Government & Politics

Government & Politics
4:04 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

New California Law Allows Children To Have More Than Two Parents

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Children in California can now have more than two legal parents.

A new law allows judges to grant additional parental rights if they find that recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to a child.

Attorney Andrew Cain is with Legal Advocates for Children and Youth. He says the law will only be applied in limited circumstances.

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Government & Politics
12:34 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Hard Liquor Tastings, Beer Growler Refills Now Legal in California

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs a measure allowing craft breweries to refill growlers at Sacramento's Track 7 Brewing Company in October.
Gov. Brown's Twitter feed

Craft breweries and liquor distillers in California could get shots of new business as a result of two new state laws taking effect in 2014.  And as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, beer and liquor drinkers will likely be happy as well.

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Government & Politics
11:57 am
Fri January 3, 2014

In California, New Law Means Home Remodeling May Force Plumbing Upgrade

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Californians who want to alter or remodel a home built before 1994 may have to agree to install water-efficient plumbing in order to obtain a building permit. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the 2009 law that takes effect in January is creating some confusion in the building industry.

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Government & Politics
11:53 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Local Law Enforcement Agencies in California Implement Trust Act

file photo
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Some local California law enforcement agencies say they won’t have to adjust their policies much under the Trust Act. As Max Pringle reports, that’s a new law prohibiting counties from holding undocumented offenders on non-serious charges until federal immigration authorities can take them into custody.

Counties like Santa Clara, Los Angeles and San Francisco have had similar laws on their books for some time. Susan Fahey with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department says the Trust Act creates a state-wide policy, while allowing local agencies to maintain stricter standards.

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Immigration
2:35 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

California Supreme Court Allows Undocumented Immigrant to Become Attorney

The California Supreme Court (file photo)
Credit Flickr user Steve Rhodes - Creative Commons / http://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/

The California Supreme Court has ruled an undocumented immigrant can be admitted to the state bar. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the ruling is made possible by new California law.

The law allows the California Supreme Court to certify undocumented immigrants as practicing attorneys in the state. It was inspired by Sergio Garcia of Chico. He graduated from law school and passed the California bar, but was prohibited from practicing because he is not a U.S. citizen. Garcia says the law made it possible for him to practice. 

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Government & Politics
11:54 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Major Changes Proposed for California Elections Rules

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Two big changes to California elections could come up for debate in the state legislature in 2014.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on proposals that would eliminate special elections and require cities and counties to hold their votes at statewide elections.

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Local Government
11:48 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Swearengin: Time To Fix Fresno Neighborhoods 'On The Brink'

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin joined us on Valley Edition to talk about her priorities for the city and some of the biggest issues facing local residents, from homelessness to city finances to public safety. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

On plans to raise water rates to pay for a new surface water treatment plant and replace aging infrastructure:

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Government & Politics
12:57 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Porterville Developmental Center Beating Highlights Accountability Failures

Credit http://www.dds.ca.gov/Porterville/Index.cfm

What happens when the most vulnerable members of society are failed by the very system that is there to protect them? That’s the question asked in a major series of reports by the Center For Investigative Reporting called Broken Shield.

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Government & Politics
5:36 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Launching 11-Day Action, Advocates Urge McCarthy To Pass Immigration Reform

Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers, called on Congressman Kevin McCarthy to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

More than a dozen immigrants and advocates gathered outside of Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield this morning and called on him to support comprehensive immigration reform. The event marked the start of an 11-day push for immigration reform, in honor of the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the country.

“We want our congressional representative to pass comprehensive immigration reform, with a path to citizenship, now!” said Camila Chavez, executive director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation

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Government & Politics
4:40 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Rosy California Budget Projections Prompt Calls for New Spending

Many California Democrats and progressive groups want to reinvest in programs devastated by years of budget cuts now that the state’s revenue outlook has improved.
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s non-partisan budget analyst has declared the state’s structural deficit a thing of the past and projected multi-billion dollar surpluses for years to come.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, that’s prompting calls from some Democrats and progressive groups to reinvest in programs hit hard by recession-era budget cuts.

When Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor released his budget projections a few weeks ago, he tempered the good news with words of caution:

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Government & Politics
4:35 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

California Lawmakers Want Amendment to Farm Bill Removed

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

An amendment to the U.S. House version of the federal Farm Bill has upset a bipartisan group of California lawmakers. As Capital Public Radio’s Amy Quinton reports, they’ve written a letter to House leaders calling for its removal.

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Government & Politics
10:52 am
Mon December 2, 2013

California Voters To Decide Fate Of Proposed Madera Casino

An artist's rendering of a proposed Highway 99 casino proposed by the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians.
Credit North Fork Rancheria

An Indian tribe located near Yosemite has state and federal approvals to build a casino off of its reservation. But a referendum on the California ballot next year might kill the project. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

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Government & Politics
3:39 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Judge Blocks California High Speed Rail Financing

file photo
Credit Credit California High Speed Rail Authority / File Photo

 California’s High Speed Rail project may have stalled out in court. A judge ruled today the Rail Authority cannot sell $8 billion in bonds to help fund the project.

The judge also ordered the Authority to rewrite its $68 billion funding plan before moving forward with construction.

Jon Coupal is with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which opposes the project.

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Government & Politics
4:54 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Covered California Votes to Keep Original Policy Cancelation Deadline

The Covered California board of directors voted today [Thursday] not to allow health insurers to renew canceled policies that don’t meet new standards under the Affordable Care Act.

The decision comes after President Obama’s recent suggestion that insurers be allowed to decide whether they want to extend the policies for a year.

The exchange’s executive director, Peter Lee, raised concerns about pushing back the cancelations for a few months or up to a year.

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Government & Politics
6:47 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

After Years of Deficits, Budget Surpluses Projected for California

California's non-partisan Legislative Analyst, Mac Taylor, discusses the state's fiscal outlook at a news conference in Sacramento Wednesday.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

  California’s structural deficit is history – and the legislature’s non-partisan budget analyst is projecting growing surpluses for the next several years.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the welcome budget news still comes with words of caution.

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Government & Politics
6:11 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Steinberg Refutes Claims He's Under Investigation

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told reporters he is not under investigation by the FBI after his fellow Democrat, Senator Ron Calderon, made that claim in a court filing earlier this week. (file photo)
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

A California Senate Democrat who is under investigation by the FBI says he’s not the only one the Bureau is looking into. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, other Senators are vehemently denying today they're targets of an investigation.

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told reporters he is not under investigation by the FBI after his fellow Democrat, Senator Ron Calderon, made that claim in a court filing earlier this week. Calderon is under investigation for corruption. Steinberg says his reputation is above reproach.

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Government & Politics
11:59 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Initiative Would Raise Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages

file photo
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

California’s high-stakes battle over medical malpractice damages could move to the ballot box next year.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the initiative campaign seeking to increase the cap on “pain and suffering” awards will pit trial lawyers against doctors.

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Government & Politics
11:38 am
Fri November 8, 2013

With Donnelly's Entry, 2014 Governor's Race Begins to Take Shape

Asm. Tim Donnelly's (R-Twin Peaks) campaign RV, parked in front of the State Capitol Thursday in Sacramento.
Ben Adler Capital Public Radio

A tea party California Assemblyman has become the first Republican to officially enter the 2014 governor’s race.  Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown is widely considered the frontrunner, assuming he decides to run for a record fourth term.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the race to face Brown in California’s new “top two” primary system is wide open.

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Transportation
11:27 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Kings County High Speed Rail Route Draws Opposition

A rendering of the High-Speed Rail line through Bakersfield.
High Speed Rail Authority

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is pushing forward with plans for its Fresno to Bakersfield segment. The board accepted a proposed route at a meeting Thursday. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, it’s been a rough ride.

The High-Speed Rail Authority has voted to support a route that goes through eastern Kings County. Board members say it will have less environmental impact than an alternate path.

But Ross Browning, who lives in Kings County says the high speed rail project will be devastating to local agriculture. 

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Immigration Reform
11:08 am
Thu November 7, 2013

In Bakersfield, Immigration Protestors Occupy McCarthy's Office, Meet With Congressman

Late Wednesday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy returned to his office to meet with the protesters, after attending an event at CSU Bakersfield with technology entrepreneur Elon Musk.
UFW Communications Director Maria Machuca https://twitter.com/mariamachuca

A group of immigration rights activists staged a protest Wednesday at the Bakersfield office of House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, eventually meeting with the Congressman after being locked inside his office for much of the night. 

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