Government & Politics

News about government and politics

Audit Finds That California Prisoners Were Illegally Sterilized

Jun 21, 2014

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.

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.

California Legislature Approves $156 Billion Budget

Jun 16, 2014
Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Glenngould /

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.

Activists Call on Counties to Enforce TRUST Act

Jun 11, 2014
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.

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.

Families Concerned By Possible IHSS Changes

Jun 11, 2014
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.

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.

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.

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 /

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 /

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 /

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.