Gender differences in retail pricing will continue, after California lawmakers shoot down a bill attempting to even the consumer playing field by creating an equal pricing table for all, regardless of sex.
Alexei Koseff reports in Sacramento Bee: "A bill that sought to ban the practice of charging men and women different prices for similar goods is finished for the year."
"Facing opposition from business groups, Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, pulled Senate Bill 899 from consideration on Tuesday, ahead of a Friday deadline to advance measures out of policy committees."
"Based on a 1995 law that prohibited gender-based pricing for services like haircuts and dry cleaning, SB 899 would have expanded the principle to retailers. Dubbing it “gender price discrimination,” Hueso pointed to examples like pink razors that cost several dollars more than the same model in blue and “boyfriend”-style women’s clothing far more expensive than the men’s fashion it mimics. "
The state Senate Veteran Affairs Committee is attempting to expand treatment centers for veterans suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues as an alternative to incarceration.
Katie Orr in KQED: "Of California’s 58 counties, 25 operate courts for veterans, including six in the Bay Area. They allow vets with substance abuse issues or mental health problems to be placed in treatment rather than prison or jail."
"The state Senate Veterans Affairs Committee today approved a bill that would require an evaluation of those courts, with an eye toward possibly expanding them."
"Businessman Wayne Hughes Jr. is sponsoring the bill and has pledged to pay for half of the study. It is expected to cost about $200,000."
'There is no reason for anyone in this world to eat out of a garbage can ... there is too much money here.' - Debbie Bartley
Lauren Rosenhall writing for CalMatters: "The Capitol dome looms over downtown Sacramento, a magnet for money and power."
"Shiny-shoed politicians and well-dressed lobbyists hustle toward the building where billion-dollar decisions are made. Nearby shops sell fine cigars and custom suits. A bar serves $16 martinis."
"But the streets that surround this regal building also are home to some of Sacramento’s most destitute residents, many suffering from mental illness or drug addiction in addition to extreme poverty. It’s not uncommon to see them rifling through trash cans, shouting incoherently or sleeping barefoot in the shade on the Capitol’s manicured grounds."
SEE MORE related to Vagrancy: Once homeless, these people now have a place to call home, thanks to O.C.'s new approach -- Theresa Walker in OC Register; SF opens new full-service shelter to get homeless off the streets -- Kevin Fagan in the Chronicle.
Trump is making his way back to SoCal for a $25,000+/plate fundraiser dinner.
L.A. Times' Seema Mehta writes: "Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is headed to Southern California days before the Republican National Convention for a fundraiser where donors are being asked to contribute up to $449,400 per person."
"The reception and dinner is set for July 13 at an undisclosed location in Rancho Santa Fe, according to an invitation obtained by The Times. The least expensive ticket costs $25,000 per person."
"The event comes as Trump has sharply increased his fundraising schedule in the aftermath of campaign finance reports that showed he lags far behind presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump ended May with $1.3 million on hand, compared to Clinton’s $42 million."
While PG&E continues to be backed into a legal corner, a former employee testifies that the company chose it's pipeline testing methods for safety and efficiency--not to cut costs, as prosecutors allege.
The Chronicle's Bob Egelko reports: "Pacific Gas and Electric Co. chose its controversial pipeline-testing methods for efficiency and safety and not — as prosecutors claim — to cut costs, a former PG&E supervising engineer testified Tuesday."
"During cross-examination, the utility’s lawyers questioned Chris Warner, a 22-year PG&E employee who now works for a PG&E consultant, in an attempt to rebut evidence suggesting that the company avoided the most effective testing methods to save money."
"The company is charged with 12 violations of pipeline-safety laws and with obstructing a federal investigation of the September 2010 explosion and fire at a gas pipeline in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes."
A civil grand jury in San Francisco claims that the city's continued handling of the budget in its current state will lead to an $800 million cost surge. However, The City has fired back saying the claim doesn't adequately represent San Francisco's financial landscape.
Lizzie Johnson reporting in The Chronicle writes: "A new report is calling San Francisco’s $1.3 billion maintenance backlog a “slow motion train wreck,” but city officials say the numbers in the report don’t tell the whole story of how the work is managed."
"A civil grand jury report released this week warns that a failure to make maintaining city assets a priority will drive maintenance costs up by more than $800 million unless addressed. The report notes that this year, $11.3 million — or 0.2 percent of the city’s general fund — will go to routine maintenance like cleaning windows and filling potholes."
"But city officials point out that money also comes from other sources, such as fees and bonds. Another $26.7 million goes to what the city calls “renewals,” like replacing a roof every 30 years. About $13.8 million funnels into right-of-way projects, like repairing bridges, tunnels and guardrails. Add another $48.5 million for street resurfacing, and more than $30 million for emergency repairs and ADA compliance."
Apparently, the racism-fueled violence sparked at Sunday's protest had been expected for months, as both groups indicated online the chances for an explosive confrontation should a rally ever happen.
Sac Bee's Sam Stanton reports: "There was never any question about the potential for violence at Sunday’s neo-Nazi rally at the state Capitol."
"Both sides had been warning over the internet for months that they expected a confrontation at the United Stand for Freedom rally planned by the Golden State Skinheads and the Traditionalist Worker Party group that took out the state permit for the event."
“The upcoming rally this weekend on the 26th promises to be one to remember, due to the fact many stand to stop us yet we refuse to yield!” the skinhead group wrote in a message on its website before Sunday’s event. “Although, our enemies have already openly planned to gather and use violence against us, as always we will stand our ground if forced to that point.”
During the House Democrat sit-in last week, every California representative was there -- except Loretta Sanchez.
Sarah D. Wire & Christine Mai-Duc with The L.A. Times: "As dozens of House Democrats staged a 25-hour sit-in on Capitol Hill last week to demand votes on gun control legislation, all but one Democratic House member from California joined in."
"Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Orange) was unable to participate because she was in Spain after a two-day trade mission there, her representative said. Sanchez extended her stay after the trade mission by six days."
"At a campaign event in Santa Monica on Tuesday to discuss education policy, Sanchez responded to questions about her absence from the sit-in, saying there wasn’t much she could do while out of the country once she found out about the action."
Two bills are dead in the water and lawmakers are caught in a stalemate after police transparency bills see resistance in the capital.
Liam Dillon reporting with L.A. Times writes: "California lawmakers have reached a stalemate over how much the public should know about the official activities of police officers."
"All but one of the major pieces of legislation introduced this year to either increase access to police disciplinary records and body camera footage or further restrict disclosure are now dead after a state Senate committee killed two bills Tuesday that would have given officers greater control over the handling of body camera videos."
"The result is that little has changed in terms of public access to police information in California in the nearly two years since the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., unfurled a wave of protests and counterefforts across the country. Numerous policy and procedural questions remain for state lawmakers to address as police departments, including Los Angeles, outfit officers with body-worn cameras."
And now from our "Project MKUltra" file ...
Are you a Netflix user? You may be a victim of a modern form of Project MKUltra according to Russia's Minister of Culture ... beware.
MSN: "Netflix has come to Russia, where it is a joy to some and a U.S. government mind control experiment to others."
"One man, Vladimir Medinsky, has put forth the paranoid theory that the White House is secretly funding the video-streaming company as a way to control minds worldwide. And who is Vladimir Medinsky? Only Russia's Minister of Culture."
"According to the Moscow Times and a news outlet called the Rambler, Medinsky finds it suspicious that American tech startups seem to come from nowhere. "