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More than money at stake in University of California budget negotiations

It started like any number of budget debates at the Capitol: The University of California argued that it has been shortchanged and students will have to bear more of its rising costs if the state doesn't pay up.

But this year's back-and-forth with Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers not only has unleashed unprecedented fiscal scrutiny of the 10-campus system, it has also placed on the table the previously unthinkable option of stripping UC's constitutional independence.

UC tuition debate threatens its independence

As a former governor and cabinet secretary, Janet Napolitano came to the University of California with hefty political credentials many hoped she would wield in Sacramento as a champion for the state's prestigious public research university. But the UC president's play for more state money after years of deep budget cuts has put her and the 147-year old institution on the firing line.

Napolitano can send a message with UC pensions

When Gov. Jerry Brown took office in 2011, one of his first acts was to make state employees give back their sweet government cellphones and state cars.

The savings was a drop in the bucket, given the state's massive budget, but Brown was sending a message: This is the people's work, not the private sector. That can be easy to forget in a culture where the median CEO pay now tops $10 million. Sometimes white-collar public servants need a reminder.

Assemblymember McCarty Introduces Nursing Home Transparency Bill

Bill Would Increase State’s Role in Nursing Home Oversight

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – This week, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D–Sacramento) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 927, which would establish additional oversight and transparency for nursing home ownership.  Specifically, AB 927 would clarify the California Department of Public Health’s (DPH) duty to review and approve changes of nursing home ownership and management at the corporate structure, improves DPH’s ability to share nursing home ownership information to provide consumer protection, and prevents persons and/or companies with poor track records from acquiring nursing homes by strengthening suitability of ownership requirements.

“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that our seniors, who are often at their most fragile and vulnerable in nursing home settings, are protected,” said Assemblymember McCarty.  “It is in the best interest of the State to protect consumers and prevent existing owners with a bad track record from licensing them to open additional facilities.  Consumers can’t even determine from the Department’s website who owns each home – it’s a lack of transparency that just isn’t appropriate.”

Bill pushes more nursing home oversight, transparency

Nursing home owners with poor track records would face tougher scrutiny in California, and consumers would get better information about operators under a bill introduced by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento.

Responding to a three-part series published last year in The Sacramento Bee, McCarty said Thursday he wants California to "improve oversight and transparency of the nursing home industry to better protect seniors and their families.