A poorly run nonprofit group that has received state funds to help small businesses get loans is in danger of becoming insolvent next year unless it gets more money, but the state should not provide funding without reforms, a state audit concluded Thursday.
The report by State Auditor Elaine Howle said the State Assistance Fund for Enterprise, Business and Industrial Development Corporation (SAFE‑BIDCO) has done some good helping businesses.
But it has not attempted to obtain more money from fundraising, and has imprudently spent limited funds on “questionable activities,” including 16 out-of-state trips and a trip to Ireland by its chief executives, the audit said.
A sweeping measure that would establish government-run universal healthcare in California cleared its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday, as scores of supporters crammed into the state Capitol to advocate for a single-payer system.
The Senate Health Committee approved the measure on a 5-2 vote after a nearly three-hour hearing, but Democrats and Republicans alike signaled unease with the major question still unanswered in the legislation: how the program would be paid for.
The bill, SB 562, would establish a publicly run healthcare plan that would cover everyone living in California, including those without legal immigration status. The proposal would drastically reduce the role of insurance companies: The state would pay for all medical expenses, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care.
Freshman State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) filed a formal response Wednesday to the recall campaign that is targeting him because he voted for a bill increasing gas taxes and vehicle fees for road and bridge repairs and mass transit.
The recall papers were filed April 19 by Elvira Moreno and 59 others, with the aid of conservative radio talk show host Carl DeMaio. They must collect 63,592 signatures of registered voters in 160 days to qualify the measure for the ballot.
In a statement, Newman’s campaign noted that he was just elected in November.
Hit with a surprise survey by state auditors, officials at University of California campuses changed their responses and dropped criticism of the UC Office of the President after it contacted them, instead offering more positive reviews of its effectiveness, according to documents released as part of the audit.
UC officials said Wednesday that the president’s office did not censor the responses, but State Auditor Elaine Howle said her office is continuing an inquiry into the alleged interference by the UC administration to determine whether it violated policies or laws and should be referred for further action.
“My legal staff is looking at it to determine whether we’ve got a situation where there might be an improper governmental activity,” Howle said. “Then once we complete some of that assessment, that will determine whether we conduct an investigation internally or whether we make any referrals.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has weighed in on the race in Los Angeles' 34th Congressional District, endorsing Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez over former L.A. city planning commissioner Robert Lee Ahn.
Pelosi spokesman Jorge Aguilar confirmed the endorsement.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is up with digital ads dinging Republicans over a proposal to exempt mbmers of Congress from some changes to the Affordable Care Act.
The amendment, which was introduced Tuesday night and first reported by Vox, allows states to opt out of the Affordable Care Act's ban on charging more or denying health insurance to people who have a preexisting condition. But, as it's currently written, that opt-out would not apply to Congress and congressional staff.
The sponsor of the carveout, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), said Wednesday his proposed amendment is being changed so it no longer exempts members of Congress and their staff. A vote on the bill isn't expected until next week at the earliest.
San Francisco attorney Stephen R. Jaffe is a lifelong Democrat and he intends to do what no Democrat has been able to do so far: make it to a runoff election against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Jaffe, 71, is an employment attorney who became a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign last year.
Two Republican challengers will run against Riverside Democratic Rep. Mark Takano in the 2018 primary.
Air Force veteran Aja Smith, who now works as an information technology specialist at the March Air Reserve Base, is the latest Republican to jump into the race. She grew up and now lives in Moreno Valley.
Republican Doug Shepherd of Riverside, a real estate broker who lost to Takano in 2016, will be looking for a rematch in 2018.
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said he welcomed a federal court decision Tuesday that blocked President Trump’s executive order threatening to withhold federal funding from cities, counties and states that adopt so-called sanctuary policies on immigration.
Becerra’s office had filed court papers challenging the threat to withhold money from jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.
A federal judge in San Francisco granted a preliminary nationwide injunction Tuesday against the order.
And it wasn't the first time in recent years that lawmakers in Sacramento were told of an agency hoarding a hidden stash of cash.
In the summer of 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown's state parks director resigned after revelations that department officials had long maintained an off-the-books accounting system that hid the existence of $54 million in funds. The practice of hiding the money had existed for more than a decade, with the funds split between accounts that collected entrance fees and financed off-highway vehicle parks.