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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The state's ethics agency on Thursday revised gift rules involving travel by elected officials, drawing mixed reactions from good-government advocates. The state Fair Political Practices Commission adopted the new rules to clarify that the agency “can only require disclosure or impose restrictions if there is a personal benefit to the individual,” said Ann Ravel, the panel's chairwoman. The panel tightened the rules for travel paid by third parties for officials to participate in educational panels, requiring the travel to be directly related to the official's public duties to be exempt from the $440 gift limit.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Medical marijuana dispensaries in California would have to get state Public Health Department licenses, and doctors who recommend pot would face new standards for examining patients under legislation supported Monday by a state Senate panel. The measure, supported by members of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, also clarifies the authority of cities and counties to prohibit pot shops within their borders. Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana)
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BUSINESS
November 7, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger
A brain-injury claim by former National Football League player Tony Dorsett was thrown out by a California workers' compensation panel just months before he was diagnosed with early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating condition linked to repeated blows to the head. The 59-year-old Hall of Fame running back's claim was dismissed in May when a workers' compensation judge ruled that because Dorsett had agreed to an $85,000 settlement for injuries to "multiple orthopaedic body parts" in 1991, he could not file another claim for any subsequent injury, state records show.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown is paid less than some mayors and city managers in California, but a state panel that sets his salary balked Thursday at giving him and lawmakers a pay raise, saying it wants more information before making a decision. The state Citizens Compensation Commission agreed to postpone action on whether to increase salaries for state elected officials after considering surveys that compare their pay with that of other government officials. Commission Chairman Thomas Dalzell proposed "in light of no final budget, that we do as we have done before and reconvene in June and then take action.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
 On the eve of a meeting on setting salaries for the governor and other state officials, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday announced that he was appointing two new members to a state panel that will make the decision. But shortly afterward, Brown's office announced that it was having to cancel the appointments because the two people had previously worked for the state. The appointments could have potentially increased the likelihood that the California Citizens Compensation Commission would provide pay raises for Brown, state lawmakers and other officials, one member of the panel said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 2010 | By Rich Connell, Los Angeles Times
The state panel charged with building California's 800-mile bullet train network pushed back Thursday against an academic analysis challenging the reliability of ridership and revenue estimates underpinning the massive project. The UC Berkeley-based Institute of Transportation Studies last week reported that patronage models for the $42-billion first phase were too flawed to accurately predict whether the trains would run severe deficits or generate large operating surpluses, as planners predict.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 1997 | JEAN O. PASCO
Costa Mesa attorney Dana Reed has been nominated to the California Transportation Commission, the panel that helps decide statewide transportation policies and projects. Reed, 53, served as public representative on the Orange County Transportation Authority until 1993 and was an undersecretary of the state business, transportation and housing agency for former Gov. George Deukmejian.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 1999 | BONNIE HARRIS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Orange County judge has been accused by a state panel of routinely making offensive comments during court proceedings, including badgering defendants and, in one case, lecturing a lawyer on her drinking habits. Superior Court Judge Susanne S. Shaw made "intimidating, demeaning, undignified and discourteous" remarks that gave the appearance of bias, according to a report filed this week by the state Commission on Judicial Performance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 1996 | DEXTER FILKINS
A state panel agreed Thursday to pitch in $1 million to help buy 905 acres of wetlands from a developer to create a vast nature preserve near Huntington Beach. The State Coastal Conservancy, which approved the allocation, said the contribution brings to about $67 million the amount pledged to buy the wetlands in Bolsa Chica. The ultimate cost of the land--and whether a public purchase is feasible at all--probably will not be determined until later this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1996
A state panel today could decide whether to contribute $1 million toward the public purchase of the Bolsa Chica wetlands. The State Coastal Conservancy, meeting in San Francisco, will discuss a tentative multi-agency plan that could result in state purchase of the ecologically sensitive wetlands next to Huntington Beach. That plan would bring together several state and federal agencies and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in an effort to buy the wetlands and help restore them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Three months after Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers received a 5% pay raise, a state panel is set to meet next week to begin considering whether to provide further increases, and the chairman of the group says data from counties indicates California elected officials are underpaid. The State Citizens Compensation Commission, which is appointed by the governor, meets March 13 at Sacramento City Hall to begin the process of setting salaries for the governor, other statewide constitutional officers and state legislators.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - With the state Legislature rocked by multiple scandals, the leader of the Senate has assembled a group of lawmakers to examine the state's decades-old ethics and campaign laws. The Senate Ethics Working Group was formed by Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). "I asked a few colleagues to get together informally and examine legislative and campaign finance rules in other states, with an intent to discuss and prepare a package of reforms that strengthen California's laws," Steinberg said Tuesday.
NATIONAL
January 13, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani and Alana Semuels
TRENTON, N.J. - For Gov. Chris Christie, the questions about the traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge are just beginning, as New Jersey Democrats announced a new investigative committee that would push to figure out who ordered the four-day traffic snarl, and why. Democratic leaders in the state Assembly said the committee would begin with the bridge closure and possibly expand to look into other allegations of political retribution by...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
The state Senate's Environmental Quality Committee has scheduled a hearing on the Department of Toxic Substances Control's oversight of hazardous waste operations in California, officials announced Tuesday. The Jan. 15 hearing in Sacramento will address concerns about the agency's permitting of hazardous waste operations, its enforcement record and its tracking of 1.7 million tons of hazardous waste shipped for disposal each year. A Los Angeles Times investigation published last year found that the agency's tracking system, required by state law, was so flawed that officials could not account for 174,000 tons of hazardous material shipped for disposal in the last five years.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- A state panel has granted a $34.7-million tax break to Tesla Motors Inc., which makes high-tech electric vehicles at facilities in Fremont and Palo Alto. The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority this week approved the credit on sales and use taxes that Tesla would have paid for equipment to expand its production of electric cars and power trains. Photos: The world's most beautiful cars  "I'm pleased we could take this action to encourage Tesla to expand its electric vehicle production in California, which will create green jobs and improve our air quality," said state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who chairs the agency's board.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Turkeys will eat just about anything. Just ask Joe Morette. In 1993, the New Hampshire farmer and his workers popped open a few cans of beer after work one summer day. When one his birds knocked over a can, it quickly began guzzling the spilled suds. Ever since, Morette gives his flock of turkeys beer and swears the grain-based diet improves their taste, the Associated Press reports . "Oh, yeah, it's noticeable," Morette told the wire service. "It's not a strong, gamey flavor, it's a nice turkey flavor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 1986 | GREG BRAXTON, Times Staff Writer
The Burbank City Council will ask the state Fair Political Practices Commission for an opinion on the potential conflict of interest presented by Margie Gee, who has refused to step down from the Burbank airport authority despite her participation in a lawsuit against the airport. The council Tuesday asked City Atty. Douglas C.
BUSINESS
November 7, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger
A brain-injury claim by former National Football League player Tony Dorsett was thrown out by a California workers' compensation panel just months before he was diagnosed with early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating condition linked to repeated blows to the head. The 59-year-old Hall of Fame running back's claim was dismissed in May when a workers' compensation judge ruled that because Dorsett had agreed to an $85,000 settlement for injuries to "multiple orthopaedic body parts" in 1991, he could not file another claim for any subsequent injury, state records show.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO --A state Senate panel Wednesday approved a plan to reduce prison crowding by spending more on rehabilitation and mental illness and drug treatment. The Senate Budget Committee's action sets the stage for a possible showdown with a competing proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to find alternative housing for inmates. The committee's 11-5, party-line vote came just days after the Assembly Budget Committee endorsed the governor's plan as the best way to comply with a federal court order to reduce the population in current state prisons by 9,600 inmates by the end of the year.
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