California Attorney General Xavier Beccera faces criticism from criminal justice reformers

Another Democratic state attorney general is facing sharp criticism from activists for allegedly getting in the way of criminal justice reform and showing bad faith while doing so. Former Rep. Xavier Becerra (pictured), D-Los Angeles, was appointed in 2016 by

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Community-choice local energy programs keep expanding

Community-choice energy programs – in which a local government or coalitions of local governments procure electricity and use the infrastructure of existing utilities to distribute it – are growing in popularity across California. Proponents say government control will lead to cheaper utility

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Despite budget crisis, Oakland Unified may give teachers 12% raise

With 95 percent of Oakland Unified teachers already having approved a strike that appears likely to begin Tuesday, the school district could face weeks of turmoil – unless, like Los Angeles Unified leaders did last month, Oakland Unified agrees to give

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Housing lawsuits pit the state vs. Huntington Beach

The city of Huntington Beach and the state government are suing each other over the state’s attempts to require that local governments step up housing construction. Besides affecting the housing crisis that Gov. Gavin Newsom calls an “existential” threat to

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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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