's resident policy expert. He's helped write and pass laws about city debt and finance that many say helped the city recover from a deep financial crisis. Now he wants to lead the city from the office of mayor, squaring off against current Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the November election.

Prescription Drugs -102116P
ep_jhu / Flickr

ep_jhu / Flickr

No California ballot fight has attracted more money or bigger names than Proposition 61.

Proponents call it the only initiative in the country that could rein in rising drug prices. Pharmaceutical companies have spent nearly $110 million to oppose it.

But politics aside, experts see a problem with the measure. They question whether California could implement the law and what the consequences would be, if it can’t.

Proposition 52 on the November ballot has gotten little attention. Even so, supporters said the measure is crucial to hospitals' ability to care for Medi-Cal patients.

The measure asks voters to lock in a special fee that hospitals pay in order to ensure that California receives billions of dollars in federal matching funds.

Felton Elementary School Principal Norma Martinez stands outside some of her school's portable classrooms. She hopes Prop 51 will help fund projects like permanent classrooms.
Mary Plummer/KPCC

Felton Elementary School Principal Norma Martinez stands outside some of her school's portable classrooms. She hopes Prop 51 will help fund projects like permanent classrooms. Mary Plummer/KPCC

California voters have a decision to make on the general election ballot: approve $9 billion in bonds for school and community college construction projects and modernization, or reject it to avoid adding to the state debt.

Karen Goh for mayor

For the first time in over a decade, Bakersfield will soon have a new mayor. Kyle Carter and Karen Goh both are vying for the spot to lead Kern County's largest city. While it's largely a ceremonial job, as the office of mayor has little official power, Goh says she wants to use the position to improve Bakersfield's image. Goh joined us this week on Valley Edition to talk about her agenda, which includes boosting local business and creating a safer community.

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Don Goofy / Flickr

Don Goofy / Flickr

There are so many questions about California’s November ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana that it’s easy to overlook the most basic question of all: What would the initiative actually do?

Well, we’re here to help.

So get your sample or mail-in ballots out and follow along as we go through that little Proposition 64 summary together. It’s right next to where you vote “yes” or “no.”

Fresno State

With 17 ballot measures going before voters in November's general election, on issues ranging from plastic bags to the death penalty, there's a lot of information for the average voter to digest before election day. On Valley Edition this week, we invited Fresno State political science professor Dr. Thomas Holyoke to help us wade through the slate of measures and provide some extra insight into who is behind them, and what they claim they would do.

Henry R. Perea - Facebook

Henry Perea has spent the past 20 years in public service, first as a member of the Fresno City Council, and most recently as a member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Now he wants to be Fresno's next mayor. With election day just weeks away, he recently visited Valley Public Radio for a hard-hitting conversation about the issues, from homelessness to the influence developers have at city hall. 

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