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California Policy & Politics This Morning   

California congressman defends Planned Parenthood investigation -- A top congressional Republican from California defended a House probe of Planned Parenthood for providing fetal tissue to researchers and gave no indication Monday that last week's fatal shootings at one of the group's Colorado clinics will affect that investigation. Alan Fram Associated Press -- 12/1/15

California senators are worried about Planned Parenthood rhetoric -- Friday's shooting deaths of three people at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, and a series of arson incidents in recent months — including one in the Los Angeles area — have prompted California’s senators to urge colleagues to tone down partisan rhetoric on Planned Parenthood. Sarah D. Wire in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

LA area Planned Parenthood clinics increase security -- In the wake of the shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last Friday, the organization's health centers in the Los Angeles area are taking extra precautions to protect their patients and staff. Rebecca Plevin KPCC -- 12/1/15

Wells Fargo's sales tactics are reportedly under investigation by the U.S. -- Aggressive sales tactics at Wells Fargo Bank, already the subject of a lawsuit filed by L.A.'s city attorney, appear to have drawn the attention of federal regulators. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

9th Circuit says L.A. broke the law when it cut housing subsidies for the poor -- Los Angeles’ Housing Authority reduced rent subsidies for about 20,000 poor people in 2004 in violation of the law, a federal appeals court ruled unanimously Monday. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

California oil and gas division chief chief stepping down -- Steven Bohlen, the head of California’s embattled oil and gas division, is resigning after about 18 months on the job. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/1/15

Walters: Top-two primaries could hurt Kamala Harris in Senate race -- Six years ago, to pass a state budget, the Legislature’s Democratic leaders agreed to place a major change in primary election voting before voters. They’ve regretted it ever since. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/1/15

California to Paris: Take our ideas, send money -- When Gov. Jerry Brown and a group of state lawmakers arrive in Paris this week for international climate talks, their primary role – while world leaders try to hammer out an accord – will be to promote California’s aggressive greenhouse gas reduction policies on a world stage. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 12/1/15

California's top court sends Newhall Ranch project back to the drawing board -- A divided California Supreme Court on Monday threw out an environmental impact report for Newhall Ranch, a planned community in the Santa Clarita Valley -- an action that a dissenting justice said would delay development by years. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

New rainy day fund — a change long overdue -- California’s economy may not be booming, but it is definitely on the mend. The Bay Area is churning out high-tech profits and high-wage jobs. In other parts of the state, unemployment is inching down toward full-employment levels. Daniel Weintraub Capitol Weekly -- 12/1/15

California Lawmakers Joining Brown In Paris -- Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) are among eight California lawmakers making the trip. All are Democrats. Ben Adler Capital Public Radio -- 12/1/15

Ex-L.A. County sheriff's deputies sentenced to prison for beating of jail visitor -- Two former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were sentenced to prison Monday for their roles in the beating of a handcuffed jail visitor and a scheme to cover up the assault. Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

County at odds with city of L.A. over funding pulled from emergency system -- An ambitious plan to connect all of Los Angeles County's fire and police agencies on a single communications system has hit another potential setback with the loss of $11 million in federal grant funding administered by the city of Los Angeles. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

Gene editing’s promise, risks focus of scientists’ summit -- A crucial advance that could end the worst genetic diseases, but with possible effects on human heredity, has stirred such concern that scientists from around the world are gathering in Washington on Tuesday to explore its promise and potential for peril. David Perlman in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/1/15

Saunders: San Francisco is Needle City -- In 1997, I went to a “needle exchange” in San Francisco to see firsthand how the “harm reduction program” prevented the spread of HIV among addicts. Exchange staff offered vitamins, treatment for sores and referrals to kick the habit; addicts handed over carefully bundled needles in a one-dirty-for-one-clean exchange. Users’ participation demonstrated that they had not given up on themselves. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/1/15

Greenhut: Did Prop. 47 cause state crime boost? -- Crime reformers say no, but law enforcement ready to pin blame. Steven Greenhut in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/1/15

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls     

LAO: Ballot initiative would triple cigarette taxes -- An initiative aimed at next year’s ballot to more than triple the tax on California cigarettes would raise at least $1.3 billion annually, with the money going to an array of health and other programs, according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 12/1/15

San Francisco to End Most Towing Fees for Victims of Car Theft -- Victims of car theft in San Francisco have complained for years about the sky-high fees the city charges to get their cars back. Farida Jhabvala Romero KQED -- 12/1/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions     

Tribune Publishing denies rumor of sale started by Rupert Murdoch tweet -- Tribune Publishing Co. on Monday denied a rumor started by media mogul Rupert Murdoch that the news organization was on the verge of being sold, saying it is "not engaged in discussion or a process to sell the company." Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times Margot Roosevelt in the Orange County Register -- 12/1/15 

McDonald's gets personal: Taste Crafted customization menu, table service launches in SoCal -- More than 600 McDonald’s restaurants in Southern California are rolling out an experimental custom menu today aimed at luring diners who’ve fled the beleaguered chain for higher quality rivals. Nancy Luna in the Orange County Register -- 12/1/15

Skid row tenants accuse landlord of trying to drive them out of building -- Tenants at a five-story residential hotel on skid row filed suit Monday accusing landlords of launching a campaign of harassment and intimidation to drive them out of the building. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

San Francisco hopes to block Super Bowl gridlock -- With big Super Bowl events barricading busy blocks around the foot of Market Street and Moscone Convention Center, commuters and visitors should ready themselves for something like the America’s Cup race combined with Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference, but a little bigger — and lasting two to three weeks. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/1/15

Airbnb, other short-term rentals may get closer scrutiny in San Francisco Chronicle -- Airbnb isn’t off the hook yet. Even its biggest supporters say they want to make sure the company — and its users — are playing by the rules. Emily Green in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/1/15


Official: California water savings take a dip in October -- California's latest water conservation may not appear as impressive as in past months, but a state official said that residents are exceeding a long-term order to save water during drought. Scott Smith Associated Press -- 12/1/15


UC joins Bill Gates' clean-energy coalition with $1-billion investment -- The University of California is looking to play a prominent role as Bill Gates and other billionaires from around the world form a new private fund that will invest in the development of large-scale carbon-free energy solutions. William Yardley in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

California leads drive to reverse focus on standardized tests -- When President Barack Obama declared that “unnecessary testing” is “consuming too much instructional time” and creating “undue stress for educators and students,” it was another sign that the dominant strategy over the past 15 years to use standardized tests to hold children and schools “accountable” in education reform may have reached a tipping point. Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 12/1/15

L.A. Unified sees success in counseling rather than arresting truants and kids who fight -- In the last year, he said, about 460 students who would otherwise have been cited were sent to counseling instead, with only 7% failing to complete their programs. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15

Report: Underfunded School Facilities In Danger Of Disrepair -- A UC Berkeley report finds California school facilities are underfunded, and that’s putting more stress on the budgets of districts serving low-income students. Ben Bradford Capital Public Radio -- 12/1/15


Kaiser Recruits Members to Help Unlock Autism’s Genetic Secrets -- Thousands of Northern California families of children with autism are being recruited to join a new project to help scientists understand how heredity and environmental factors determine where each youngster falls on the spectrum of the disorder. Lisa Fine KQED -- 12/1/15


How Obama learned from 'a mess' of a climate deal to forge a new agreement in Paris -- Hoping to salvage a faltering international climate deal, President Obama’s team roamed the halls of a Copenhagen convention center in 2009 “hunting for the Chinese,” as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently put it. Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times -- 12/1/15


The black clergy endorsements for Trump that never came -- Republican front-runner Donald Trump often boasts about his relationship with “the blacks,” and he planned to provide proof of their support at a Monday news conference with more than 100 African American religious leaders who want him to be president. But it never happened. Vanessa Williams and Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post -- 12/1/15