Government & Politics

Government & Politics
5:41 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Federal Judges to Governor Brown: Stop Delaying Prisoner Release

file photo
Credit Casey Christie / The Californian

A federal three-judge panel is reiterating its order to California Governor Jerry Brown to reduce prison overcrowding. Today’s ruling even removes any state and local laws that might get in the way. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

The judges have ordered California to immediately expand its good time credit program, which allows inmates to get out of prison early.  The judges also waived any state or local laws preventing the release of prisoners.

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Government & Politics
10:51 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Legislators Scramble to Undo Changes to Public Records Act

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

California Senate leaders say they’ll introduce a Constitutional Amendment to ensure compliance with the state’s Public Records Act. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the move comes after an unexpected public outcry against watering it down.

A provision attached to the budget bill made complying with certain parts of the state’s Public Records Act optional. The change enraged members of the media and lawmakers have been scrambling to undo the move since then.

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Government & Politics
6:00 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Brown, California Mayors Talk Water, High-Speed Rail and More

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (left), Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson talk with reporters after meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown at the Capitol Wednesday.
Credit Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The mayors of California’s largest cities met with Governor Jerry Brown today at the state Capitol.  They talked about a host of issues including prison realignment, high speed rail and the governor’s proposed Delta water project.

Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti says more pension reform is needed, even after last year’s legislation.

“If we do not address this problem and look at this with seriousness –and I think this group of mayors wants to help the Governor and the state legislature continue to do that, we will see deficits balloon in coming years,” says Garcetti.

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Government & Politics
5:22 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott To Leave Job For Burbank

Credit City of Fresno

Fresno City Manager Mark Scott announced today he is leaving his job to take a similar position in the city of Burbank. Mayor Ashley Swearengin will promote current assistant city manager Bruce Rudd to replace him. The move is effective July 19th.

Scott spent the last three years on the job in Fresno, dealing with a number of issues ranging from budget deficits and hits to the city’s credit rating, to controversy over animal control and development lawsuits between the city and the counties Madera and Fresno. 

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Government & Politics
5:03 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

California Elected Officials To Get Pay Raise

Credit Valley Public Radio

The salaries of California's state lawmakers and constitutional officers weren’t exempt from years of state budget cuts. But some of those cuts were restored today  when a state commission voted to give lawmakers a pay raise. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

It may be a happier holiday season for state elected officials. The California Citizens Compensation Committee has approved a five percent raise, which will take effect in December.

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Government & Politics
4:15 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

California Republicans Urge Federal Immigration Reform

Republican State Senator Anthony Cannella
Credit Office of Anthony Cannella

The Republican Party isn’t typically seen as leading the charge on federal immigration reform. But in California some Republicans have become outspoken supporters of Congressional action.  Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

Republican State Senator Anthony Cannella is one of two lawmakers who travelled to Washington DC this week to press for immigration reform.

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Government & Politics
3:50 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

California Budget Could Loosen State's Public Records Act

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

 

Local government agencies will no longer be required to follow key provisions of California’s Public Records Act in a bill that’s part of the budget state lawmakers approved over the weekend.  As KPCC’s Julie Small reports, Governor Jerry Brown is expected to enact the change—which is less drastic than one he proposed.

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Government & Politics
2:43 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Budget Debate Under Way in California Legislature

Calif. Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), Gov. Jerry Brown and Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) walk together to a Capitol news conference Tuesday announcing a state budget deal.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The California legislature has approved the 2013-14 state budget bill - one day before its constitutional deadline to send a spending plan to Gov. Jerry Brown. Debate continues on the budget's accompanying "trailer" bills.

The $96 billion dollar general fund budget uses the cautious revenue estimates insisted upon by Brown while also making new spending investments in select programs pushed by legislative Democrats.

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Government & Politics
5:50 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

New Law Would Limit California Public Records Act

file photo
Credit Valley Public Radio

A new California law could make it more difficult to get public records from local governments. A “trailer bill” attached to this year’s state budget would make compliance with certain parts of the California Public Records Act optional.

Phillip Ung with the open government advocacy group Common Cause says Senate Bill 71 would enact drastic changes to the Act.

“SB 71 essentially makes participation in the California Public Records Act voluntary, based on what it is the city wants to do,” says Ung.

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Government & Politics
5:07 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Parties Clash Over Budget Transparency

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Lawmakers will begin voting on the California budget on Friday. But Republicans say they’ll also have to vote on several bills they know little about.  Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

The budget is the big picture bill. It dictates where the state’s money will go. Trailer bills are attached to the budget and spell out how the money will be allocated.

Typically trailer bills are published a few days before the budget vote. This year the earliest of at least 15 came out Wednesday morning.

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Government & Politics
1:10 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown Placed On Leave Following Domestic Violence Arrest

Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown
Credit City of Fresno

Fresno Fire Department Chief Rob Brown was placed on administrative leave today by City Manager Mark Scott. The move comes hours after Brown was arrested by Fresno County sheriff's deputies after an alleged domestic violence incident at his Fresno home late Wednesday night. 

According to the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, Brown was arrested on charges of felony domestic violence and criminal threats. Jail logs indicate that Brown was released from the Fresno County Jail on bond early Thursday morning. 

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Government & Politics
5:44 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Measure G Defeated, Mayor Announces Budget, Layoff Plans

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno’s Measure G officially went down in defeat today. With around 600 votes left to count, updated numbers from the Fresno County Elections Office show that the controversial residential trash outsourcing measure now trails by of 801 votes.

The move is a defeat for Mayor Ashley Swearengin and ends her effort to sell off the service to a private contractor in order to generate additional money for the crash strapped city’s general fund.

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Government & Politics
7:28 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Brown, Democratic Leaders Announce Budget Deal

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

It wasn’t too many years ago California could barely get a budget passed. But as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, things are different this year.

California Governor Jerry Brown was joined by Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez to confirm a three-way budget deal.

All appeared proud of their agreement, which was reached with time to spare before Saturday’s legislative budget deadline. Steinberg pointed out meeting that deadline is becoming routine.

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Government & Politics
11:15 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Analysis: With the Fate of Measure G Undecided, What's Next?

Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Right now at a warehouse in Southeast Fresno, county elections workers are busy verifying signatures on the last handful of provisional ballots that will decide the fate of Measure G, the controversial residential trash outsourcing initiative. As of the most recent vote count released last Friday, the measure is currently failing by just 193 votes, with around 2700 ballots left to count.

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Government & Politics
5:07 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Sources: Governor, Legislative Democrats Reach Budget

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

California Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders appear to have reached a budget deal days before the legislature’s constitutional deadline.

“The Legislature is doing their job and doing it well,” the governor said in a late-night statement after the joint Senate-Assembly Budget Conference Committee wrapped up its work Monday.  “It looks like California will get another balanced budget and, very importantly, educational funding that recognizes the different needs of California’s students.”

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Government & Politics
6:01 am
Mon June 10, 2013

A New Kind of Budget Fight Comes to Sacramento

SEIU Local 1000 members rally for pay raises at the State Capitol
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

With California’s budget deadline drawing closer and revenues rising, the air around the Capitol is filled with the cries of people calling for the state to restore past cuts. But Governor Jerry Brown is insisting on frugality. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, that’s setting up a new kind of budget battle after years of deficits. 

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Government & Politics
11:20 am
Wed June 5, 2013

FBI Raids Two Offices at Capitol

FBI agents exit the Capitol office of Calif. Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) Tuesday night, removing boxes and black bags.
Credit Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

UPDATE:

The Senate’s Chief Sergeant-at-Arms has clarified that the second office searched in addition to Calderon’s Capitol office also belonged to the senator.  That office had previously been identified as belonging to the Latino Legislative Caucus.

The Sergeant-at-Arms attributed the confusion to an outdated list of room numbers.  Calderon’s auxiliary office and the Latino Legislative Caucus are both across the street from the Capitol in the Legislative Office Building.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

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Government & Politics
10:29 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Measure To Impose Trampoline Park Safety Rules Moves Through California Legislature

file photo
Credit Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user obscura-prime / http://www.flickr.com/photos/27374790@N05/6990313715/

A non-profit group wants trampoline parks in California to be safer, and it’s sponsored a bill to regulate them. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

Tom Paper helped start the non-profit “Think Before You Bounce” after people he knew were injured at the trampoline parks.

“Imagine a single trampoline, but imagine now, 20 or 30 of them stitched together,” says Paper.

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Government & Politics
2:39 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

California Democrats Seek To Spend More on Education, Welfare

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Revenues are up in California, and many legislative Democrats want to use the money to restore previous funding cuts. But Republicans say now is not the time. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

The Senate and Assembly are working to combine their proposed budgets into one bill. Democrats say, after years of cuts, it’s time to use increased revenues to make some investments in social, health and educational programs. Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield wants to see the Middle Class Scholarship program funded. It would reduce tuition costs for some UC and CSU students.

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Government & Politics
3:51 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Assembly Approves Minimum Wage Increase

Credit Valley Public Radio

California’s minimum wage would go up for the first time in six years under a bill passed by the state Assembly today. Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo’s measure would raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $9.25 over the next three years – with cost-of-living adjustments each year after that.

“It’s been six long years – six long years - since we’ve raised the minimum wage here in California.  It’s been locked in at $8 an hour, when we know the price of rent, of clothing, of food, has all gone up during that time,” says Alejo.

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