Trump rallies local California leaders to denounce sanctuary laws, a red-meat GOP issue
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "California’s sanctuary-state laws got a national airing Wednesday when local leaders met with President Trump at the White House to complain that limiting their cooperation with immigration officials is endangering public safety."
"The meeting was long on outrage and assertions by more than a dozen mayors, county supervisors and district attorneys that undocumented immigrants are driving up crime in California, with Trump periodically taking swings at the state’s “deadly and unconstitutional” laws — and referring to some undocumented immigrants as “animals."
Disputed autopsies fuel effort for independent coroners
LISA RENNER in Capitol Weekly: "Can law enforcement be trusted to fairly review law enforcement-involved shootings?"
"Some state senators think not, citing the example of San Joaquin County, which saw two forensic pathologists resign after claiming that Sheriff Steve Moore pressured them to change their findings in officer-involved deaths. The pathologists claimed the sheriff pressured them to classify the deaths as accidents."
"Moore, who is up for election in June, denies wrongdoing and points to an independent audit by Roger Mitchell of RAM Consulting and a separate county counsel’s investigation that found that the allegations made by the resigning pathologists were “unfounded."
Billionaires vs teachers union: Charter school fight amps up race for California governor
From LAUREL ROSENHALL at CALmatters: "They are Democrats and Republicans. They are residents of California, New York and Arkansas. They have made fortunes in technology, real estate, retail and media."
"What do these billionaires have in common? They aim to shake up public education by promoting charters—schools that receive taxpayer funds but are not required to follow all the rules that govern traditional schools. And their newest goal is to try to elect California’s next governor."
"Several wealthy business leaders have poured millions of dollars into a campaign backing Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat and former mayor of Los Angeles. Their spending, which follows similar efforts in key legislative and school board races, has made the California governor’s race the latest front in a long-standing war."
CalPERS slashed pensions for 200 workers. Their boss is suing to keep his.
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "The first retiree to sue CalPERS after it decided to reduce pensions among a group of Southern California public employees is a former executive who’s facing criminal charges alleging that he embezzled government funds."
"Salvador Velasquez, 79, wants to block the California Public Employees’ Retirement System from wiping out his pension and demanding that he repay more than $1 million to the fund."
"CalPERS, in turn, contends that Velasquez illegally collected a six-figure pension between 2003 and 2014 while he continued to work as the executive at the East San Gabriel Human Services Consortium."
Your guide to the 5 propositions on California's primary ballot
LA Times's JOHN MYERS: "California voters are being asked to weigh in on new borrowing, new government restrictions and a drought-friendly tax break on the statewide primary ballots that will be counted June 5."
"There are five propositions in all, a small menu of proposed laws all written by the California Legislature. This is the fourth statewide primary held since Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that moved voter-circulated ballot measures to November elections. More than a dozen are now vying for a spot on the state's fall ballot."
How California's primary could stop Democrats from retaking the US House
LA Times's PRIYA KRISHNAKUMAR/SWETHA KANNAN: "California’s primary system could thwart Democrats and Republicans alike on June 5, shutting either party out of key races in the fall. Under the state’s top-two primary, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes advance to the general election in November, regardless of party. Democrats fear that the high numbers of hopefuls on the primary ballot could split the vote and leave the party without candidates in high-stakes congressional races in November. Meanwhile, Republicans are worried they could be left off the ballot in the governor’s race and other statewide contests in November, giving their voters less of an incentive to turn out to vote for GOP House candidates."
What you need to know about the court ruling against California's assisted death law
Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "Nearly two years after it took effect, California's controversial assisted death law is back in limbo. A judge in Riverside County on Tuesday overturned the law because of concerns about how it was passed by the Legislature. The process for dying patients to obtain life-ending drugs could be illegal again by the end of the week. Here's what you need to know."
"In 2015, California became the fifth state to create a policy intended to give terminally ill adults more control over the end of their lives. If diagnosed with less than six months to live, a patient may request lethal drugs from their physician. The lengthy procedure includes multiple oral and written requests to a doctor, as well as an assessment of the patient's mental capacity to make medical decisions. The law is different from euthanasia, because the patient must be physically able to take the life-ending drugs on their own."
Bay Area senators want to spend $5B on housing, homelessness
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "A group of state senators wants to spend $5 billion over the next four years on a range of programs to provide more affordable housing and deal with California’s growing homelessness problem."
"But now they have to persuade Gov. Jerry Brown to go along with the increased spending, something he’s shown little inclination to do."
SF public defenders make unusual bid for Superior Court judges' seats
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "When four San Francisco deputy public defenders decided to take on four Superior Court judges in the June election, they stirred up a storm of opposition in the political and legal community."
"The incumbents — Judges Curtis Karnow, Jeffrey Ross, Cynthia Ming-mei Lee and Andrew Cheng — have won endorsements from Gov. Jerry Brown and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. Also from the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and San Francisco Young Democrats, local Democratic legislatorsand the four leading candidates for mayor."
Sutter Health asks court to scrap price-fixing suit by California AG
Sacramento Bee's CATHIE ANDERSON: "In a case with broad implications for health-care pricing and transparency, Sutter Health has asked the San Francisco Superior Court to refuse to hear the California attorney general’s antitrust lawsuit because it would impose expensive, unwieldy regulations that would upend Sutter's business."
"In March, Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that after a six-year investigation of Sutter’s pricing, his office was filing suit to force the health care giant to stop using its market power to control prices and exclude competition. In response, Sutter said its hospitals charges less than other Northern California hospitals."
SF mayor's bold plan to treat heroin addicts on the street
The Chronicle's KEVIN FAGAN: "San Francisco’s mayor wants to create a special medical team — the first of its kind in the nation — to spread out onto the city’s streets and give homeless people a drug that one expert calls “blindingly effective” at abruptly stopping heroin cravings."
"Mayor Mark Farrell is set to announce Thursday that he is including $6 million in his current budget proposal to fund the 10-person team over the next two years, with the aim of prescribing the medication buprenorphine to at least 250 street junkies."
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Ending 'fair share' fees will cost state workers $2,000 a year, study says
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "California public employees might save some money if the Supreme Court lets them quit paying union fees, but they stand to lose a lot of salary over time."
"A new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute predicts that a Supreme Court decision forbidding public sector unions from collecting so-called fair share fees will drive down public sector union membership in California by about 9 percent and cost public employees $2,079 a year in income."
Fairfield child torture case renews concerns on homeschooling oversight
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "The mother of 10 who, along with her husband, is accused of abusing her children in their suburban Fairfield home said she wanted to give her kids a homeschool education to save them from bad teachers and bullies in public schools."
"But the state Department of Education has no record that Ina Rogers, 30, ever registered her three most recent home addresses as a private school, or that she filed the annual state-required affidavits saying how many students she enrolled to be homeschooled."
Public defender's new pretrial release program SF jail stays: Study
The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "David, a 76-year-old Vietnam veteran, found himself in San Francisco County Jail in mid-January after a fight with his abusive partner. He had no idea how to get a lawyer, how to get his HIV medication or when he’d even get out."
“I had never been to jail and the experience is not too pleasant,” said David, who asked that his last name be withheld due to privacy concerns. “I think I was the oldest one in there, and orange is not my color.”
READ MORE related to Prisons & Public Safety: Posting mugshots on internet draws criminal charges from California AG -- Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON
UC Berkeley researchers' errors resulted in deaths of 22 lab animals
The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV: "Errors by UC Berkeley animal researchers led to the deaths of 22 animals from starvation, suffocation or botched surgeries, and to the suffering of countless others from 2015 to 2017 that received too little pain medication or simply weren’t fed, watered or monitored, according to correspondence acquired by an animal-rights group."
"The animals include three monkeys, as well bats, rats, mice and chicks."
Investigators seek motive in deadly California explosion
AP's MICHAEL BALSAMO/AMANDA LEE MYERS: "Federal and state authorities are investigating whether a Southern California woman killed in an explosion that ripped through the day spa that she owned was targeted in the crime."
"Authorities declined to publicly say if they believed the victim was the target, but one official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press the woman had been the intended recipient of an explosive package."
"Remnants of a bomb were found inside the badly damaged spa where the powerful explosion Tuesday shook the city of Aliso Viejo, about 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) south of Los Angeles. The blast tore a corner off the building that houses medical offices. Two patrons were seriously injured."