Race tied for state schools chief, but many still undecided

The race for state schools superintendent is in a dead heat, but more than four out of every 10 of voters remain undecided about who to support just days before Tuesday’s election, the latest Field Poll reported. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown leads Republican challenger Neel Kashkari by 21 points. Democrats lead in the other races for statewide offices.

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News

Experts: CalSTRS earnings may fall short

The CalSTRS board was told this month that financial experts are forecasting investment earnings of 7 percent a year or less during the next decade, below the 7.5 percent assumed by the pension fund. If that’s correct, long-sought legislation in June that phases in a $5 billion CalSTRS rate increase over the next seven years could fall short of the goal of projecting full funding in three decades.

News

Bullet train path looking smoother

In an artist's rendering, California's proposed bullet train zips along the Central Valley. (Illustration: High Speed Rail Authority)

California’s $67.5 billion bullet train has been described as “off-track” so long that some thought it was permanently derailed. In fact, the outlook has brightened: A series of court decisions, a move by Gov. Brown to pump money into the effort and an awakening interest from high-dollar investors has given the huge project new momentum.

News

New $2 million flows into anti-casino effort

Two tribes have put $1 million each into the campaign to block another tribe from opening a casino-hotel off Highway 99 near Madera. The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, based in Temecula, and the Table Mountain Rancheria, which operates a casino in Friant, contributed $2 million to oppose Proposition 48, according to financial disclosure reports at the secretary of state’s office.

News

Jean Shiomoto: From the Delta to the DMV

DMV Director Jean Shiomoto on the job. (Photos: Scott Duncan, Capitol Weekly)

Jean Shiomoto, who grew up on a pear farm in the Delta, has one of the toughest jobs in California – she runs the Department of Motor Vehicles. In this car-happy state – by one estimate, L.A. County alone has 5.9 million registered automobiles, more than all but five states – anything do with with automobiles is a big deal.

News

New ballot effort to block disputed casino

Two weeks before the November election, a major casino-owning tribe in Southern California has launched a campaign against Proposition 48 to block another tribe’s establishment of a new casino in the Central Valley.

Opinions

Steinberg’s exit leaves vacuum in mental health advocacy

OPINION: During his 14 years in the Legislature, Darrell Steinberg has been an exemplary public servant and, arguably, the state’s greatest legislative champion of this marginalized and, oftentimes, stigmatized population. He achieved unprecedented success in expanding mental health services.

News

Calpers: Average service, high costs

Calpensions: A new comparison with four other large public pension funds found that CalPERS, while scoring average on service, had high pension administration costs — $213 per member a year, nearly twice the average of $108 per member.

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