Government & Politics

Government & Politics
5:30 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Audit Gives Cautious Outlook For City Of Fresno; Warns Of Possible 'Perfect Storm'

Fresno City Hall (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

With a budget that's absorbed more than $100 million in cuts since 2009, the City of Fresno's finances are improving.  But major concerns remain, including a possible "perfect storm" that could threaten the city's financial future.  That's the message contained in a draft of the city's 2013 audited financial report, which the council will review on Thursday. 

Read more
Government & Politics
6:55 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Brown's Revised Budget Would Help State During Drought, Cal Fire

file photo
Credit Capital Public Radio

Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal contains more money to address complications from the drought in California. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, he wants more money to go to firefighting, food assistance, and wildlife preservation. 

Governor Brown wants to give an additional $142 million to help the state through the drought. The drought has already caused an early fire season. Under the new spending plan, the Division of Forestry and Fire Protection would get $67 million more to suppress wildfires. 

Read more
Government & Politics
6:47 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Brown Preaches Fiscal Restraint With May Budget Revision

Gov. Jerry Brown holds up a chart at his May Budget Revise press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

With a $4.4 billion budget surplus projected, some California Democrats are calling for increased state spending. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown pushed back against that message Tuesday while releasing his May budget revision.

Read more
Government & Politics
6:39 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Republicans Battle To Compete Against Governor Brown

Tim Donnelly speaks at a rally in April against the new Common Core education standards
Katie Orr Capital Public Radio

It’s widely expected Governor Jerry Brown will win reelection in November. But there’s still a fierce battle to be the Republican who challenges him. From Sacramento, Katie Orr takes a look at the two top contenders.

It’s lobbying season in Sacramento. Several times a week interests groups rally around the Capitol. The groups, often large and clad in brightly colored t-shirts, then head inside and converge on lawmakers’ offices in hopes of gaining support, and possibly money, for their cause.

Read more
Government & Politics
1:01 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Congressional Hopeful Amanda Renteria On Valley Edition

Amanda Renteria
Credit Courtesy Amanda Renteria For Congress

Talk to political observers across the country and they’ll tell you one of the top Congressional races to watch in 2014 is in California’s 21st District. Republican David Valadao is seeking reelection to his second term representing a southern San Joaquin Valley district where Democrats hold a voter registration edge, and which went to President Obama back in 2012.

Read more
Government & Politics
10:26 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Speaker Pérez Looks Back, Defends Record

Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) takes the oath of office at the start of the current legislative session in December 2012.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

He was sworn in as California Assembly speaker when the state faced a $60 billion budget deficit.  Four years later, Los Angeles Democrat John Pérez points to a surplus and wishes he didn’t have to leave.  Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler talked with the speaker as his days holding the gavel wind down.

Looking back, John Pérez takes credit for helping turn the state budget around:

Read more
Transportation
10:15 am
Fri May 2, 2014

New Hit-And-Run Law Proposed To Keep Bike Riders Safer

file photo
Credit Flickr user KT Ann / Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/54409200@N04/

As the number of bike riders continues to grow in California, so do concerns about bicyclists’ safety. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on the latest effort to get drivers to share the road.

As Damian Kevitt stood at the starting line of the charity bike ride he organized he had one overwhelming emotion…

Kevitt: “Elation is a nice word for it. I was so happy.”

Read more
Government & Politics
2:35 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Caravanning To El Paso, Fresno Sikhs Protest Year-Long Detention

The group at the start of the excursion in Fresno, Calif.
Cayden Mak 18millionrising.org

A caravan of mostly young Valley Sikh-Americans are on their way to Texas today after launching a media campaign using the hashtag #ElPaso37 in protest of the detainment of 37 Punjabi refuges on hunger strike who are seeking political asylum. FM89 reporter Ezra David Romero reports from where the protest began in Fresno.

---

Read more
Government & Politics
12:11 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Valley Political Races Heat Up Ahead Of June Primary

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California's June primary election is just over 40 days away. That means candidates are kicking their campaigns into high gear across Central California. So what are the hot races to watch? We recently spoke with the Fresno Bee's state and local politics reporter John Ellis to get his analysis of the most competitive races including:

Read more
Government & Politics
7:18 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Brown Calls Special Legislative Session on New Budget Reserve

Governor Jerry Brown's Director of Finance, Michael Cohen, discusses the governor's "rainy day fund" proposal with reporters at the Capitol Wednesday.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown is throwing the full weight of his office behind his push for a new state budget reserve by calling the legislature into special session next week.  But Republicans say he’ll have to strengthen his proposal to win their support.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

Read more
Government & Politics
11:58 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Carl Bernstein: Still Searching For The 'Best Obtainable Version Of The Truth'

Journalist Carl Bernstein will speak in Fresno on Wednesday
Credit Courtesy Carl Bernstein

Few journalists have made a bigger imprint on American history than Carl Bernstein. Together with his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward, Bernstein helped uncover the Watergate scandal, which eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Read more
Government & Politics
12:07 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Low-Income Californians Pay More State and Local Taxes Says Study

Credit Valley Public Radio

A new report says adjustments to Proposition 30 and other tax policy changes could improve the situation for low-income Californians who pay a disproportionate share of their income in taxes.  From Sacramento, Max Pringle reports.

The California Budget Project says the bottom 20 percent of Californians pay more than 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while earning about $13,000 a year on average. The top one percent pay just under nine percent. They earn an average $1.5 million dollars per year. Luke Reidenbach is a Budget Project analyst.

Read more
Immigration
5:33 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Immigrant Rights Groups Criticize Kern County Sheriff Over TRUST Act

UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta speaks at a protest Wednesday outside the office of Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood
Credit UFW Foundation Twitter / twitter.com/UFWF/

A trio of farm worker rights organizations protested outside the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Bakersfield Tuesday saying that Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood should follow the law by enforcing the TRUST Act that went into effect January 1.

Marichel Mejia with the United Farm Workers Foundation and the Kern Coalition for Citizenship was at the protest.

Read more
Government & Politics
11:23 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Governor Brown Defends Prison Practices

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks at the 25th Annual Crime Victims Right’s Rally at the state Capitol in Sacramento.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown says reducing prison overcrowding continues to be a top priority. Brown talked with reporters Tuesday after speaking at the 25th Annual Crime Victims Right’s Rally at the state Capitol. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

A federal three-judge panel has given the Brown administration an additional two years to reduce prison overcrowding to court-mandated levels. The ruling was a victory for Brown who had factored the extra time into his proposed budget. But he says court intervention remains a burden.

Read more
Development Watch Blog
8:24 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Failed Downtown Fresno Housing Project Leaves City Holding The Bag

An artist's rendering of the proposed Bastian Court development in downtown Fresno.
Credit Mission Housing Development Corporation

When it was first announced nearly seven years ago, the Bastian Court apartment complex was supposed to be an important part of a revitalized downtown Fresno. The city council liked the vision so much that they approved spending over $3 million in low-income housing funds on the project.

But now the land hat was once slated for a five story mixed-use building near the former Fresno Met Museum sits vacant, and could soon have a new owner - the City of Fresno. 

Read more
Government & Politics
10:08 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Brown Praises Counties' Creativity In Implementing Realignment

California Governor Jerry Brown (file photo)
Credit Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown is praising counties and law enforcement agencies for their work implementing his landmark criminal justice system overhaul known as “realignment.”  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the law enforcement groups are lobbying the governor for a significant change to the program. Speaking to a law enforcement convention in Sacramento, the governor praised counties’ creativity under realignment in the two and a half years since it took effect.  Under the program, the state shifted responsibility for low-level offenders to counties. 

Read more
Government & Politics
7:48 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Senator Yee Withdraws from Secretary of State Race

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Democratic State Senator Leland Yee has dropped out of the race for California Secretary of State. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the announcement came a day after Yee was arrested and charged with wire fraud and gun trafficking.

Read more
Government & Politics
10:20 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Senate Dems Call For Disgraced Yee To Resign

State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) was arrested Wednesday on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to traffic firearms

Another California State Senator is facing criminal allegations. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on accusations that surfaced Wednesday against Senator Leland Yee.

In what the Senate President says sounds like a bad movie, a federal complaint alleges Yee, a Bay Area Democrat, committed wire fraud and gun trafficking. Undercover FBI agents say Yee set up meetings for them on topics ranging from legislation to arms dealing. In return, the agents made contributions to Yee’s Secretary of State campaign.

Read more
Government & Politics
9:40 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Here And Gone: Fight Over Fresno's Cesar Chavez Boulevard Remains Fresh, 20 Years Later

Cesar Chavez
Credit Cesar Chavez Foundation

In October 1993, the Fresno City Council voted to rename three city streets - Kings Canyon, Ventura and California - in honor of the late farm labor activist Cesar Chavez. The move was part of a campaign by local Latino groups who sought to honor the UFW founder, who had died earlier that year. 

Read more
Government & Politics
12:36 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin Announces State Controller Run

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin has announced plans to run for the office of state controller. (file)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

UPDATED 3/5/14 - 6:46 PM

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced today that she has filed papers to run for the office of State Controller. Swearengin told Valley Public Radio she expects to make a final decision on her run by Friday.  

The two-term Fresno  mayor would be the only prominent Republican in the field. Two Democrats are also vying for the seat, current Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee. Current State Controller John Chiang is termed out of office this year. 

Read more

Pages