Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders unveiled their $680 billion drought relief plan.
Dan Brekke of KQED: "Brown appeared in Sacramento on Wednesday afternoon with state Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Peréz to announce the relief package."
“This is a call to action,” Brown said. “We must all do our part to conserve in this drought. The state is doing its part by providing immediate funding for drinking water, food, housing and assistance for water-conserving technologies.”
Brown, in response to a reporter's question, said legislation in Sacramento cannot resolve the gun violence in Oakland.
Melody Gutierrez reports in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Gov. Jerry Brown made it clear Wednesday that attempts by Oakland leaders to put another gun-control bill on his desk will not be fruitful, saying a new law would not curb the violence plaguing the streets of Oakland."
The Legislative Analyst's Office offered a bleak outlook for the state's teachers' pension fund.
From News10's John Myers: "State legislators are getting a cold dose of reality about California's ailing pension fund for teachers: find a way to boost contributions by almost $1 billion in 2015 and $5 billion a year soon thereafter... or watch the system collapse by the time current teachers reach retirement."
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education are directing juvenile detention facilities to provide apropriate learning and behavioral programs for special ed students
Jane Meredith Adams reports in Ed Source: "The statement from the two federal agencies comes in response to a federal lawsuit against the Contra Costa County Office of Education and Contra Costa County alleging that some special education students were confined to their cells at the county Juvenile Hall for more than 22 hours a day for more than 100 days. The lawsuit charges that the students received little to no educational or behavioral services during that time. The suit was filed in August by nonprofit legal center Disability Rights Advocates, public interest law firm Public Counsel and Paul Hastings LLP on behalf of three special education students in Juvenile Hall."
The call for a soda tax and warning labels is popular with Californias.
From the Sacramento Bee's Jeremy B. White: "Amid mounting concern about the prevalence of childhood obesity, California voters support taxing sugary beverages and mandating health warnings on sweetened drinks, according to a new Field Poll funded by the California Endowment."
Covered California is approaching the end of the open enrollment period.
Chad Terhune reports for Los Angeles Times: "California's insurance exchange said more than 828,000 people have signed up for Obamacare coverage ahead of a March enrollment deadline."
"With six weeks left for open enrollment, the Covered California exchange also unveiled new TV ads Wednesday aimed at reaching uninsured Latinos."
Silicon Valley-based company Facebook acquired a meager competitor for a whopping $16 billion.
Cade Metz writes in Wired: "Revealed today in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the deal is Facebook’s largest acquisition to date, but it’s just the sort of move the company was expected to make. The social networking giant has been quietly exploring the use of WhatsApp and other messaging services popular among teens, a demographic where Facebook’s influence has begun to wane. Recently, the company failed in its efforts to acquire another of these teen-centric services, SnapChat, and it has now filled the gap with WhatsApp."
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom may be leading the pack of Democrats who oppose the governor's plans to build a high speed rail.
From San Fransisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci: "In California, where Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much, the emergence of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom as the state's highest-ranking Democrat to pull his support for Gov. Jerry Brown's high-speed rail project is being closely watched as the possible harbinger of political change."
Newsom announced his candidate endorsement in the race to fill retiring Rep. Henry Waxman's seat this year.
Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times: "Former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel has picked up the endorsement of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom as she battles in a growing field of candidates for an open Westside-South Bay congressional district."
"I know Wendy will fight and deliver for the people of the 33rd Congressional District," Newsom said in a statement released Wednesday by the Greuel campaign."
The Fair Political Practices Commission rescinded warning letters send to two elected officials this week.
In the Los Angeles Times, Patrick McGreevy reports: California's campaign finance watchdog agency on Wednesday rescinded warning letters that had been sent to state Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) regarding disclosure of political spending.
A bill to expand the state's film tax credits is now moving throught the pipeline.
Allen Young reports in the Sacramento Business Journal: "Democratic Assemblymembers Raul Bocanegra and Mike Gatto released a film tax credit bill Wednesday that supporters say will protect jobs by keeping film crews in California."
"Assembly Bill 1839 would extend the program for five years while letting films of any size to apply for the program, but film crews could only apply the credit for up to $100 million of expenditures. The current program is denied to blockbuster movies with budgets over $75 million. The legislation would also open the program to 1-hour television shows and television pilots."
An Obama birther filed papers to run in the election for attorney general.
Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee: "Last month, Orly Taitz was in a federal courtroom in Sacramento as part of her unsuccessful effort to wrest the presidency away from Barack Obama."
"In June, the attorney-dentist-real estate agent from Orange County might appear on the statewide ballot in a long-shot bid to oust California Attorney General Kamala Harris."