Index
Wednesday
May062015

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Los Angeles Unified School District, PUC Schools, food service contracts: "L.A. Unified will investigate food service contracts at PUC charters" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (Los Angeles Unified School District, PUC Schools (charter), food service contract awards)....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. Unified will investigate food-service contracts at PUC charters" - From the LAT:

L.A. Unified Supt. Ramon C. Cortines has asked for a district review of food service contracts at one of the region's largest charter school organizations. The move came after The Times on Sunday published the findings of a state investigation into PUC Schools which showed an alleged conflict of interest in the awarding of millions of dollars in food contracts.

The state probe examined the dual roles of Jacqueline Duvivier Castillo, who is part owner of Better 4 You Meals and also was, until Saturday, PUC's director of business and development. Better 4 You Meals has provided food to the charter group for the last five years, documents provided by the state showed. Investigators for the California Department of Education said the charter failed to demonstrate that the contract was "awarded properly despite the apparent conflict of interest."

In an email to The Times on Saturday, PUC said Duvivier Castillo would no longer be employed by the charter group.

Cortines said that he has asked the district's charter school division to look into the matter . . . . . . . .

   ****

The L.A. County district attorney's office indicated Monday that it expected another, separate probe to be conducted by L.A. Unified's inspector general. The D.A.'s office said it was premature to comment on whether laws could have been broken. "We will review the report by LAUSD's inspector general when it's completed," said D.A. spokeswoman Jane Robison.

It remained unclear Monday evening if such a review would be conducted. Inspector General Ken Bramlett said no decision had been made on whether he would conduct a separate investigation into the matter .....................

Wednesday
May062015

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton: "Hoping to highlight good works, Clintons find controversy instead"; also, "The Clintons' worst defender" ....

***Following up on most recent earlier items noted here (Hillary Clinton campaign, new book, "Clinton Cash") and here (Bill Clinton remarks, family foundation, paid speeches)....

* Washington Post:  "Hoping to highlight good works, Clintons find controversy instead"

* Washington Post:  "The Clintons' worst defender"

Wednesday
May062015

SACRAMENTO: State Auditor Elaine Howle, report, Department of Human Resources: "California government not planning for retirements" .... 

* Sacramento Bee (The State Worker):  "California government not planning for retirements" - From the Bee:

California state government continues to struggle with plans for replenishing its aging workforce, according to a new report released Monday, chiefly because departments talk a good game but largely fail to follow through.

Nearly 41 percent of state employees are age 50 or older, State Auditor Elaine Howle noted in her assessment, yet the Department of Human Resources has been slow to assess what departments are doing to plan for the next generation of employees. And three departments first reviewed in 2009 – the Office of Emergency Services, Caltrans and the Department of Social Services – have made some progress but need to do much more. “The loss of institutional knowledge is a real concern for the state,” Howle wrote in a summary of the 26-page review, “and particularly for the three departments we reviewed.”

Along with better succession planning, which looks at the state’s needs for tomorrow, Howle said that the state needs to strengthen workforce planning, which maximizes today’s employees for the job at hand.

Among the report’s key findings: .....................

Wednesday
May062015

SACRAMENTO: California budget, higher-than-expected revenue, how to spend it?: "Tax credit, road repairs on budget wish list from Assembly Democrats"; also, commentary (Dan Walters), "California tax bonanza becomes a big problem" .... 

***California budget, how to spend "tax bonanza"....

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "Tax credit, road repairs on budget wish list from Assembly Democrats"

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "California tax bonanza becomes a big problem"

Wednesday
May062015

POLITICS/DEMOGRAPHICS: "Undocumented and unafraid," report/analysis: "They can't vote, but undocumented immigrants are California's newest political force" ....

* Orange County Register:  "They can't vote, but undocumented immigrants are California's newest political force" - From the OCR:

They live in the country illegally. They pepper their rallies with the chant “undocumented and unafraid.” And they cannot vote. Still, some politicians have heard their voices. In California, undocumented immigrants have political clout. “Today, we remind the rest of the nation that California is different,” said state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, in an April news conference to promote 10 bills he and others believe will help people in the country illegally.

The proposals ranged from a $1 billion plan to extend state-subsidized health care to the undocumented, to the establishment of a new state office that would make it easier for some immigrant crime victims to avoid deportation. Perhaps tellingly, the lawmakers discussed their proposals in a mixture of Spanish and English, with some statements presented only in Spanish, without translation.

“This package unequivocally states California’s commitment to immigrants,” said de León, a Democrat from Los Angeles, in an interview.

The proposals come on the heels of several legislative victories for the undocumented in California. Among the most prominent are driver’s licenses for all, limits on state cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and the right to become an attorney in California, regardless of one’s immigration status. Next year, people living here illegally will be able to apply for dozens of other professional or vocational licenses, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and real estate agents.

De León skirted a question on whether undocumented immigrants now have political power in California .............................