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Browsing the archives for the State gov category.

CA Guv Brown: Gas tax and increase in DMV registration fees!!

State gov

SB-1: Gas Tax Increase/NEW $100 Vehicle Registration Fee and More Taxes

By Stephen Frank on Mar 07, 2017 09:01 pm
The new budget of Guv Brown includes a 42% increase in gas taxes and a $65 dollar increase in the vehicle registration fee.  Democrats love taxes—lot of them.  The so-called “moderate” State Senator Bob Hertzberg has a bill to increase gas taxes 12 cents a gallon, a  $38 increase for in vehicle registration fees for […]

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CA. Senator Jim Nielsen sends letter and thank you

State gov

On Sunday, North State residents were alarmed by the alert from the Department of Water Resources about the potential failure of the auxiliary spillway at Lake Oroville.

Within hours, the great people of the North State, from Plumas Lake to Oroville, peacefully evacuated their homes due to the damaged spillways at Lake Oroville. Nearly 200,000 people loaded their most valuable possessions, pets and essential needs into vehicles and headed on to crammed highways.

In heavy traffic, North State residents – fearing the unknown and dealing with anxiety, no doubt – evacuated without incident.

Law enforcement officials and social workers helped steer citizens to where they needed to go. Hundreds of first responders assisted and transported those who were most vulnerable. Residents of neighboring regions opened their homes to strangers.

Construction crews filled bags of rocks overnight so helicopters could drop them into the spillway at first sunlight. Workers continue to watch water levels around the clock.

In this time of high stress and unease, the citizens of our region held their heads up high and behaved admirably.

These are amazing actions of kindness, cooperation and patience.

The world’s eyes are upon us. Thank you for showing the world how great Americans are.

Sincerely,

Jim Nielsen
Senator, Fourth District

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Editorial: State, feds must answer for Oroville Dam fiasco

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, CA & OR, State gov

Editorial: State, feds must answer for Oroville Dam fiasco

SJ Mercury News

Federal and state officials have a lot to answer for in the wake of the Oroville Dam fiasco. They decided in 2005 to ignore warnings that the massive earthen spillway adjacent to the dam itself could erode during heavy winter rains — which it has done — and cause a calamity, which it very nearly did this week and could yet do by the end of this winter.

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State water officials were warned of Oroville Dam weakness a dozen years ago

Air, Climate & Weather, Dams other than Klamath, State gov

SacBee.com

February 13, 2017 1:06 PM

 As California officials rushed Monday to stabilize conditions at Oroville Dam, the state’s top water official brushed aside questions about recommendations made a dozen years ago to upgrade the emergency spillway that nearly failed Sunday.

In a Monday afternoon news conference near Oroville Dam, Acting Department of Water Resources Director Bill Croyle was asked whether the spillway should have been reinforced years ago as advocacy groups advised in 2005 filings with the federal government.

Croyle said he wasn’t familiar with the reports, but that once the crisis subsided, engineers would do a thorough analysis of what went wrong.

“That’s part of our vetting process,” he said.

The recommendations to strengthen the spillway came as state officials were seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to relicense Oroville Dam for another 50 years.

Advocacy groups including Sacramento-based Friends of the River said at the time that the emergency spillway would actually pose a danger if the reservoir were hit with heavy storm runoff from the Sierra Nevada and filled to the brim.

The groups said the emergency spillway needed to be strengthened to avoid almost precisely the events that occurred this weekend, when the spillway activated and the forested hillside below began eroding dangerously close to the lip of structure.

“As I recall, effectively (the official) response was ‘Well, you know, it doesn’t seem likely we’d ever have to use the emergency spillway,’” Ron Stork, a senior policy advocate at Friends of the River, told The Sacramento Bee.

Stork’s group advocated for the changes along with officials in Yuba and Sutter counties downstream from the dam. At the time, state officials objected to upgrading the spillway, saying it wasn’t necessary.

“Our facilities, including the spillway, are safe during any conceivable flood event,” Raphael Torres, acting deputy director of the State Water Project, told The Bee in 2005.

The spillway issue dates to 1970, when the operational manual for the dam was updated with the expectation that Marysville dam would be built on the Yuba River, a tributary of the Feather. This new dam was authorized by Congress in 1966, but never was built.

Nevertheless, Oroville operations were designed to work in concert with the Marysville dam to ensure Feather River flows would not exceed the holding capacity of downstream levees.

Croyle said Monday that second-guessing decisions of his predecessors may come later.

“We’re going to get into recommendations or concerns that were voiced in the past,” he told reporters Monday. “But right now, we’re focused on maintaining public safety – not strictly during this event, but also this spring runoff period.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article132468874.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Gov. Brown Appoints Radical Enviro Justice Activists to Public Utilities Commission

CA & OR, Elections, State gov

Flash Report.org

Posted by at 1:03 am on Jan 04, 2017

Wednesday, January 04, 2017 1:03 AM

Governor Jerry Brown has just appointed two radical environmental justice activists to the California Public Utilities Commission, replacing two commissioners whose terms expired January 1, 2017.

Awaiting Senate confirmation, are Clifford Rechtschaffen and Martha Guzman Aceves — two Brown insiders with shady records and a history of Environmental Justice. They aren’t unknown; bothGuzman Aceves andRechtschaffen have been exposed prominently in articles on this news site, and several others (links below).

Don’t let the term “Environmental Justice” fool you. This “justice” is not about protecting poor and low income communities from excess pollutants or toxic materials; it is about environmental extremists’ scheme to spread wealth through government mandates. Remember President Obama’s… Read More

http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2017/01/04/gov-brown-appoints-radical-enviro-justice-activists-to-public-utilities-commission/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

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17 new California laws that will affect you in 2017

State gov

The Orange County Register

17 new California laws that will affect you in 2017

This year the state legislature sent Gov. Jerry Brown 1,059 pieces of legislation.

The bill breakdown
898 the governor signed into law
159 the governor vetoed
2 become law without signing them.

Here is a sampling of other new laws that Californians will wake up to in January:

Assault weapons: The new gun-control regulations broaden the definition of illegal assault weapons, require background checks for the first time for ammunition purchases and limit the lending of guns to family members. California bars purchasing, semi-automatic, centerfire rifles or semi-automatic pistols that lack a fixed magazine and have one of a number of features that include a protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock. If you already own one of these weapons you’ll have to register it.

Gender-neutral bathrooms: While North Carolina waged a proxy war in its restrooms over gender identity, California quietly went in the opposite direction. Assembly Bill 1732 requires all single-toilet bathrooms in businesses and public agencies to be gender neutral.

Minimum wage, equal pay and paid parental leave: The statewide minimum wage goes from $10 to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees — a rate that will rise to $15 by 2022. Under another law, Assembly Bill 1676, an employer can’t pay a woman less than her male colleagues because of her prior salary. Assembly Bill 2393 gives up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all K-12 and community college employees, including classified workers and community college faculty.

ON THE ROAD

Motorcycles: Current law does not change; lane splitting by a motorcyclist remains legal if done safely. This bill defines lane splitting as driving a motorcycle, which has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. The bill permits the CHP to develop lane splitting educational safety guidelines in consultation with other state traffic safety agencies and at least one organization focused on motorcycle safety.

Child safety seats: Although this law was passed during the 2015 legislative session, it takes effect Jan. 1. Children under two years of age must ride rear-facing in an appropriate child passenger safety seat. Children weighing 40 or more pounds, or standing 40 or more inches tall, are exempt. California law continues to require that all children under the age of eight be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.

Use of Wireless Electronic Devices: Motorists are no longer permitted to hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle. Rather than holding the device, it must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver. Another option is to affix the device to the dashboard in a place that does not obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and does not interfere with the deployment of an airbag.

The law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the finger, but not while holding it.

Driving under the influence – Ignition Interlock Device: Starting in 2019, a driving under the influence offender will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a specified period of time in order to get a restricted driver license or to reinstate their license. The law also removes the required suspension time before a person can get a restricted license, provided that the offender installs an IID on their vehicle. The law extends the current four-county (Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare) DUI IID pilot program until Jan.1, 2019, at which time all DUI offenders statewide will be required to install an IID to have their license reinstated.

School bus safety: This law requires all school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, and child care motor vehicles used to transport school-age children to be equipped with a “child safety alert system.” Every school is required to have a transportation safety plan with procedures to ensure that a pupil is not left unattended in a vehicle.

Tour bus inspections: This new law requires the CHP to develop protocols for entering into a memorandum of understanding with local governments to increase the number of inspections for tour buses operated within their jurisdictions.

Hunger and homelessness: Assembly Bill 1995 requires community colleges with shower facilities to make them available to homeless students, while Assembly Bill 1747 requires public and private colleges that offer food service to apply to participate in a state-funded program that provides meals to the homeless. Advocates for homeless students note that those without permanent housing often don’t have a reliable way to store or prepare food.

Docs and prescription drugs: Inspired by the Bay Area News Group’s Drugging Our Kids investigation, which revealed the state’s dependence on psychotropic medications to control troubled children, lawmakers passed legislation to hold physicians accountable. Senate Bill 1174 puts doctors who recklessly prescribe psychiatric drugs at risk of losing their medical license. Senate Bill 1291 will require more transparency and tracking of mental health services for foster kids.

Booze: Powdered alcohol — yes, that is a thing — is now illegal to possess, sell or make. But beauty salons and barber shops can serve small amounts of wine and beer as long as it’s free and it’s before 10 p.m. — a privilege previously enjoyed by patrons of hot air balloon rides and limos.

MORE

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/california-739867-laws-guns.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Fight on over Bears Ears monument in Utah

Dept. of INTERIOR, Federal gov & land grabs, State gov

@amyjoi16

Deseret News.com

SALT LAKE CITY — Angry Utah leaders are vowing to do everything within their power to unravel President Barack Obama’s Wednesday designation of a new national monument in Utah.

They say they will call on the Trump administration to reverse the proclamation, file a lawsuit or if nothing else, shrink the size of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears Monument with congressional legislation and wipe away any last bit of funding.

Despite the fist shaking from critics, Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Obama administration does not fear the backlash in Utah and added there’s no belief that an attempt to rescind the proclamation will prove successful.

“No presidents have actually undone a monument by a (previous) president,” she said, adding that there is no provision in the Antiquities that expressly would allow that action.

Goldfuss actually made the official announcement of the monument designation in an embargoed teleconference with reporters 60 minutes before it went public.

The designation was sought by the leaders of five Native American tribes and a coalition of environmental and conservation groups, much to the dismay of San Juan County leaders and Utah’s top elected officials.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said just because rescinding a monument hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There’s no precedent, he stressed.

“As Utahns, we will use every tool at our disposal to do the right thing,” he said. “As Utahns, we will fight to right this wrong.”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called the designation an “arrogant act by lame a duck president” that will not stand.

“I will work tirelessly with Congress and the incoming Trump administration to honor the will of the people and undo this designation.”

MORE

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865670063/Fight-on-over-Bears-Ears-monument-in-Utah.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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California to drivers: Starting Sunday, don’t hold that cellphone

State gov

Sac Bee.com

December 27, 2016 10:44 AM

In Sacramento, where distracted driving has reached dangerous levels, drivers expressed mixed feelings this week about a new state law cracking down on cellphone use by motorists.

Starting Sunday, drivers no longer will be allowed to hold their cellphones in their hands for any reason, including using any of a phone’s apps, such as music playlists.

“The whole idea is you don’t have the phone in your hand, period,” said Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, author of the new law, which he says should make it easier for officers to stop and cite drivers for illegal phone use.

Quirk’s bill, AB 1785, plugged what safety officials called a major loophole in the state’s groundbreaking hands-free cellphone laws. Those laws ban talking and texting on handheld phones while driving. But any other handheld use of a phone, such as shooting videos or scanning Facebook, has been technically legal.

Under the new law, drivers can still use their cellphones if they do it hands-free, which often means voice activated and operated.

However, phones must be mounted on the dashboard or windshield. With a phone mounted, the new law allows the driver to touch the phone once, to “activate or deactivate a feature or function … with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.”

The law is designed to stop people from holding their phones for a variety of uses that have become popular in recent years, including checking and posting on Facebook, using Snapchat, scrolling through Spotify or Pandora playlists, typing addresses into the phone’s mapping system, or making videos and taking photos.

A California Office of Traffic Safety study this year determined that 1 out of 8 drivers on the road is paying as much attention to his or her smartphone as to the road. State road safety officials estimate that some form of distracted driving is a factor in 80 percent of crashes. That’s prompted numerous education and enforcement efforts in California aimed at reducing distracted driving.

“Smartphones and apps have made that a very difficult goal,” state traffic safety spokesman Chris Cochran said. “We recognize that it’s not going to be a quick turnaround, but a long haul.”

Few Sacramentans this week said they had heard of the new law, and many said they wonder how enforceable it will be.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article123126354.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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CalPERS refuses to bite bullet

State gov

CalPERS Refuses To Bite Bullet–Will Continue to Grow $1.4 Trillion Problem

By Stephen Frank on Dec 20, 2016 08:14 pm

The New York Times is worthless as an opinion maker.  But, it does a fair jobs with the facts—just do not look at their interpretation of facts.  Here is a fact that will kill off the California economy and taxpayer. “According to the New York Times, CalPERS will not consider cutting its investment return assumption […]

Read More and Comment: CalPERS Refuses To Bite Bullet–Will Continue to Grow $1.4 Trillion Problem

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Opinion: State’s water grab will devastate jobs, economy in Merced

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water, State gov

OPINION: State’s water grab will devastate jobs, economy in Merced

Merced Sun-Star

Our community’s way of life is under direct attack by Sacramento’s plan to take our water and send it to the Bay-Delta for the benefit of others.

The State Water Resources Control Board’s own document describes the resulting damage to our community as an “unavoidable impact.” This is narrow and unacceptable thinking. The Merced Irrigation District is fully prepared to protect and defend our community and water rights on the Merced River. But we believe there is a better way.

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