State officials have failed to remedy problems that have contributed to a two-year delay for a new computer system and cost increases that are pushing its cost toward $1 billion, State Auditor Elaine Howle warned Thursday.
The system is being built to improve the state’s handling of its finances. The completion date has been pushed back from July 2017 to July 2019 and the total estimated cost has increased $237 million to $910 million, Howle said in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Howle wrote that the project team “has not remedied the project’s significant scheduling slippage,” and the project is “failing to promptly respond to its oversight entities’ concerns and recommendations, many of which have been outstanding for more than a year.”
The outgoing Obama administration on Wednesday tried to nudge forward Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to build two giant north-south water tunnels for California.
In an executive order, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell directed federal wildlife officials on Wednesday to release by Jan. 17 a preliminary environmental opinion that directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to assist as the $15.7-billion project seeks state and federal permits and other approvals.
Brown welcomed Jewell's move, saying in a statement that “it commits the federal government to a timely review” of the proposed tunnels.
California's presidential primary could find itself squarely in the middle of the Super Tuesday political sweepstakes in 2020 under a proposal being introduced this week at the state Capitol.
And while earlier efforts have failed to either influence the outcome of the Democratic or Republican contests or draw high voter turnout, the plan's author thinks times have changed.
"I think there's a yearning and a hunger for actual engagement," said Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), the bill's author. "There's not enough discussion of substantive issues that are crucial to Californians."
The race to replace Rep. Xavier Becerra is well underway, with a crowded field still forming and candidates scrambling to campaign and fundraise.
But one candidate vying for the seat won't be campaigning for the rest of the month.
Steven Mac, who entered the race two weeks ago, is leaving Thursday for military training at Fort Benning in Georgia. Mac, an L.A. County prosecutor and Army reservist, has been ordered to attend Airborne School there through Jan. 27.
President Obama told congressional Democrats during a closed-door meeting Wednesday that he's told President-elect Donald Trump about the importance of the program that defers deportation of people brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The Democrats who persuaded Obama to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and pleaded with him over the last month to find a way to protect the hundreds of thousands of young people in the program from being threatened with deportation, say they're concerned and waiting anxiously to see what the new president will do.
"I still wish that there was an executive order that could guarantee that the private information of the DACA student remains private," said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park). "Just expressing your opinion to Donald Trump doesn't convince me that he would not do something punitive to the Dreamers, especially because he made deporting the mainstay of his election campaign."
Vanessa Aramayo, a former executive director for the California Partnership, a statewide group focused on economic justice, will run for Congress to replace Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) in the 34th Congressional District.
Looks like we have Candidate #11 in CA34: Vanessa Aramayo registered last week with the FEC as a Dem candidate. pic.twitter.com/jzNkBeGpgp
Aramayo, 39, also previously worked for the Council of Mexican Federations, a nonprofit focused on Latino immigrants, and as a staffer in the Assembly and U.S. Congress. She was born and raised in Glendale and lives in Eagle Rock with her husband and twin daughters.
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) wants companies that recruit highly skilled foreign workers to follow new standards aimed at making it more difficult to exploit the visa program that allows them to work in the U.S.
Issa on Wednesday introduced legislation backed by multiple Democrats and Republicans that changes the requirements for the visa program known as H-1B, which was designed so foreign workers with specialty skills can fill jobs in the U.S. when qualified Americans aren't available.
The program is heavily used by technology companies, particularly in Silicon Valley, but Issa said the spirit of the program has been ignored by companies that replace Americans with workers from other countries whom they can pay less.
Bracing for an adversarial relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, the California Legislature has selected former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to serve as outside counsel to advise the state’s legal strategy against the incoming administration.
The unusual arrangement will give Holder, leading a team of attorneys from the firm Covington & Burling, a broad portfolio covering potential conflicts between California and the federal government. Former Los Angeles Rep. Howard Berman, a Democrat who is now a senior advisor to the firm, will also be part of the effort.
The initial three-month contract will cost $25,000 per month, shared by the state Senate and Assembly, according to the a copy of the engagement letter between the Legislature and the firm obtained by the Times.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), who has been investigated by the House Ethics Committee, was among the Republican members who defended an ultimately failed attempt this week to gut the committee.
An upcoming report from the committee will show Hunter used campaign funds to pay the $600 cost of flying a family rabbit, one of the expenses that is expected to surface as part of an ongoing review of his campaign spending.
The ethics office last year conducted a review of Hunter’s campaign expenses. Release of the ethics committee report was postponed in anticipation of the swearing in of the new Congress.