Government & Politics

News about government and politics

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. 

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

A bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal is on hold for now.

Senate Bill 1005, known as the Health for All Act, was put on hold in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday giving advocates time come up with funding solutions.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara introduced the bill in February.

Besides expanding services to the undocumented, Lara’s bill would create a health insurance marketplace. This would allow undocumented people who earn too much to qualify for Medi-Cal the chance to buy private coverage with the help from the state.

As Jerry Brown Seeks Re-Election, California Progressives Voice Frustration

May 21, 2014
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown may be a near-lock to win a record fourth term this fall, but that doesn’t mean he’s universally popular with his fellow Democrats.  There’s growing frustration among progressives over what they see as the governor’s fiscal conservatism and business-friendly views.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento in the final report in our three-part series on California’s June gubernatorial primary.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

At a press conference this morning, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced her proposed 2015 budget for the City of Fresno.

In a departure from the major shortfalls the city has faced since 2009, the proposal emphasizes paying off debt, bolstering city services, and increasing the operating reserve to help prepare for unforeseen costs.

John Hernandez

The race for California’s 21st congressional district is one of the most watched in the state and for that matter the nation. Three top candidates are vying for a shot to be among the top two finishers in the June primary, in order to move on to November.

Crowded Field in California's Secretary of State Race

May 20, 2014
Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Glenngould / http://www.flickr.com/photos/for_tea_too/1957375742/

A political scandal put the California Secretary of State race on the radar this year. But as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, there are several other issues that make this a campaign to watch.

With one arrest the California Secretary of State race exploded onto the public stage.

Future Of California's GOP At Stake In June Primary

May 19, 2014

For an election expected to have very low turnout, the June 3rd primary could play an outsize role in shaping California’s political landscape.  That’s because of the stark ideological battle shaping up in the Republican Party between gubernatorial candidates Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari. Ben Adler reports from Sacramento in the second of our three-part series on the 2014 California governor’s race.

Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari couldn’t be more different: Donnelly’s an unapologetic tea party Assemblyman:

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

With immigration reform efforts seemingly stalled in Washington D.C., the California legislature is continuing to take its own steps to address the undocumented immigrants who call the state home. FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports on one new bill that would help a variety of undocumented professionals.

In order to practice medicine doctors have to provide a social security number to obtain a license from the state. This process automatically excludes undocumented immigrants from applying.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A California ballot measure before voters next month would redirect $600 million of pre-approved funds to build housing for low income and homeless veterans. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento. 

Forty-eight year-old Matthew Meissner says when one thing goes downhill, everything else follows. He became disabled in 2009, stopped working, moved in with family, then last year, found himself sleeping wherever he could in Sacramento.  

Budget Tensions Emerge As Negotiating Lines Take Shape

May 15, 2014
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Just one day after Governor Jerry Brown put out his updated California budget proposal calling for fiscal austerity, Democratic lawmakers and interest groups wasted little time in pushing back.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on the battle lines shaping up as negotiations begin.

Chanting: “What do we want? / A sunny day fund! / When do we want it? / Now!”

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. 

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

May 13, 2014
Katie Orr / 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. 

Brown Preaches Fiscal Restraint With May Budget Revision

May 13, 2014
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.

Republicans Battle To Compete Against Governor Brown

May 13, 2014
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.

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.

Speaker Pérez Looks Back, Defends Record

May 2, 2014
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:

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

May 2, 2014
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.”

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.

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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:

Brown Calls Special Legislative Session on New Budget Reserve

Apr 16, 2014
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.

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