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California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Gov. Brown faces rough road in quest to repair state freeways -- Every day, California drivers navigate an obstacle course of potholes and cracked pavement, and a wrong turn of the wheel can send them limping to a mechanic. Maintenance crews can't keep up. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

Utility regulators held post-Poland lunch -- The regulator overseeing an investigation into the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant met privately with then-California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey days after Peevey returned from a secret meeting about the matter in Poland. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/1/15

Former Metrolink auditor alleges she was fired for disclosing railroad's problems -- Allegations in a new lawsuit by a former top watchdog at Southern California's Metrolink commuter railroad paint an alarming picture of the operation's management problems and internal politics. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

FBI investigating vandalism of Bay Area fiber-optic cables -- The FBI is investigating the severing Tuesday of a cluster of high-capacity fiber-optic cables in the Bay Area that disrupted phone and cable service and slowed Internet access to customers in Northern California. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

Federal grand jury now probing alleged courthouse tampering in Orange County -- A federal grand jury will begin hearing testimony next month from dozens of people who allegedly paid to have drunk driving and other traffic-related violations "fixed" by a clerk. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

Right-to-die advocates focus series of rallies on three Latino assemblymen -- The El Monte resident said he hopes state legislators vote in favor of the End of Life Option Act, so mentally competent terminally ill adults like him may end their own lives by ingesting prescribed lethal medication. Zen Vuong in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 7/1/15

Leland Yee case: plea deal appears likely -- Former state Sen. Leland Yee appears on the brink of entering an unspecified plea deal to resolve a sweeping racketeering indictment that accuses him of accepting bribes for political favors. Howard Mintz in the Oakland Tribune$ Robert Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

California paid sick leave, fracking, phone kill-switch laws take effect -- Millions of California workers will start earning paid sick days beginning Wednesday, the fruit of a landmark bill that passed the Legislature last year. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

Paid sick leave, lead ammo, smartphones affected by new laws -- More than six million workers are expected to benefit from a new law taking effect Wednesday that requires California employers to provide them at least three paid sick days a year. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 7/1/15

California nurses lose bid to expand practices -- Legislation that would have authorized “nurse practitioners” to treat patients without the supervision of a physician, including prescribing drugs, was rejected Tuesday by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener to run for state Senate -- Supervisor Scott Wiener will announce he is running for state Senate Wednesday, setting the stage for an election still 1½ years away, but already generating intense speculation about what progressive candidate will run against him. Emily Green in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 7/1/15

Jerry Brown signs California vaccine bill -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed one of the strictest schoolchild vaccination laws in the country, eliminating personal and religious belief exemptions for vaccines. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ Phill Willon and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Tracy Seipel and Jessica Calefati in the San Jose Mercury$ Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle Julia Horowitz Associated Press Jenna Chandler in the Orange County Register John Howard Capitol Weekly Jon Brooks KQED Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News Allen Young Sacramento Business Journal Adam Nagourney in the New York Times$ -- 7/1/15

California vaccine bill: Questions and answers -- Ending months of speculation, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 277, which requires almost all California schoolchildren to be fully vaccinated in order to attend public or private school, regardless of their parents’ personal or religious beliefs. Tracy Seipel and Jessica Calefati in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 7/1/15

This time, Jerry Brown makes no mention of religion in vaccine signing -- In his signing statement Tuesday, Brown noted that the bill exempts children whose family medical histories lead a physician to recommend against immunization. But unlike in 2012, the former Jesuit seminarian said nothing about religion. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

Resisting Vaccination Has Long History -- She says that the modern-day resistance movement shares its roots and rhetoric with the social movements of the 1960s and ’70s, including feminism, environmentalism and consumer rights. “They encouraged people to question sources of authority, including doctors,” she says. April Dembosky KQED -- 7/1/15

From death threats to holocaust warning, California vaccine bill an extraordinary fight -- If the state Capitol can sometimes feel like an island of bureaucrats and politicians detached from everyday lives, SB 277 offered a counterexample. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

'Value' And 'Cost' Of Parking Spaces And Entitlements From City To Kings Argued In Court -- The mayor of Sacramento and the majority owner of the Sacramento Kings were in court Tuesday. The city and the team are the defendants in a lawsuit that claims city assets worth as much as $500 million were given to the team as part of a deal to build an arena. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 7/1/15

Sally Ride tribute statue advances -- A proposal to represent California inside the U.S. Capital with a statue of the late astronaut Sally Ride was approved by a state Assembly committee Tuesday. The California Senate has already approved the plan, which still needs approval from the full Assembly and the governor. Gary Warth in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/1/15

Calbuzz: Why Labor’s Dem-on-Dem Attacks Are Foolhardy -- In 1967, President Lyndon Baines Johnson famously posed a political question to moderate civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins and Whitney, then quickly answered it himself. ”You know the difference between cannibals and liberals?” the president asked. “Cannibals eat only their enemies.” Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 7/1/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

Consumer group alleges gas price manipulation by California refiners -- Major oil refiners are artificially hiking gasoline prices throughout California by charging branded gas stations an average of 30 cents a gallon more than what independent stations pay -- the biggest price gap in years, according to a consumer advocacy group. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

Herdt: Not much pay, but paid time off -- Hourly pay for middle- and low-wage workers in America has been essentially stagnant for decades. It is a fact of life that frustrates elected officials alarmed about growing income inequality, but other than tinker with the minimum wage there’s not much they can directly do about it. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star$ -- 7/1/15

Popular elsewhere, high-speed rail remains elusive in United States -- Travelers easily whiz from city to city on high-speed trains in many parts of South America, Asia and Europe. Since the first high-speed lines began operating more than 50 years ago in Japan, they have become an essential part of transportation worldwide. Juliet Williams Associated Press -- 7/1/15

San Diego economy sees slower growth -- A report released Tuesday by the University of San Diego still points to gains in the job market, new residential construction and an overall improving national economy as factors behind the region's expansion. However, local publicly traded companies did not fare well in May and consumer confidence dipped locally for the first time in 15 months. Jonathan Horn in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 7/1/15

Political Fate of California Teachers Association Now Rests With High Court -- For a union that has defeated almost every challenger on the playing field of state politics for more than two decades, the California Teachers Association’s most powerful opponent may turn out to be what Justice Antonin Scalia recently described as “a committee of nine unelected lawyers.” John Myers KQED David G. Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ Sam Hananel Associated Press John Fensterwald EdSource -- 7/1/15

Walters: High court case hits union dues -- California figured prominently, albeit indirectly, in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent high-profile decisions on Obamacare, same-sex marriages and congressional redistricting. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

SEIU merges home-care, nursing home workers into one unit -- The Service Employees International Union will announce Tuesday that long-term care workers from three California locals have combined to create the largest such union in the country. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

Garcetti shifts stance, won't enforce tough new homeless measures -- Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday he will block enforcement of controversial new legislation targeting homeless encampments until the City Council softens some of the measures' provisions. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

Airline caterer sues Los Angeles over order to pay a 'living wage' -- An airline catering company has sued the city of Los Angeles to challenge an order that the company pay a "living wage" to 271 of its employees, dating back to 2010. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

California scores nearly 2,000 clean energy jobs -- California created nearly 2,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the first quarter, to rank second in the nation behind Georgia, according to a report made public Tuesday. Chris Rauber San Francisco Business Times -- 7/1/15

Southwest Airlines adding service from Burbank to San Francisco -- Dallas-based Southwest said it will have three flights a day between Burbank and San Francisco International Airport starting Jan. 6. Gregory J. Wilcox in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 7/1/15

Business, labor groups turn out to support digital signs at L.A. City Hall -- Amid an outpouring of support from business and labor groups, Los Angeles lawmakers on Tuesday moved toward allowing digital billboards outside designated sign districts. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 7/1/15

L.A. to loosen minimum wage rules for some nonprofits -- Nonprofits that hire and train disadvantaged and out-of-work clients to rejoin the workforce won't have to pay them Los Angeles' new minimum wage for the first year and a half of their employment, Los Angeles City Council members agreed Tuesday. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

President Obama wants fast-food, retail managers to earn overtime -- They're called managers, and they sometimes work grueling schedules at fast food chains and retail stores. But with no overtime eligibility, their pay may be lower per hour than many workers they supervise. Christopher S. Rugaber Associated Press -- 7/1/15

Head count shows growing homeless population in Orange County -- More than 980 volunteers carrying out the point-in-time homeless count tallied 4,452 homeless people one night in January. That’s a five percent increase compared with the 2013 homeless census. Erika Aguilar KPCC -- 7/1/15

California 'Franchise Bill of Rights' law passes key committee -- A California assembly bill designed to protect franchisees from predatory practices is moving forward after it cleared the Senate Business and Professions Committee on Monday. Annie Sciacca San Francisco Business Times -- 7/1/15

CalPERS to sell up to $3 billion in real estate -- The nation’s largest public pension fund said it wants to unload assets “that no longer align with the strategic goals of the real estate program, and is balanced between international and domestic investments.” CalPERS currently owns $25.5 billion in commercial, industrial and residential properties. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15


Fisheries panel to hold Sacramento hearing on water use by pot farms -- The devastating impact of drought and illegal marijuana cultivation on North Coast fisheries will be the focus of a state legislative committee hearing Wednesday in Sacramento, on the heels of reports that pot plants are consuming billions of gallons of water and salmon-rearing creeks are running dry. Guy Kovner in the Santa Rosa Press -- 7/1/15


Lacking state bond money, LEAs ask for borrowing relief -- Still facing some of the economic challenges that sent their city into bankruptcy three years ago, Stockton Unified has asked the state board of education to temporarily waive debt limits on school bonds to complete voter approved projects. Alisha Kirby Cabinet Report -- 7/1/15

‘Stress in kids these days is different,’ says California teacher of year -- When the nation’s top teachers were asked about the biggest barriers to students’ success, most didn’t point to reasons inside the classroom. Instead, they ranked family stress and poverty as the main issues facing students. Sarah Tully EdSource -- 7/1/15

Immigration / Border 

California’s undocumented immigrants pegged at 2.67 million -- Illegal immigration may have faded as a hot-button political issue in California, but that doesn’t mean those without documentation have gone away, a new study by the Public Policy Institute of California concludes. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/1/15

DMV expands documents accepted for immigrant driver license -- The state Department of Motor Vehicle said Tuesday that immigrants can now use passports from Tonga, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea and consular cards from Colombia and Ecuador to apply for a license. The documents join a long list of passports and government-issued identification cards that can already be used to apply for a license. Associated Press -- 7/1/15


California greenhouse gas emissions fall — but not by much -- Despite California’s many efforts to fight global warming, the state’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2012, as a nuclear power plant shut down and the drought hit hydroelectric dams hard. But the increase, it turns out, didn’t last. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 7/1/15

Environmentalists want California to stop offshore fracking -- Environmentalists Tuesday called on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt plans for months of hydraulic fracturing in the waters off Southern California, warning that it could lead to chemical pollution or an oil spill. Associated Press -- 7/1/15


L.A. County approves new pact for troubled nursing home inspection program -- Amid criticism of past oversight efforts, Los Angeles County supervisors approved a new contract Tuesday that redefines state and local responsibilities for inspecting nursing homes and other health facilities and investigating complaints of abuse, neglect or inadequate care of patients. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15


L.A. councilman takes rare step in bid to expedite proposed gun-lock law -- The battle over a city proposal to require Los Angeles residents to lock up or disable their handguns at home took an unusual turn Tuesday, as a city councilman sought to force the proposed law out of a committee weighing whether to exempt some Angelenos from the storage rules. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

Also . . . 

Agency overseeing Berkeley builder unaware of suits, settlements -- For more than a decade, the company that constructed the Berkeley apartment building where a balcony collapse killed six people was being targeted in lawsuits claiming its work was shoddy. It paid out $26.5 million in settlements in the past three years alone. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 7/1/15

Contractor in Berkeley balcony collapse seeks restraining order, wants to examine evidence -- The lead contractor on the Berkeley apartment complex that was the site of a deadly balcony collapse in mid-June sought a restraining order Tuesday to prevent district attorney investigators from examining the evidence without a company representative present. Lee Romney in the Los Angeles Times$ Matthias Gafni in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 7/1/15

Legislators clear plan to rename Marin tunnel for Robin Williams -- The state Senate on Thursday approved the resolution introduced by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, to change the name of the Waldo Tunnel. The state Assembly took the same action in April. Because it is a resolution, the change doesn't need a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown. Mark Prado in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 7/1/15


Even-tempered Obama tries to keep historic week in perspective -- Prodded to gloat about his indisputably good run over the last week, President Obama's instinct on Tuesday was to downplay. Christi Parsons, Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15


Kennedy tilted the U.S. Supreme Court slightly left this term -- Same-sex marriage. Housing discrimination. Reapportionment commissions. Searches of hotel records. Racially skewed election districts. The issues have two things in common: Each was the subject of a ruling that swung the U.S. Supreme Court to the left in the just-completed term, and the 5-4 majority in each case included Justice Anthony Kennedy, the most moderate member of the court’s five-justice conservative bloc. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 7/1/15

Clinton struggled to fit in with Obama's White House, emails show -- They showed Clinton turning up for meetings that had been canceled and worrying about how much time she had with her new boss, revealing growing pains in the relationship between her and former election rival Obama in the early months of her time as America's top diplomat. Jonathan Allen and Alistair Bell Reuters -- 7/1/15

State Department Releases 3,000 Pages of Hillary Clinton's E-mails -- When she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton and her staff fretted over her press coverage, celebrating favorable stories and trying to tone down others, some 3,000 e-mails released late Tuesday by the State Department showed. Jennifer Epstein Bloomberg Politics -- 7/1/15

How Mexico is going to make Donald Trump pay -- One of the risks of having a business empire with tentacles encircling the globe is that if you refer to your business partners as drug-runners and rapists, there are plenty of people to get upset. Joshua Partlow in the Washington Post$ -- 7/1/15

Donald Trump Sues Univision For $500 Million -- Donald Trump has filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision Communications Inc. alleging breach of contract and defamation after the Spanish-language broadcaster pulled out of airing the upcoming Miss USA pageant. Keach Hagey in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 7/1/15

Hasen: A court of one: Anthony Kennedy -- Forget the debate over whether the Supreme Court has taken a liberal turn. It is not a liberal court or a conservative court. It's a Kennedy court. On major constitutional and statutory questions, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's views matter more than anything else. Richard L. Hasen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/1/15

Jeb Bush’s taxes, by the numbers -- Former Florida governor Jeb Bush just dropped 33 years of tax returns on his campaign Web site, the sort of mega data dump that he's tried to make a hallmark of his campaign. Philip Bump in the Washington Post$ -- 7/1/15