Rights and Liberties

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Top lawyer for controller benefits from much-criticized state perk

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

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Some crucial context on Brown’s new energy policy and AB 32 4

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

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New category of CA employees tries to sandbag pension fixes

When elected officials participate even very indirectly in a process that improves their compensation, the public goes wild. It’s powerful attack-ad fodder for candidates seeking to unseat such politicians. But when powerful bureaucrats engage in such in a maneuver —

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CHP’s probe of CalFire yielded leads — unlike DA’s probe of CHP

The reports that suggest the California Highway Patrol did a solid job in handling the investigation of a prostitution scandal at CalFire’s training acadmy in Ione have a rich subtext. CHP gathered enough strong evidence that 16 CalFire employees were

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Harsh impact of CalSTRS bailout begins to emerge 4

The deal struck in spring 2014 to bail out the underfunded California State Teachers’ Retirement System will lead school districts, the state and teachers to increase their annual contributions to CalSTRS from $5.9 billion in 2014 to at least $10.9

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CA initiative reform: Lawmakers ignore the elephant in the room

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on initiative reforms that take effect today. After more than a century in California’s political spotlight, the state’s initiative process will be getting a major revise next year. Even more surprising, both Democrats and

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CARB draws sharp fire on AB 32 — from the left 3

David Roberts — a Grist.org journalist who has an easy command of energy issues that makes his NRDC-style environmentalism easier to take — has written a sharp piece about AB 32. Roberts details what he calls an “avoidable mess” in the

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CA public schools can’t charge students for parking

San Diego tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson is also a libertarian civic activist challenging government nuttiness and illegality. In a public Google Docs file, he explained how to fight a petty abuse of power used in some school districts to free

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Will young CA justices use Vergara case to audition for SCOTUS?

The Volokh Conspiracy, the wonderful legal blog founded by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, had a provocative post about what might happen now that Gov. Jerry Brown has named three acclaimed youngish scholars to the California Supreme Court. George Washington

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Budget fight shows unlikelihood of fed $ for bullet train

Congress’ most intense squabbles over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending plan that passed Saturday weren’t over the budget details. They were over plans to add provisions in the measure to modify existing laws, most notably language that would weaken some

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