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January 15, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Partisan lawmakers feuding over the proper size of government reached a temporary truce Wednesday as the House easily approved a $1-trillion spending bill aimed at averting another federal shutdown. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) corralled his often-restless Republican majority into supporting the bipartisan accord, which is expected to be approved by the Senate this week. The measure, approved 359 to 67, will fund almost every aspect of federal operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, through Sept.
January 15, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
For much of last year, Amy Pascal was under fire. The co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment presided over two of last year's big-budget bombs, "After Earth" and "White House Down. " Her studio reported losses of $181 million for the summer months. Activist investor Daniel Loeb hammered Pascal's division, demanding an end to the "free passes" Sony studio executives got when their films disappointed and calling on parent company Sony Corp. to spin off part of its entertainment business.
January 14, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Maura Dolan
SACRAMENTO - California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, flanked by legislative leaders and judges, warned Tuesday that Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year would probably trigger more courthouse closures and layoffs in the state's beleaguered judicial branch. "We are rationing justice, and it has become more than a fiscal problem," Cantil-Sakauye said, standing in front of more than 30 judges, court administrators, union officials, business representatives and key state lawmakers at a news conference in Sacramento.
January 13, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Legislative analysts praised Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget proposal on Monday, saying a mix of new taxes, a stronger economy and debt repayment has left California with a brighter financial future. "The governor's proposal would place California on an even stronger fiscal footing, continuing California's budgetary progress," said the report from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.  The report also praises Brown for proposing a $1.6-billion payment into the state's rainy day fund, which could help insulate California from future financial problems.
January 13, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- As senators narrowed their differences on a proposal to break a stalemate over unemployment insurance, congressional leaders reached agreement late Monday on a $1-trillion spending package to avoid a government shutdown this week. The intense day of private negotiations on Capitol Hill shows a Congress that is trying to move past the partisan brinkmanship that has paralyzed the legislative process in recent years. Republicans, in particular, have calculated that voters are tired of the gamesmanship and want the federal government to provide basic services.
January 13, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget proposal would continue to improve California's finances, but his plans for financing bullet train construction and a lack of new money for the cash-strapped teacher pension system are troublesome, the Legislative Analyst's Office said Monday. A report from the office, which provides nonpartisan budget advice to lawmakers, said Brown's $155-billion spending blueprint correctly emphasizes paying down debt incurred during state budget crises.
January 12, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
California's fortunes have improved so dramatically in the last two years, it was hard for even Gov. Jerry "Era of Limits" Brown to sound dour about the government's finances when he rolled out his $155-billion budget proposal last week. The tax increases that Brown persuaded voters to approve in November 2012 have not only averted the need to slash more from education and other state programs, they've helped generate a multibillion-dollar surplus. Yet Brown has stuck with the cautious practices that led the state safely to this point, proposing to pay down debt and focus new spending on education rather than trying to undo all the cuts the Legislature made during the downturn.
January 11, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown stepped out from behind the podium holding a green marker, ready to assume the role of professor. As he laid out his new budget plan, he circled the spot on a chart showing California's budding surplus. Some people think "we should go on a spending binge," he said. He wouldn't do that, Brown said: "We see the lessons of history. " If anyone in the Capitol knows California history, it's the 75-year-old governor serving his second stint in office.
January 9, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who is weighing a gubernatorial bid, faulted Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget for failing to include provisions that would spur job creation and improve the business climate. "Too many Californians are suffering today because our state's economy is lagging so badly," Maldonado said in a statement. "Jerry Brown's budget proposal does little to help our state create the jobs needed so that Californians can continue to live here and not have to look beyond our borders for economic opportunity.
January 9, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Doug Smith
Gov. Jerry Brown called for a sharp increase in funding for a program to map dangerous earthquake faults in California, reviving an effort hobbled by budget cuts over the last two decades. Brown's proposal caps months of debate on whether city and state governments are doing enough to regulate the safety of new structures near faults. Budget cuts stalled the state's efforts to zone earthquake faults across California, including the well-known Hollywood and Santa Monica faults in the Los Angeles area.
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