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NEW: Hospitals seek veto of workers’ comp expansion

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
mrsa wikimedia

  California hospitals could be facing millions of dollars in increased workers’ compensation claims if a bill sponsored by the California Nurses Association is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. As of Tuesday afternoon, Brown had not made a decision. Assembly Bill 2616, by Assemblywoman Nancy...

NEW: GOP banks on Silicon Valley inroads

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Fire in the Valley

California's tech titans are giving the Republican Party a second look. Political and tech observers alike have agreed these are early days for a realignment of Silicon Valley voters. Nevertheless, the titans' interest in GOP candidates and causes -- and the corresponding dissatisfaction with t...

Bankruptcy could cut San Bernardino fire pensions

Monday, September 15th, 2014
San Bernardino fire patch

  It was a hot 102 degrees last Thursday in San Bernardino -- perfect weather for a city bankruptcy "cramdown." Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Meredith Jury ruled the city, as Reuters reported, "may impose cuts to its firefighters' overtime and pension benefits in a bid to reach a bankr...

Warrantless drone ban hovers over Brown’s desk

Monday, September 15th, 2014

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Jerry Brown could set the tone for state-level drone policy. After passing the Assembly and the state Senate, AB1327 will await Brown's signature until the end of September. Legislation regulating the use of drones by law enforcement has already been proposed ...

Kashkari would veto gun bills

Monday, September 15th, 2014
Dirty Harry eastwood

GOP candidate Neel Kashkari assured gun owners Friday he's opposed to controversial gun-control measures now sitting on the desk of his Nov. 4 election opponent, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. The four measures, which include a ban on home-built firearms and the importation of firearms across sta...

Sacramento hits the gas on driving taxes

Friday, September 12th, 2014
state Gas Taxes Apr 2014

Within a few years, California may choose to tax drivers by the mile. Taking up a controversial idea floated by the federal government and embraced by Oregon, Sacramento legislators recently passed a bill that could lead to a new "road usage charge." Senate Bill 1077 wouldn't impose a driving ta...

Controller’s website opens local governments’ books

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Chiang Website

State Controller John Chiang continues to deliver on his promise of government transparency. The state's chief financial officer announced Monday a new open-data website that provides Californians with more than a decade's worth of financial data for local governments. The site, ByTheNumbers.s...

Assemblywoman Grove raises union power issue

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
NEW: Assemblywoman Grove raises union power issue

  Did a Democratic legislator take labor union money in exchange for a union-sponsored bill? That possibility was raised on the Assembly floor Aug. 28 by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, in connection with a bill authored by Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina. Assembly ...

Unions bank on CA for new gains

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Across the country, union membership has long been in fairly steep decline. After a series of recent reverses, including a failed attempt to pass national minimum wage legislation in Washington, D.C., union leaders shifted to a state-by-state, city-by-city approach to advancing their agenda. And t...

Labor-backed bill may force union on farm workers

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
gerawan

Democratic state legislators passed a bill that could result in thousands of Fresno farm workers paying dues to a union that they may not support and abiding by a labor contract that they might not want. Senate Bill 25, authored by outgoing Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento...