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State Government

April 9, 1995
Anybody who thinks the state governments can handle things better than the Feds has never done time at the DMV. ROBERT EMBICK Dana Point
January 24, 2014 | By Christopher Reynolds
It's good to be reminded that Sacramento isn't just a consumer of our tax dollars and a dispenser of red tape. It's also a real place with real seasons - daunting heat in summer, golden leaves in fall, chill winds in winter, rampant green renewal in spring. My family and I spent a weekend in November, when fall foliage was still draping Capitol Park (between L and N and 10th and 15th streets) with gravitas. I found J Street livelier than I remembered from a few years before. My wife and daughter liked the wooden sidewalks and Old West flourishes of Old Sacramento.
June 8, 2010 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
Judging by a recent show of hands in a Cal State L.A. classroom, even students of government are hard-pressed to show much interest in the nuts and bolts of California's arcane system of laws and regulations. Many students in professor Fred Gordon's American government class said that they are disillusioned with Sacramento and that state leaders don't represent their interests. But they became more engaged following a discussion with the founders of , a new project designed to educate Californians about the complexities of state government and to encourage reform efforts.
July 6, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY - The year was 1989. The Berlin Wall came down. Czechoslovakia was experiencing its Velvet Revolution. Chinese were demanding democracy in Tiananmen Square. And in Mexico, the first cracks emerged in what had been more than six decades of one-party rule. For the first time in its history, the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which had molded modern Mexico, lost a state government, in Baja California, to a small opposition faction. Baja became the launching pad for that group, the National Action Party, or PAN, to eventually rise to national power, ousting the PRI from the presidency in 2000 after 71 years.
May 2, 2001
There's no question Gov. Gray Davis is working overtime on the state's energy crisis, but his administration needs to keep the rest of state government functioning too. It's evident now that the governor has never fully overcome his inability to keep state jobs and other appointive posts filled. We learn of this with the angry resignation of retired appeals court Justice William A. Newsom of Dutch Flat from the state Parks and Recreation Commission.
July 19, 1994 | ED BOND
Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar) will host the 14th annual State Government Day at Panorama Mall Saturday, where residents will be encouraged to find out how local and state government organizations can serve them. The event will feature exhibits from nearly 40 government agencies and organizations. The agency representatives will also take suggestions, complaints and questions from the public.
September 24, 2003 | James Flanigan
California's business climate has been as bad in the past as it is today, and it has always zoomed back. This time, though, things could be different if state leaders aren't careful. In the late 1970s, the Fantus consulting firm advised companies seeking to locate offices and factories that California was the least friendly place in the entire nation to do business.
October 10, 1986 | JERRY GILLAM, Times Staff Writer
California lobbyists spent more than $33 million to influence the Legislature and state government agencies during the first half of 1986, the state Fair Political Practices Commission reported Thursday. The six-month total was down slightly from the corresponding period of 1985, but was more than three times the approximately $10 million spent in the first half of 1975, the year the commission began monitoring such activities. Big business organizations spent $16.1 million, or 48.8% of the $33.
August 29, 1989 | CARL INGRAM, Times Staff Writer
Contending that television news coverage of state government is "embarrassingly" inadequate, an independent organization called California Channel on Monday proposed a new government-affairs TV network, focusing chiefly on the Legislature. Suggesting a system similar to the C-SPAN television coverage of Congress, the group called for installing cameras in the chambers and hearing rooms of the Assembly and Senate and broadcasting sessions live and by unedited tape to cable TV stations statewide.
March 22, 2004 | GEORGE SKELTON, Sacramento
A Republican legislator's simple idea couldn't solve the budget deficit, but it would stretch tax dollars. It also would inject some common sense into state government. Assemblyman John Campbell of Irvine wants to eliminate two paid holidays for state workers and pull them closer to the real world of most employees in private enterprise. "The rest of the economy is figuring out how to do more with less," Campbell says. "And [civil servants] are figuring how to do less with more.
April 23, 2013 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO -- With most statewide offices filled with first-term incumbents planning to run for reelection, 2014 holds a shortage of job opportunities for aspiring pols. But in the races that are open -- state controller and secretary of state -- candidates are beginning to jockey for position. Earlier this month, state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) announced his candidacy for secretary of state. His colleague Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has also announced a bid. Joining the two Democrats in the race is Pepperdine University's Pete Peterson, a registered Republican.
April 9, 2013 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
With California still ranked last nationally in per capita state spending on government grants to the arts, advocates hope an improving economy will bode well for the first legislative bid in four years to address its lowly status. An Assembly bill introduced by Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) would dedicate $75 million a year from the state's general fund for the California Arts Council - up from the current $1 million. The bill, AB 580, passed the Assembly's committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media by a 4-2 party-line vote Tuesday.
October 18, 2012
Proposition 31 is a little like the dreamy stranger glimpsed across a crowded room - alluring, exciting, all promise and possibility - who is revealed on closer inspection to be an unbalanced and dangerous monster. Is it a bad date, or just a Halloween movie? It's a real-life constitutional amendment, outwardly attractive but inside an absolute mess. California voters should run. The budget and government reform measure was assembled by California Forward, a bipartisan group that has done, and we can hope is likely to again do, some serious thinking and planning to help the state emerge from its organizational chaos and seemingly perpetual fiscal crisis.
October 7, 2012 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - The most nerdy, wonky and nap-inducing measure on the Nov. 6 ballot is Proposition 31. It's not a minor measure, exactly, but it's hardly monumental either. It might do some good, might do some bad. On the ballot, it's called: "State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. " Are you still with me? INTERACTIVE: 2012 California Propositions It's long and complex. To the average voter, I suspect, it reads like gobbledygook.
September 16, 2012
A new Census Bureau report confirms that the slowly rising tide of the U.S. economy hasn't lifted all boats. The 20% of Americans with the highest incomes captured an even larger share of the earnings in 2011, while the rest collected the same share or less. The widening income inequality is disturbing, but as the report shows, things could have been considerably worse. Without such safety net programs as unemployment benefits and food stamps, millions more families would have fallen into poverty.
August 21, 2012 | By Robert Greene
So what's on the Nov. 6 ballot ? California's marquee measures are two competing tax increases, three crime-and-punishment reforms (including eliminating the death penalty ) and a controversial initiative to require labeling of genetically modified foods . In comparison, the already arid topic of state budget reform comes off as even drier and dustier. But Proposition 31 could, in the end, be Californians' most important ballot decision in years. It's a head-scratcher, though.
October 19, 1998 | Associated Press
The 50 state governments in 1997 employed 4.7 million people, with education the largest segment, the Census Bureau reports. State government employment totaled 4,732,608 workers, either full time or part time. That included about 3.5 million full-time workers, up about 1% from 1995, the bureau reported Sunday. Higher education accounted for the biggest area of employment, with 1,964,619 full- and part-time workers. States also accounted for 50,447 employees in elementary and secondary schools.
July 15, 2004 | Warren Vieth, Times Staff Writer
More than 40 state governments have contracted with companies in India and other low-wage countries to help administer new food-stamp and other taxpayer-funded programs, according to a study released Wednesday by a technology workers union. The practice by state agencies of sending work overseas has proliferated despite efforts in many legislatures to impose restrictions on doing so, the study said, and foreign firms are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to win government contracts.
July 12, 2012 | By Phil Willon, Catherine Saillant and Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Facing the same financial stressors that pushed San Bernardino toward bankruptcy, cities across California are slashing day-to-day services and taking other drastic actions to skirt a similar fiscal collapse. For some, it may not be enough. San Bernardino on Tuesday became the third California city to seek bankruptcy protection in the last month and, while no one expects the state to be consumed by municipal insolvencies, other cities teeter on the abyss. PHOTOS: California cities in bankruptcy "There are likely to be more in the future, but it's hard to know, since a lot of struggling cities may manage to work things out," said Michael Coleman, a fiscal policy advisor for the California League of Cities.
May 23, 2012 | By David Lauter
What makes some state capitals so much more corrupt than others? New research provides a partial answer to that long-standing question: isolated capitals breed more corruption and lack of news coverage is a major reason why.   State capitals have long been known for corrupt practices. While every state has its roster of legendary local miscreants, some have a much more consistent record of corruption than others. Researchers have studied that variation for years, looking for factors that might explain the patterns.
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