Republicans concerned about example set by repealing bilingual education ban

Aug 27, 2014

Legislation to repeal a voter ban on bilingual education awaits the governor’s action – but Senate Republicans worry it could start an unwanted precedent


Laurel Rosenhall reports for The Sacramento Bee: “Republicans said they support repealing a ban on bilingual education but argued against the measure because it will allow future changes to be made by a majority vote of the Legislature, without returning to voters.”


”We put it before them, they support it, and then it comes back here and you could gut and amend it on the very next day,” said Republican leader Sen. Bob Huff of Diamond Bar.”


An audit uncovers a $6.3 million error in over compensating unearned leave for state employees.


Jim Miller reports for The Sacramento Bee: “Accounting mistakes, misinterpretations of labor contract requirements and a lack of accounting controls at state agencies and the California State University are to blame, State Auditor Elaine Howle said in the report. Meanwhile, it’s likely that some overpayments to departed employees can’t be recouped, she said, because the recovery law is vague.”


“Most departments highlighted in the audit agreed to fix their leave-accounting systems. State Controller John Chiangs office, which collects the leave data that auditors analyzed, embraced some fixes but said others were unworkable or redundant and questioned the audit methodology.”


Lawmakers approved a bill banning unwarranted drone surveillance.


Aaron Mendelson reports for Reuters: “Idaho and Virginia have also passed laws restricting uses of pilotless aircraft because of privacy concerns.”


“The California law would require that data, video or photos collected from drones be destroyed by public agencies within a year, except in certain cases.”


“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supported the new regulations but the measure faced opposition from law enforcement groups, including the California Police Chiefs Association and the California State Sheriffs' Association.”


Budget watchdogs from potential Tesla factory states are warning tax breaks related to the economic development deal should be restrained.


Dana Hull reports for The Mercury News: “The joint letter was spearheaded by Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that is a leading monitor and critic of company-specific subsidy deals. The letter was signed by budget watchdogs in each of the five states under consideration for the gigafactory, including the California Budget Project, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Texans for Public Justice and others.”


“"Recently our states have been pitted into a race to the bottom from which no real winner may emerge," says their letter. "Tesla Motors' proposed 'gigafactory'-- undoubtedly a valuable source of economic growth for its eventual home state -- has been offered to you in an unusual public auction, with the opening bid set at $500 million in subsidies.””


State controller candidate and Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin emphasized her independence at a Sacramento Press Club event – she isn’t even sure whom she’ll vote for governor.


Judy Lin reports for the Associated Press: “Kashkari, a millionaire and former Goldman Sachs banker who trails Brown in election polls, announced last month that he spent a week living as a homeless person in Fresno to highlight the disparity between the governor's claim that the state is making an economic comeback and the reality faced by the working poor.”


“Swearengin said even though she understood Kashkari's point, she was surprised by his visit.”


“"I wish I could have known," she said about wanting to show him new housing for the homeless.”


A visit the president of Mexico yesterday and his message of cooperation was well received by most legislators.


Melanie Mason reports for The Los Angeles Times: “Even lawmakers who had opposed the state's immigration-related policies such as the driver's license laws found bright spots in Peña Nieto's speech.”


“Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), for example, had voted against that measure, and her district includes Murietta, which was roiled by anti-immigration protests this summer. But Melendez said she agreed with the president's efforts to improve the Mexican economy.”


A Facebook page has been created to help owners of pets that went missing during the Napa quake.


From SFist: “Some good citizens started the Missing Pets of Napa Quake Facebook group to help connect people who lost and found pets, as KRON4 reports. The group is working in tandem with the Napa County Animal Shelter, which is also posting missing dogs and cats to its Facebook page.”