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NATIONAL
April 11, 2014
By Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli WASHINGTON - President Obama named White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, saying there was "no manager as experienced and as competent" to oversee the next phase of his signature healthcare law. "Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand on the wheel" as the administration dealt with the government shutdown last year, Obama told a...
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- When it comes to the state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown may have one less thing to worry about thanks to a recent court ruling. A Superior Court judge in Sacramento upheld the state's push to recoup $20 million from Brentwood, part of Brown's effort to collect money from defunct redevelopment agencies. If Brentwood had prevailed, the result could have been a domino effect with more cities challenging the state and potentially blowing a big hole in Brown's latest budget proposal.
NEWS
April 10, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- With little drama Thursday, House Republicans easily approved a largely symbolic budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), closing out a floor debate over spending priorities and opening a new front on the midterm campaign trail. As expected, no Democrats voted for the blueprint from Ryan. The former Republican vice presidential nominee's plan returns to ideas that have come to define the GOP, including ending federal deficits by cutting taxes on the rich, revamping Medicare and slashing almost every other aspect of government.
NATIONAL
April 10, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Kathleen Sebelius, who helped guide the rocky and controversial rollout of President Obama's landmark healthcare law, is stepping down as Health and Human Services secretary after about five years, according to a senior administration official. In her place, the president plans to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Sebelius was not pressured to resign, according to the administration official. But she leaves after presiding over the disastrous launch of the health law's new online insurance marketplaces last fall.
OPINION
April 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A story line has developed during Mayor Eric Garcetti's first nine months on the job, and it goes something like this: In stark contrast to his predecessor, Antonio Villaraigosa, who often held multiple news conferences a day and launched big initiatives, Garcetti has taken such a low-profile, behind-the-scenes approach that people wonder what he'll have to show for his first year in office. Though Garcetti hasn't avoided the limelight - he was on stage last week with former President Clinton, for instance - he often goes days without a public event, and he hasn't yet proposed a major program or policy change.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | Jean Merl
Some of them won't even make it past the June 3 primary election, but leading Republican candidates in hot congressional races in California are getting hammered over their party's budget proposals. The House Democrats' campaign arm has launched a series of automated phone calls to likely voters in several congressional districts, taking GOP candidates to task for Congressional Republicans' "radical" budget as they prepare to vote this week. The calls represent the second phase of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Battleground: Middle Class" campaign.  Democrats launched the campaign last week with a series of online ads. The committee declined to say how much it is spending on the campaign.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
A citywide coalition of community groups and civil rights leaders unveiled a comprehensive new measure Monday ranking L.A. Unified's neediest schools and urged more targeted spending on students there. The "student need index," which analyzed test scores, dropout rates, gun violence, asthma and eight other factors that affect learning, found that the neediest schools were concentrated in southern and eastern Los Angeles, along with the Pacoima area in the San Fernando Valley. The schools included Fremont and Jordan high schools, Bethune and Drew middle schools and Griffith Joyner and Woodcrest elementary schools.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Gale Holland
Addressing several lingering skid row conflicts, a top Los Angeles city budget official Monday proposed a $3.7-million cleanup plan that would increase 24-hour bathroom access for homeless people and expand storage for their belongings. The proposal, which must be approved by the City Council, calls for setting up a skid row parking lot where homeless people could check in their shopping carts for the day. The plan would also increase an existing short-term storage operation by 500 bins, from 1,136 to 1,636, and move a 90-day storage facility east of Alameda Street into the heart of skid row. The round-the-clock bathroom access would be provided at skid row shelters and social service agencies under contract to the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2014 | By Howard Blume
Buoyed by rising state funding, the Los Angeles Unified School District's draft budget proposal for the new fiscal year is the healthiest spending plan in years. The general fund would increase from $6.2 billion to $6.8 bill under the proposal for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which begins July 1, officials said. The state's improving economy and higher taxes are major factors for the increase. But L.A. Unified also will receive additional dollars through the state's new funding formula for every student who falls into one or more of three categories: foster youth, students learning English and students from low-income families.
NEWS
April 1, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans will revive Rep. Paul Ryan's lightning-rod proposals to slash the federal safety net, beef up military spending and reduce taxes for the wealthy in a budget unveiled Tuesday -- an election-year calling card that Democrats are poised to use against the GOP. The blueprint from Ryan, the party's former vice presidential nominee, is expected to be met with stiff opposition not only from Democrats, but also from hard-line...
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