Updating . .   

Gov. Brown orders mandatory water restrictions in California -- Gov. Jerry Brown, standing on a patch of brown grass in the Sierra Nevada that is usually covered with several feet of snow, on Wednesday announced the first mandatory water restrictions in California history. "It's a different world," he said. "We have to act differently." Matt Stevens and Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ Fenit Nirappil Associated Press Melody Gutierrez and Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Lisa M. Krieger in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/1/15

Protesters to demand CalSTRS unload firearms investments -- The California Federation of Teachers plans a protest at a CalSTRS board meeting in West Sacramento Thursday, demanding the pension fund follow through on a 2-year-old pledge to unload its investment in a gun-maker tied to a horrific school shooting in Connecticut. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/1/15

Judge rules Navy underestimated threat to marine mammals from sonar -- A federal judge has ruled in favor of environmentalists who assert the Navy has vastly underestimated the threat to marine mammals posed by its use of sonar and explosives during training off Southern California and Hawaii. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Control of L.A. school funds at risk in dispute over teacher evaluations -- The Los Angeles Unified School District could lose control over $57 million a year in federal funds because of a disagreement over performance evaluations with the teachers union. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

SD7: Steve Glazer files FPPC complaint on unions -- Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer, vying with Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla in the 7th State Senate District special election, filed a complaint Wednesday with the state’s political watchdog agency claiming labor unions are hiding their role in a group that’s attacking him. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 4/1/15

Swalwell calls for better sensors at porous San Jose airport -- The arrest of a woman found wandering the grounds of Mineta San Jose Airport International Airport — the fifth breach there in the past year — is proof that its perimeter fence must be outfitted with live sensors, a Bay Area congressman said Wednesday. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/1/15

Sickouts underway at two Los Angeles city departments, officials say -- Dozens of workers from at least two Los Angeles city departments called in sick Wednesday in a job action apparently intended to register unhappiness with labor contract negotiations, officials said. Catherine Saillant and Peter Jamison in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

L.A. will seek to impose new ban on living in vehicles -- The Los Angeles City Council is considering reinstating a ban on homeless people living in their cars and RVs. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Oceans might take 1,000 years to recover from climate change, study suggests -- Naturally occurring climate change lowered oxygen levels in the deep ocean, decimating a broad spectrum of seafloor life that took some 1,000 years to recover, according to a study that offers a potential window into the effects of modern warming. Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Fox: Finding the Power to Get Fresh Water from the Ocean -- It’s April, for most part the rainy season is over and the severe California drought lingers. Beyond strict conservation, other ideas once considered fanciful or too expensive are back on the table. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/1/15

Central Valley and Rural Northern California Counties Ranked Unhealthiest -- People living in California’s Central Valley and rural northern counties have the poorest health outcomes in the state, according to a report released last Wednesday. Hannah Guzik California Health Report -- 4/1/15


California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Republican voter registration continues to erode in California -- Republicans’ voter registration ranks continue to slip, with no-party preference voters now outnumbering Republicans in 13 counties and more than a third of the state’s cities, state numbers released this week show. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ -- 4/1/15

Jeb Bush defends Indiana law as he seeks Bay Area funds -- As a growing roster of Bay Area tech firms and CEOs joins the protest against Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” law, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — who arrives in the Bay Area on Wednesday for fundraisers — is feeling increasing heat for defending the legislation. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/1/15

USC athletic director Pat Haden says he will not go to Indianapolis meeting because of his gay son -- USC athletic director Pat Haden tweeted Tuesday that he will not attend a College Football Playoff committee meeting this week in Indianapolis in honor of his gay son. The state of Indiana has come under fire for a recent law that has been labeled as anti-gay by critics. Todd Harmonson in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/1/15

San Diego will lift travel threat if Indiana law changes -- Mayor Kevin Faulconer does not anticipate enacting his threatened ban on city employee travel to Indiana in light of Gov. Mike Pence’s pledge to amend a law that critics say allows discrimination against gays and lesbians, a spokesman said Tuesday. Michael Smolens UT San Diego$ -- 4/1/15

Silicon Valley Leaders, New to Social Issues, Come Together Over Indiana Law -- In an industry that avoids controversy, the heads of several prominent companies, including Apple and Salesforce.com, have chosen to pick a battle. Nick Wingfield in the New York Times$ -- 4/1/15

Commissioner taken off San Onofre case -- U-T Watchdog reported earlier this month about Florio's backchannel chats with Edison. Jeff McDonald UT San Diego$ -- 4/1/15

San Bruno Officials Want Bigger Fine Upheld Against PG&E Over Pipeline Blast -- San Bruno city officials are calling on the California Public Utilities Commission to uphold a proposed $1.6 billion fine against Pacific Gas & Electric for the 2010 pipeline blast that killed eight people. Bryan Goebel KQED -- 4/1/15

U.S. Supreme Court decision could curtail Medi-Cal lawsuits -- During California's budget crisis, attempts to cut costs by reducing public services often became tied up in litigation. But on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly curtailed that legal avenue for advocates protesting spending cuts. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/1/15

Gender Equality Debate Gives New Life to Old Ideas in Sacramento -- Are you a liberal Democrat who supports increased welfare payments or expanded access to subsidized child care or paid family leave? Your best bet may just be to frame it as gender issue — not a way to fight poverty. Marisa Lagos KQED -- 4/1/15

In San Diego, Rep. Xavier Becerra fuels speculation about Senate run -- Mulling a run for the U.S. Senate, Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra stopped off Monday in San Diego to talk with business and labor groups. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/1/15

Walters: Gas prices generate irrationality, demagoguery -- There’s something about the ebb and flow of gasoline prices that makes ordinarily rational people go a little nuts. And there’s something about politicians that entices them to demagogue the public’s irrational gas price obsession. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/1/15

Why gas prices in California are so much higher than elsewhere in U.S. -- Californians are used to gyrating gas prices, but the latest swing from the lowest in years to nearly a dollar above the national average is leaving drivers in a tizzy. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

San Francisco Sheriff Mirkarimi reeling from scandal over forced fights -- Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi may be the loneliest person at City Hall these days, after last week’s allegations that deputies had forced prisoners to fight each other has eroded support among those who had stood behind him through his previous troubles. Emily Green in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/1/15

L.A. is carried away on impounding vehicles, suit says -- Last year, Los Angeles authorities towed and impounded 4,539 motor vehicles for violating the city's 72-hour time limit for parking in the same spot. One of them was a 1999 Toyota Sienna belonging to attorney J. David Sackman and his wife, Jerolyn. That action has landed the city in federal court. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

California state IT office faces hiring, retention challenge -- A plan to create a special unit of IT experts who would manage California’s state government technology projects has merit, a new report states, but several uncertainties remain about how it would be implemented. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/1/15

Herdt: The case for doing legal pot right -- In 2008, after the California Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the state Constitution, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom reacted memorably. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star$ -- 4/1/15

Taxes, Fees, Rates    

California sales tax rates going higher -- There’s a wide range of sales tax rates in California, some rates are increasing this week and if pending legislation is successful, the range will get even wider. Currently, sales tax rates range from as low as 7.5 percent in a few rural counties to as high as 10 percent in some cities. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/1/15

10% sales tax in Hayward, San Leandro, Union City -- Sales tax hikes approved by voters last year will take effect Wednesday, while proposed legislation could mean a lot more sales tax measures on upcoming ballots. Matthew Artz in the Oakland Tribune -- 4/1/15

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions    

L.A. County supervisors vote 5-0 to study raising the minimum wage -- The movement to substantially increase the local minimum wage won a significant boost Tuesday when the county Board of Supervisors voted to follow the city of Los Angeles in studying the idea. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Perez and Garcetti take aim at wage theft, minimum wage -- Raising the minimum wage is one thing, but enforcing it is another. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez stressed that point at a pair of events coinciding with Cesar Chavez Day. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/1/15

Report calls for Orange County to build more housing -- Long a land of plenty for home buyers and builders alike, Orange County is running out of room. If it hopes to keep growing, the vast suburbia needs to change its ways. Tim Logan, Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

L.A. County tourism jobs grew nearly 6% in 2014, data show -- Los Angeles County's tourism industry grew by nearly 6% last year, the highest growth rate of any major job sector in the region, according to new employment data. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

San Diego Cabbies Brace For An Open Taxi Market -- Starting Wednesday, the long-standing cap on the number of taxis allowed in San Diego is history. The city says the change will create opportunity in the taxi industry. But taxicab owners are bracing for financial ruin. Megan Burks KPBS -- 4/1/15


Mixed report on community college graduation rates -- An annual report card on California community colleges shows campuses in San Diego County have better graduation rates than the state average. However, the local schools also followed a statewide trend that showed a slight dip in the percent of students who graduated with associate degrees, earned certificates or transferred to four-year institutes in the past few years. Gary Warth UT San Diego$ -- 4/1/15

Lawmakers try and try again to expand dual enrollment -- Programs that allow students to earn high school and college credit at the same time are seen as an effective way to boost college success rates. However, numerous legislative efforts over the past decade to expand opportunities for students to take the courses have withered. Michelle Maitre EdSource -- 4/1/15

USC's Black House proposal raises questions about racial tensions -- When some USC student government leaders voiced support for creating a cultural house for black students, Ama Amoafo-Yeboah thought that she and other undergraduates were closer to having a space where they could hang out and hold events. Jerome Campbell and Jason Song in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Student debt revolt is growing among Corinthian Colleges attendees, graduates -- Tasha Courtright hoped degrees in criminal justice and business from Everest College would help her become a probation officer. But three years after graduating, the Lake Elsinore resident is unemployed, living in low-income housing, the mother of a 2-year-old daughter – and part of a growing revolt against student loans. Keegan Kyle in the Orange County Register$ -- 4/1/15


Gov. Jerry Brown to attend snowpack measurement near Lake Tahoe -- As of Monday, the snowpack’s water content was at 6% of normal for this time of year. The previous record low for April 1 was 25% last year. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Record-Low Sierra Snowpack Will Drive Home Drought Impacts -- We are officially in uncharted territory. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California’s water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That doesn’t just set a new record, it shatters the old low-water mark of 25 percent, which happens to have been last year’s reading (tied with 1977). Craig Miller KQED -- 4/1/15

Should California water wasters face jail? A drought debate -- State water officials bolstered existing emergency regulations this month in response to another year of drought. The new rules came with a warning, too: Even tougher restrictions could be on the way if water agencies and their customers don’t step up their conservation efforts. Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Tribe fights Coachella Valley water agencies for aquifer rights -- In drought-ravaged California, the vast freshwater aquifer beneath the Coachella Valley is a rare bright spot. Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Hottest March on record in San Diego -- It’s official: San Diego experienced the warmest March on record, compiling an average monthly temperature of 66.6 degrees, which is 7.2 degrees above normal. The previous record was 64.3 degrees, set in 1978. Gary Robbins UT San Diego$ -- 4/1/15


Bay Area pollution agency wants to ban open fireplaces -- The term “home and hearth” evokes in many a vision of rosy-cheeked children snuggling with their families by a crackling fire, but proposed air pollution regulations may soon banish traditional open-air fireplaces from Bay Area households. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/1/15

Is Pollution From Asia Making the Central Valley’s Bad Air Even Worse? -- California’s Central Valley grapples with some of the dirtiest air in the nation. The culprits range from its vast agriculture industry to trucks on Highway 99. But one local air district is tagging a source far away: Asia. Alice Daniel KQED -- 4/1/15

Sacramento City Council Bans Plastic Bags -- The Sacramento City Council has voted unanimously to ban plastic grocery bags and require a minimum ten-cent charge for reusable or paper bags. The ordinance is similar to a California law signed last year by Governor Jerry Brown. Capital Public Radio -- 4/1/15

US promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent by 2025 -- The Obama administration is pledging that the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels over the next 10 years. Bill Chappel NPR -- 4/1/15

Sacramento City Council approves ban on single-use plastic bags -- In a unanimous vote, the Sacramento City Council approved a ban on single-use plastic bags that will effectively eliminate plastic bags from the checkout counters of all grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores within city limits. Marissa Lang in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/1/15


Kaiser to search for causes of autism in large-scale study -- Kaiser Permanente is about to begin what is believed to be the largest genetic research project ever conducted by a health organization into the causes of autism, gathering biologic and other health information from 5,000 Northern California families who have child with the developmental disorder. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/1/15

Also . . . 

LAPD expects to start deploying body cameras this summer -- Los Angeles police officials said Tuesday that the department has received its first batch of body cameras and hopes to deploy the new technology this summer. Kate Mather in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

L.A. County settles medical malpractice case for $4.5 million -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to pay $4.5 million to a man left paralyzed after treatment at L.A. County/USC Medical Center. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Los Angeles to pay $1.35 million to mother of man who died in LAPD custody -- The mother of a man who died of an asthma attack while in Los Angeles police custody will receive a $1.35 million-legal settlement. Catherine Saillant in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15

Andrew Getty's death does not appear to involve foul play, authorities say -- Authorities investigating the death of Andrew Getty, an heir to the Getty oil fortune, said a preliminary investigation suggests foul play was not involved. Matt Hamilton, Kate Mather, Javier Panzar , Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/1/15


Watchdog group says 4 2016 prospects dodging finance law -- A watchdog group is accusing four potential 2016 presidential candidates of failing to follow federal campaign finance rules while traveling and raising money as if they were off and running. Thomas Beaumont Associated Press -- 4/1/15

Secret, unlimited donations could boost a Jeb Bush run -- Jeb Bush has given his tacit endorsement to a new group that can collect unlimited amounts of money in secret, part of a bold effort by his advisers to create a robust external political operation before he declares his expected White House bid. Ed O'Keefe and Matea Gold in the Washington Post$ -- 4/1/15

Balz: Indiana and the defining divisions in American politics -- For all the recent talk that foreign policy or income inequality will dominate the 2016 campaign, the firestorm over Indiana is a reminder of the underlying power of values and social issues to shape political identity. Dan Balz in the Washington Post$ -- 4/1/15

Net neutrality emails raise suspicions -- A number of messages to lawmakers purporting to be from average constituents who oppose the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules don’t appear to have come from people within their districts, according to the company that manages the technology for some House members. The notes have identical wording to those organized by a group called American Commitment, which is led by Phil Kerpen, a former top aide at the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity. Tony Romm Politico -- 4/1/15