The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gave its final approval Tuesday to raise the minimum wage for workers in unincorporated areas and for county employees.
Initially approved in July, the supervisors formally adopted the ordinance that will require employers who operate in unincorporated areas and the county to pay employees at least $15 per hour by 2020.
Employers with fewer than 25 employees will have an additional year to reach $15 per hour.
The first increase will occur July 1 and will bring the minimum wage from $10 per hour to $10.50 per hour.
The minimum wage will increase gradually until 2020. In 2022, the minimum wage will annually increase based on the Consumer Price Index.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has endorsed a controversial effort to more than double the number of the city’s charter schools over the next eight years.
Villaraigosa declared his support for the plan in an interview after an education forum he hosted Monday evening at the University of Southern California.
“I would support any effort to expand high-quality education,” Villaraigosa said. “So I could certainly support that, particularly if it’s spearheaded by the highest-performing charters.”
The primary backer of the expansion, Eli Broad, has been a key political ally of Villaraigosa and could be again if the former mayor, as expected, runs to succeed Jerry Brown as governor of California.
The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and wounded by a Los Angeles police officer this year has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city.
In the lawsuit filed Monday in federal court, the mother of Jamar Nicholson alleges that officers violated her son’s civil rights by using excessive force in the Feb. 10 incident.
The father of another teen present during the shooting is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Monday’s lawsuit alleges that the decision by officers to confront and fire at the teenagers was based on their race. Nicholson, who was shot, is African American and the other teen is Mexican American, according to the lawsuit.
An amnesty program for Californians saddled with unpaid traffic tickets takes effect Thursday, paving the way for low-income drivers to win back their licenses.
Under a bill passed by the Legislature, drivers will receive discounts of 50% to 80% on tickets that should have been paid before Jan. 1, 2013, according to the Judicial Council, the policy making body for California courts.
Californians who lost their driver’s licenses because they could not afford to pay the fines will be eligible to have them reinstated, the Judicial Council said.
The U.S. Supreme Court settled the issue well over a century ago.
But even before the court laid the issue to rest, a principal author of the Constitution, James Madison, the second president of the United States, wrote: “that as they [aliens], owe, on the one hand, a temporary obedience, they are entitled, in return, to their [constitutional] protection and advantage.”
California school boards want a judge to force changes to the June state budget that would provide more money for schools, among the interests that fared best in this year’s plan.
In a lawsuit last week, the California School Boards Association argues that the budget improperly included additional spending on childcare within the voter-approved constitutional guarantee for spending on K-12 schools and community colleges.
The guarantee should have been adjusted, or “rebenched,” to reflect the change, the suit contends.“This case is not about childcare. It is about the proper interpretation of Proposition 98,” the lawsuit reads, referring to the 1988 ballot measure that established the guarantee.
Actuaries cautioned CalPERS nearly 20 years ago that its new long-term care insurance fund was set up for failure, an attorney suing on behalf of policyholders says, but officials ignored the warning.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System denies those and other allegations outlined by Stuart Talley, one of the lawyers who last week asked a Los Angeles court to grant class-action status for a lawsuit against CalPERS. The plaintiffs claim the fund and its business agents misrepresented the insurance in sales pitches and materials, then made poor business decisions that wound up foisting huge rate hikes on tens of thousands of policyholders.
“It blows your mind when you read this stuff,” Talley said.
The head of Planned Parenthood will defend the organization Tuesday against what is likely to be a barrage of attacks from conservative lawmakers who are so upset over controversial videos regarding its practices that they’re willing to shut down part of the federal government over them.
Congress moves closer to averting government shutdown with Senate voteThe hearing and testimony from Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is intended to examine the use of taxpayer funding by the organization and its affiliates, said U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
He and other conservatives have criticized the family planning nonprofit, and some have advocated shutting down the government if more funds are allocated to it.Secretly recorded videos show several Planned Parenthood officials speaking in an indifferent tone about using fetal tissue recovered from abortions for medical research.
A contentious program that shifted control of some state prisoners to local governments dramatically reduced the prison population in California, but the decrease was not enough to meet a federal court order, according to a report released Monday.
Although the realignment shift drove county jail populations close to historical highs, the program also has changed the profile of those incarcerated.
The report found that by early 2014, some 1,761 inmates were serving sentences of more than five years, up from 1,155 in 2013.
Still, while county jail populations increased since 2011, the growth was far smaller than the prison population drop.
Nearly two years ago, this column reported on an official financial forecast from the northern California city of Stockton’s bankruptcy proceedings showing that within a few years after exiting bankruptcy the city was likely to re-enter it.
The Stockton situation is of statewide importance because it’s clear the state’s unfunded pension liability crisis has not gone away even in relatively good economic times.
Sadly, it might take another economic downturn to get Sacramento officials to check out the problems in a city just 50 miles from the Capitol.
A day before the deadline for filing petitions for a referendum seeking to repeal a new vaccine requirement, some opponents of the mandate on Sunday announced a new initiative drive that will give them more time to achieve the same goal.
Backers of the referendum said the new initiative is a different effort and has nothing to do with their plans to turn in signatures Monday.
The new initiative was announced on Twitter and Facebook by a group that has been seeking to recall some lawmakers who recently approved a new law eliminating the religious and personal belief exemption used in the past by some parents to keep their children from being vaccinated.
Asians are likely to surpass Latinos as the nation’s largest immigrant group shortly after the middle of the century as the wave of new arrivals from Latin America slows but trans-Pacific migration continues apace, according to a new study of census data.
The surge of immigration that has reshaped the American population over the last half century will transform the country for several decades to come, the projections indicate.
Immigrants and their children are likely to make up 88% of the country’s population growth over the next 50 years, according to the study by the Pew Research Center, which has tracked the effects of immigration on the country’s population for the last several decades.
When Carly Fiorina ran for U.S. Senate, opponents depicted the former corporate executive as a cold-hearted job killer, using her past statements like a noose around her neck.
Americans have no God-given right to a job, said the former Hewlett-Packard chief.
When you’re talking about massive layoffs, sometimes they’re warranted. Off-shoring — shipping American jobs overseas — was “right-shoring.”
Now, though, running for president, Fiorina has softened her tone, acknowledging the human toll of lost jobs and explaining at greater length and depth the actions she took as a powerful Silicon Valley executive, including overseeing tens of thousands of layoffs.
It is a campaign within the 2016 campaign, an effort to recast Fiorina’s record and push back at her many critics, presenting her actions as a model of decisiveness — the kind, she says, the country sorely needs from its president.
When it comes to health care costs, it’s clear: Where you live matters.
And in California, the gap is especially sharp between the north and south.Take, for instance, common procedures like a cesarean section or a total knee replacement.
The total average price tag for a typical C-section in the four-county Sacramento area is $28,828; in east Los Angeles County, it’s $17,567, according to a health care comparison tool unveiled last week by state officials and Consumer Reports magazine.
And that knee replacement? It’s about $42,488 in the Sacramento Valley but drops to $27,276 in east Los Angeles County.
“Northern California shoppers are in for some unhappiness and some surprise,” said Dr. R. Adams Dudley, director of the UC San Francisco Center for Healthcare Value and a professor of medicine and health policy. “They live in an expensive part of the state, health-care-wise.”
“One of the benefits of a presidential campaign is the character and capability, judgment and temperament of every single one of us is revealed over time and under pressure.”
Since presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina made that comment at the start of the second Republican debate, there have been some telling revelations about her character and her judgment. Caught making a false claim, she couldn’t just admit she made a mistake but instead doubled down and worsened the falsehood.
Nearly 30,000 foreign recruits have now poured into Syria, many to join the Islamic State, a doubling of volunteers in just the past 12 months and stark evidence that an international effort to tighten borders, share intelligence and enforce antiterrorism laws is not diminishing the ranks of new militant fighters.
Among those who have entered or tried to enter the conflict in Iraq or Syria are more than 250 Americans, up from about 100 a year ago, according to intelligence and law enforcement officials.
Pope Francis met with victims of child-molesting priests Sunday on the final day of his U.S. visit and promised to hold accountable those responsible for the scandal, delivering a powerful warning to American bishops accused of covering up for pedophiles instead of reporting them to police.T
he pontiff disclosed the gesture of reconciliation at the start of a meeting with U.S. bishops gathered in Philadelphia for a big rally on Catholic families.Francis praised the victims as “true heralds of mercy” who deserve the church’s gratitude and said sex abuse in the church can no longer be kept a secret.
He promised to “zealously” protect young people and see that “all those responsible are held accountable.”
Amid a Bay Area real estate market famous for its mind-boggling home prices, taxpayers are funding a little-known special perk for a very select group of house hunters: low- and sometimes no-interest loans for top local government employees.
While most of us are stuck turning to Bank of America or Wells Fargo for market-rate mortgages, an exclusive group of the region’s public-pay elite — made up of mostly city managers, a few school superintendents and even the head of a sewer district — are tapping public funds for sweetheart housing-assistance deals that in some cases exceed $1 million.
You’ve heard the story before, or so you might think: Some rich guy comes up with an idea to reshape the state in his image, spends some of his pocket change to get it on the ballot, and the rest of us are left to sort it out.
Dean Cortopassi, Dino to his friends, is a wealthy guy with an idea.
True to form, he and his wife, Joan, spent $4 million to place an initiative on the ballot next year; they can afford it. And there will be a mighty campaign to defeat it.
Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who became a hero to conservatives after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, was compared to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks as she was awarded a prize by a prominent Christian organization Friday evening.
Dabbing her eyes with a tissue and with a trembling voice, Davis told hundreds of evangelical Christians: “I feel so very undeserving.”
“I want to start by thanking my lord and my savior Jesus Christ, because without him it would never be possible, for he is my strength that carries me,” Davis said.
“I am only one,” she shouted to be heard above the cheering crowd. “But we are many.”
The president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, announced Davis as the 2015 winner of the “Cost of Discipleship Award” for her determined resistance to same-sex marriage.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appeared at a rally to support her and issued a strong statement advocating her right to refuse marriage licenses as a matter of conscience and religious liberty.
Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) recently introduced a bill that seeks to change the way that e-cigarettes are marketed toward the public, especially minors.
Assembly Bill X2-6, if passed, will require companies to label e-cigarettes as a nicotine product in California, making it illegal to sell to consumers under age 18.
“The goal of the bill is to protect our children from the use of e-cigarettes,” Cooper, a former Sacramento County sheriff’s captain, said. “We need to protect our children from addiction to this latest tobacco product.”
In the tranquil neighborhood of the Venice Canals, residents said they were fed up — and ready to take action.
Dozens signed a petition complaining about noise and nuisances such as a fraternity “drunk-athon” at one home along the picturesque waterways.
They told Los Angeles officials that the house had been illegally turned into a kind of hotel, rented out for a few days at a time through websites such as Airbnb and VRBO.
To back up their claims, residents piled up evidence, including online listings displaying photographs of the home. They even furnished a rental contract for someone who had scheduled a short stay, confident that would prove their point to city inspectors.
The Venice homeowner was eventually ordered in December to stop using the house as a hotel. But months after the city handed down its order, neighbors contended the house was still being regularly rented out for short stays.
This spring, they again provided documents showing that someone had booked it for five nights.Yet the city terminated its case in May without taking further action “due to insufficient proof,” according to Department of Building and Safety spokesman David Lara.
The technology-heavy San Francisco Bay Area almost single-handedly propped up California’s otherwise lethargic economic performance in 2014, a new report from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates.
The San Jose-centered Silicon Valley saw a 6.7 percent increase in economic output last year, the highest growth rate recorded in the Western states and the 9th highest among the nation’s 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).
Only a few, relatively small MSAs involved in the oil and gas boom in other states, principally Texas, outpaced Silicon Valley’s expansion last year – and that was before the petroleum sector saw setbacks from declining prices this year.
California’s advocates for an aggressive approach toward fighting man-made global warming sometimes imply it is a cost-free exercise, as they argue that the emerging (and highly subsidized) green-jobs industry will make up for any job losses from the higher taxes and tougher regulations imposed on traditional building projects.
Gov. Jerry Brown vacillates between making such Pollyannaish claims, and being the “Prophet of Doom,” where he warns the Earth might not survive without dramatic changes in our petroleum-based economy.
Even when he takes on the latter role, Brown doesn’t always explain that the effort to slash greenhouse gases requires some tough economic choices that might mean fewer jobs.
During a month in which some of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s biggest donors fretted, obsessed and second-guessed over her campaign, it wasn’t Clinton’s big policy speeches on healthcare or her vow to block the Keystone XL pipeline that helped ease nerves.
It was her several minutes of banter with “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.
Such are the mechanics of the Clinton campaign money machine, which is driven in large part by an extremely fickle – some might argue self-important – group of California moguls.
Clinton will be back in California on Sunday to collect yet more checks.
And one of the toughest challenges she and her advisors face is convincing this crowd of Hollywood executives and other titans of West Coast industry that they’ve got the campaign under control.In Democratic California, which 2016 candidates get the most money?
California’s two-year legislative session kicked off in December with no small sense of promise.
The long night of budget crisis was just a fading memory, thanks to a stabilizing economy and revenue from the taxes voters approved in Proposition 30.
A new rainy-day fund would help the state avoid deep deficit holes again, and a new crop of legislators with longer potential tenures would do great things.
The legislative year that ended on Sept. 11 was, if not coyote ugly, still a bit of a wreck.
For the first time in decades, a majority of the Assembly was subject to looser term-limit rules and would supposedly have the energy and the time to focus on the big challenges facing California — volatile revenue, water shortages and crumbling roads among them.
Instead of churning out bills intended to appease campaign backers or garner headlines for the next campaign, we reasoned, this crew would finally have the breathing room to set intelligent priorities and systematically tackle tough issues.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush made a weird comment during a town hall meeting in South Carolina on Thursday night. Responding to a question about how the Republican Party could win black votes, Bush said that “[o]ur messages is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced his resignation Friday at a time of record personal unpopularity, after leading Congress through a period where public approval of the body hit new record lows.
Independent policing experts, after reading a transcript of the body camera video provided by The Times, said the officer’s words raised questions about the Los Angeles Police Department’s tactics and training in handling mentally ill and drug- and alcohol-addicted people, especially in the lead-up to highly charged incidents.
Controversy erupted Tuesday over a presidential candidate’s fundraiser on holy Jewish holiday at a Texas mansion home to personal artifacts of Adolf Hitler.
Interest groups issued sharp statements over Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s donor dinner at the Dallas-area mansion of real estate magnate Harlan Crow, whose eclectic art collection includes paintings by the Nazi fuhrer, a signed copy of his book and some place settings he once used.
Tuesday’s fundraiser fell on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest holiday.
In “SB 350’s victory is incomplete, but hope remains” (Viewpoints, Sept. 18), Tom Steyer uses a familiar political trick – demonize the opposition to avoid a serious discussion about energy, economic and environmental policy.
His finger-pointing fails to address important facts about California’s climate program.
First, California businesses, including oil companies, electric and gas utilities, as well as just about every other industry in the state, are doing more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than businesses in any other state. California has the most robust climate program in the world, with more than 65 programs that are already being implemented.
Second, California energy bills are higher than any other state’s. Energy prices always fluctuate; that is how the market works. But, the important statistic to understand is the differential between California energy costs and the rest of the nation.
Earlier this month, when a legislative effort to reduce petroleum use in motor vehicles fell apart, Gov. Jerry Brown vowed to push ahead with greenhouse gas reduction policies on his own.
“We don’t have a declaration in statute, but we have absolutely the same authority,” Brown said. “We’re going forward. The only thing different is my zeal has been intensified to a maximum degree.”
The administration on Thursday staged a show of force.
While the Democratic governor appeared in New York to promote climate change policies at a meeting of the United Nations, the California Air Resources Board convened in Sacramento to consider renewing the state’s low carbon fuel standard, a central part of California’s greenhouse gas reduction program.
The board is expected to approve the standard’s renewal Friday. It requires producers of gasoline and other transportation fuels to reduce the carbon intensity of their products by at least 10 percent by 2020, with a shifting focus to cleaner fuels.
Signed into law this June after a ferocious political fight, Senate Bill 277 requires that children – unless they have a medical exemption – receive all their shots before enrolling in public or private school. Opponents who could not halt it in the Legislature hope voters will rally to their cause by overturning the law at the ballot box.
Qualifying a referendum for California’s statewide ballot is difficult, and few supporters of SB 277 believe referendum backers have the resources to collect 365,880 signatures by Sept. 28. They say the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown mirrored the science and the polling: vaccines work, and the public overwhelmingly supports them.
Far more so than other prominent business figures who’ve run for office, Fiorina epitomizes modern, white-collar corporate culture on a massive scale. No, that isn’t necessarily a political asset — especially when Gallup reports that Americans are far less confident in big businesses than small ones, and that fewer than a third of workers are emotionally engaged with their jobs.
Sorry, Carly. You’re peaking too early. Just ask President Herman Cain.
This week’s CNN poll shows Carly Fiorina, the former business executive, rocketing to the top tier of the Republican presidential race.
She has 15 percent support, up from just 3 percent weeks earlier.
Meantime, the previously unassailable front-runner, Donald Trump, is suddenly hemorrhaging support, falling to 24 percent from 32 percent, while Ben Carson has dropped to 14 percent from 19 percent.
Then there’s Scott Walker, who just two months ago was the commanding front-runner in Iowa, then saw his support evaporate entirely.
On Monday, he dropped out of the race.This dizzying reshuffle of the Republican deck, if confirmed in other polling, can mean only one thing: GOP primary voters have returned to their preferred method of candidate selection, the flavor-of-the-week technique.
Using this method, they undergo a flirtation with every possible alternative before finally holding their collective noses and settling on the most obvious, if uninspiring, consensus choice.
The decision was polarizing. Serra is revered by Catholics for his missionary work, but many Native Americans in California say he enslaved converts and contributed to the spread of disease that wiped out indigenous populations.
Since the sign-off of the CNN debate last week, the political chattering classes have been speculating about the future of Donald Trump.
Has he finally hit a peak, followed by an inevitable decline? There has been a lot of (possibly wishful) punditry to the effect that Trump’s lackluster debate performance could represent a turning point in his campaign.
A CNN poll done shortly after the debate seemed to confirm those suggestions, showing Trump falling from 32 percent before the debate to 24 percent after.
But polls taken soon after a debate — the CNN poll was begun the day after — fail to measure the natural evolution of opinion that occurs as the event sinks in with voters in the days that follow.
Now, a new Fox News poll, taken September 20-22, suggests Trump’s post-debate lead over the Republican field is stable.
The poll has Trump at 26 percent — a one-point up tick from the last Fox poll that closed on August 13.
In the new survey, Ben Carson is in second place at 18 percent, with Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio at nine percent, Ted Cruz at 8 percent, and Jeb Bush at seven percent.So the long-awaited Trump slump might not be here.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive,” wrote British novelist and theologian C.S. Lewis. In his view, a “robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep,” but rulers “who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
This quotation jumped to mind after reading about the state government’s latest and ongoing “torment” of a group of Fresno-area farm workers who for nearly two years have been trying to get the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to count its votes in a union election. Instead, the agency has tried to cram down a seemingly unwanted union contract on the workers.
Four years after approving legislation that ended the anti-blight redevelopment program in California, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a bill giving local agencies a way to pay for similar projects.
Assembly Bill 2, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, authorizes local governments in economically depressed areas to use certain tax revenue for public works and affordable housing improvements and to help businesses.
Alejo said in a prepared statement that the bill signing was a “major victory for our state’s most disadvantaged communities.”
A retired Marine and his service dog were denied a seat on an American Airlines flight the same day they had been honored with the Service Dog of the Year award.
Jason Haag, his wife, and his dog Axel were returning from the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards where Axel had been honored as the Service Dog of the Year on Sunday when American Airlines employees at Los Angeles International Airport refused to allow them to board a plane to Reagan National Airport.
The airline employees did not believe that Axel was a service dog though Haag provided an animal identification card. Axel was also wearing a harness identifying him as a service dog.
Retired Gen. David Petraeus returned to the public arena for the first time in three years Tuesday to argue that the United States must boost its actions against the Islamic State, including embedding advisers with Iraqi combat troops and creating a “safe zone” in Syria for civilians and opposition forces.
The Obama administration has pointed to the drop in uninsured people as proof that Obamacare is working, but a new survey shows that while more people are getting coverage, many workers who get insurance from their employers are paying a lot more out of pocket for healthcare.