Brown orders historic water cuts

Frank Gehrke, left, the state's chief snow surveyor, and Gov. Jerry Brown at Echo Summit in the Sierra Nevada. Brown announced his executive order minutes later.(Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Gov. Jerry Brown, standing in bright sunshine in a dry Sierra Nevada field usually deep in snow, ordered unprecedented measures across California to deal with the state’s historic drought, including 25 percent cuts for residents and businesses. The governor issued an executive order making the reductions mandatory. “As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible,” Brown said.

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Big Daddy

Mail call: Dear Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,

Why don’t more legislators become governors? They are all ambitious politicians, aren’t they?

–Curious in Cucamonga

News

CalPERS urged to shun Obamacare ‘Cadillac Tax’

Calpensions: Employer and employee groups are urging CalPERS to “undertake all efforts” to avoid the “Cadillac Tax,” a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans imposed in 2018 by President Obama’s health care law, a CalPERS staff report said this month. But it’s far from clear that one of those efforts will be Gov. Brown’s proposal to give state workers the option of a low-cost plan with a high deductible, even though the administration mentions the looming penalty tax as a reason for offering the plan.

News

A primer: Lobbyists, ethics, rules and the Constitution

Lobbyists and the legislators they lobby generally act responsibly and in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. However, because there is so much scrutiny on politics and the legislative process, when something improper does occur, it gets into the public domain quickly. As a result, when there is an alleged violation of the law, it becomes a high profile matter that garners public attention and discussion.

Opinions

Fracking’s health impacts must be addressed

An oil derrick at work in Kern County, 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

OPINION: Faced with the decision of whether or not hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should be approved in New York, the state’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker publicly asked, “Would I let my family live in a community with fracking? The answer is no. I therefore cannot recommend anyone else’s family to live in such a community either.” In California, some 5.4 million people (14 percent of the state’s population) live within a mile of at least one of the state’s total of 84,000 oil and gas wells, according to the NRDC.

Opinions

Schools to lawmakers: Repeal the reserve cap

Blocks and crayons in a California classroom.(Photo illustration: Blade Tucker

OPINION: Late last year, the Legislature passed a fiscally irresponsible law that prevents local school districts from maintaining prudent budget reserves necessary to prepare for future economic downturns, to invest in classroom improvements, and to protect our students. As ridiculous as that sounds, unfortunately that’s the reality. That’s why thousands of educators, including school board members, school district officials, community members, parents and others are calling for the Legislature to repeal the local school district reserve cap.

News

Personnel Profile: Ray LeBov, lobbyist trainer and hoopster maven

Most folks around the Capitol know Ray well from his many years as a lobbyist and, since 2006, as the man behind Capitol Seminars, the lobbyist-training seminars that have shown a whole new generation of aspiring lobbyists how to do things the right way. What most don’t know is Ray’s daily obsession with rooting out the very best information on NBA basketball, which he presents on his increasingly-popular blog, Basketball Intelligence.

News

California urged to resolve delta, water issues — fast

A backpacker gazes at Lake Mead, which has reached critically low levels. (Photo: Oceanfishing, via Shutterstock)

Disputes over California’s fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta, the troubled heart of the drought-stricken state’s water system, must be resolved immediately because what happens there affects the western region, a top water expert says. Pat Mulroy, the former leader of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, delivered a bluntly worded warning to the California Water Policy Conference in Claremont, saying the linkage between the Delta and much of the West is clear, “yet many here in California still don’t see the connection.”

News

Data: Will political races ever have their ‘Moneyball’ moment?

A man at a computer screen making his picks during "March Madness." (Photo: SAJE, via Shutterstock)

ANALYSIS: Now that we’re in the middle of March Madness and nearing the opening of the 2015 Major League baseball season, we see the sports data geeks take center stage. Ever since the book, and subsequent movie, “Moneyball,” fans have been intrigued by the data that appears to be a major driver in sporting decisions, from the players chosen for a team, to the offensive and defensive formations, where and when the percentages suggest shooting or passing, and so on.

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