Essential California: Whose budget is it, anyway?

Good morning. It is Tuesday, May 26. Here's what’s happening in the Golden State:


Taking tax proposals to the ballot box

Politicians, unions and wealthy benefactors are pushing tax-related proposals over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown. Revenue is surging, so these proposals are more about promoting political agendas or funding specific causes than about filling the state's treasury. “Now is the time to be bold,” said state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). Los Angeles Times

Shrinking herds in Central Coast

In San Luis Obispo County, ranchers have shipped out or sold three-quarters of their cattle herds because of the drought. An area that’s been used for grazing since the 1700s is slowly turning brown and barren. Los Angeles Times 

Linking immigration to drought

Is the California drought the result of immigration? One group is trying to make that argument, airing commercials to make its case that the state’s natural resources cannot sustain high levels of population growth. Los Angeles Times



No running water: Columnist Steve Lopez visits a Los Angeles woman who lives without running water. After falling behind on her DWP bills, 71-year-old Doris Tillman learned to live on 50 gallons a week, all of which she has to bring into her home. Los Angeles Times

#DroughtShaming: Social media and apps are making it easier for neighbors to “shame” one another over their water use. “Mandatory water restrictions there, as California endures its fourth year of drought, have turned entire neighborhoods into water-waster whodunit mysteries.” NPR

Polluted wells: This graphic shows which Los Angeles County wells contain contaminated groundwater. Los Angeles Times



Disney’s big party: What is it like to spend 24 hours inside the Happiest Place on Earth? “Disneyland crawled with Soviet-era lines. For rides, for food, for first-edition pins, for the chance to get your picture taken with clocks and signs registering how crazy you were for being there,” writes Times critic Mary McNamara. Los Angeles Times

Preserving history: A home that helped usher in the era of Mid-Century Modern architecture may be on the chopping block, even though it is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Pacific Palisades home is listed for $6.8 million, and the seller is advertising it as an “incredible development opportunity.” Curbed LA

Finances of sports: In the last decade, Goldman Sachs has crafted 30 deals with pro sports teams looking to finance new stadiums. That includes the San Diego Chargers, who needed help raising $1.7 billion for a stadium in Carson. Los Angeles Times

Missing couple found: A 68-year-old Fullerton woman who disappeared two weeks ago was found in her car in a remote area of San Diego County, severely dehydrated, and appearing to have survived on oranges, pie and rainwater. She was found with her 79-year-old husband, who was dead. Los Angeles Times



Electing more politicians: In California, county supervisors can be more powerful than members of Congress. That’s because of how many people they represent and how much money they manage. Now, state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) wants large counties to dilute that power by having more members on boards of supervisors. Daily News

State spending: The state Assembly oversees a $150-million operations budget, and since the recession, funds have gone to programs hand-picked by the Assembly speaker without a procedural vote. “This allows one person to have complete power of the purse strings," said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School. Sacramento Bee

Workplace safety: The state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is getting closer to a proposed set of safety standards for the porn industry. Performers say the regulations, which include wearing protective eye gear, go too far. Daily News



Football player arrested: Former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested in Santa Clara, Calif., on suspicion of attacking a woman holding a baby, police said. Just in the last year, McDonald has faced allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault. This most recent arrest prompted the Chicago Bears to drop him from the team. SF Gate



Investing in early ed: In one Antelope Valley neighborhood, President Obama’s policy on early childhood education manifests itself in home visits during which specialists teach parents how to work with their young children to build language and motor skills. California is slowly restoring preschool and childcare programs that were cut during the recession. Los Angeles Times 



End of California, continued: San Andreas” is the latest film to portray the destruction of California. This time, it’s an earthquake so powerful that it can be felt on the East Coast. The film follows a long cinematic tradition of celebrating the end of the Golden State. New York Times

Locally sourced: Today, restaurants across America brag about where their vegetables and meats come from, but the original “farm-to-table” movement started here in California. “I’m furious about fast food taking over ‘farm-to-table.’ They’ve hijacked the terms of the movement,” says Alice Waters of Berkeley's Chez Panisse. Vanity Fair



Ending homelessness: Housing homeless veterans in Los Angeles should be easier, this editorial argues. It can take 100 days from the time a provider first makes contact with a veteran to the point when he or she is in housing. Los Angeles Times



In Los Angeles, there will be patchy fog before 11 a.m. It will gradually become sunny with temperatures reaching 73 degrees.

There’s a chance of drizzle in San Francisco this morning. It will be cloudy with a high near 60.

San Diego will be partly sunny with a high near 68 degrees.



On this date in 1958, San Francisco’s Union Square was recognized as a California historical landmark.


Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.