News Stories

Legislative wrap up by Phillip Ung and Caitlin Maple

October 21, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown has cleared his desk of hundreds of bills sent to him by the Legislature. In total, the Governor signed 808 bills and vetoed 133 bills. Among the approved bills were victories that hold true to the values and legislative priorities of California Forward’s Partnership for Public Accountability.

By the Editorial Board

October 20, 2015

Your personal income tax return presents a superb opportunity for others to raise funds — both the government, which demands every tax dollar you owe, and the do-gooders behind those voluntary checkoff boxes for you to contribute to various causes.

This year, The Associated Press investigated California’s tax-return checkoff donation system and discovered something truly shocking.

Nearly $10 million of the $35 million in charitable donations by California taxpayers was languishing unspent in government accounts at the end of 2014.

Tickets issued before Jan. 1, 2013 may be eligible for a fine reduction.

October 16, 2015

By Emily Sawicki / emily@malibutimes.com

As of Oct. 1, those pesky traffic tickets from 2013 you still haven’t paid off are going to make a much smaller dent in your finances — assuming you haven’t made a payment since Sept. 30.

Bills lowering traffic fines, protecting water supplies and helping workers signed into law

October 13, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Making the traffic-fine process fairer, protecting California water supplies and providing incentives for attorneys to perform legal help for working residents are among the proposals by Sen. Bob Hertzberg that were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“Gov. Brown has a been a terrific partner and I am thrilled to see my bills to improve life for Californians become law,” said Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys.

By Timm Herdt

October 11, 2015

With the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, the attorneys at legal aid clinics that serve low-income Californians began discovering that something very troubling was happening with traffic tickets.

More than rent disputes, domestic violence issues or other legal matters, people were coming through their doors asking for help in dealing with traffic tickets they couldn’t afford to pay.

Governor also signed related measure, SB 664, by Sen. Bob Hertzberg

October 10, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a slate of measures Friday designed to improve water quality and boost conservation efforts, including one law meant to ensure residents replacing lawns with drought-friendly alternatives don’t run afoul of local regulations.

That measure, by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), prohibits cities and counties from enacting rules that ban the installation of artificial turf or drought-tolerant landscaping at residential properties.

October 9, 2015

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed into law a plan to require regional water-management officials to report the vulnerability of their water systems to an earthquake.

Senate Bill 664, authored by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, addresses Urban Water Management Plans, a collaborative overseen by the state Department of Water Resources to identify and use regional water-management solutions to increase regional self-reliance and manage water.

October 9, 2015

It’s a dirty secret on the part of law enforcement and the state itself. It’s a means of holding back certain segments of the population — do we dare say “immigrants” — by relegating them to effectively what was once called “Debtor’s Prison.”

Staff story

October 9, 2015

Long seen as a rite of passage for teenagers, a driver’s license represents far more than that to most Californians.

“A valid driver’s license is a vital link to employment, independence and long-term individual and family stability,” according to Yolo County Public Information Spokeswoman Beth Gabor. “For those with unpaid traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets, however, insurmountable court fines have led to the loss of the privilege to drive, leaving little realistic hope of ever climbing out of the abyss.”

By the Editorial Board

October 8, 2015

With its pointless punitive cycle of fines and late fees, California's traffic ticket system long has been a source of oppression for millions of motorists, burdening them with mounting debt they can't pay and depriving them of the driving privileges they need to remain employed.

It's a double-whammy that someone had to put the brakes on. Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, did just that with an amnesty program that launched last week.

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