Inside Government

Fracking with no freshwater — or water — increasingly common

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The next great environmental fight in California is likely to be over hydraulic fracturing, the energy extraction process that uses underground water cannons to blast away rock and reach oil and natural gas reserves. Gov. Jerry Brown appears ready to allow expanded use of fracking, as it is better k...

CA road use tax could morph into social engineering experiment

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The prospect that Californians will face a new state levy is certain to cause grousing and considerable comment. But a proposal that is increasingly making waves has far-reaching implications and possibilities that have yet to be acknowledged. This is from the San Jose Mercury-News: More people a...

Contra Costa County government scandal: Third World R Us?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

It's long been common in politics for one side to comment on how alleged wrongdoing is covered by the media if their side does it versus how it's covered if it's the other side doing it. But this tactic and/or genuinely aggrieved reaction is being fine-tuned as the years go along. The first time ...

LAO report: Dozens of school districts not honoring intent of state law

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

The state Legislative Analyst's Office released a report last week on how 50 California school districts were dealing with the requirements of the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula law. That's Gov. Jerry Brown's ballyhooed reform measure that is meant to devote more school resources to helping indi...

UC president appears to cave in fight with Gov. Brown

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Three months ago, University of California President Janet Napolitano triggered a fight with Gov. Jerry Brown and leaders of the Legislature when she persuaded the UC regents to commit to a five-year plan in which tuition was raised by 5 percent every year -- unless the state government provided mor...

Brown may hint at Vergara plans with state education board picks

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown has been vague about whether he agrees with the incendiary premise of last June's decision in the Vergara case: that state teacher tenure and job protection laws are so likely to steer poor teachers to struggling mostly minority schools that they violate minority students' constitut...

San Diego mayor leery of subsidizing stadium, sees political risk

Friday, January 16th, 2015

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's call for another task force to consider how to build the Chargers a new stadium and keep the NFL team from fleeing to a newly plausible Los Angeles stadium prompted an are-you-kidding-me reaction from the team, which has sought a new stadium for a dozen years. Fa...

Top lawyer for controller benefits from much-criticized state perk

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The state government's practice of letting workers defy official state policy and pile up unused vacation days and cash them in upon retirement has been criticized on and off for years. California government watchdogs and journalists have outlined the budget problems this causes and noted other stat...

Some crucial context on Brown’s new energy policy and AB 32

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to seek to extend the state of California's push against global warming to 2030 with a further embrace of costlier-but-cleaner energy got a positive response from many environmental groups and journalists. The idea that California would commit itself to getting half its e...

State in use-it-or-lose-it mode with $4B in bullet-train funds

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The California bullet-train project -- stalled for years by legal fights over land acquisition and the state's business plan, uneven progress in planning and Gov. Jerry Brown's abrupt downsizing of the scale of the project in 2013 -- had its symbolic groundbreaking on Tuesday in Fresno. The 1,00...