Government & Politics

News about government and politics

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.

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.

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

Apr 11, 2014
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.

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.

Governor Brown Defends Prison Practices

Apr 9, 2014
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.

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