Updating . .   

California issues 110,000 licenses to immigrants in seven weeks -- Applicants must pass a written exam and a behind-the-wheel test. Those who are successful are given special licenses that state that they are "not acceptable for official federal purposes," such as boarding an airplane. Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

GOP lines up to take on California Reps. Peters, Ruiz -- Three months after being elected to their second terms, a pair of California Democratic congressmen are already hearing footsteps. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

PAC with tobacco ties pushes for Nury Martinez, L.A. ballot measures -- A political action committee partly backed by an affiliate of tobacco giant Phillip Morris USA is helping to promote the reelection bid of Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez and two measures to change L.A.’s election date, according to city records. David Kahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Former California Sen. Ellen Corbett gets another six-figure job -- Just a few months after being termed out of the Legislature and taking a lucrative job with a Bay Area school district, former Sen. Ellen Corbett has been named to a six-figure position on a state government board. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

California lawmaker wants to pare six-figure pay for state boards -- California Senate leader Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) announced Thursday the appointment of former Democratic Sen. Ellen Corbett to a $128,109 post on the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, but one lawmaker is trying to put an end to such soft landing pads for political insiders. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/26/15

Convicted Killer Was Santa Ana Mayor’s Campaign Consultant -- On Aug. 12, 2003, 19-year-old John P. Vega and his buddy Hugo Rivera got into a fight with the man they were staying with, a longtime friend they affectionately called “Grandpa.” Adam Elmahrek VoiceofOC.org -- 2/26/15

Landmark net neutrality rules win FCC approval in party-line 3-2 vote -- The new rules prohibit Internet service providers from discriminating against legal content flowing through their wired or wireless networks, such as by charging websites for faster delivery of video and other data to consumers. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ Troy Wolverton in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/26/15

Google invests $300 million in fund for residential solar power -- The Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant said Thursday it would invest $300 million in a new SolarCity Corp. fund that would help finance the installation of residential solar power systems. Javier Panzar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Gun causes tension at pension board -- The ongoing divide about investment strategies on the county pension board has spilled over into personal allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, with threats of a potential lawsuit between board members and one trustee saying she fears for her personal safety. Jeff McDonald UT San Diego$ -- 2/26/15

New scope-of-practice bill would boost role of nurse practitioners -- Sen. Ed Hernandez is again trying to change California law so nurse practitioners can do what they are trained for without supervision by a doctor. Kathy Robertson Sacramento Business Journal -- 2/26/15

Uber says it's plugging gaps in L.A County public transit system -- Uber might want to replace your car, but it’s not ready to replace Los Angeles County's buses and trains. At least, not yet. Tracey Lien in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

A Peninsula BART rider with measles may have exposed others -- Another set of BART riders may have been exposed to measles after an infected person commuted from Millbrae to San Francisco last week, public health officials said Thursday. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

4-Year Contract Dispute Between Kaiser, NUHW Thaws; Union ‘Hopeful’ -- For more than four years, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, representing 2,600 Kaiser mental health clinicians in California, has been in a small war with the health care giant. Jon Brooks KQED -- 2/26/15

Home-care workers launch rally for overtime at governor's residence -- Home-care workers took their beef with the state over new overtime, travel and wait-time pay to the front door of Gov. Jerry Brown's Sacramento residence on Thursday. Kathy Robertson Sacramento Business Journal -- 2/26/15

Warm, Dry Weather Threatens Way of Life at Lake Tahoe -- It would not be an odd sight in the spring. But there is something depressing about a closed ski slope in the middle of winter. The trails are bare and grassy. The chairlifts just hang there, waving a little with the breeze. It’s like walking into an empty restaurant on a Friday night. Sam Harnett KQED -- 2/26/15

Farmers Fear Legal Status For Workers Would Lead Them Off The Farm -- The political battle over immigration, now provoking a confrontation between Congress and the White House, touches all of us in one very direct way: our food. That salad mix, and those apples, may well have been harvested by workers who arrived here in the U.S. illegally. Dan Charles NPR -- 2/26/15

Hyperloop’s 1st home may be Central Valley eco-utopia -- Elon Musk’s “hyperloop” system for high-speed travel may debut in a long-planned, solar-powered city that a former book publisher wants to build from scratch in the Central Valley. The proposed hyperloop, whose passengers would ride in pods racing through sealed tubes, is slated for Quay Valley, a sustainable city straddling Interstate 5 in Kings County. David R. Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

Fox: Who Was that Man in the Taxi in Mayor Garcetti’s Favorite Movie? -- My guess is that few people in the audience at the Zócalo/KCRW screening of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s favorite movie Airplane! will recognize the man who hails a taxi at LAX at the beginning of the film. He was not an actor but a major California political figure when the movie was made in the late ’70s. And Howard Jarvis’ influence—as the leader of California’s famous property tax revolt, Proposition 13—lives on. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 2/26/15

Metrolink derailment: No charges filed against truck driver -- Prosecutors declined to file charges Thursday against the driver of a pickup truck that was hit by a Metrolink train in Oxnard so they can wait for the completion of the investigation. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Riggs: Choosing not to chew -- The harmful effects of smokeless tobacco have been a big part of public dialogue, ever since the untimely death of San Diego Padres great Tony Gwynn last year. Kevin Riggs Riggs Report -- 2/26/15

CPAC Attendees: Shut Down DHS and Stop Obama At Any Cost -- At the conservative political conference Thursday, attendees see GOP leaders as a bigger problem than a DHS shutdown. Lauren Fox National Journal -- 2/26/15

California Policy & Politics This Morning   

California was warned of computer system’s troubles -- Before the panicked phone calls and the embarrassing state audit, Ganesh Kumar knew the BrEze computer program would flop. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

Field Poll: More Californians want mandatory water rationing -- Amid stubborn drought conditions, more Californians are warming to the prospect of government-imposed mandatory water rationing, but a majority still favor the state’s current approach of urging residents to voluntarily curtail their water use. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

Kamala Harris the 'prohibitive favorite' for Senate, which has drawbacks -- With Antonio Villaraigosa no longer a threat to her campaign for U.S. Senate, some Democratic leaders see state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris as Barbara Boxer's inevitable successor. Michael Finnegan and Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Latino leaders scramble to find another Senate candidate without Villaraigosa -- A day after Antonio Villaraigosa said he would not run for the U.S. Senate in 2016, Latino legislators were scrambling Wednesday to find another candidate who might represent their interests in the contest. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/26/15

Antonio Villaraigosa run for California governor? 'Future is wide open' -- A day after announcing that he would not run for Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had this to say Wednesday about a possible run for California governor: "The future is wide open." Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Stadium economics: How building a venue in Inglewood makes financial sense -- Even without public money, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke could see significant profit from a stadium and other development at the Hollywood Park site. Tim Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Proposition 47: L.A. County report details profound effect on justice system -- Proposition 47 is having a profound effect on Los Angeles County’s criminal justice system, from the jails to mental health treatment to workloads for prosecutors and public defenders, according to a draft report by the county’s chief executive. Abby Sewell and Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Skelton: Movement builds to correct major flaw in Prop. 47 -- All of us must have been snoring when Proposition 47 passed. If anyone was awake and noticed a huge flaw, nothing was said. Nary a peep. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Parents lobby California lawmakers from both sides of vaccine debate -- A bill to require vaccinations for more California kids has not even been scheduled for a committee hearing, but advocates on both sides of the issue were lobbying lawmakers in the Capitol on Wednesday – carrying petitions, hoisting signs and dragging along small children. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

Companies spend $1 billion in latest California carbon auction -- The reason: The program was expanded effective Jan. 1 to cover transportation fuels, and the state expanded the pool of available credits to accommodate the larger demand. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

L.A. County fire officials long ignored warnings that hiring was rigged -- Officials ignored evidence of the sort of nepotism and cheating now fueling a widening scandal over the agency's hiring and promotion practices, according to records obtained by The Times. Paul Pringle in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

GMO-labeling advocates still hoping for a bill in California -- A proposal to label genetically-engineered foods sold in California has failed twice in recent years as biotech companies and the manufacturers of packaged foods mounted costly opposition campaigns. Voters rejected the idea at the ballot box in 2012, and legislators turned down a similar bill two years later. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

Drug Companies Would Have to Disclose Profits, Production Costs, Under New Bill -- Democratic Assemblymember David Chiu's bill would require that production costs associated with medications priced more than $10,000 a year be reported to the State of California. He says drug prices are too high. Pauline Bartolone Capital Public Radio -- 2/26/15

Privacy Legislation Proposed To Balance New Technology -- The bills address body cameras, drones and data collection, among other things. Katie Orr Capital Public Radio Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

Plastic bag law: Where did the referendum signatures come from? -- Opponents of California’s law banning single-use plastic bags paid a signature-gathering firm almost $3 million to collect more than 800,000 signatures to qualify a November 2016 referendum on the measure. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15

Bid to move L.A. elections faces growing opposition from candidates -- The campaign to combine Los Angeles' elections with state and federal contests has been hailed by backers as a way to lift the city's dismal turnout, which in the last mayoral race was 23%. David Kahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/26/15

Lopez: High-schoolers' excitement about voting -- In a city that hibernates through local elections, Miriam Antonio told me she couldn't wait to vote next Tuesday. The Fairfax High junior turned 18 this month, so this would be her first chance to cast a ballot. Stop the presses, right? Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Greenhut: Legislators more apt to tackle cop issues -- Last year, after a Sonoma County deputy shot to death a 13-year-old boy who was walking down the street with an airsoft gun that looked like a real AK-47, the Legislature passed a bill (now law) that forbids the sale of such guns unless they are brightly colored or translucent so cops won’t mistake toys for the real thing. Steven Greenhut UT San Diego$ -- 2/26/15

Nonprofit agencies make pitch for piece of San Francisco budget windfall -- The extra $21.6 million Mayor Ed Lee recently said the city would have at the end of the budget year on June 30 won’t last nearly that long if the Board of Supervisors has anything to say about it. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

Saunders: San Francisco’s version of the war on drugs -- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had out-of-towners tell me they think San Francisco is a breathtakingly beautiful city — so why is it that City Hall hasn’t done more about baseball pitchers chewing tobacco at city ballparks? No wait, I can tell you. I’ve never heard that. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

Taxes, Fees, Rates    

Assembly Democrats Want Real Estate Fees, Tax Credits for Affordable Housing -- The leader of the state Assembly is unveiling an ambitious affordable housing proposal, one that could pump more than $600 million a year into development at the local level. Marisa Lagos KQED Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ Fenit Nirappil Associated Press Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

Labor activists cancel faculty unionization vote at CalArts -- Labor activists have halted efforts, for now, to unionize the faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, a move that reflects deep divisions at the Valencia campus and slows what had been a burgeoning trend to organize college professors in California and nationwide. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Hospital seller’s suit says union tried to sabotage deal -- Owners of six nonprofit hospitals, nervously awaiting a buyer’s final approval of sale terms that would keep the hospitals from closing, have filed suit accusing a labor union of trying to sabotage the deal in order to extract concessions from the buyer at its other hospitals. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

Teamsters seek to unionize more tech shuttle drivers -- Shuttle bus drivers for five prominent tech companies will decide whether to unionize on Friday in a vote that has the potential to dramatically expand organized labor's territory in Silicon Valley and embolden others in the tech industry's burgeoning class of service workers to demand better working conditions. Julia Love in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/26/15

Stockton Officially Exits Bankruptcy -- Being $2 billion in debt forced the City of Stockton into bankruptcy. Now as it exits bankruptcy, the city can move forward in its "Plan of Adjustment" with 20 classes of creditors. Rich Ibarra Capital Public Radio -- 2/26/15

Rep. Janice Hahn wants federal investigation of Pacific Maritime Association in wake of port labor dispute -- Hahn made her request during a congressional hearing less than a full week after the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced a tentative five-year contract. Andrew Edwards in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/26/15

Is Nevada business friendly? Sacramento moving company sues state over licensing laws -- According to the lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, the state denies licenses to companies that would pose a competitive threat to existing businesses. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 2/26/15


Charter school group is political force in L.A. Unified board election -- Los Angeles mayors once played the role of kingmaker in school board elections. Both Richard Riordan and Antonio Villaraigosa took on the teachers union, leading campaigns to raise money for favored candidates. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Sexual harassment claim against L.A. Unified Supt. Cortines refiled -- The suit, filed Wednesday in L.A. County Superior Court, repeats and expands on previous claims made by Scot Graham. An earlier lawsuit had been dismissed in 2013 because his attorneys failed to file it in time. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

San Francisco archbishop stands firm in face of pressure on morality clauses -- The clauses included in a new handbook call on teachers, staff and administrators to comport themselves publicly and privately with Catholic teaching and ask them to "affirm and believe" that masturbation, pornography and homosexual acts are "gravely evil." Same-sex marriage and contraception are similarly described. Lee Romney in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Starting early on college and career -- Efforts to prepare students for college and careers are taking hold earlier and earlier, expanding beyond high school so that even students in primary grades are participating in university tours and job exploration events. Michelle Maitre EdSource -- 2/26/15


California has entered fourth year of drought, water experts say -- State water officials are preparing for the fourth straight year of drought and are readying more restrictive water conservation measures under an extension of the governor’s water emergency plan. Steve Scauzillo in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 2/26/15

Immigration / Border 

Obama to press ahead on deportation relief as Congress tries to avoid Homeland Security shutdown -- Senate leaders moved toward a deal Wednesday to avoid a shutdown of the Homeland Security Department, sidestepping a fight over immigration policy, as President Obama declared his administration would curtail deportations of immigrants in the country illegally despite losing a court fight on the issue this month. Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15


California must adapt to climate change, state officials tell Senate panel -- As recently as two years ago, January was pretty much the off season for the first responders at CalFire, the agency that fights wildfires across the state. In January 2013, there were zero wildfires in California. In January 2014, there were 473. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star$ -- 2/26/15

Berkeley experts’ study strengthens human link to global warming -- Scientists training their instruments on the skies have caught the world’s major greenhouse gas right in the act of warming the planet, researchers reported Wednesday, reinforcing findings by climate experts that human activity is dangerously altering the environment. David Perlman in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

Oakland woos cyclists with free, secure bike parking -- BART and the city of Oakland opened a free, secure bike parking station Wednesday in downtown Oakland as a way to encourage more people to get on their bikes and out of their cars. Doug Oakley in the Oakland Tribune -- 2/26/15


Ultrafine particles linked to California heart disease deaths, study finds -- A new study by California scientists has linked chronic exposure to microscopic air pollutants in vehicle exhaust to deaths from heart disease. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Teen files suit against makers of device that led to UCLA superbug infections -- An 18-year-old patient who said he was infected by a tainted endoscope during a procedure at UCLA has filed a lawsuit against makers of the device, claiming the company knowingly sold a product that was difficult to clean and could cause harm. Susan Abram in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 2/26/15

Also . . . 

Google plans giant canopy of metal and glass in Mountain View -- In a project that could rival Frank Gehry's forest-roofed Facebook office rising in Menlo Park and Apple's upcoming spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, Google wants to erect a giant, adjustable canopy of metal and glass east of Highway 101 in Mountain View. Matt O'Brien in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 2/26/15

3 arrests in case of woman held captive for months in Santa Rosa -- Three men were arrested Wednesday in connection with the sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman who was held captive for months near Santa Rosa, authorities said. Jose Angel Barajas-Mireles, 34, of Santa Rosa was booked at Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of aggravated sodomy, aggravated oral copulation and aggravated rape. His bail was set at $6 million. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

Oxnard train derailment still a mystery to investigators -- Investigators are still trying to unravel reasons for the derailment of a Metrolink train in Oxnard. Amanada Covarrubias, Joseph Serna and Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Plan to bridge dangerous Metrolink crossing stalled by lack of money -- A proposed $30-million to $35-million grade separation project that would have prevented Tuesday's crash of a Metrolink commuter train in Oxnard has been delayed for years by a lack of money, officials said Wednesday. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

San Diego PD report shows disparity in traffic stops -- The data show that black and Hispanic motorists are pulled over in numbers significantly disproportionate to their populations compared to whites and Asians, who are stopped less often than their populations might suggest. Pauline Repard UT San Diego$ -- 2/26/15

Berkeley council passes one-year moratorium on police drones -- The City Council this week imposed a one-year moratorium on the use of drones by the police department, but exempted the fire department for the purpose of disaster response. Tom Lochner in the Oakland Tribune -- 2/26/15

New San Francisco area code has created havoc with intercoms -- Instead of phone calls needing just the seven-digit local number to connect, now they require the three-digit area code, and many phone-based intercom systems aren’t set up to dial the extra characters. Mail couriers, apartment guests and business clients are just some of those trying to ring their way into buildings, only to get a recorded message saying the call can’t go through. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/26/15

POTUS 44     

Obama's plan to fight Islamic State too narrow for GOP, too broad for Democrats -- The biggest question surrounding President Obama’s request for Congress to authorize military force against Islamic State is how far his party will back him in the fight. W.J. Hennigan and Michael Memoli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Obama vows 'aggressive' defense of immigration actions -- President Obama vowed Wednesday to pull no punches in defense of his recent executive actions shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. Mike Lillis The Hill Katie Zezima in the Washington Post$ -- 2/26/15


Senate leaders strike deal to fund Homeland Security, avoid shutdown -- Senate leaders moved toward a deal Wednesday to avoid a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security, sidestepping a fight over immigration policy, as President Obama headed to Miami to make the case for his policies before a powerful constituency — Latino voters. Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 2/26/15

Jeb Bush says his family’s Iraq war record won’t dictate his -- Jeb Bush said Wednesday his father and brother’s decisions to declare war in Iraq do not mean he’d seek to avoid -- or to start -- another war. Lesley Clark McClatchy DC -- 2/26/15