The administration of the University of California system pays top workers salaries and benefits significantly higher than that of similar state employees, and failed to disclose to the Board of Regents and the public that it had $175 million in budget reserve funds while it was seeking to raise tuition, a state audit found Tuesday.
The audit triggered a dispute with UC President Janet Napolitano, who said charges of hidden funds were false, while two members of the UC Board of Regents charged recommendations to give the Legislature budget authority over the Office of the President encroached on UC’s constitutional powers.
Among the sticking points, the auditors believe the regents should contract with an independent third party that can assist the regents in monitoring a three-year corrective action plan.
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), who easily beat out a Democratic challenger in the November election, says she will seek reelection in 2018.
Napolitano, 80, pointed to her seniority and experience — 10 terms in Congress — in a campaign announcement Tuesday.
“We are at a critical point in our nation, with a new administration that has lost sight of the core values that this nation was founded on," she said in a statement. "It is imperative that we have members in Congress who are experienced and ready to fight, day to day, to bring the federal resources that address our community's pressing needs and the many challenges ahead."
Gov. Jerry Brown warned on Monday that what he's heard so far from President Trump and congressional Republicans on a major new infrastructure plan sounds more like a way of benefiting the private sector.
"Let's invest in America, not sell it off to the highest bidder," Brown said in an evening speech to the annual conference of the California Labor Federation and the State Building and Construction Trades Council.
The governor, who thanked labor leaders for helping to wrangle votes in the Legislature for the $52-billion transportation plan approved earlier this month, sounded a note of skepticism about the notion of public-private partnerships that could be at the heart of Trump's promise to launch a $1-trillion national effort.
Phil Janowicz, a former chemistry professor at Cal State Fullerton who now runs a education consulting firm, is a first-time candidate. He'll start his campaign Tuesday.
“People have become disgusted by the current state of our politics in Washington, D.C. Partisanship and gridlock, never-ending conflict, and promises to ‘drain the swamp’ that are broken as quickly as they are made," he said in a statement. "Our country and our communities deserve better."
Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) wanted to stop cities and counties from taxing users of such services until 2023, which would have given the industry and local governments time to figure out how a taxation system would work, Ridley-Thomas said.
Currently, many local governments tax cable-television subscribers. Ridley-Thomas aimed to stop cities from extending that tax to streaming services to foster growth in the industry and deal with complex legal and taxation issues as the streaming services grow in popularity.
California’s fight against climate change would be overhauled under legislation advanced by an Assembly committee on Monday.
The legislation, a revised version of a measure introduced earlier this year, would link the state’s efforts against greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming, and other pollutants, which cause public health problems such as asthma.
Facilities such as oil refineries would face tighter restrictions, and the cap-and-trade program — which requires companies to buy permits to emit greenhouse gases — would become less flexible.
An Armenian march across Los Angeles on Monday served as a stage for the budding rivalry between Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom as the two Democrats vied for the loyalty of a key constituency in next year’s race for governor.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been here,” Villaraigosa, the former Los Angeles mayor, said at the march's launching grounds in Pan Pacific Park. “For some, it may be.”
“Some” was an apparent reference to Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor, who was standing just a few steps away.
The state Assembly voted to give final approval Monday to nearly $1 billion for transportation projects in the districts of five lawmakers who voted two weeks ago in favor of a gas-tax increase after previously being undecided.
Assemblyman Matthew Harper of Huntington Beach led Republicans in opposing the legislation, which he dubbed “earmarks based on political influence and backroom deals.”
GOP lawmakers said the normal process calls for individual transportation projects to go through the California Transportation Commission, but Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) said the Assembly should make the decision, rather than leave it to “unelected bureaucrats.”
The state affiliate of the National Rifle Assn. on Monday filed the first of a series of planned lawsuits against a package of gun control bills approved in California last year, including one challenging the state's newly expanded assault weapons ban.
Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a prohibition on the sale of semiautomatic rifles equipped with bullet-buttons that allow for the quick removal and replacement of ammunition magazines.
The first lawsuit will be filed late Monday in federal court in Santa Ana by the California Rifle and Pistol Assn., the state affiliate of the NRA , and asks the courts to declare the expanded assault weapon law unconstitutional.