Index
Tuesday
Apr152014

POLITICS (State, Local/Cudahy): Cudahy, state controller audit, "rampant" questionable spending: "State cites 'rampant' Cudahy spending, orders $22.7 million repaid" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "State cites 'rampant' Cudahy spending, orders $22.7 million repaid" - From the LAT:

City leaders in one of Los Angeles County’s poorest cities used city-issued credit cards for excessive travel, meals and entertainment, mismanaged state funds and had virtually no internal controls to prevent the misuse of taxpayer dollars, the state controller concluded in a scathing audit released Tuesday. The audit, which examined fiscal management practices in Cudahy over a two-year period ending in 2012, also ordered to city to return $22.7 million in redevelopment funds.

“The few rules that did exist were not followed, and questionable spending was rampant," said state Controlller John Chiang.

Like neighboring Bell, Cudahy has been buffeted by corruption investigations and political upheaval in recent years..............

Tuesday
Apr152014

MORNING MEMOS: Mayor Eric Garcetti, proposed 2014-15 budget, commentary (Opinion L.A. - Kerry Cavanaugh), "A practical Eric Garcetti takes a modest swipe at L.A.'s business tax"; Bay Area, embezzlement, more than $500K, "AC Transit official accused of stealing from his church"; downtown Los Angeles, "City Begins Looking at Convention Center Upgrade Without Farmers Field" ....

***Various items this morning from across the spectrum of politics and/or public policy....

* Downtown News:  "City Begins Looking at Convention Center Upgrade Without Farmers Field"

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross):  "AC Transit official accused of stealing from his church"

* Los Angeles Times (Opinion L.A. -- Kerry Cavanaugh):  "A practical Eric Garcetti takes a modest swipe at L.A.'s business tax"

Tuesday
Apr152014

SACRAMENTO: Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, new spending plan, cap-and-trade (AB 32) funds: "Steinberg says California cap-and-trade money should be spent on housing, transit, high-speed rail"; also, "Senate leader pushes new plan to spend polluter fees"; "Top Democratic lawmaker backs off 'carbon tax'"....

***Latest plan for spending California cap-and-trade funds....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Steinberg says California cap-and-trade money should be spent on housing, transit, high-speed rail"

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "Senate leader pushes new plan to spend polluter fees"

* U-T San Diego (AP):  "Top Democratic lawmaker backs off 'carbon tax'"

Tuesday
Apr152014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (County of Los Angeles): Los Angeles County, proposed 2014-2015 budget, $26-billion spending plan: "Proposed L.A. County budget shifts money to jails, foster care reform" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Proposed L.A. County budget shifts money to jails, foster care reform" - "The $26-billion spending plan calls for adding 1,300 positions, including nurses, social workers and staff for the Sheriff's Department inspector general." - From the LAT:

Los Angeles County officials proposed a budget Monday that would pump money into reforming major problem areas, including the jails and foster care system, while expanding county medical staffs to manage the transition to federal healthcare reform. As part of a $26-billion spending plan that builds on post-recession economic improvements, Chief Executive William T Fujioka called for adding more than 1,300 positions to county government, including nurses, social workers and staff for the newly created Sheriff's Department inspector general.

The county has a workforce of more than 100,000, making it by far the largest employer in the region.

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Los Angeles County is the largest local government in the nation, serving 10 million residents, and is responsible for a vast network of social welfare, public safety and other government services.

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Fujioka said the most critical concern for this year is shoring up the county's medical system — second-largest in the nation..............................

Tuesday
Apr152014

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, South Coast Air Quality Management District, proposed new strategy, pollution reduction targets: "Southland air regulators seek to hold ports to pollution targets" .... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "Southland air regulators seek to hold ports to pollution targets" - "Under proposed rule, if the L.A. and Long Beach ports fail to hit targets the air district would require them to propose additional pollution reduction measures." - From the LAT:

Air quality regulators, embarking on a bold new strategy to reduce smog in Southern California, want to hold the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach responsible for their pledges to cut pollution from thousands of trucks, ships and trains carrying goods to and from the nation's largest port complex. If a rule proposed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District is adopted, it could open the door to similar regulations on other facilities that are magnets for truck and rail traffic, such as warehouses, distribution centers and rail yards.

The ports, which are publicly owned, and industry groups are fighting the rule and vow to file suit if it is approved. The ports have slashed emissions under a voluntary plan adopted in 2006. Ports officials say the air district should not penalize them if they fail to achieve the remaining goals in the plan.

Air district officials say the ports are the largest single source of air pollution in Southern California, producing about 10% of the smog-forming emissions in a region with some of the dirtiest air in the nation and should be held to firm standards. Environmentalists and community groups agree. They say the rule would benefit the health of millions of people, especially those who live near the ports or along freight corridors.

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The rule would kick in only if the ports fall short of the emissions targets set under their Clean Air Action Plan. . . . . . . . .

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Port officials say their hands are tied because they do not own or operate the trucks, ships, locomotives and cargo-handling equipment that serve the port.

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The South Coast air district says it needs the rule because of a federal health standard for fine particle pollution. . . that the basin is required to meet by the end of this year. . . . . . . .

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Legal experts said the dispute highlights a major constraint on local air regulators: That they have little control over some of the worst pollution sources..........................