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California Policy & Politics This Morning   

California assisted death bill passes first Assembly committee -- A contentious proposal that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday, advancing from a special Assembly health committee by a bipartisan vote of 10-2. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times Juliet Williams Associated Press -- 9/2/15

Senate approves 'Right-to-Try Act' for seriously ill -- The state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow makers of experimental drugs to make them available to Californians with life-threatening diseases. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Doctors' group opposes changes to proposed aid-in-dying bill -- A second attempt to pass an aid-in-dying bill goes before a key legislative committee Tuesday, but it already has suffered a setback as the California Medical Assn. is warning it will oppose the measure if proposed amendments are added. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Big hike in executive pay at nonprofit Blue Shield draws state scrutiny -- Nonprofit insurer Blue Shield of California boosted executive compensation by $24 million in 2012 — a 64% jump over the previous year — according to a confidential state audit reviewed by The Times. Chad Terhune in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

PG&E wants to boost revenue by $2.7 billion, pushing up bills -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Tuesday asked state regulators for permission to collect an extra $2.7 billion from its customers over the course of three years, using the money for technology upgrades and improved disaster response. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle George Avalos in the Oakland Tribune -- 9/2/15

Protesters call for funding for developmental disability programs -- In what they called a last desperate plea, more than 100 protesters gathered in front of state Sen. Kevin de Leon’s district office Tuesday to press him and other lawmakers to boost funding for programs for those with developmental disabilities. Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/2/15

Legislature ready to change law that denied compensation to wrongly imprisoned man -- The Legislature is apparently ready to fill a gap in California’s law to compensate people who are imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. The gap is that the law covers only those who suffered financial losses from their lockup, and apparently leaves out the down-and-outers who were unemployable in the view of the board that awards the payments. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/2/15

California Democrats seek fundraising pacts with presidential, Senate candidates -- Citing a wave of donations to Republicans by corporate special interests and the “super-rich,” California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton is inviting Democratic candidates for president and the state’s U.S. Senate contest to enter into joint fundraising agreements with the party. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

Chad Mayes tapped to lead California Assembly Republicans -- California Assembly Republicans chose first-term Assemblyman Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, to be their next leader in a closed-door vote Tuesday. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Lawmaker introduces last-minute bill to eliminate kangaroo products ban -- The kangaroo ban has been the subject of recent legislative intrigue; an animal rights activist submitted a complaint to the state ethics agency last week alleging the Australian government did not properly disclose its lobbying activity in its efforts to roll back the ban. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times John Myers KQED Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

Walters: Job claims clashing with facts -- The term “voodoo economics” was lodged in the political lexicon 35 years ago by George H.W. Bush, referring to presidential rival Ronald Reagan. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

Fact check: Senate leader misleads on climate bill oversight -- Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León was promoting his new climate bill in a TV interview Monday when he was asked why lawmakers should grant authority to the California Air Resources Board – an unelected body – to decide how to implement provisions of the legislation, including reducing petroleum use in California. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

California to end unlimited isolation for most gang leaders -- California agreed Tuesday to end its unlimited isolation of imprisoned gang leaders, restricting a practice that once kept hundreds of inmates in notorious segregation units for a decade or longer. Don Thompson Associated Press Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Peek inside 'the SHU': What it's like for California inmates in solitary confinement -- Locked in windowless cells for as much as 23 hours each day, inmates held in solitary confinement have little to no interaction with their fellow prisoners or guards. Access to mail and medical care is limited, and access to phone calls can be nonexistent. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

L.A. County supervisors finalize plans for new jails, diversion -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday finalized its controversial plan to build a 3,885-bed jail in downtown L.A., a women’s jail in Lancaster and divert at least 1,000 inmates from the county jail system. Sarah Favot in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/2/15

State ballot initiative fee raised to $2,000 to prevent mischief -- It won’t be as easy on the pocketbook for mischief makers to propose outrageous ballot initiatives in California, like a recent one that called for executions of gays and lesbians. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 9/2/15

Saunders: Big Apple versus Big Toilet -- Why is New York so much cleaner than San Francisco? It’s a question you hear all the time, even as some New Yorkers swear that Mayor Bill De Blasio’s lighter approach to law enforcement has undone some of the gains made under former Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/2/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

Amgen and Novartis partnering on a drug that could prevent Alzheimer's -- Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen Inc. is partnering with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis to develop a drug that could slow or prevent Alzheimer's disease. Stuart Pfeifer in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Union reaches new deal on retiree healthcare -- State officials and union leaders have negotiated the first labor agreement to address the growing cost of retiree healthcare since Gov. Jerry Brown made that a goal this year. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times Christopher Cadelago and Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee Amy Quinton Capital Public Radio -- 9/2/15

State scientists rally for salary -- State scientists wearing gas masks, hard hats and hazmat suits gathered in Sacramento last weekend, looking like they had been assigned to a toxic cleanup. But instead of a chemical spill or a noxious gas release, the scientists were geared up for what they say is another disaster: Their pay. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

Herdt: Not all debtors are equal -- When billionaire candidate Donald Trump was asked during the first GOP presidential debate about the four bankruptcies declared over the years by companies he controlled, Trump didn’t flinch. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star$ -- 9/2/15

Haggen accuses Albertsons of sabotaging store takeover, sues for $1 billion -- According to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Delaware, Haggen said Albertsons started engaging in these competitive efforts after it sold 146 grocery stores to Haggen. Shan Li in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

USOC names Los Angeles the official U.S. bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympics -- The U.S. Olympic Committee finalized its selection on Tuesday, moments after the Los Angeles City Council authorized Mayor Eric Garcetti to pursue the bid, according to a source close to the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly. David Wharton in the Los Angeles Times Michael Blood Associated Press Alejandro Lazo in the Wall Street Journal$ Ian Lovett in the New York Times$ -- 9/2/15

L.A.'s revived '24 Olympic dream now heads to tough international contest -- Bid leaders boarded an overnight plane to Switzerland on Tuesday, headed for International Olympic Committee headquarters to begin an expensive, two-year competition against such formidable contenders as Rome and the early front-runner, Paris. David Wharton in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Bills Would Ban California Employers From Asking Certain Questions -- Employers in California would lose the ability to ask job applicants their salary history and job status under separate bills passed by the California Senate Tuesday. Chris Nichols Capital Public Radio -- 9/2/15

Santa Clara County has nation’s strongest job market — by far -- Over the 12 months that ended in July, total payroll employment in Santa Clara County increased 6.2 percent, by far the fastest pace of job growth in the United States, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/2/15

Port of Oakland operating at full speed after labor strife -- Tuesday marked the sixth straight day where no ships had to wait for berths at the port’s five marine terminals, officials said, after a long buildup of shipping vessels waiting to dock clogged the bay. Kale Williams in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/2/15

Recast tax break for TV and film lures ‘VEEP,’ other shows to California -- In its first months, California’s expanded film and TV production tax credit has prompted producers of four out-of-state TV shows to decamp for the Golden State, according to the state’s film office. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

Review: 'Man in the Machine,' a blistering indictment of Steve Jobs -- Jobs, usually revered as the Silicon Valley genius who transformed our lives with beautifully designed technology, gets raked over the coals and is revealed to be a despotic high-tech titan willing to throw anyone under the bus, even his own baby daughter, in his quest for power. Karen D'Souza in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 9/2/15

Sacramento International Airport signs agreement to allow Uber to serve travelers -- The agreement goes into effect at 1 p.m. Tuesday and applies only to Uber drivers. Other ride-sharing companies, such as Lyft and Sidecar, have not signed agreements with airport officials. Bill Lindelof and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

Uber loses round in legal battle with drivers -- A federal judge Tuesday dealt a blow to Uber's efforts to neutralize a major legal challenge to its business model, finding that a lawsuit against the growing ride-booking company can proceed as a class action on behalf of most California drivers who have worked for the Bay Area outfit since 2009. Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury$ Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle Tracey Lien in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) is folding -- SARTA announced Tuesday that its board of directors voted a day earlier to go out of business after 14 years. Howard Bubb, the group’s chief executive, said SARTA will wind down operations over the next few weeks. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 9/2/15

Transbay Authority calls off land auction — investors spooked -- The Transbay Joint Powers Authority has called off a much-anticipated live auction of a key piece of land after several of the developers, spooked in part by the meltdown of international stock markets, informed the agency they wouldn’t be submitting bids. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/2/15


Drought Puts California Water Rights in Crosshairs for Reform -- Some experts believe California's antiquated regulation of water rights is ripe for reform; farmers worry it would come at their expense. Gary Pitzer Water Deeply -- 9/2/15

Unintended consequences of conserving water: leaky pipes, less revenue, bad odors -- Sanitation districts are yanking tree roots out of manholes and stepping up maintenance on their pipes to prevent corrosion and the spread of odors. And when people use less potable water, officials say, there's less wastewater available to recycle. Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15


School groups pursue compromise on budget reserves -- A year-long battle between a coalition of school organizations and the California Teachers Association over district reserves has taken a new turn. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/2/15

L.A. Unified could pay more to alleged Miramonte victims -- Settlements already total $169 million, the largest the district has ever paid related to sexual misconduct. Former teacher Mark Berndt, who was arrested in 2012, is serving a 25-year sentence for lewd actions with children. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Bill offers state tax help for former Corinthian students -- Californians who had their student loans forgiven after the collapse of Corinthian Colleges this year could get a state income tax break. Associated Press -- 9/2/15

Brown extends California colleges' reach in sexual assaults -- Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation allowing California community colleges to suspend or expel students for off-campus sexual assaults. Associated Press -- 9/2/15

CA looks to cast broader safety net for foster youth -- Legislation set for a final Senate floor vote sometime in the next week would significantly recast the public school system’s safety net for foster youth by, among other things, creating regional support networks overseen by county offices of education and making services available to more of these disadvantaged students. Kimberly Beltran Cabinet Report -- 9/2/15


Sunny San Diego fights new utility charges on rooftop solar -- The city, in filings Tuesday with state utility regulators, took issue with a request from San Diego Gas & Electric to add a monthly "grid connection" fee for solar customers as well as special charges based on peak periodic energy use, regardless of overall monthly electricity consumption. Morgan Lee in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 9/2/15


Berkeley: Health care officials hope more vaccinations stop spread of measles -- Officials in this university city were urging people to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of measles on Tuesday, a day after a UC Berkeley student was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease. Chris De Benedetti in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 9/2/15

Also . . . 

Palm Springs to pay $2.5 million to family of Marine shot by police -- The city of Palm Springs has agreed to pay more than $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a 22-year-old Marine fatally shot by police. Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

DA files charges against 3 deputies in Francis Pusok beating -- District Attorney Mike Ramos announced today that criminal charges were filed against three sheriff’s deputies involved in the videotaped beating of Francis Jared Pusok in April in the High Desert. Joe Nelson in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/2/15

L.A. County settles jail suicide case for $1.6 million -- The family of a 23-year-old man who committed suicide in Men's Central Jail will receive $1.6 million from Los Angeles County to settle a lawsuit alleging that jail officials did not properly diagnose his mental illness. Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Critical Mass window smasher was wearing T-shirt advocating non-violence -- Police in San Francisco continued to search Tuesday for a Critical Mass cyclist who smashed a Zipcar driver’s window with a metal U-lock on Friday while wearing a T-shirt reading “Non-violence is our strength.” Evan Sernoffsky in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/2/15

Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers -- Google, a leader in efforts to create driverless cars, has run into an odd safety conundrum: humans. Matt Richtel and Conor Dougherty in the New York Times$ -- 9/2/15


Six good reasons why Donald Trump should hit CAGOP convention -- Dear Donald Trump: Just two days after the Sept. 16 CNN presidential debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California Republicans will hold their statewide convention in Anaheim — next to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” We think it’s a perfect opportunity for you to meet the California media and make some new friends. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/2/15

Is Donald Trump more than just a political fad? -- He has hogged the airwaves and reduced the other Republican presidential candidates to supporting cast members who respond to the agenda he sets and react, at the insistence of panting reporters, to the constant barrage of his verbal grenades. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times -- 9/2/15

Clinton, under pressure, returning to Bay Area for fundraising -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, under the dual pressures of scrutiny about using her private e-mail served while secretary of state and the potential entry of Vice President Joe Biden into the 2016 presidential race, will return to the Bay Area later this month to shore up support and raise campaign money. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/2/15

Romney Is Horrified by Trump — and That’s Restarting ‘Mitt 2016’ Talk -- As Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican presidential race, frustration and panic have become high enough to make some inside the party Establishment pine for a candidate they roundly rejected as recently as January: Mitt Romney. Gabriel Sherman New York Magazine -- 9/2/15

Quinn: Donald Trump At War -- Now that Donald Trump has the Republican presidential nomination sewn up, it is time to look at how he would approach important matters of policy such as the military. With Mr. Trump this is a problem, because although hawkish today he is a classic Vietnam- era draft dodger. Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 9/2/15

Farmers: Trump 'terrible for agriculture' -- Even before real-estate mogul Donald Trump called undocumented immigrants "rapists and murderers" who "have to go," California contractor Carlos Castañeda was having difficulty hiring enough workers to pick celery and squash. Bill Tomson Politico -- 9/2/15

CNN changes debate criteria, clearing path for Fiorina -- CNN announced on Tuesday that it has changed the criteria for its upcoming debate, making space for Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on the primetime stage. Hadas Gold and Steven Shepard Politico -- 9/2/15

How Carly Fiorina earned a spot on the big stage at the GOP debate -- The organizers of the next Republican presidential debate have announced changes to debate criteria that mean former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will join the rest of the top-tier candidates on the main stage at the Reagan Library on Sept. 16. Karen Tumulty in the Washington Post -- 9/2/15