Government & Politics

Government & Politics
5:00 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Measure W Signals Shift in Fresno Politics

Credit Valley Public Radio

A grassroots campaign to roll back a planned water rate hike that then sparked a lengthy legal battle could soon wind up before Fresno voters.

On Thursday the Fresno City Council will decide whether to put a referendum called Measure W on the November ballot, or to repeal the water rate plan. The move comes after a citizens group announced last week that its petition drive has collected over 5,500 valid signatures—more than enough to qualify for the ballot.

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Government & Politics
4:02 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

In Fresno, De Leon Backtracks On Tumbleweed Comments

During his trip to the Central Valley, Kevin de Leon, right, takes a tour of Roosevelt High School with Luis Chavez, a Fresno Unified Board Member.
Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio

Incoming State Senate President pro tem Kevin de Leon made his first official appearance in Fresno today just weeks after controversial comments about the San Joaquin Valley and high speed rail. FM89's Diana Aguilera reports.

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Kevin de Leon visited Fresno's Roosevelt High School today to learn how Fresno Unified plans to use about $90 million dollars in state funding to retrofit aging campuses for energy efficiency.

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High Speed Rail
1:14 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

James Fallows: California's High Speed Rail Plan Is 'Better Than The Alternatives'

James Fallows

The Atlantic's James Fallows says California's high speed rail project may be flawed and expensive, but he also calls it better than other methods of accommodating the state's growing population.

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Government & Politics
6:01 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Referendum On Fresno Water Rate Hike Qualifies For November Ballot

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno voters may soon get a chance to overturn the City Council's planned hikes in water rates.

Fresno City Clerk Yvonne Spence confirmed today that a referendum petition submitted in late June has over 5,500 valid signatures--more than enough to put Measure W on the ballot.

The measure aims to allow voters to overturn a water plan approved last summer by the Council.  The plan would on average double water rates over the next 3 years in order to fund a $410 million upgrade to the city's water system. 

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Government & Politics
3:23 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

New Assembly Minority Leader Talks Of 'Rebranding' California GOP

California Assembly Republicans have chosen a new woman to lead them, Modesto's Kristin Olsen. (file photo)

Assembly Republicans have a new leader in Sacramento, and she's from the San Joaquin Valley. Modesto's Kristin Olsen joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her priorities from education to a water bond. She also spoke about her ideas on how California Republicans can better connect with voters in the future. 

On her vision for Republicans in California:

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Drought
5:42 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Much Of California's Emergency Drought Relief Money Still Unspent

California water managers are selectively watering parts of the state Capitol grounds to preserve historic trees while letting grassy areas dry out.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

It’s been four months since Governor Jerry Brown signed what he and Democratic lawmakers called “emergency drought legislation.” It promised nearly $700 million in immediate drought relief. But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, nearly 90 percent of that money has yet to be spent.

It was late February when Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders announced – with great fanfare – emergency drought legislation.

Brown: “What needs to be done will be done – and is being done.”

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Government & Politics
4:52 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Modesto Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen Chosen to Lead Assembly GOP

California Assembly Republicans have chosen a new woman to lead them, Modesto's Kristin Olsen. (file photo)
Credit Office of Kristin Olsen

There will be a new woman leading California Assembly Republicans. And, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the choice is getting good marks on both sides of the aisle. 

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen will officially take over as Assembly minority leader in November. The Modesto Republican says her focus will be on creating more jobs, lowering taxes and improving education.

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Government & Politics
5:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

California Assembly Committee Passes Farm Worker Sexual Harassment Bill

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

  A California Assembly committee passed a bill Wednesday that would give the state the power to revoke the licenses of farm labor contractor’s if they hire supervisors who have sexually harassed workers.

Michael Marsh is an attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance. He says his office deals with complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault on a regular basis.

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Government & Politics
4:56 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Swearengin Calls Fresno 'Resilient' In Economic Recovery

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin called the city "resilient" in her annual state of the city speech on Wednesday.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says the city is in the middle of a resilient economic recovery. But as FM89’s Joe Moore reports, her annual state of the city speech Wednesday afternoon also addressed some lingering problems.  

In what could be her last such speech as Fresno’s mayor, Ashley Swearengin told the crowd at the Convention Center the economic cloud which has hovered over the city for the past five years is beginning to lift.

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Government & Politics
11:59 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Political Junkie Ken Rudin On Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Brown

"Political Junkie" Ken Rudin
Credit NPR

Last week Central California took center stage in the nation's capital as House Republicans selected Bakersfield's Kevin McCarthy as the next majority leader.  It caps a remarkable rise to power for the Kern County congressman, who was elected to his first time in 2006. 

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Immigration
8:12 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Concern Over Proposed Regulations For Undocumented Licenses

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California is developing regulations for undocumented immigrant driver licenses. But some groups are concerned about what they’ve seen so far. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

A coalition of immigrant rights groups says California needs to keep working on the regulations for undocumented driver licenses. Refugio Mata with Presente.org says there are concerns about the kinds of documents needed to get a license and how undocumented drivers will be treated by law enforcement. 

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Government & Politics
7:13 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Audit Finds That California Prisoners Were Illegally Sterilized

A new audit finds that prisoners at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla.
Credit CDCR

A California State Audit has found that dozens of women in state prisons were sterilized illegally. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone says prison medical officials are faulted for not following consent laws.  

Lawmakers called for the audit after coverage from the Center for Investigative Reporting last year. The Center found more than 100 incarcerated women had tubal ligations without proper approvals since 2006.

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Government & Politics
11:08 am
Fri June 20, 2014

McCarthy's New Role As Majority Leader Could Benefit Central Valley

McCarthy was elected to Congress eight years ago, and has served as the House majority whip since 2011.
Credit Joe Moore

A Valley congressman is now one of the most powerful men in Washington. FM 89’s Diana Aguilera reports on what Kevin McCarthy’s new post might mean for the valley.

It's official. House Republicans elected Kevin McCarthy as House majority leader.

The Republican lawmaker from Bakersfield and grandson of a cattle rancher will become the youngest person to serve in the second-ranking role. He’s 49.

McCarthy, replacing Eric Cantor, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the chamber and will decide what bills come to the floor.

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Government & Politics
11:43 am
Mon June 16, 2014

California Legislature Approves $156 Billion Budget

file photo
Credit Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Glenngould / http://www.flickr.com/photos/for_tea_too/1957375742/

California’s new budget includes money for education, debt repayment and controversial projects like high speed rail. Katie Orr has details from Sacramento on last night’s budget vote.

California lawmakers spent father’s day debating the 156 billion spending plan. 108 billion of that makes up the state’s general fund. Democratic Senator Mark Leno says Money will go towards paying off debt, and building up a rainy day reserve and supporting California's children.

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Government & Politics
6:37 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Activists Call on Counties to Enforce TRUST Act

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s TRUST Act has been in place since the beginning of the year. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, immigrant rights activists say the law is working, but there are still gaps in compliance.

Martin Del Agua, a married father of two, was arrested earlier this year in Sacramento after a neighbor complained he was playing his music too loud. Del Agua was detained on an immigration hold by the Sheriff’s Department and was facing deportation.

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Analysis
2:11 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Cantor's Defeat Presents Opportunity, Challenge For Bakersfield's McCarthy

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield)
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Tuesday's surprise defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Virginia Republican primary is having a ripple effect throughout the GOP. The "political earthquake" is extending all the way to the San Joaquin Valley, which is home to Cantor's chief deputy, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

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Government & Politics
12:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Families Concerned By Possible IHSS Changes

Judy Lee smiles at her son Justin.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s In-Home Supportive Services program allows the disabled to remain in their homes by paying for their caregivers. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, a proposal to modify the program is creating tension in the state budget process.

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Government & Politics
4:13 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Spike In Children Crossing Border Alone Prompts White House Response

The dramatic rise in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border illegally has prompted the Obama administration to announce a new effort to halt what it calls a humanitarian crisis.

Earlier this week, the White House announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will head a new federal task force charged with developing a response to the trend.

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Government & Politics
12:47 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Chief Donis: Recent Downtown Fires Have Department Stretched Thin

Investigators comb through the burned out interior of the Procter's building on the Fulton Mall
Fresno Fire Department

With two major fires - one at a local recycling facility and another at a downtown jewelry store - the Fresno Fire Department found its resources stretched thin in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

While crews were battling what became a five alarm blaze at the Barrios Recycling on Orange Avenue, another fire caused severe damage at Protcer's Jewelers on the Fulton Mall at Fresno Street.

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Government & Politics
4:33 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Neel Kashkari Says Water, Job Training To Fix Valley Economy

Neel Kashkari

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari joined us on Valley Edition Tuesday to talk about his vision for California and the Central Valley.  

A former U.S. Treasury Department official, Kashkari helped oversee the controversial $700 billion "Troubled Asset Relief Program" (aka TARP) under the Bush and Obama administrations. Kashkari says the valley would benefit from cancelling the high speed rail program and instead focusing on water infrastructure. He also talks about issues ranging from education to gun control. 

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