CalWatchdog Morning Read – April 14, 2016

CalWatchdog Morning Read – April 14, 2016

By CalWatchdog Staff

Good morning everyone, and goodbye Kobe Bryant, who scored 60 points last night in his final game as a Los Angeles Laker and a professional basketball player, capping a 20-year career.

As the Lakers’ great fades away into the night, we also say goodbye to a bill that would have shifted the costs of most special elections away from the taxpayers and onto the outgoing legislator. The bill, sponsored by Asm. Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, died in committee on Wednesday because it was too “onerous” on the individual, opponents said.

Since 2013, counties have spent around $21.7 million on special elections, according to a recent investigation by CalWatchdog. That includes more than $500,000 from an election last week in Fresno County to replace former assemblyman Henry T. Perea, a Fresno Democrat who stepped down late last year to take a position with the pharmaceutical industry.

The bill would have forced outgoing lawmakers in most instances to use leftover campaign funds to help counties with election-cost burdens. Perea still has more than $800,000 in his campaign account.

CalWatchdog has more.

In other news:

– As housing prices in the Golden State continue to rise and price out the average person, lawmakers are doing little to increase affordable housing. “Even those who have authored the handful of bills aimed at increasing the number of homes in the state concede their efforts only scratch the surface of the problem,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

– UC Davis paid consultants at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings about the 2011 pepper-spraying of students, to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, reports The Sacramento Bee.

– Experts say that while El Niño conditions are weakening, El Niña appears to be on its way, which has generally increased the chances of drier-than-normal weather, reports The San Jose Mercury News. At the same time, the recent El Niño rainy season has eased Californians’ concerns about the drought, “though large majorities remain deeply concerned about ongoing water shortages and committed to consuming less,” reports The Sacramento Bee.

– A state senator is pushing a bill that would pave the way for undocumented immigrants to purchase health insurance through Covered California, the state’s health care exchange, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Basketball bonus (Hey, it was a big night): The Golden State Warriors set a single-season record with their 73rd victory, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Assembly:

– In at 9.

Senate:

– In at 9, full slate of budget hearings.

Gov. Brown:

– No public events scheduled.

Tips: [email protected]

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