California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people. All totaled, California now bans most state-funded travel to eight states.
A class-action lawsuit against CalPERS filed on behalf of more than 130,000 California government workers and retirees can move forward to trial, a Los Angeles judge has ruled. The lawsuit challenges a sharp increase in fees that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System levied on people who bought insurance for long-term health care through the pension fund. It argues that the rate hike was different in scale and purpose than any previous fee increase on those policy holders.
Should taxpayers underwrite special benefits to attract new teachers, such as affordable housing, expanded maternity leave and tax breaks? California lawmakers have put forward a raft of proposals offering extra perks for teachers this session, prompted by what supporters say is an urgent need to do more to encourage people to get into the profession or stay there. “Due to the extreme shortage of teachers in the state, many school districts must seek opportunities to attract qualified teachers,” Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, said of his bill meant to increase the supply of affordable housing for teachers. Available data, though, doesn’t back up such dire assessments of the state’s overall teacher supply. Data shows that, as state finances have improved, so have the number of teachers in public schools.
Two changes to the contract – added without bidding – swelled the deal to $8 million within a year. Then, the Employment Development Department submitted a request to add another $2 million worth of work to the arrangement without soliciting new bids from other companies. That project is one of nine that State Auditor Elaine Howle highlighted in a new report released on Tuesday that urges California government to be more cautious in awarding high-value contracts without seeking competitive bids.
Market-rate development has outstripped the supply of affordable units. And “regressive” zoning and environmental regulations, combined with California’s reputation as a tech behemoth are leading to the “hollowing out of the middle class,” Shulman said. “President Trump wants to keep people out by building a wall. California is more sophisticated – it uses zoning and development laws to keep people out, but they have the same effect,” he said.