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July 21, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Professional athletes from out-of-state teams soon could be out of luck if they seek money through the workers' compensation system for injuries suffered at California sporting venues. A bill to scale back the lucrative benefits that California has awarded the athletes in recent years is moving swiftly through the Legislature and is likely to be on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk next month. Supporters said they expect Brown to sign it into law. Backed by football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer team owners, the legislation would close what they call a loophole that allows athletes, who sometimes played only a few games in California, to win six-figure payouts for so-called cumulative trauma injuries.
July 28, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - In the closing days of the Legislature last year, Gov. Jerry Brown helped forge a compromise on a sweeping overhaul of the workers' compensation insurance system and persuaded Democratic and Republican lawmakers to pass it into law. Now he is taking on another big challenge: He wants to fix the state's financially ailing unemployment insurance program, which pays jobless Californians up to $450 a week. With one of the nation's highest unemployment rates for several years, the state has had to borrow money from the feds to keep the program going.
April 22, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California's air quality officials soon may be adding a new phrase to their bureaucratic vocabulary: " le rechauffement climatique . " That's French for global warming. The California Air Resources Board on Friday linked its program for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and curbing climate change with one in the French-speaking, Canadian province of Quebec. The merger starts Jan. 1. On April 8, Gov. Jerry Brown certified the two cap-and-trade systems as compatible.
April 9, 2010 | By Anthony York and Michael Rothfeld
The California Chamber of Commerce on Thursday said it would stop airing an ad attacking Jerry Brown amid objections from members of the organization, some of whom received calls from Brown and his wife demanding that the spot be removed. The commercial, which the chamber labeled an "issue" advertisement, expresses alarm over runaway spending but mostly focuses on attacking Brown, the presumed Democratic nominee for governor, accusing him of decades of overspending. In a letter Wednesday, four board members complained to Allan Zaremberg, the chamber's president and CEO, that the ad is a hit job that "undermines the chamber's credibility."
March 9, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers for years have been battling ravenous metal thieves, who pull copper wires out of street lights, grab rebar from construction sites, and steal pumps and other costly equipment from farmers' fields. Now, a bipartisan group of legislators led by Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert), is trying to put more manpower and money into the fight. Nestande's bill, AB 2313, would create a metal theft task force within the attorney general's office that would provide grants to local police and prosecutors.
November 10, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - After working at the top levels of state government in three administrations, Marty Morgenstern is calling it quits - again. This time, California's outgoing Labor and Workforce Development secretary is stepping down as head of the agency that oversees unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and on-the-job safety. At age 78, he has worked on and off for Gov. Jerry Brown, himself 75 years old. Morgenstern, who will remain an unpaid senior advisor to the governor, distilled his theory of government work to just three sentences: "We never have enough money.
April 16, 2010
They've had enough Re "Arizona passes strict border rule," April 14 The recent killing of prominent rancher Robert Krentz by an illegal alien blew the lid off a boiling caldron of illegal activity that is killing Arizonans and bankrupting the state. Illegal aliens are ruining Arizona's educational system and overburdening jails, hospitals, emergency rooms and indigent social services -- which are supposed to be for Arizona citizens only. Mexican President Felipe Calderon pays lip-service to our politicians while enjoying billions annually flowing into Mexico from illegal workers and drug cartels.
April 19, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - A rescue effort is underway for the state's financially troubled unemployment insurance program, an economic lifeline that currently provides weekly monetary support for 525,000 jobless Californians. More than $10 billion in the red, the unemployment insurance fund has been spiraling toward bankruptcy in recent years, even as it continues to provide weekly jobless benefits of as much as $450 for job seekers. Video chat: Sequester to hit jobless benefits Unemployment, as it's best known, is a primary element of the state's economic safety net. Funded by employer taxes, it's been providing jobless benefits since 1935.
October 25, 2007 | George Skelton
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently vetoed a dozen bills that the California Chamber of Commerce alleged were anti-business "job-killers." In the chamber's view, the governor's action will create jobs. Fine. How is this deficit-plagued state going to pay for the jobs? Yes, of course, they're private-enterprise jobs, not government. But who's going to pay for the roads and transit to get these people to work? To educate their kids? To provide police protection?
February 18, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - "There's no place to go but up," asserted Jim Brulte, whose mission is to save the California Republican Party. "We're on the way back. " Brulte told me that in 2000 at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. He was the state Senate minority leader then. And was he ever wrong! The California GOP did make a brief resurgence under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was never fully accepted or appreciated by party activists. But in recent years, it has been going down, down, down.
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