jeffson's blog

Legislature Delays Water Bond Until November 2014

By Dan Bacher 

The California State Legislature voted on Thursday, July 5 to postpone the controversial water bond from November 2012 to November 2014 "to improve its odds of success with voters," according to a statement from Assemblyman Henry T. Perea's Office. 

Delta advocates have blasted the $11.14 water bond for funding questionable "habitat restoration" they say is designed to greenwash the construction of Governor Jerry Brown's peripheral canal or tunnel, an environmentally destructive and enormously expensive project to export more Delta water to southern California and corporate agribusiness. 

Assemblymember Mike Eng: Homeowner’s Bill of Rights Passes Legislature, Helping Bring Foreclosure Relief and Consumer Protection

SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly radio address, Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Alhambra) discusses the passage of the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, a legislative package that targets the unfair practices of banks and lenders that helped spur the housing crisis and works to ensure a more transparent and fair foreclosure process for California homeowners. Eng, who is a co-author of the package, notes the historic nature of the action and says the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights is a major step forward toward restoring the housing market and providing foreclosure relief for Californians.

California Legislature Passes High Speed Rail Bond Issue, Moving Project Forward

By David Dayen

High speed rail survived by the skin of its teeth Friday.

In a closely watched vote of the California state Senate, a bill to issue the first $5.8 billion in bonds for the construction of high speed rail lines passed 21-16. It needed all 21 votes to pass. Four Democrats voted no – including Allen Lowenthal, the Democratic candidate for Congress in CA-47, and Fran Pavley, the author of the state’s historic global warming law – but ultimately, just enough Democrats voted in favor of the bonds for them to pass. Joe Simitian and Mark DeSaulnier were the other Democrats who opposed the bill.

Legislature, Governor Brown Advance Historic Juvenile Justice Reforms

By Brian Heller de Leon
Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Just days after the deadline, the Governor signed the $92 billion 2012-13 California budget into law on June 27th. The budget includes some of the most significant reforms in state juvenile justice policy since the passage of Senate Bill 81 in 2007.  

In his May 14th revised budget proposal, Governor Brown had retracted his plan to close the state’s youth correctional facilities, Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF), under intense and well-coordinated law enforcement and county pressure. As an alternative he proposed several smaller reforms such as a much higher per ward fee structure for counties. Although short of a staggered realignment that CJCJ and other groups were calling for, the Governor’s proposal implements significant reform that result in a reduced reliance on the state’s youth correctional system.  

Speaker John A. Pérez Praises the SCOTUS Decision to Uphold Affordable Care Act

SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly radio address, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) talks about the importance of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which will benefit millions of Californians previously denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, allow children to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 and will prevent people from going bankrupt due to an illness or injury. Speaker Pérez, who authored legislation implementing a key component of the Affordable Care Act creating California’s Health Care Exchange, said this is an especially important victory for California, allowing people access to more affordable and comprehensive healthcare coverage.

California + Quebec = Good News for the Climate

By Erica Morehouse
Environmental Defense Fund

The State of California and the Canadian province of Quebec are worlds apart in many ways – they are, of course, under different governments, in different nations, and their economies are separated by both geography and currency. But they share a common goal: tackling the problem of climate change while stimulating economic growth by putting a price on carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed link between the two jurisdictions represents a transformative step for North America, and could jumpstart a broader regional effort to combat the threat of climate change and create a prosperous clean energy economy.

Bad News: We’re No Longer the Nation’s Biggest Nuts

By Peter Schrag

It’s just a half-century since California was widely regarded as the nation’s cradle of kookiness. It was because of the sunshine, famously said Jesse Unruh, the “Big Daddy” speaker of the Assembly in the 1960s, that we grow so many fruits and nuts.

The evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, one of America’s first radio preachers, built her mega-church here; it was from Southern California that she reportedly vanished into the Pacific in 1926 and, claiming to have been kidnapped, mysteriously reappeared (in Mexico) a month later. The media, of course, ate it up.

Systems Change In An Era Of Crime Decline

By Scott MacDonald
Santa Cruz County Probation Department

California is engaging in one of the biggest criminal justice reform implementations in history.  The direction the reform will take is dependent on strong leadership and political will at the local level.  It is an opportunity for justice administrators to implement systems change and reduce the local systems reliance on incarceration. By focusing reform on systems change – that is evaluating the trajectory offenders undergo within the local justice system – counties can be more successful at developing targeted interventions that reduce the failures that lead to unnecessary incarceration, and provide community based opportunities to implement programs targeted to reduce recidivism.

Jerry Brown's Peripheral Canal or Tunnel Hasn't Been Downsized

By Dan Bacher

Delta advocates dismissed claims made by the Brown administration that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral canal or tunnel is being "downsized."

"The chunnel has not been downsized," challenged Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta (RTD) executive director. "While three intake pumps may only pump 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of Sacramento River flows, the chunnel pipe itself - according to Resource Agency claims - will be sized to carry 15,000 cfs, nearly the entire flow of the Sacramento River."

"What is to stop project operators from simply adding a few more intake pumps, especially after they ‘configure’ the science to justify taking more water away from the Delta?” she asked.

Assemblymember Mitchell Commemorates California’s Juneteenth National Freedom Day Observance

SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly radio address, Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Culver City) commemorates Juneteenth. This is the 10th anniversary of California celebrating the holiday, which was inspired by the news of the emancipation proclamation finally reaching the entire nation two years after the proclamation was issued. Mitchell, who is the Secretary of the Legislative Black Caucus, encourages Californians to reflect on Juneteenth as a day to recognize the accomplishments of African-Americans in this country and their road to equality, freedom and justice.

This week’s English language address is 2:04.