Monday, April 20, 2015

Rising university tuition costs have been a hot topic in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers have tangled with UC executives over budgets, spending and state investment levels in higher education.

Long story short: The University of California says the state needs to increase its investment in its public universities to stave off tuition hikes, while the state wants UC to be more creative and willing when it comes to penny-pinching

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national anti-crime organization of police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys and victim advocates with 400 members in California and close to 5,000 members nationwide, visited the State Capitol today to urge legislators and administration officials to support evidence-based programs proven to keep children in school and away from crime.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley and other Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California members participated in individual meetings with over 20 key policymakers and administration officials. They called on legislators from both sides of the aisle and asked them to support -- and provide adequate funding for -- high-quality programs backed by research to steer kids away from crime, such as high-quality early education and after-school programs.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Great Recession officially ended several years ago and the overall economic recovery in our state has been robust, but too many California families continue to struggle each month. Communities hardest hit by the recession – including cities up and down the Central Valley – remain impoverished.

This uneven economic growth has left so many families behind. Nearly 1 in 4 Californians – more than 8 million – lived in poverty in 2013. This shameful rate, the highest among all states, includes 2 million children. Children who grow up in poverty tend to complete less education, experience more physical and mental health issues, have poorer nutrition and have fewer job prospects. Many kids who grow up poor stay poor as adults. Clearly, it benefits all Californians to address our state's appalling poverty rate.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Every eligible Californian would be automatically registered to vote under legislation Secretary of State Alex Padilla is exploring.

"If government knows who's here, who's 18, who's a citizen, why go through hoops?" Padilla said in an interview. "Let's just register folks automatically."

The proposal follows Oregon's new, first-in-the-nation policy sending ballots to every citizen who has made contact with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Padilla was elected to his post last year after a campaign in which he vowed to expand California's often-miniscule voter participation rates. In addition to the many voters who stay home on Election Day, Padilla's office estimated that nearly 7 million people eligible to vote have not signed up to do so.

Monday, March 23, 2015

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.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

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.

California's popular governor, frustrated lawmakers and fee-weary students reacted harshly when Napolitano and the regents set up a confrontation by threatening to raise student fees if the state falls short of the university's demands.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

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.