Report: Master Plan isn't working for California

Apr 29, 2014

For half a century, it’s served as the state’s higher education framework. But a new report says the Master Plan doesn’t work for California’s students and employers, and it needs a major revamp.


Larry Gordan reports in the Los Angeles Times: “”If current trends continue, the state will experience severe shortfalls in the number of people with the workforce certificates and degrees necessary to ensure prosperity and social mobility for the majority of Californians,” the report said.”


“The sheer size of California’s population and its influential role in the nation’s economy make reform of its higher education policies a national issue, according to University of Pennsylvania education professor Joni Finney, the lead author who oversaw a group of graduate students researching the study.”


The state is relying on empty medicals beds to meet court mandated prison reductions.


Paige St. John reports in the L.A. Times: “They reached that average by including 1,500 empty beds at a new medical prison outside of Stockton. The facility is at 47% capacity, and was closed to new medical admissions earlier this year after the death of an inmate and concerns it was poorly run.”


“In a court motion filed Friday, lawyers from the Prison Law Office representing inmates argue that counting empty cells and medical beds allows California to keep 4,000 more inmates in other prisons than would be permitted.”


In a rare appearance before a legislative committee, Gov. Jerry Brown made an appeal alongside Speaker John A. Pérez for a new rainy-day reserve.


Jim Miller reports in the Sacramento Bee: “Later, as budget committee members addressed Brown, there was little mention of concerns by the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst that a reserve based on capital gains estimates for a given budget year would “rely on subjective judgments that could increase or decrease the initial reserve.”


“Afterward, Pérez downplayed those concerns. “That’s what budgeting always is,” he said. “There are no perfect measures, there are no automatics so you have to make the best evaluations that you can.”


But timing is key in budget negotiations and Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg is waving a yellow flag.


Ben Adler reports for Capitol Public Radio: ““Whatever we do here will lock Californians into a budgeting formula for generations to come,” Steinberg said.  “A poorly-designed constitutional amendment is difficult to fix.”

“Democratic Assembly Speaker John Pérez, in contrast, said a deal should be reached in the next two weeks.”


Tim Donnelly says he doesn’t care about not being endorsed by former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former-governor Pete Wilson and Congressman Darrell Issa to the Kashkari campaign.


Melanie Mason reports in the L.A. Times: “Donnelly said he was not concerned that his opponent was attracting well-known Republican supporters.”


"The vast majority of Republicans do not want to be represented by somebody that voted for Obama, who ran TARP instead of a business," he said. "The fact that those prominent Republicans want to attach their name to a losing campaign, I think ultimately will be a mistake on their part."


The taxi industry backs Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian’s bill for ridesharing regulations, but Susan Bonilla offers an alternative.


Allen Youg reports for Sacramento Business Journal: “Bonilla’s bill is a bit narrower in scope. Assembly Bill 2293 would force the online companies to provide commercial insurance only during times that drivers had turned on their smartphone applications indicating that they were available to provide a ride.”


University of California President Janet Napolitano testifies to a Senate appropriations committee for a boost in federal funding.


Ron Leuty reports in San Francisco Business Times: “The 10-campus 240,000-student UC system, based in Oakland, won $4.2 billion last year in research funding from federal, state and private sources, but Napolitano told the Senate committee that federal budget sequestration and stalled appropriations bills "have forced promising science to be delayed or abandoned."


An Oklahoma family loses their second home, in a different town and just six years, to another tornado.  

Tulsa’s NBC 2 reports: “First, there was 2008. "I was in the tornado in Picher," said Rick Ross. That storm destroyed his home.”

"And then after I got blown away over there, I moved over here." Monday, the place he and his wife Cheryl call home also lays in ruin. "There was no time. It just hit. I wanted to go out to the (storm) cellar."

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