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Katy Grimes

State Democrats kill High-Speed Rail accountability spending bill

SACRAMENTO — It is very discouraging that something so clear-cut like the High-Speed Rail Authority’s misspending practices are embraced by state Democrats.

Assembly Bill 1501, by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, California High Speed Rail Funding Accountability Act, was killed in the Assembly Transportation Committee Monday, with the majority of Democrats voting in opposition.

Citizens for High-SpeedRead More

Katy Grimes

Bill to stop High-Speed Rail in its tracks

California’s High-Speed Rail Authority continues to forge ahead with the project to build the $68 billion train system, despite a court decision saying the HSRA cannot use Proposition 1A funds that were approved by the legislature.

To address this and many other controiversial decisions by the HSRA, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, has introduced AB 1501 to protect California taxpayers from a risky financial obligation by the HSRA.

“By continuing to spend federal money, the HSRA is leaving taxpayers holding a bag full of matching state bond funds that a judge has said can’t be spent,” Patterson said in an interview. “We are essentially overdrawing our bank account by spending these federal funds. We simply don’t have the matching funds required by the federal… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sac Metro Fire has one-half of the 100 highest paid public employees Sacramento Region

Next month, the Sacramento Metropolitan FireDistrict is expected tomake a pitch that 220,000 Sacramento County property owners approve a large property tax assessment on their properties.

Annual assessments on single-family homes will range up to $50 per year if the proposal is approved by property owners, according to Craig Powell, president of Eye on Sacramento, a public policy watchdog. Commercial properties and apartment complexes will be significantly higher.

The Sacramento Beepublished a story Wednesday reporting about the State Controller’s most recent report on the 1,000 highest paid publicemployees in the Sacramento region, reporting payfrom 2012.

Six different California fire districts top the list of highest paid public employees:

Belmont-San Carlos Fire District,San Mateo County Montecito Fire District, Santa Barbara County Novato Fire District, Marin County Chino Valley Fire District, San Bernardino County Woodside Firer District, San Mateo … Read More

Katy Grimes

Judge rules against taxpayer groups in arena subsidy initiative

Delusions of grandeur drive the proponents of a downtown sports arena in Sacramento.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled against two taxpayers groups in Sacramento, to place the proposed public subsidy for the new basketballarena before the city’s voters. Judge Frawley said the taxpayer groups made such significant errors in the wording of their petitions, the petitions, and 23,000 signatures supporting the effort, are not valid.

This is how The Sacramento Bee, which has been openly advocating for the arena subsidy, reported it: “The lawsuit, meanwhile, was funded by an agribusinessman who lives just outside the city limits and a group of nonunion electrical contractors angry that the arena is going to be built almost exclusively with… Read More

Katy Grimes

Justice for Gerawan Farm Workers in the hands of Underhanded ALRB

One of the most significant labor relations fights in the country is currently taking place here in California. Proceedings have turned ugly, with many questioning the legal tactics and scruples of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

As the United Farm Workers labor union and the state Agricultural Labor Relations Boardhave found themselves on the brink of extinction and future irrelevance, they have joined forces to reverse their misfortune by targeting one of the biggest non-union farming operations in the state. Should they succeed in unionizing the 5,000 total Gerawan Farming employees, it would more than double union membership, and certainly boost the ALRB’s status.

The UFW won an election to represent Gerawan Farming’s workers 23 years ago. But after only one bargaining session, the union disappeared and wasn’t heard from for more than 20 years.

In October 2012, the union reappeared to impose a contract on Gerawan Farming and its employees — without a vote of the workers.

But the workers don’t want the union.

The wrangling with the United Farm Workers Union began again in October of… Read More

Katy Grimes

Media army of fools in Sacto arena deal

Nearly every member of the media in Sacramento is openly advocating for a new basketball arena to be built in downtown. And they are supportive of a massive public subsidy to offset the cost for the owners of the Sacramento Kings. Besides gross incompetence, this is also willful negligence.

A group of citizens and taxpayers known as STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork), and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal, are fighting the public subsidy of the proposed new arena. According to the lawsuit filed bySTOP, the city subsidy is actually $338 million — not the $258 million the city claims.

STOP has tried to get the details of the arena deal and purchase of the Sacramento Kings to be made public.

Beyond the legal challenge to the city’s… Read More

Katy Grimes

ALRB Part ll: Background on ALRB Chair Shiroma

This series reports on the backgrounds of the board members and officials ofthe ALRB. Part 1 ishere.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board is made up of five members, the board was created when the Agricultural Labor Relations Act was signed into law in June 1975 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

With two vacancies, the board currently hasthree members:

* Chairwoman Genevieve A. Shiroma, who has served on the board since 1999, was appointed by Gov.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Strikes for higher minimum wage hit CA, USA

Anti-Walmart protestsstruck across Californiaand the rest of America on Black Friday. The protesters demanded that the giant retailer pay its worker higher wages and benefits.

As part of the protests, Robert Reich is pushing apetitionon Facebook. The former secretary of labor… Read More

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