• School Inoovation and Achievement
  • San Diego Water Authority

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

‘Buying’ the votes for a gas-tax hike: Is it illegal or just good politics? -- California drivers will begin paying 12 cents per gallon more in gas taxes later this year, the first of several tax and fee hikes contained in this week’s road-funding bill that eventually will cost the average motorist about $120 a year. Jim Miller, Christopher Cadalego and Taryn Luna in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/8/17

California attorney general requests documents on EPA chief -- California's attorney general announced Friday he is seeking documents that could show conflicts of interest and ethics violations by the man President Donald Trump appointed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, the latest episode in the ongoing feud between Golden State officials and the Trump administration. Sophia Bollag Associated Press -- 4/8/17

With counting almost complete, turnout in L.A.'s congressional primary is about 13% -- The ballot-counting continues in L.A.'s congressional race, but county election officials released updated vote tallies Friday. So far, a total of 40,913 ballots have been counted, putting the unofficial turnout just north of 13.4%. Christine Mai-Duc in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/8/17

How They Made the Sausage: 3 Deals Key to Passage of Transportation Bill -- Among those who will pay the most under California’s newly passed transportation investment plan are truckers. Dan Brekke KQED -- 4/8/17

Gov. Jerry Brown celebrates his 79th birthday with cake and a political victory -- Gov. Jerry Brown marked his 79th birthday Friday morning by celebrating the passage of a $52-billion transportation package the prior evening as he met with Mexican dignitaries in Los Angeles. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/8/17

Wisckol: Ed Royce is the only Orange County Republican Congress member with no challenger -- One reason for the growing swarm of Democrats challenging Orange County’s Republican members of Congress is a rapidly shifting partisan tilt of voters in those four districts. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 4/8/17

Is Orange County's Peter Navarro still Trump's trade muse? -- When Donald Trump attacked China over trade deficits during the presidential campaign, he looked to the sole academic on his economic advisory council for authoritative support: UC Irvine business professor Peter Navarro, author of books that darkly warned of the evils of China's economic policy, called it the "planet's most efficient assassin" and raised the specter of war with the Asian giant. Margot Roosevelt in the Orange County Register -- 4/8/17

California Politics Podcast: Sacramento's Supermajority Road Trip -- This week: The big vote on a $52 billion transportation deal in Sacramento. We break down all the details, plus we discuss the big court ruling on California's cap-and-trade program and a look at the special congressional election in Los Angeles. With Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times and Anthony York of the Grizzly Bear Project Link Here -- 4/8/17

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls, Bonds    

Small business owners aren’t happy with California’s new gas taxes -- A newly approved bill that will hike gas prices and vehicle fees for Californians is already drawing fire from a state association of small business owners. Kevin Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 4/8/17


Councilmen urge city to declare homeless shelter crisis in L.A. -- A proposal to declare a year-round shelter crisis was presented to the Los Angeles City Council on Friday. Councilmen Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin introduced a motion to extend the recently expired declaration of a winter shelter crisis for a full year. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/8/17

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions 

Governor’s transportation bill sends $427M to Riverside County -- Two Inland state lawmakers leveraged their reluctance toward the governor’s transportation bill into close to half a billion dollars for Riverside County and the return of money to cities that lost it six years ago. But in return, Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes and state Sen. Richard Roth may pay a political price for their votes, which raised the cost of driving and owning a car in California. Alicia Robinson, David Downey and Jeff Horseman in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 4/8/17

Here’s what Sacramento gets from the new state transportation bill -- The Sacramento area’s bumpiest roads are likely to get a lot smoother in the next few years, thanks to the state transportation funding bill approved by the Legislature Thursday, local officials say. But the “gusher” of new funds, as one activist put it, is unlikely to be enough to make daily commutes less congested. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 4/8/17

California's middle-class job of the future: Road worker -- The state legislature's approval of a massive infrastructure plan Thursday night promises a $50 billion investment in road and bridge repair over the next 10 years. That money is expected to drive a surge in the demand for construction workers and apprentices in California. Andrea Bernstein KPCC -- 4/8/17

Google Pays Female Workers Less Than Male Counterparts, Labor Department Says -- An investigation of Google Inc. has found it systematically pays female employees less than their male counterparts, U.S. Department of Labor officials said, a claim that adds to allegations of gender bias in Silicon Valley. Jack Nicas in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 4/8/17

Google fights disclosure of information about female employees’ pay: Labor Department -- Google took a beating in a court hearing April 7, with the U.S. Department of Labor accusing it of “extreme” discrimination in its compensation of female employees. And the firm, which said in a statement it disagrees “vehemently” with the allegation, is fighting hard to keep the agency’s eyes off its salary data, according to a pre-hearing filing by the Labor Department. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 4/8/17

U.S. Blinks in Clash With Twitter; Drops Order to Unmask Anti-Trump Account -- Last month, the federal government issued a summons ordering Twitter to hand over information about an anonymous account that had posted messages critical of the Trump administration. Now, the government has blinked. Mike Isaac in the New York Times$ -- 4/8/17

California Presses Forward in Fight to Regulate Pharma -- Last November, California voters defeated a ballot proposal that would have given state government more control over drug prices. It was a victory for pharmaceutical companies, who spent more than $100 million campaigning against the measure. Now the industry is fighting new efforts by state lawmakers to control the industry. Carrie Feibel KQED -- 4/8/17

Popular Manhattan Beach garbageman who was fired can sue for age discrimination, appeals court rules -- Gilberto Santillan, 58, became a beloved figure in Manhattan Beach during 32 years of hauling garbage there. If residents forgot to roll their cans to the curb, Santillan sometimes did it for them. He once jumped out of his truck to help a pregnant woman struggling with her can on the driveway. Maura Dolan and Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/8/17

‘One word says it all. Asian’: Airbnb host reportedly leaves guest stranded because of her race -- An Airbnb host in California has been banned after an Asian American guest claimed her reservation was canceled at the last minute because of her race. Amy B Wang in the Washington Post$ -- 4/8/17


Sacramento State Blazes New Path For Homeless Students, But Improvements Still Needed -- Sacramento State senior Michael Lubeck has the utmost respect for a particular set of church steps in midtown Sacramento. They’re not just any ordinary church steps, though. Lubeck has periodically called them home over the last 15 years. Morgan Cherry Capital Public Radio -- 4/8/17


A Grim Forecast for Klamath River Salmon Worries Tribes and Fishing Fleet -- It’s looking like another bleak season ahead for Northern California salmon –- especially for the fall run of chinook on the Klamath River. Fishery managers are meeting in Sacramento until early next week to decide on final rules for this season’s catch. Molly Peterson KQED -- 4/8/17

Winds overturn barge holding crane near Yerba Buena Island -- High winds from an overnight storm capsized a freight barge containing a crane near the Bay Bridge, prompting the Coast Guard to contain the area as oil and fuel leaked from the vessel, officials said. Jenna Lyons in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/8/17

Also . . . 

UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta champions new causes today -- It was a September evening in 1988, and vice president and presidential candidate George H.W. Bush was speaking at a fundraiser at San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel. For Dolores Huerta, then 58, it was just another day at the office. Pam Grady in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/8/17

For Syrian American, a ‘glimpse of hope’ amid years of horror -- Nihad Jebrini has gotten used to receiving bad news from Syria. “Every time I call,” he said, “someone says, ‘You remember this cousin? He died. You remember his wife? Her brother died. Do you remember this guy? He died too. This man lost his legs.’ All my friends and all my family …” His voice trailed off. Hamed Aleaziz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/8/17

Those giant mosquitoes you've been seeing aren't actually mosquitoes -- Some people call them flying daddy long-legs and others mistake them for giant mosquitoes. But these big, intimidating bugs won’t bite. They’re harmless crane flies. Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/8/17

POTUS 45  

Donald Trump Considers Major Shake-up of Senior White House Team -- President Donald Trump is considering a major shake-up of his staff, a senior administration official said Friday, as he looks to build a more cohesive operation after a tumultuous start in the White House. Carol E. Lee, Peter Nicholas and Michael C. Bender in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 4/8/17

Bannon and Kushner hold sit-down in attempt to bury the hatchet -- The meeting, ordered by President Trump, comes amid rising tensions between senior aides. Alex Isenstadt and Josh Dawsey Politico -- 4/8/17


Gay rights, labor, travel ban cases await Gorsuch -- The addition of Neil Gorsuch to a divided U.S. Supreme Court could have a momentous impact on legal controversies over issues that include religion, gay rights, labor and President Trump’s attempts to limit immigration and entry to the United States. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/8/17

Horsey: Scott Pruitt undermines the EPA with anti-scientific ignorance -- Donald Trump’s foreign policy and legislative agenda may be a confused mess due to amateurism, impulsiveness and understaffing, but his administration’s attack on the environment is operating with the focus and zeal of the Spanish Inquisition. David Horsey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/8/17

The cost of Betsy DeVos’s security detail — nearly $8 million over nearly 8 months -- Federal marshals are protecting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a cost to her agency of nearly $8 million over nearly eight months, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Emma Brown and Devlin Barrett in the Washington Post$ -- 4/8/17

Previous Updates