CSU stashed $1.5B in reserves while hiking tuition, audit says
Sacramento Bee's SAWSAN MORRAR: "The California State University stashed away $1.5 billion in discretionary reserves while raising tuition and lobbying the Legislature for more funds, according to a report released Thursday by California State Auditor Elaine Howle."
"CSU put the money, which came primarily from student tuition, in outside accounts rather than in the state Treasury, the report said."
"The investigation mirrors Howle’s 2017 report on the University of California Chancellor’s Office, which charged that top UC brass kept a $175 million slush fund while hiking students’ tuition."
Amid jitters, experts eye potential California recession
CHUCK MCFADDEN in Capitol Weekly: "There are clouds on California’s economic horizon, but whether they herald a coming recession is uncertain. The experts agree that there is a slowdown, but there is little consensus beyond that."
"The respected UCLA Anderson School of Management’s report on the state’s economy had this to say on June 5:"
“While the U.S Department of Commerce’s release of a 3.1% growth rate for GDP in the first quarter was celebrated as evidence there is no recession in the near future, a closer look at the details behind that 3.1% number leaves little reason for celebration."
READ MORE related to Economy: Needed: Protections for consumers from high-interest loans -- Opinion: CHRIS MCKINLEY in Capitol Weekly
Amended vaccine bill clears major hurdle on way to governor
Sacramento Bee's HANNAH WILEY: "A bill to restrict vaccine medical exemptions and increase oversight of the doctors who issue them to California school children is one step closer to becoming law."
"Senate Bill 276, which passed a major legislative hurdle on Thursday, would require exemptions to meet federal guidelines and would task state officials and appointed physicians with monitoring them."
"After facing bipartisan scrutiny in a nearly six-hour hearing, the bill passed through the Assembly Health Committee on a 9-2 vote, with four members abstaining."
Panel okays voting rights for former prisoners, parolees
NAHIMA SHAFFER in Capitol Weekly: "Former state and federal prisoners, including those on parole, would have the right to vote in California, under a constitutional amendment approved by an Assembly committee."
"The measure, ACA 6, was approved by the Democrat-controlled Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee in a 6-1 vote and sent to the Appropriations Committee. If approved by lawmakers, it would be placed before voters on the statewide ballot for a final decision."
"The bill before us is not a vote to allow those who are on parole to vote. The bill before us is a constitutional amendment that will allow the people of California to be able to make that decision,” said Assemblymember Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley."
Sacramento cop grew up in Bay Area, achieved dream before slaying
The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF/MICHAEL CABANATUAN/ASHLEY MCBRIDE: "Tara O’Sullivan returned every December to College Park High School in Pleasant Hill to participate in the soccer team’s annual alumni game. Even the year she had an injured knee, she insisted on playing with her former teammates."
"That same determination and sense of community drove O’Sullivan in her quest to become a police officer, a childhood ambition that she finally realized in December when she was sworn into the force in Sacramento."
"Former colleagues and mentors described her as a “bright light” whom they believed would build bridges between law enforcement and local residents."
READ MORE related to Tara O'Sullivan: Sacramento police officer from Bay Area killed, allegedly by man with domestic violence record -- The Chronicle's MATTHIAS GAFNI/EVAN SERNOFFSKY/MICHAEL CABANATUAN
Trump EPA chief pens 'rather shocking letter' slamming California leader, clean car talks
McClatchy's EMILY CADEI: "The tensions between California and Trump administration environmental officials spilled into the open Thursday in a remarkably personal way."
"In a letter to Republicans in Congress, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler accused California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols of lying to lawmakers about the nature of their negotiations over California’s fuel economy standards, which the Trump administration is trying to preempt."
"Wheeler, a former energy lobbyist, wrote GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that it was “false” to claim that Nichols “operated as a good faith actor,” in California’s negotiations with the Trump administration. And he blamed the failed talks on “California’s lack of effort."
Inmate advocates, Sac County settle lawsuit over 'inhumane' jail conditions
Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS: "Sacramento County has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by inmates who alleged “inhumane” conditions at county jails, agreeing to make millions of dollars’ worth of changes to jail staffing, facilities, mental health services and custodial practices."
"The lawsuit, filed last July by Prison Law Office and Disability Rights California, alleged the county’s two jails confined inmates in “dangerous, inhumane and degrading conditions” and subjected inmates “to harsh, prolonged, and undue isolation."
"One of the plaintiffs of the lawsuit allegedly spent nearly eight years in solitary confinement – 23 hours or more in a small cell every day – experiencing auditory hallucinations, deepened depression, severe anxiety, suicidal thoughts and a vitamin D deficiency from lack of exposure to sunlight."
BART will receive $300M from feds to start crucial work on Transbay Tube
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "Finally, some good news for BART and its beleaguered riders: The transit agency will pick up $300 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, money that’s crucial to stay ahead of rush-hour crowds through the tube that connects Oakland to San Francisco, officials said Thursday."
"BART is on track to receive the full $1.2 billion it requested to boost capacity for crossing San Francisco Bay, from 27,000 people each hour to 39,000. The system currently runs 23 trains of varying lengths but officials want to increase that number to 30 10-car trains. The money will pay for new cars and a train-control system, among other improvements."
"“This is huge,” said Board President Bevan Dufty, who got the news during a Twitter town hall, when managers packed a war room at the agency’s Oakland headquarters and answered riders’ questions for an hour."
Trump approves strikes on Iran but abruptly pulls back
The Chronicle's MICHAEL D SHEAR/RIC SCHMITT/MICHAEL CROWLEY/MAGGIE HABERMAN: "President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing a U.S. surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions."
"As late as 7 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations."
"Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, such as radar and missile batteries."
Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales as Trump pledges veto
AP: "The Senate voted Thursday to block the Trump administration from selling arms to Saudi Arabia, launching a new challenge to President Trump's alliance with the country amid rising tensions in the Middle East."
"Trump has promised to veto the measures. The White House said stopping the sales "would send a message that the United States is abandoning its partners and allies at the very moment when threats to them are increasing."
"Though all the resolutions of disapproval are likely to pass the House, supporters fell well short of a veto-proof margin. Two of the resolutions passed with 53 votes, while another group was approved narrowly, with 51 votes. Overturning a veto requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate."
Global airlines reroute flights after Iran's downing of US drone
AP: "Major airlines from around the world Friday began rerouting their flights to avoid areas around the Strait of Hormuz following Iran's shooting down of a U.S. military surveillance drone there, as America warned commercial airliners could be mistakenly attacked."
"The Federal Aviation Administration warned of a "potential for miscalculation or misidentification" in the region after an Iranian surface-to-air missile Thursday brought down a U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk, an unmanned aircraft with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737 jetliner and costing over $100 million. The U.S. said it made plans for limited strikes on Iran in response, but then called them off."
"Australia's Qantas, British Airways, Dutch carrier KLM and Germany's Lufthansa said soon afterward that they will avoid the region as well."