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Studies show tradeoffs on health vs. environment

Two new studies show cleaning the environment to improve health is about tradeoffs. One study is on clean-air regulations, the other on diesel truck exhausts. The studies give policymakers more information on the choices they will be making. The first

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Deal to send rice water to SoCal could dry up before summer

The Sacramento Bee recently reported it’s a done deal to transfer water from Central Valley rice farmers to Southern California. The transfer would alleviate curtailments of urban water allocations. But if California does not provide the full allocation to the owners

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Housing report by Legislative Analyst raises affordability questions

The California Legislative Analyst’s new report on housing costs puts numbers to what housing-hunters know on the ground: affordable housing in the state’s coastal areas is scarce and getting scarcer. But the report itself raises new questions. According to the

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Study: CA ranks last in spending transparency

California ranked at the bottom for the second consecutive year on the annual report on state government transparency compiled by the Public Interest Research Group, an investigative and advocacy organization based in Boston. And the state’s beleaguered Department of Technology, or CalTech, can be assigned part

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LAO questions local school funding accountability

When Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in July 2013 that increased funding for the state’s neediest students and restored local control over how that money is spent, he hailed it as “historic.” Brown also called it “truly revolutionary. We are

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California’s Beltway delegation double-dips on pensions

They’re called double-dippers: those who take a pension payout from one government job while earning a salary doing another. Last year 19 of California’s 55 members of the U.S. Congress drew pensions from a state-backed public retirement plan, according to a CalWatchdog.com

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High-speed rail Legislative Report lists some, but not all controversies

Risk, time and money remain the major problems for the construction of California’s high-speed rail project. That’s seen in the biannual Legislative Report of the California High-Speed Rail Authority released this month, as required by law. The report is a serious

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Alternative fuel companies cheer, oil industry questions CA carbon regulations

The California Air Resources Board’s plan to renew the Low Carbon Fuel Standard elicited cheers at a recent Board meeting from its main beneficiary: alternative fuel companies. More lukewarm was the petroleum industry, which could lose billions of dollars as it transitions

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Worst-case scenarios for CalSTRS and CalPERS

Sometimes it’s good to consider worst-case scenarios. Maybe they won’t even happen, but it can help to look at every possibility. Two analysts have done that for California’s two biggest pension systems. As of the most current figures, the California Public

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Water workshop finds only ‘miracle’ can end drought

IRVINE — “Dismal, poor, horrible, abysmal” are the current snowpack and water runoff conditions in California, according to Jeanine Jones, the Interstate Resources Manager for the California Department of Water Resources. The “dismal” snowpack means that when it melts, water will only trickle

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