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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.