Tag "Steven Greenhut"

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California voters defy trend – by voting as expected

SACRAMENTO – Whereas the national election results shocked and surprised pollsters and many media observers, California’s results from Election Day conformed almost exactly to pre-election polls and predictions. Some of the big races were foregone conclusions, such as Attorney General

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Competing death-penalty measures revive old feud

SACRAMENTO – Thirty years ago, California voters did something unprecedented (and not seen since): They bounced Chief Justice Rose Bird from the supreme court. Two other state high-court justices also failed to win reconfirmation to the court, following an intense

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State watchdog agency pushes for occupational licensing reform

SACRAMENTO – One of the rare issues where politicians on the left and right increasingly agree involves occupational-licensing requirements – the oftentimes cumbersome government-approval processes that many workers must go through to become certified to work legally in their profession.

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Union appeal focuses attention on pension precedent

SACRAMENTO – A decision by four Marin County public-employee associations to appeal a pension-related case to the California Supreme Court could ultimately determine whether localities have the tools needed to rein in escalating pension debt. At issue is how far

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California’s roads improve, but still are troubled according to new study

SACRAMENTO – Despite its well-documented inefficiencies and travails, California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has managed to improve the state’s system of roads, bridges and freeways incrementally in recent years, according to a newly released annual survey of state highway systems

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Gov. Brown mulls bills overseeing psychotropic drugs for foster kids

SACRAMENTO – California’s foster-care system has long been plagued with unaddressed problems, but a recent exposé about the system’s alleged over-prescription of psychotropic drugs has propelled the Legislature into action. Gov. Jerry Brown currently has on his desk three bills that

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Tobacco tax one of the most heated for November ballot

SACRAMENTO – There’s broad agreement that the 17 initiatives on the statewide ballot on November 8 cover some of the most significant public-policy issues to come before voters in more than a decade. For instance, voters will have a chance

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Court ruling opens avenue for pension reform

SACRAMENTO – An Aug. 17 California appeals court ruling rejected a public employee union’s claim that its members had a right to “pension spiking,” which the court described as “various stratagems and ploys to inflate their income and retirement benefits.”

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Civil libertarians and police embrace asset-forfeiture compromise

SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly on Monday approved one of the most significant civil-liberties reforms of the legislative session. Remarkably, the bill – to put limits on the controversial practice of civil asset forfeiture by police agencies – had no

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Bay Area making life difficult for tech firms

SACRAMENTO – In most of the country, a region’s “big” industry – think automotive companies in Michigan’s heyday, the oil business in Houston and entertainment in Los Angeles – is treated with deference by locals. Sometimes that attitude morphs into

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