Thursday, February 22, 2018

State Senator Resigns After Sexual Harassment Report

State senator Tony Mendoza resigned his seat Thursday morning, as senators were considering a vote on whether to suspend him over sexual misconduct allegations. A state senate investigation had found the Artesia Democrat had “more likely than not” engaged in a pattern of unwelcome flirtation and sexually suggestive behavior with several staffers, interns and a lobbyist.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Federal Court Finds Fault with Massive Water Transfer Plan

The federal district court in Fresno dealt a blow to a ten-year plan to transfer an enormous volume of water sold by Sacramento Valley water agencies to growers in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. The ruling marks a significant win for Aqua Alliance, the Sacramento Valley group who filed suit against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority in 2015. The lawsuit asked the court to declare the plan’s environmental review INADEQUATE, FAILING TO to meet minimum requirements of federal and state laws. The court agreed. KPFA’s Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mayors, Lawmakers Seek $1.5 Billion for Homelessness

Mayors from California’s 11 largest cities are asking the State for help to deal with the homelessness crisis. The mayors joined lawmakers on the capitol steps to urge passage of legislation that would create a $1.5 billion dollar matching fund for city programs addressing homelessness.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

CA Attorney General Backs Bail Reform

California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra is siding with reformers who want to change a cash bail system they say punishes people for being poor while letting people with money pay their way out of jail. Becerra says the current bail system does not make people safer, and he’s supporting legislative moves to change California’s bail system.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

DACA In Limbo as Senate Votes Down Immigration Proposals

The US Senate has voted down all four immigration measures that came up for action Thursday. The votes rejected President Donald Trump’s plans for slashing legal immigration and building a border wall. But the votes also failed to extend the DACA program, leaving in limbo nearly 700,000 undocumented youths who were brought to the country as children.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Senate Immigration Debate Continues with No Vote in Sight

The week-long Senate debate on immigration continues, with more proposals but no action so far. Nearly 700,000 youths who were brought to the US as children are waiting to see whether lawmakers will renew a version of the DACA program that gives them work permits and protections from deportation.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

California AG Gives Guidance on Immigrant Worker Protections

California’s attorney general and state labor commissioner have issued guidance on the state’s new “Immigrant Worker Protection Act” law. The new law is aimed at protecting workers and employers by putting limits on how businesses give immigration enforcement agents access to the workplace and to private information about workers.
Christopher Martinez reports.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Senate Opens Immigration Debate, Dreamers Fate At Stake

The US Senate has opened what promises to be a heated week of debate over immigration, as the clock ticks down for nearly 700,000 youths who were brought to the country as children and face the end of their protections under the DACA program next month. The debate is sparking controversy over Trump administration’s plans to make massive changes to immigration policy, such as building a border wall and ending family re-unification immigration policies.
Christopher Martinez files this report.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Troubled WaterFix Seeks to Build One Tunnel at a Time

The California Department of Water Resources announced recently it is adhering to its Water Fix plan to build twin tunnels for diverting water under the Bay Delta and into the state and federal irrigation systems. Only now they plan to do it one tunnel at a time. In a memo to public water agencies, DWR head, Karla Nemeth, says the state is sticking to its original concept but intends to start with one tunnel and build out at some unspecified date. Delta advocates say the plan constitutes a major change in plans and needs further review. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

ICE Raids Cause Pain to Valley Agriculture

The Trump Administration is has dramatically ramped up its plan to find and deport undocumented workers throughout the nation. That program is in full swing in the state as well. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, targeted 77 businesses last month in northern and central California to inspect their employee records. Now, ICE is targeting the agriculture sector in the San Joaquin Valley, as workers and the farming employers alike face an uncertain future going into the fruit harvest season. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.