Investigation

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Economist: Taxpayers may pay for $15 billion Delta tunnels

California taxpayers may be liable for picking up part of the $15 billion cost of the proposed Delta tunnels project, an economist warned at a legislative hearing last week. The project consists of two 40-foot diameter, 30-mile-long pipes transferring water

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University of California and stem cell agency highest paid state workers

California taxpayers paid out big bucks to state workers in 2014. How much? More than the Gross Domestic Product of 100 countries, according to new data published by the State Controller’s office. In 2014, more than 650,000 state employees earned a total

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Cal State University system hikes fees to offset tuition freeze

What a difference five years makes. In 2010, the California State University system issued $352 million in revenue bonds. Earlier this month, it issued $1.1 billion of the same thing. The debt issuance is standard, generally considered to be part of the

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CA’s road funding plans ‘stuck in traffic’

More than a month after Gov. Jerry Brown called for lawmakers to hold a “special session” on transportation funding, California still doesn’t have a plan for how to close its annual $5.7 billion shortfall for road, bridge and highway repairs.

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DOJ advisory groups violate open meetings requirements

A subcommittee inside the California Department of Justice is accused of meeting in violation of the state’s open meetings act by failing to publicly disclose what actions it will be discussing in its required public meetings notice. A cadre of

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Cap-and-trade funds targeted for high-speed rail project

Bills being introduced that monitor or change terms for the state’s high-speed rail project are a rarity. However, there are two bills brewing in the Legislature. One has a shot at passing. The other doesn’t. Senate Bill 400 would require

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Taxpayer-subsidized companies raking in public contracts

Los Angeles County is hitting 1.000. The county has done business with each of the top 10 recipients of local and state subsidies in California, records show. The practice is common, although hardly in violation of any rules. But across

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Special contracts allow ‘full-time’ teachers to work for both union and district

It’s been called “ghost teaching,” and it thrives in California. Full-time teachers are paid six-figure salaries to work for their union while keeping their school district seniority and pensions afloat. The dual work arrangements are built into union contracts. “This

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Farmworkers resist state agency ‘in cahoots’ with union

In a turnabout for California’s storied history of migrant labor, Latino field hands are fighting to get the United Farm Workers, the union that carries on the legacy of founder Cesar Chavez, out of their lives and pockets. If the

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Lawmakers seek to reform community college accreditation process

The state’s college accreditation process, which reviews academic standards at public and private colleges, could soon undergo a review of its own. A bill working its way through the Legislature would open up the accreditation process for California community colleges to ensure greater

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