News Stories

San Diego Democrat earns praise for inclusive approach

June 6, 2015

By Chris Nichols

In her first year as Speaker of the California Assembly, San Diegan Toni Atkins has won praise from colleagues both inside and away from the Capitol as a leader who seeks substance over style and teamwork rather than “high drama.”

Atkins, 52, a former San Diego City Council member, hasn’t escaped criticism in Sacramento. She dealt earlier this year with conflict-of-interest questions tied to her support for affordable housing and the controversial removal of a fellow San Diego Democrat from an Assembly committee.

By a MetNews Staff Writer

June 4, 2015

A bill that would allow the State Bar to collect donations from members to fund a student loan repayment program for public interest attorneys was unanimously approved yesterday by the state Senate.

SB 134, by Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, was previously approved by the Judiciary and Appropriations committees, also without a dissenting vote. The bill next moves to the Assembly.

If the bill becomes law, an option to donate to the Public Interest Attorney Loan  Repayment Program could be added to State Bar dues statements as soon as next year.

Sen. Hertzberg: “Markets change. We transform. That’s who we are. Welcome to America, baby.”

June 4, 2015

By Jessica Calefati/Bay Area News Groups/Los Angeles News Group

Sen. Hertzberg: "There is not honor in going out and working hard and then you got to go beg for" help.

June 3, 2015

As labor unions lead a nationwide push for a higher minimum wage, the California Senate on Monday approved raising the state's required hourly rate to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017.

Under Senate Bill 3, which passed by a vote of 23-15, California's minimum wage would also begin increasing annually in 2019 based on inflation. The measure heads next to the Assembly.

By Timm Herdt

June 3, 2015

Advancing Tuesday was SB 405, which would require counties to implement an amnesty program next year to allow individuals with outstanding fines for traffic or parking infractions to settle their fines for half the outstanding costs. In addition, those who apply for the amnesty would immediately have their driver’s licenses restored.

The fine for the actual infraction is just a small portion of the overall charge, which routes money to a range of public safety uses

June 3, 2015

By Matt Fountain

Senator Bob Hertzberg who addressed the crowd

May 28, 2015

Memorial Day at the old Pioneer Cemetery in Sylmar on May 25, 2015 was another success for the San Fernando Valley Historical Society (SFVHS). The observance began with a color guard and the strains of our national anthem sung by Stefni Valencia. The audience of about 350 enjoyed wisdom from Abraham Lincoln, wreath-layings by Civil War re-enactors and the local Marine Corps League, and the haunting sound of “Taps” performed by two buglers from Boy Scout Troop 104.

Tax proposals by unions and activists may loosen Gov. Brown's grip on the budgets

May 25, 2015

SACRAMENTO --- When it comes to California's roller-coaster finances, Gov. Jerry Brown has bent lawmakers and voters to his will, rejecting new spending programs, passing a temporary tax hike and strengthening the state's rainy-day fund.

But now a series of tax-related proposals, some backed by powerful interest groups or a rich benefactor, could loosen his tight grip on the budget.

California should rebalance its fiscal formula by reducing income taxes while extending a sales tax on services

May 23, 2015

By Nathan Gardels

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