Along this patch of the Pacific Ocean, welders and pipefitters nearly outnumber the surfers and sunbathers. Within sight of the crashing waves, the laborers are assembling what some hope will make water scarcity a thing of the past. Read more
Our running list of CA Fwd news coverage, alongside selected items on reform in California.
California still has - by a huge margin - the highest poverty rate of any state under an alternative Census Bureau calculation that includes the cost of living. The Census Bureau report, issued Wednesday, says that nearly a quarter of California's 38 million residents live in poverty by the alternative method - almost 9 million - and the state's 23.8 percent rate is approached only by Washington, D.C.'s 22.7 percent. Read more
With the adoption of the Common Core standards by 43 states, the nation’s schools have embarked on one of the most ambitious reform strategies in the post-World War II era. Opposition to the new academic standards, however, has emerged on several fronts. Some states are threatening to withdraw from the Common Core altogether. Nationally, support among the general public is shaky and eroding, at least based on the results of recent polls. Read more
A few states have turned to independent or arms-length commissions to limit political influences when redrawing congressional and legislative districts. The Supreme Court, however, is hearing a case from Arizona that could jeopardize the future of these commissions. Commission supporters point to more competitive contests and new faces replacing incumbents as evidence of reduced gerrymandering, the deliberate drawing of often misshaped districts to benefit one party or the other. Read more
A key feature of Proposition 2 is that it would set aside a small share of state revenues each year and direct these dollars to purposes specified in the state Constitution. As we explained in earlier posts, these revenues would be used to build the state’s existing rainy day fund — the Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) — and pay down “budgetary debt,” including unfunded liabilities for state employee pensions and retiree health care. Read more