As bankruptcy looms, PG&E gets both very good and very bad news

Officials at bankruptcy-bound Pacific Gas & Electric got their best news in years when a state investigation released last week concluded that the 2017 Tubbs fire in Northern California that killed 22 people was the fault of a malfunctioning generator

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Gov. Newsom’s budget shows pension fixes failed

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to use some of the state’s budget surplus to pay down unfunded liabilities in the state’s two giant government employee pension funds drew praise from an unexpected source – the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which otherwise had

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Cheap illegal cannabis sharply undercutting legal pot industry

California’s first year with legal recreational sales of marijuana is wrapping up with a series of downbeat reports on a new industry struggling to find its footing. An Associated Press analysis posted Sunday said estimated legal sales of cannabis would total

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Federal oversight of state prison health care not ending any time soon

Since 2006, the federal courts have had a formal oversight role with California’s prison health care system – a result of a long history of poor care provided to inmates. A new scandal makes it seem highly unlikely that the state

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Retiring state fire chief warns planners, defends utilities

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott retired last week but only after giving interviews in which he called for sweeping changes in how state officials and the public think about wildfire risks. He also challenged conventional

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Tom Steyer hiring staff in key early 2020 presidential primary states

Signaling he’s very likely to run for president, Bay Area hedge fund billionaire and progressive activist Tom Steyer has begun searching for key aides to help him as he seeks the 2020 Democratic nomination. A recent Linked-In ad was traced

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Response to San Francisco car break-in epidemic faulted

In September, when the FBI released national crime statistics for 2017 that showed San Francisco had the highest rate of property crimes per capita of any of the 20 largest U.S. cities, officials were quick to say the problem was

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PG&E may have violated its criminal probation from San Bruno disaster

Pacific Gas & Electric – the giant investor-owned utility that serves 16 million Californians – appears to be facing its gravest crisis since its founding in 1905. The initial indications that PG&E’s equipment may have sparked the Camp Fire that killed at

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Gov.-Elect Newsom’s interest in tax reform likely to face bipartisan push-back

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom says he hopes to amend the California tax code to lessen its dependence on income and capital gains taxes paid by the very rich. Yet the last two serious attempts at tax reform were both dead on arrival,

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CalSTRS at risk of disaster despite 2014 bailout

Four years after the state Legislature passed a bailout of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System that will nearly double annual direct contributions to the giant pension fund, a newly released internal report raises the prospect that the infusion of

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