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Rematch coming of high-profile 2014 race for state superintendent of public instruction

Rematch coming of high-profile 2014 race for state superintendent of public instruction

by James Poulos The most expensive contest on the 2014 California ballot is set to return next year. “Marshall Tuck, who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent schools chief Tom Torlakson in a contentious 2014 race that became a proxy fight over a lawsuit on teacher job protections, will run again for state superintendent of public instruction,” the Sacramento Bee […]

CA GOP cheers federal support for new water bills

CA GOP cheers federal support for new water bills

By James Poulos Central California residents, long hoping for federal water reform, have begun to see some movement from Washington.  Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., has rolled out language designed to “build on last year’s legislation that was loved by farmers and loathed by environmentalists,” as McClatchy reported. “The bill scales back an ambitious San Joaquin River […]

Proposed bill would mandate 100 percent renewable energy in California

Proposed bill would mandate 100 percent renewable energy in California

By James Poulos Joining a would-be trend that includes lawmakers in deep blue Massachusetts, Senate majority leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has unveiled a new proposal that could become California Democrats’ answer to the limits of cap-and-trade.  “The California Senate leader has introduced legislation that would require the Golden State to get 100 percent of its electricity from […]

Traffic deaths spike in California, U.S.

Traffic deaths spike in California, U.S.

By James Poulos Following a nationwide trend, traffic deaths in California have spiked, alarming analysts and prompting fresh questions about technological distractions like smartphones, and fueling debate over how policymakers can or should respond.  The news was relayed in a report by the National Safety Council. “The study shows that in California, traffic deaths rose 14 percent […]

Deferral of federal funds casts fresh doubt on California high-speed rail

Deferral of federal funds casts fresh doubt on California high-speed rail

by James Poulos The new administration in Washington, D.C., has added another hurdle to California’s already difficult road to high-speed rail. Drawing fire from Democrats and cheers from Republicans, the Department of Transportation “has deferred a decision on a $647-million grant that would help Caltrain electrify a section of track between San Jose and San Francisco, […]

Bridge woes compound California infrastructure troubles

Bridge woes compound California infrastructure troubles

By James Poulos Dams aren’t the only part of California infrastructure on the hot seat. Following a big-ticket Sacramento request for federal building funds, a new report has concluded that the number of state bridges in dangerously inadequate condition reaches into the thousands.  “Of the 55,000 bridges across the U.S. that were deemed structurally deficient in […]

California Democrats spend significant campaign cash fighting each other because of Prop. 14

California Democrats spend significant campaign cash fighting each other because of Prop. 14

By James Poulos New figures on the November 2016 election cycle showed that Golden State Democrats continued to shell out substantial sums to compete with one another for elective office. Numbers taken from the California Secretary of State, and verified with Cal-Access campaign records, illustrate how the state’s blanket primary system, which pits the top two first-round vote-getters against […]

Google takes lead on California driverless cars

Google takes lead on California driverless cars

By James Poulos As Silicon Valley rushes to stake out a lead in what’s hoped to be a robust market for driverless cars, the company spun off of Google has established a clear lead — perhaps giving the competition a reason to consider focusing their efforts outside the Golden State.  “New data on tests of self-driving car technology […]

Extra electricity, but no price relief

Extra electricity, but no price relief

By James Poulos Fueled by a dated system that does not always respond to market incentives or pressure, costs and surpluses of energy have both grown in California, raising pointed questions about what residents should expect from rates and regulations alike. “California has a big — and growing — glut of power,” as the Los Angeles Times announced […]

Wet winter upends California water politics

Wet winter upends California water politics

By James Poulos Drought-busting levels of rain and snow have put pressure to lift emergency restrictions on usage, but California regulators declined to ease up on the longstanding curbs. “Amid the ongoing succession of storms, water managers up and down the state are urging regulators in Sacramento to permanently cancel historic, emergency drought rules that have been in place […]