10/15/2018

News

California state worker union accepts contract with 10 percent pay hike

A small California state employee union decided on Thursday that a contract with two more consecutive years of 5 percent raises was too good to pass up in the waning months of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration. The California Association of Professional Scientists approved the contract by a vote of 802 to 339. It will give […]

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Public Servant Who Made $327,491 in 2017 Asks Us to Support Higher Taxes

Every two years, around this time, political mailers inundate the mailboxes of California’s registered voters. This week, many Sacramento residents received “Vote No on Prop 6″ mailer. Prop 6 is that pesky, subversive citizens ballot initiative that, if approved by voters, will roll back the gas tax. But Prop. 6 isn’t the topic here. Rather, […]

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DMV a hot mess, but politics block audit

Brown has often lamented California’s inability to do the big projects that were a hallmark of the state during the post-World War II era, such as freeways, dams and canals. He’s tied that lament to his own pet projects, twin tunnels to carry water beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and a north-south bullet train. However, […]

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Secret DMV office near California Capitol serves lawmakers and their staff

Inside you will find the Capitol office of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, an unlisted branch where elected officials can register their cars, renew their driver’s licenses – or apply for the new federally-mandated Real ID card that has been driving up wait times at DMV field offices across the state. From 8 a.m. […]

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With Democrats’ help, California DMV dodges audit of wait times

Despite complaints about escalating wait times for thousands of customers at California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, state lawmakers sided with the Brown administration Wednesday and refused to order an official audit into its management. The audit request needed at least eight supporters from the Joint Legislative Audit Committee — four from the Assembly and four […]

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CalPERS beats earnings target for second consecutive year

For the second year in a row, California’s main public pension fund beat its investment return forecast. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System reported Thursday that it had an 8.6 percent return on investments for the fiscal year that ended June 30 — exceeding its expectation of a 7 percent return.

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Towns Must Stop Treating Residents Like ATMs

In their quest for cash, municipalities across the nation are trampling individual rights and human dignity by imposing arbitrary and abusive fines on residents. In some cities, if you walk on the left side of the sidewalk rather than the right, you could be fined. BBQ in the front lawn? Face a fine. Have mismatched […]

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Official for Compton water district is suspended after reports of fake supporters at town hall

The general manager of a small public agency under fire for delivering brown, smelly water to parts of Compton and Willowbrook has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, the water district board’s attorney announced Thursday night. Maria Rachelle Garza’s suspension comes days after The Times reported allegations that the embattled Sativa Los Angeles County […]

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California elected officials get a pay raise

Statewide elected officials and lawmakers in California will be getting a 3 percent raise at the end of the year. The California Citizens Compensation Commission approved the salary increases Tuesday, continuing a pattern of steady increases over the last seven years that adjust for inflation.

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Some Economists Boost Estimates for U.S. Growth

Economists are raising their estimates of second-quarter U.S. growth after new government figures showed a smaller-than-expected trade deficit for May. The Commerce Department on Wednesday reported the trade deficit in goods narrowed 3.7% in May from the prior month, as exports climbed 2.1% and imports rose a more modest 0.2%. Export growth adds to the […]

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Is Los Angeles Unified too big to fail?

LAUSD and other K-12 districts have recently seen a 50 percent increase in per-pupil financing from taxpayers, much more flexibility to spend special-purpose money, and extra aid to raise academic achievement of poor and/or English-learner students. However, the district’s enrollment is declining, mandatory payments into employee pension systems are rising sharply to shore up their […]

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Oakland schools in new mess over financial practices

The Oakland school district ignored standard accounting practices and inappropriately manipulated taxpayer funds, actions that in some cases amounted to the misuse of state or federal funding, according to a report by an independent state agency that provides fiscal oversight and support to schools. The report by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, or […]

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Schools Have More Money So Why the Financial Distress?

OUSD will get much worse. School budgets in California are supposed to be extra healthy during bull markets, when tax revenues swell from capital gains. But the other side of that coin is that California schools are expected to suffer financial distress during bear markets when capital gains decline. If OUSD is in trouble in […]

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California’s Government Unions Take Steps to Obliterate Janus Impact

Within days the U.S. Supreme Court is going to issue its ruling on the case Janus vs AFSCME. This case, if the ruling goes as expected, is going to overturn current law that requires public employees to pay union dues. Here in California, however, the real story is how laughable is the notion that this […]

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Inglewood mayor’s campaign worker made $312,000 last year as his assistant

A former campaign worker for Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts lifted her fortunes after following him to City Hall as his assistant in 2011, rebounding from a personal bankruptcy to a position that earned her $312,000 in total compensation last year. Melanie McDade-Dickens, who served as Butts’ office manager during his first campaign for mayor, […]

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