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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 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 29, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California's $8-an-hour minimum wage needs to go up, says Watsonville Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo. And he may be getting the votes he needs to make it happen. But don't count on it; Alejo has tried this before. Alejo is the author of AB 10, which would give the Golden State its first minimum wage increase since 2008. The bill would raise it 25 cents an hour next year, 50 cents in 2015 and an additional 50 cents to $9.25 an hour in 2016. In 2017 and annually thereafter, hourly pay would be adjusted upward automatically, based on the state's inflation rate.
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.
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.
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?
April 30, 2013 | By Jon Healey
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen is resisting a push by activists and journalists for better disclosure of campaign finance data, arguing in essence that it would cost too much to comply. It's a surprising stance from Bowen, whose office has fought to make more information about donors available to California voters. It also strains credulity. At issue is a request by MapLight California, California Common Cause and 10 others, including this newspaper, for a downloadable version of the campaign finance data that the secretary of state collects.
July 28, 2009 | Shane Goldmacher
Beyond the mind-numbing numbers, the partisan bickering and the all-night legislative sessions was a web of forces that helped shape the state budget package Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to sign today. Some scenes from behind the scenes: Whatever you call it, it worked Schwarzenegger has long attacked lawmakers for fundraising during budget season, but that didn't stop him from slipping away to the headquarters of the state's big-business lobby earlier this month.
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.
September 11, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher and Tiffany Hsu
SACRAMENTO - In a rare effort to move legislation more quickly, Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed a bill that would raise California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by January 2016. The governor and labor union leaders said the increase is needed, given that the last hike - of 50 cents an hour to $8 - took effect at the start of 2008. "The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs," the governor said in a statement Wednesday as lobbyists from both sides worked the 40 Senate members.
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