A look at the new whistleblower protections

Assemblymember Melissa Melendez at a Capitol Park rally supporting her whistleblower protection bill. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law whistle blower protections Capitol staffers. Now, legislative employees in California will have the same protections as all other state employees. But a question arises: Will the new law, which passed both Democrat-controlled houses without a dissenting vote, really make much of a difference?


Disclosing sexual misconduct — or not

State Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, on the Senate floor. (Photo: Screen capture, YouTube)

Chantal Cousineau said the disclosures started like a whisper. Over the years, she had discussed her experience working with James Toback on the film “Harvard Man” in 2000. But this fall, after allegations about producer Harvey Weinstein emerged, Cousineau sent a tweet: “Can we talk about #JamesToback next?”


Online community college crucial for skilled workforce

Pasadena City College. (Photo: Ken Wolter)

The bad news: there are simply not enough skilled workers to meet the needs of California’s businesses. The good news: there are 2.5 million Californians who can be part of the solution with some college level training. They just need a more flexible educational opportunity. The “opportunity” for this population of working adults comes in the form of Gov. Brown’s proposed online community college.


A college education: Is it worth it?

Graduates at ceremonies at Santa Monica City College. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

From housing to college, Californians are complaining about affordability. As parents and students grapple with their future, many are looking towards alternatives to the typical four-year degree.  Many are focusing more on careers, jobs, benefits, and steady careers that fulfill their interests.


CA120: A strong voter turnout? Maybe

Attendees at a 2016 political rally in Santa Monica. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

The 2018 primary election is right around the corner. And with stories of higher turnout and a Democratic wave in states like Virginia and Alabama, many political consultants and observers are expecting to see some higher turnout in California this June, with a potentially strong Democratic and Latino surge.


Political center key to immigration reform

Demonstrators protesting U.S. immigration policy at a Los Angeles rally. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: Our nation has procrastinated far too long on fixing our broken immigration system. What is needed is a solution that has support from the large and diverse political middle of America, represented by most members of the congress.


Tuition hikes on horizon for CSU

The entrance to Sacramento State University. ((Photo: Sacramento State)

A funding gap between Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2018-19 budget and the draft spending plan of the California State University may lead to a tuition increase for CSU students, including those at Sacramento State. CSU students across the state would face a 4 percent tuition increase, or $228 per semester, totaling $5,970 for the 2018-19 academic year.


Capitol Weekly Podcast: Alexei Koseff

Alexei Koseff, photo by Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly

Sacramento Bee reporter Alexei Koseff covers California politics and higher education for the Bee’s capitol bureau — and handles the state Assembly, too.  Alexei joined Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster to chat about the challenges facing UC — Alexei is a Stanford alumnus, by the way  — and the unique, constitutionally protected position the institution occupies in California’s educational structure.


Water storage needed — but keep faith with Prop. 1

The Kern River flows through Hart Park near Bakersfield. (Photo: Richard Thornton

OPINION: The California Water Commission is currently evaluating 11 proposals that are competing for $2.7 billion of the Prop. 1 funds set aside for storage projects. In December, the applicants made their cases directly to the commissioners in Sacramento, describing their purported “public benefits” to satisfy Proposition 1’s funding requirements.


Nurses — backed by Newsom — ramp up fight for universal health care

Nurses and physicians in a busy hospital corridor. (Photo: Monkey Business Images)

The California Nurses Association is still committed to pushing through its controversial universal health care bill despite stiff opposition from the Democratic Assembly Speaker and medical professional organizations. The union has a strong ally in front-runner gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, who says that a single-payer system as proposed in Senate Bill 562 is the best way to provide health care to all.

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