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California Policy & Politics This Morning   

State revenue surges in April, could exceed estimates by billions through June -- California income tax collections in April have already exceeded the Brown administration’s January estimates, underscoring the surge of higher-than-expected money flowing into the state treasury and possibly offering health and welfare programs – not just schools – a piece of the windfall. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/15

Susan Bonilla, Steve Glazer clash in key California Senate race debate -- Primed by a special election for state Senate driven by millions in outside spending and a barrage of negative mailers, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord and Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer tangled sharply Friday over high-speed rail, public pensions and their allegiance to government unions. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/25/15

Cardenas remains quiet on questions surrounding subpoena of aide -- U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas, a Los Angeles Democrat, declined to answer questions from The Times this week after a top aide in his district, Gabriela Marquez, received a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. Noah Bierman , David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15

Anti-vaccine leader tells parents to fight immunization bill -- Andrew Wakefield, the British scientist and former physician whose discredited research linking autism and immunizations helped launch a worldwide anti-vaccination movement, encouraged Californians Friday to fight back against a state Senate bill that would make childhood vaccinations mandatory. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/15

Abcarian: Fight against vaccination bill finds ally in ACLU -- The anti-vaccine moms began lining up in the hall outside the state Senate hearing room at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, two hours before the doors opened. Some had babies strapped to their chests, others sat on the floor with small children. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/15

Villaraigosa: Democrats stuck in past, Clinton in tight race -- Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, voiced concern Friday that the Democratic Party was “kind of stuck in last year,” saying he expected the former secretary of state to face “a very close election” for president. Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/15

Different kind of crime-victim group lobbies against rolling back Prop. 47 -- Albania Morales stood behind the coffin-shaped placard that bore her dead husband's face, practically eclipsed by her political prop. Ricardo Avelar-Lara died last November in Los Angeles, shot by sheriff's deputies. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15

One Uber Driver’s Story: How He Was Trapped by Auto-Loan Program -- The San Leandro man needs to make money for car payments. His 48-month loan is costing him $1,000 a month and has a 22.75 percent interest rate. He says he got into this mess through a vehicle financing program Uber created for drivers with poor or nonexistent credit. Sam Harnett KQED -- 4/24/15

Fox: The California Introduction Machine -- Much is made during presidential election periods that the state is merely an ATM machine for candidates. As a solid blue state that has not voted for a Republican for the White House since 1988, California is considered safe for whoever the Democratic nominee will be (we’re talking to you, Hillary Clinton.) Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/24/15

Medical marijuana proponent finds a novel way to skirt city bans in Orange County -- Orange County lawyer Randall Longwith has been hired by about 75 eager medical marijuana growers and suppliers across California to find a way to legitimize medical marijuana in O.C. cities where it is currently illegal. And he thinks he's found a way to do so: the voter initiative process. Erika Aguilar KPCC -- 4/24/15

Greenhut: Falling crime rates offer hope to cut costs -- Continued puzzling drop could yield a domestic ‘peace dividend’ Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 4/25/15

Borenstein: Acalanes school officials should cease deceitful end run around voters -- Acalanes High School District officials have saddled taxpayers with exorbitantly expensive debt and are now trying to borrow more money. It's time to tell taxpayers and voters the truth. Daniel Borenstein in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 4/25/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell calls L.A.-area stadium plans in Inglewood, Carson 'viable' -- Goodell also said the league is considering moving up the window for when teams can announce their intention to relocate. The current window begins Jan. 1. A decision on the window is unlikely before the end of summer. Scott M. Reid in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/24/15

Port truckers to vote on strike that could begin Monday -- Truck drivers who haul goods from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will vote tomorrow whether to launch another strike beginning as early as Monday morning, union officials announced today. Truckers hoping to unionize have been fighting for several years over their classification as contractors. The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/24/15

Activists outnumber business owners at L.A. County minimum wage forum -- At the first two in a series of forums convened for small businesses to weigh in on the effect of raising the minimum wage in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, business owners were significantly outnumbered by activists advocating for the increase. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/15

Opponents send One Paseo to a vote -- Opponents of a dense mixed-use project proposed for Carmel Valley gathered enough valid signatures in March to force a public vote on the legislation, San Diego’s City Clerk announced Friday. David Garrick UT San Diego$ -- 4/25/15


Sod companies turn to tech, hardy grasses as industry takes a hit from drought -- Motorists snaking through the steadily drying scenery along Highway 101 might notice a break in the beige just as they enter this town: a lush green oasis proudly on display, emerald blades of grass defying the drought's decree to wither and die. Eric Kurhi in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/25/15

Hiltzik: Desalination plants aren't a good solution for California drought -- As surely as the hot, dry Santa Ana winds bring blue skies to the coast and wildfires to the hills, severe California droughts bring calls to build desalination plants up and down the seashore. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15

Immigration / Border 

'Maternity tourism' witness held after trying to board flight to China -- A material witness in an ongoing federal probe of alleged "maternity tourism" operations in Southern California was arrested after she tried to leave the country, authorities said Thursday. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/15


In suit, Blue Shield cites extravagant spending by fired executive -- Blue Shield of California fired a top executive last month after he spent more than $100,000 on his corporate credit card, the company says, including on trips with girlfriend and "Sharknado" actress Tara Reid. Chad Terhune in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15

Also . . . 

Some Jewish activists don't want Cornel West at UCLA conference -- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was a Jewish theologian and civil rights activist close to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Cornel West, the philosopher and African American history scholar who often speaks out on public issues, describes himself as an admirer of Heschel. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15

San Francisco settles suit against Police Chief Greg Suhr for $725,000 -- The city of San Francisco agreed to a $725,000 settlement Friday for a former Police Department attorney who said Police Chief Greg Suhr fired her for exposing his mishandling of a domestic violence case. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/15

San Diego agrees to pay $1.3 million to 2 women abused by police officer -- The women were abused by Christopher Hays, who was convicted and sentenced to serve a year in custody. He served five months and was released March 2. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/15

Oscar Ramirez Jr.'s parents file suit against L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. -- The parents of Oscar Ramirez Jr., an unarmed man fatally shot by a deputy last year in Paramount, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15

Long Beach police fatally shoot unarmed man after graffiti reports -- A 19-year-old unarmed man was fatally wounded by Long Beach police after they believed he was pointing a gun, officials said Friday. Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15

Attorneys: Autopsy Contradicts San Francisco Police Account of Mission District Shooting -- Attorneys representing the family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan immigrant shot and killed by two San Francisco police officers in late February filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Friday alleging that independent autopsy findings contradict the Police Department’s account of the incident. Alex Emslie KQED -- 4/25/15

San Francisco Could Be Much Whiter in 25 Years, While the Rest of Region Gets More Diverse -- Sarah Treuhaft has lived in San Francisco’s Mission District since 2001. She’s seen the transformation of her neighborhood and the city as a whole. But by 2040, it’s likely to change a whole lot more. Patricia Yollin KQED -- 4/24/15


Making the president funny at White House correspondents dinner is serious work -- Speaking recently at the exclusive Gridiron Club dinner that doubles as a bipartisan comedy roast, President Obama delivered a jab at a Republican and seemed particularly happy with it, then waited for the laughter to die down before quipping: "This lame-duck stuff is fun." Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/25/15


Hillary Clinton to hold first Hollywood fundraisers May 7 -- Less than two weeks after the former secretary of State officially announced she was running, Clinton's supporters in the film and TV industry already have lined up several fundraising events when she visits Los Angeles on May 7. Richard Verrier in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/15