Pensions have role in UC’s competitive edge

The campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: LAgirl5252

Calpensions: In the competition for top talent, the University of California has been able to offer something increasingly rare among leading private universities: a generous lifetime pension. Now a much lower cap on pensions for new UC employees is part of an agreement to freeze UC resident tuition for two years announced last week by Gov. Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano.

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News

Taking vacation time — on the campaign trail

State Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: David Monniaux)

Summer and the Thanksgiving-Christmas holidays – prime time for people to relax. But in the intense, politics-driven culture of the Capitol, by far the most popular time to sign up for vacation or leave is during period surrounding the general election, when the staff members’ bosses may be up for reelection. Then, some two-thirds of the Assembly’s work force put in for at least some amount of vacation time during 2014, according to Assembly figures reviewed by Capitol Weekly.

News

Senate 7th District: Glazer defeats Bonilla

Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer was victorious Tuesday night over Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord in a costly, bitter Democratic shootout in the 7th Senate District. With 99 percent of 645 precincts reporting in the East Bay district, Glazer had 54.6 percent of the votes to Bonilla’s 45.4 percent in the special election contest to replace Mark DeSaulnier, who left the seat to go to Congress. Glazer maintained his lead from the earliest returns.

Opinions

Brain injuries in sports getting attention — finally

Young California football players practice for the big game. (Photo: bikeriderlondon, via Shutterstock)

Over the years, traumatic brain injuries in sports were never really discussed and stories of career-ending accidents were often glossed over. However, the winds are changing. Individuals suffering from serious head injuries are gaining a voice and have begun raising awareness through both the media and legislative efforts. As more and more stories of career-ending injuries pepper the news, the topic is finally getting the attention it deserves.

News

Parched Californians back cuts in water use

The dry bed of Ivanpah Lake in San Barnardino County, which had been filled by the 2004-05 rains. (Photo: Ed Berlen)

Field Poll: By a nearly three-to-one margin (65% to 23%) Californians support Governor Jerry Brown’s call to require urban water districts to reduce their water use by an average of 25% statewide. Support for the Governor’s plan is broad-based and bipartisan, and spans all major subgroups of the state’s adult population.

News

State urged to take lead in probing police-custody deaths

Demonstrators protesting police conduct at a gathering in Capitol Park, Sacramento, October 2014. (Photo: Rachael Towne)

An effort is under way to make California the first state in the nation to have its top law enforcement officer independently investigate deaths in police custody, bypassing the prosecutors in California’s 58 counties. Under the plan, the state attorney general would appoint a special prosecutor to direct an investigation when a civilian dies as a result of deadly physical force by a peace officer.

News

Amnesty for traffic fines, court fees in Brown’s budget

Traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo: Frontpage)

Gov. Jerry Brown, who got nailed for parking in a yellow zone, is pushing an amnesty program for millions of California drivers caught in what he called a “hellhole of desperation” from spiraling legal fines and fees. Some 4.2 million California motorists – one in six drivers across the state – have suspended licenses because they can’t afford the fines, according to a recent study. Hardest hit are low-income drivers.

News

Covered California tightens belt

A free health and dental clinic. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

Covered California, the first and largest state-sanctioned health insurance exchange created through the Affordable Care Act, is going to start the new fiscal year with less money. A combination of lackluster enrollment and the loss of some federal funds that helped sustain it through its start-up period are partly the reason, said Peter Lee, Covered California’s executive director.

Opinions

The high road: Dismantle the ‘wall of poverty’

A homeless man in Oceanside. (Photo: David Little)

With news this week that California’s tax revenues came in $6-$8 billion stronger than previous estimates, California now has an undeniable choice: a high road that lifts up all our people and strengthens our state, or a low road that ignores the nearly one in four residents who live below the poverty line in the wealthiest state in the nation.

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