House GOP symbolically votes to block California's high-speed rail project

Jun 11, 2014

Republican members of the House are looking to drive a stake in the heart of the high-speed rail project via their transportation funding bill.


Michael Doyle reports for the Bee Washington Bureau: “Hammering home the point, House Republicans on Tuesday approved an amendment by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, that blocks any money from the $52 billion bill from going to California high-speed rail.”


“"This is a project that is going out of control," Denham declared during House debate. "It's a project that has no end in sight. We've got to stop this train wreck."

The Republican-controlled House passed Denham's amendment on a largely party line 227-186 vote following a 15-minute debate.”


A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled California’s teacher firing framework unconstitutional. 


Jeremy B. White reports for the Sacramento Bee: “At the heart of the case lay the contention that a useful education begins with a quality teacher. Rules keeping lackluster teachers in front of students violate a fundamental guarantee of a meaningful education, according to a legal challenge launched by the advocacy group Students Matter on behalf of public school students.”


The deadline to finalize California’s budget is drawing near, as legislators and the governor make civil spending agreements – a far cry from past negotiations.


Jessica Calefati reports for the Mercury News: “Suddenly robust state finances and voter-approved measures that made it possible to pass a budget with a simple majority and dock lawmakers' pay if they don't meet the June 15 deadline to pass a budget are responsible for much of the civility. But this year's discussions also showed that Brown and the Democratic-controlled Legislature that some had predicted would want to spend wildly are pretty much on the same page.”


Former Speaker John Perez reclaimed his number two spot in the race for state controller. But just barely.


Steven Herbert reports for City News Service: “Perez leads Yee by 1,128 votes, 794,466-793,338. Both candidates have 21.6 percent of the vote.”


“The estimated number of ballots remaining to be processed stood at 328,576 as of 5:52 p.m. -- 194,188 vote-by-mail ballots, 101,257 provisional ballots and 33,131 ballots that are either damaged and could not be machine-read and need to be remade or were diverted by optical scanners for further review, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.”


Rival factions within a California tribe are in a tense dispute prompting the attention of local law enforcement.


Terry Collins reports for the Sacramento Bee: “"There's a standoff between the factions, and we're monitoring the situation," Johnston said Tuesday. "We have not aligned ourselves with any particular group or faction within the tribe. Both sides are pretty passionate about this."


“Tribal police officers representing one faction of the more than 300-member Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians want to shut down the casino. The officers have been kept at bay by casino security.”


Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators from both sides of the aisle are working to bring Tesla Motors “gigafactory” to California.


Connor Grubaugh reports in Capitol Weekly: “Newly introduced legislation, SB 1309 by Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, aims to ensure that California can compete with other states vying for the $5 billion Tesla battery manufacturing plant by promising future “financial incentives” and an easing of “regulatory and environmental processes” to benefit the company’s latest mammoth construction project.”


“In order to ensure that California can compete in terms of its business climate with other states bidding to site major clean energy facilities, it is necessary this act take effect immediately,” according to the bill. The precise details of those incentives, and which environmental rules would be eased, are not spelled out.”


This year, America’s Cup fans won’t be able to catch the race in the San Francisco Bay.


Bernie Wilson reports for the Associated Press: “America's Cup officials have reduced the prospective venues for the next regatta from four to three, and it appears San Francisco has been eliminated.”


“Russell Coutts, the CEO of two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA, told The Associated Press on Monday night that one venue has been eliminated, and that he plans to reduce the field to two by the end of June.”

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