• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • School Inoovation and Achievement

Updating . .   

Get ready for a revived brawl over single-payer healthcare in California -- Whether it was bracing for a possible repeal of Obamacare or pondering an ambitious single-payer program that would overhaul how California provided medical care to its residents, the issue of healthcare kept politicians and policy wonks busy in 2017. That’s not likely to let up in 2018. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/28/17

California minimum-wage workers get a 50-cent raise starting next week as pay heads toward $15 -- Many lower-paid workers in California will get a raise on Jan. 1 under the state’s new minimum-wage law, which will eventually boost hourly pay to at least $15. James Rufus Koren in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/28/17

Bullet train: A dispute over stations -- It’s a tale of two stations. Bakersfield, California’s ninth-largest city in terms of population with more than 380,000 residents, is trying to decide where to put a bullet-train station. This battle has lasted for years. Dorothy Mills-Gregg Capitol Weekly -- 12/28/17

Federal government finds flaws in California’s plan to improve lowest-performing schools -- The U.S. Department of Education has cited substantive flaws in California’s plan detailing how it will improve low-performing schools and use billions of dollars of federal education aid under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 12/28/17

Rising stakes for California: Top stories of 2017 -- Throughout California, 2017 was a year of historic rises. The sea at the very edge of our existence was unrelentingly on the rise—as was the cost of housing, which soared to unprecedented heights. CALmatters -- 12/28/17

Get up to speed: 10 hot topics that will shape California campaigns in 2018 -- The 2018 elections are coming—and those of you who don’t spend your waking hours monitoring the secretary of state’s website may have some questions. Questions like: Wait, there’s an election next year? And, didn’t we just have an election? And, Is Jerry Brown running again? -- Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 12/28/17

New California laws going into effect in 2018 -- New year, new laws. In 2018, the lives of Californians will change dramatically thanks to laws regulating marijuana, community college tuition, immigration policy and — less pressingly — entering a crosswalk before the countdown hits zero. Katie Dowd in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/28/17

Legal Weed Hurts Prognosis For California Medical Pot Market -- When Elias Zaldivar was an 18-year-old college freshman and decided he was in the market for marijuana, he knew just how to get it, and it didn't involve canvassing the corridors of his campus in search of that stoned-out dude who sold pot from his dorm room. Instead, he went straight to a doctor. John Rogers Associated Press -- 12/28/17

3 signs Eric Garcetti might be aiming for the White House -- In interviews this year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has left the door open to a possible 2020 presidential bid. His involvement in the launch of three little-noticed groups provides further evidence that he's stepping on to the national stage and considering a run for the White House. Aaron Mendelson KPCC -- 12/28/17

Sacramento State workers say lab chemicals caused fertility problems, seek $80 million -- Four Sacramento State employees are asking the university to pay $80 million in damages because of fertility problems they say resulted from exposure to hazardous chemicals in the science building. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/28/17

How California plans to stop ‘dead’ drivers from using disabled parking placards -- Last year, a California audit revealed an impossible statistic: More than 26,000 people over age 100 in the Golden State had blue disabled placards, allowing them to park at any street meter for free, all day, or at prime blue-stenciled stalls at the front of store parking lots. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/28/17

 

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Another Sudden Retirement Leaves 3 Assembly Seats Vacant In California -- A third California lawmaker has resigned in the past month from the state Legislature. Democratic Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas announced Wednesday he will step down this week for health reasons. Ridley-Thomas, 30, says he’s had five surgeries this year—the most recent last week—for an unspecified health issue. Ben Bradford Capital Public Radio -- 12/28/17

A Hidden Cost of Sexual Harassment in Sacramento: Expensive Special Elections -- The sexual harassment scandal that began enveloping the state Capitol two months ago has cost two state lawmakers their jobs. And now their resignations mean more work, and unanticipated costs, for local governments that must hold special elections to fill those vacant seats. Scott Shafer KQED -- 12/28/17

Walters: State auditor blocked in seeking judicial records -- State Auditor Elaine Howle has a fearsome reputation for tunneling deeply into public agencies and finding nuggets of information that officials would prefer to remain hidden. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 12/28/17

Federal judge blocks Arizona from banning Mexican American studies classes -- A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the state of Arizona from enforcing a controversial law banning ethnic studies courses, bringing near a close a seven-year battle over teaching about Mexican Americans in Tucson public schools. Jaweed Kaleem in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/28/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

New state workplace laws will help ex-offenders, women, new parents -- Starting Monday, California employers can no longer ask most job applicants about their criminal records until a conditional offer has been made, and can’t ask any job seekers about their salary history unless the applicant volunteers this information. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/28/17

Is Southern California feeling crowded? Population figures say yes as region grows at fastest pace since 2014 -- Your hunch is correct: Southern California is more crowded, as the region’s population has passed 18 million with the fastest growth rate since 2014. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register -- 12/28/17

CHP fought nine years to block an officer with PTSD from returning to work. It lost. -- The California Highway Patrol owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to an officer it fought to keep off duty for nine years because she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Adam Ashton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/28/17

Housing  

Home Loans Harder to Get for Blacks and Latinos in California -- Nearly half of more than 296,000 home loans issued in California in 2015 went to white homebuyers, while African-Americans secured just 3 percent, according to federal mortgage data analyzed by a Bay Area policy group focused on diversity and equity. Erika Aguilar KQED -- 12/28/17

Water  

California Says Nestle Lacks Permits to Extract Millions of Gallons of Water -- California regulators say Nestle may have to stop collecting a large portion of the water it bottles from the San Bernardino National Forest, because it lacks the legal permits for millions of gallons of water. Nestle sells the water under the Arrowhead label. Bill Chappell NPR -- 12/28/17

Health 

This season’s flu strain is causing more emergency room visits, LA County health officials warn -- With 19 influenza related deaths reported so far in Los Angeles County this season, public health officials offered some advice Wednesday: “Continue spreading holiday cheer and not the flu.” Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/28/17

Environment 

Study: Some Bay Area coastal communities face high risk of cliff collapse -- California’s coastal communities have long battled the roiling sea over claim to the shoreline, fighting to keep pristine beaches, towering bluffs and million-dollar homes from washing away as if they never existed. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/28/17

Beltway 

Most Americans do not support making cuts to programs for people with low incomes -- If House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has anything to do with it, the next step for Congress will be cutting welfare programs that benefit low-income Americans — a move that is not particularly popular with the American public, including the congressman's own party. Eugene Scott in the Washington Post$ -- 12/28/17