Posts Tagged: court
School workers at a labor rally in Bakersfield. (Photo: Richard Thornton, Shutterstock)
A union coalition contends that a proposed initiative is being falsely portrayed as only a potential cut in pensions for new employees, when in fact it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for work done in the future. One of the initiative authors, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, disagrees with the union reading of the proposal. But it’s a key pension reform issue that could lead to another disputed initiative title and summary.
Congressional districts in the Inland Empire, approved by California's redistricting commission in 2011. (Map: Ballotpedia)
That whooshing sound you hear is the sigh of relief from California political reformers. The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an attempt by the Arizona Legislature to dismantle that state’s voter-approved, independent commission that draws the political boundaries for legislative and congressional districts. Arizona lawmakers had argued that the commission – which California used as a model for its own redistricting commission — was unconstitutional because it cut them out of the map-drawing process.
Everyone knows about the pharmaceutical companies, defense contractors and other financial interests that dominate political spending in Washington, D.C. Because federal spending provides a big share of those businesses’ revenues, it’s not surprising they spend heavily for a Congress sympathetic to their interests. But fewer know about the financial interests that dominate political spending in Sacramento.
ANALYSIS: The Supreme Court is set to announce a decision in an Arizona redistricting case that could upend the California Redistricting Commission’s congressional lines and return to the legislature the responsibility for conducting each decennial redraw. Some prominent leaders in redistricting reform are preparing for this eventuality and urging the Legislature to stand down, allowing the current lines to be carried forward until 2022 and giving reformers a chance to develop a new method for independent redistricting of Congressional lines that wouldn’t conflict with the court’s decision in this case. This, however, may not be possible or even necessary.
Two senior women exercising at a health club. (Photo: Karel Hoppe)
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in January weakens the “vested rights” protection of retiree health care based on a labor contract, potentially making it easier for government employers to cut a growing cost. The high court overturned an influential federal appeals court ruling that said retiree health care authorized by a short-term labor contract is presumed to be a lifetime benefit, unless the contract has clear language to the contrary.
California and Arizona are two states that couldn’t be further apart in temperament and size. But in one crucial issue – the drawing of political boundaries – they are joined at the hip, as California’s redistricting commission made clear Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court.
California’s voter-approved commission that draws the boundaries for legislative and congressional districts is going to the U.S. Supreme Court to support a similar commission in Arizona, which is locked in a power struggle with that state’s Legislature.
Gov. Jerry Brown at ceremonies in Fresno launching construction of California's bullet train. (Photo: Associated Press)
FRESNO — Amid the debris and grit of a downtown Fresno site, Gov. Brown formally launched construction of California’s $68 billion bullet train, a project that — maybe — will link San Francisco with Los Angeles through the state’s farm belt within two decades.
UC Davis students protest occupy Mrak Hall to protest tuition increases. (Photo:: Sacramento Bee, via Associated Press)
Californians started 2014 the way they ended the previous year – parched by drought, hoping for an improved economy, outraged at Capitol corruption scandals and, finally, looking some relief at the fuel pump. Compared with the drought, the rest of the top stories of 2014 seemed almost trivial. Almost, but not quite.
A freeway approach to the San Jose city limit. (Photo: Visions of America)
Calpensions: An appeal of a San Jose pension reform ruling that could cause the state Supreme Court to revisit “vested rights” may be halted by a settlement with unions, if candidates aligned with the policies of Mayor Chuck Reed are defeated next month. Labor unions opposed to the pension reform are backing a candidate for mayor to replace Reed and three candidates for open city council seats, more than enough to shift the power balance.