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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A prominent government affairs firm and its high-profile employees have agreed to pay $40,500 in in fines for failing to register the workers as lobbyists. The fines will be paid by California Strategies LLC and Jason Kinney, former lawmaker Rusty Areias and Winston Hickox, who are partners in the firm. The state Fair Political Practices Commission investigators concluded that Kinney, Areias and Hickox qualified as lobbyists but failed to register with the state and disclose their lobbying activities.
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BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- An effort by the National Football League and owners of other professional sports teams to limit workers' compensation claims by out-of-state athletes is close to final passage in the California Legislature. The measure cleared the state Senate on Friday on a 34-2 vote. In May, it passed the Assembly on a 61-4 tally. The 10 most dangerous jobs The proposal is expected to win final passage next week in the Assembly and to be on the governor's desk shortly after the scheduled Sept.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher and Ken Bensinger
SACRAMENTO - An effort by the National Football League and owners of other professional sports teams to limit workers' compensation claims by out-of-state athletes is close to final passage in the California Legislature. The measure cleared the state Senate on Friday on a 34-2 vote. In May, it passed the Assembly, 61-4. The latest version of the bill is expected to win final passage next week in the Assembly and be on the governor's desk shortly after the scheduled Sept. 13 legislative recess.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2013 | By Jason Wells, Samantha Schaefer and Diana Marcum
The cost of fighting the massive Rim fire - which on Tuesday became the seventh-largest wildfire in California's recorded history - has topped a reported $27 million. That means the fire, which on Tuesday grew to roughly 280 square miles, has burned through 15% of the $172 million the California Legislature set aside for the wildfire season. And with the Rim fire just 20% contained, the $27-million price tag reported by the San Jose Mercury News was sure to go higher. More than 3,700 personnel had been assigned to fight the blaze, along with six air tankers and more than a dozen water-dropping helicopters, according to Dick Fleishman, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court refused Tuesday to block a state law that bars possession, sale and distribution of shark fins ,  which are considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a decision by a district judge refusing to issue a preliminary injunction against the ban, which became effective in January. San Francisco's Chinatown Neighborhood Assn. and Asian Americans for Political Advancement  challenged the law on the grounds that it discriminated against Chinese Americans and hurt commerce.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 | By Anthony York
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - As political leaders from California and Nevada gathered on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe to discuss ways to protect it, environmentalists protested that a bill in California could reverse nearly two decades of environmental improvements. The measure before the Legislature would codify an agreement reached last year between the two states' leaders to limit the powers of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which sets environmental rules for development on both the California and Nevada sides of the lake.
OPINION
August 13, 2013 | By Nora Freeman Engstrom and Robert L. Rabin
For decades, advocates of tort reform have pushed to limit the amount that courts can award for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. The California Legislature first capped this type of damages in medical malpractice lawsuits in 1975, and roughly half the states have followed California's lead. This summer, however, nearly 40 years after California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act first limited noneconomic damages in malpractice cases to $250,000, trial lawyers and consumer groups have unveiled a ballot initiative that would relax the cap considerably.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - State lawmakers, back from their summer break and starting their final month in session, have a lengthy to-do list that features such politically volatile issues as environmental rules, gun control and immigration. Some 1,100 bills - about 275 a week, or 55 a day - require action before the Legislature adjourns Sept. 13 if they are to become law by the beginning of next year. Among them are proposals to relax California's landmark environmental quality law; place restrictions on the controversial oil extraction method known as fracking; and grant new benefits to those in the country illegally.
BUSINESS
August 3, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Corporations, unions, local governments and other interests spent $137 million to influence legislation and regulation at the California Legislature and state agencies in the first half of this year. Professional trade and general business groups paid about $6 million to lobby, followed closely by labor unions with $5.7 million. The healthcare industry spent $4.2 million, local governments $2.1 million and trial attorneys and utilities accounted for $700,000 each.
OPINION
August 2, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In the next two decades about 78 million baby boomers in the U.S. will turn 65. As they age, a portion of them will be cared for by their families, and others will no doubt enter facilities for the elderly. But many will rely on a growing cadre of domestic in-home workers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for the kind of personal-care aides who can help cook, clean and bathe the elderly and disabled is expected to grow by 70% from 2010 to 2020. Today, these caregivers often labor in conditions that would not be tolerated in any other industry.
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