Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Sacramento

The Evolution of Jerry Brown

Aug 22, 2013
YouTube & Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers are voting on hundreds of bills in the final weeks of session.  And the man who will determine their fate is approaching a milestone.  In less than two months, Jerry Brown will become the longest-serving governor in California history.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on how the Brown of today compares to the Brown of 30 years ago.

-----

The year was 1974.  Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles topped the movie charts.  Watergate finally felled Richard Nixon.  And 36-year-old Jerry Brown won his first term as governor.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers and mental health groups say they ‘welcome’ new findings of inadequate oversight of state mental health funds. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.

The California State Auditor says state agencies haven’t made ‘serious efforts’ to measure the effectiveness of county programs intended to mitigate mental illness.

Democratic State Senate President Darrell Steinberg helped create the Mental Health Services Act.

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

A bill that would grant local California communities the right to form agencies to redevelop blighted areas has passed an Assembly Committee. Max Pringle reports from Sacramento.

The California Supreme Court dissolved redevelopment agencies last year. But a bill at the Capitol would create new local entities that would fund affordable housing and infill development projects.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A bill that would extend California’s statute of limitations on civil suits for victims of childhood sexual abuse has stalled in an Assembly Committee. 

Democratic Senator Jim Beall says his bill would bring a measure of justice to people who may just now be coming to terms with childhood trauma.

“When they discover later in life, through therapy or whatever, that they were attacked by somebody, it allows them to go to civil court," says Beall.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg has a blunt warning for business groups backing a major overhaul of the environmental law that governs development projects in the state:

“You want to move a mile, we’ll move a mile.  You want to move 100 miles in ways that may not be good, that’s not gonna happen within this bill,” says Steinberg.

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

A California bill that would stiffen penalties for the harassment of children of public figures has passed a key Assembly committee vote.  And as Max Pringle reports from Sacramento, it’s picking up some celebrity endorsements.

Actresses Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry testified at the Capitol in support of the measure. Garner says the bill would stamp out a lot of the over-the-top behavior of the paparazzi.

“I don’t want a gang of shouting arguing lawbreaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are, all day every day, to continue traumatizing my kids,” says Garner.

Flickr user Steve Rhodes - Creative Commons / http://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/

California lawmakers are raising questions about the unauthorized practice of sterilizing women in California prisons.

The federal receiver for health care in state prisons says doctors were directed to include post-partum procedures that prevented future pregnancy in inmates until 2010, even though the practice was against the state’s own regulations.

Republican State Senator Joel Anderson pushed for Tuesday’s hearing at the Capitol.

http://www.pilgrimageforcitizenship.org/ / PICO California

A group of marchers is en route from Sacramento to Bakersfield in an effort to garner support for immigration reform. The 21 day Pilgrimage for a Pathway to Citizenship began August 12 in Sacramento, and is expected to end September 2, after making stops in Merced, Fresno and other Valley cities.

Cal State Bakersfield Professor Dr. Gonzalo Santos is among the 11 marchers making the 285-mile trek. He says the nation’s immigration laws need revamping.

Valley Public Radio

California revenues are off to a slow start in the new budget year.

The state controller’s office says they came in six percent below projections for the month of July.  Disappointing personal income tax proceeds offset slight gains in sales and corporate tax revenues.

Governor Jerry Brown convinced lawmakers to use his more conservative projections in this year’s budget.  Democratic leaders had pushed for more optimistic estimates.

Capital Public Radio

After spending a month working around their home districts, California Assembly members are back at the Capitol to finish up final the six weeks of the legislative session. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, there’s no shortage of things to get done.

Members of the California Assembly buzz around the chamber like kids just back to school after a long summer break. Colleagues greet each other and catch up, having spent a month away from Sacramento on summer recess. And like a stern teacher, Speaker pro Tem Nora Campos had to ask everyone to settle down.

Safety Rules for Limos May Be Tightened

Jul 29, 2013

A fatal limo fire in Northern California has brought about new state legislation aimed at improving limousine safety.

The fire occurred last May. It claimed the lives of five women heading to a bridal shower. The women could not escape because the limo did not have emergency exits.

Under one bill all limos would be required to have exit features such as rear doors and pop-out windows. A separate bill would require limos to carry fire extinguishers in both the passenger and driver areas.

Law Would Give Bikes a Buffer Zone

Jul 29, 2013
Flickr user alisdair / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

For a third time a California lawmaker has proposed legislation that would require cars to maintain a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicycle. The previous two bills were vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on why this time might be different.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The California legislature is considering a bill that would allow U.S.-born children now living abroad with their deported immigrant families to pay in-state tuition to attend a public California college or university. Max Pringle reports from Sacramento.

State senator Lou Correa introduced the bill. He says the children of undocumented immigrants are deported through no fault of their own but they still retain the rights of US citizens.

GOP Governor's Race? What GOP Governor's Race?

Jul 19, 2013
Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

It’s less than a year until the first votes will be cast in the 2014 California governor’s race, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the campaign.  Ben Adler reports from Sacramento on why the Republican field is shaping up so slowly to challenge Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

Here’s how the race looks right now:

There’s Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a tea party hero who announced his exploratory campaign on the conservative website Politichicks.tv

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California homeowners who saw their property taxes plunge along with their homes’ market values during the recession could get some sticker shock when their next tax bill arrives.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the bad news for homeowners is good news for state and local budgets.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation to overhaul a controversial tax break for companies that hire workers in low-income communities.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento on that and some of the other bills Brown signed today.

Valley Public Radio

A new report that compares state finances finds California's budget revenues are soaring higher than all but one other state in the nation.  Its economy is growing at an above-average pace as well.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

The study comes from the Tax Policy Center – a project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.  It compares state tax revenues, economic growth and other data for all 50 states.

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

A new version of term limits, a new way to draw voting districts, a new system for running primary elections. Those three changes all took effect in 2012. Each was intended to moderate the California legislature. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, there is hope the changes have been effective, but so far there’s no proof.

New lawmakers are frequently sworn in at the California State Capitol. But the class taking the oath of office last December faced a different legislative future from classes who came before them.

The summer is a slow time for many occupations, but not for people working to make fundamental changes to the health care system. Millions of uninsured Americans are expected to buy coverage through new health insurance marketplaces called exchanges. Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone  has more about how neighboring states are trying to achieve the same end by different means. 

-----

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The price at the pump goes up today/Monday in California – by 3 ½ cents per gallon of gasoline.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, that’s because of a particularly complex part of an old state budget deal.

California tax law is full of confusing formulas with colorful names, like the triple flip and the single sales factor.  Here, we’re talking about something called the gas tax swap.  It stems from the 2010 budget deal in the heart of the recession. 

Pages