Daily Headlines for January 19, 2017

We scan major news sources* and compile selected articles to keep you up-to-date on current issues affecting California business – the economy, health care, environment, transportation and more.

Today’s Top Story

CalChamber-Opposed Job Killer Expands Employment Litigation
A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bill that could increase costs and the risk of litigation for California employers has been reintroduced.

Public Affairs / Politics

Where Will Trump Begin in Slashing Obama-Era Regulations?
Donald Trump’s ascendance to the White House has raised hopes among U.S. businesses for the most significant rollback of regulations since the Reagan administration. Los Angeles Times

Will She Or Won’t She? Feinstein Hints at 2018 Run
My interview with Sen. Dianne Feinstein began when she sat down in her Washington, D.C., office and offered to show me the scar from her recent pacemaker implant. I had a flash to LBJ showing off to reporters the scar from his gallbladder surgery in 1965. KQED

Lucy Killea, Independent Trailblazer, Mentor to Women, Dies
Lucy Killea, a former San Diego City Council member and state legislator whose independent streak put her famously at odds with the Catholic Church and her own political party, has died. She was 94. The San Diego Union-Tribune

Human Resources / Health & Safety

Fearing Trump, California Drops Undocumented Health Insurance Request
California has withdrawn its request to the federal government for permission to allow undocumented people to obtain health insurance from the state exchange, with a lawmaker linking the decision to concerns about the incoming Trump administration. The Sacramento Bee

US Sues Oracle, Says it Pays White Men More than Others
The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Oracle, claiming that the technology giant has a “systemic practice” of paying white male workers more than their non-white and female counterparts with the same job titles. The Associated Press

Washington Tries to Fix Paid Leave Law Dormant Since 2007
A decade ago, Washington state created a paid family leave program that required many employers to offer five weeks of paid time off for new parents. But the law that once offered hope to working parents quickly turned into an empty promise because state lawmakers never came up with a way to pay for the benefit, resulting in an indefinite delay of its implementation. The Associated Press


U.S. Jobless Claims Fall Unexpectedly in Latest Week
The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week back to near the lowest levels in decades. Reuters

Yellen Says Politics Don’t Sway Fed’s Monetary Policy
Days before Donald Trump will be sworn in as president, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen started and ended a speech in San Francisco Wednesday by saying that the central bank does not favor one party over another. San Francisco Chronicle

$1.9 Billion Error Adds to California Deficit Projection
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration miscalculated costs for the state Medi-Cal program by $1.9 billion last year, an oversight that contributed to Brown’s projection of a deficit in the upcoming budget, officials acknowledged this week. The Associated Press

California’s Poorest May Finally be Feeling Rising Economy
Applications for cash welfare reached their lowest point in at least six years in 2016, which economists say might indicate California’s poorest are finally feeling the effects of an improving economy. KPCC

Environmental / Agriculture

Trump’s EPA Pick Won’t Guarantee California’s Right to Tougher Auto Emission Rules
During a contentious confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Donald’s Trump nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said he’d open up a review of new federal auto emissions standards and also review waivers granted to California to enact auto standards stronger than those of the federal government. McClatchy DC

California Proposing To Continue Water Conservation
Water conservation would continue in California until at least May under a proposal regulators are considering. Currently, emergency drought regulations require cities and water agencies to prove they have enough water to meet future demands or they must cut back water use. Capital Public Radio

Abel Maldonado Comes Up Short in Agriculture Secretary Bid
In selecting former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary, Donald Trump dealt Abel Maldonado, the former California lieutenant governor and apparent finalist for the position, one more high-profile, if unsurprising, blow. Politico


Gov. Jerry Brown Touts Partnerships with China Amid Warnings About the Future
In another example of how the state plans to stand apart from the incoming administration in Washington, Brown went to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on Tuesday to speak at a Lunar New Year celebration to reaffirm what he called the state’s “great interest” in working with China. Los Angeles Times

Britain Warns EU: We’ll Find Ways to Compete if No Trade Deal
British finance minister Philip Hammond warned the European Union on Thursday that Britain would find other ways to remain competitive after Brexit if it did not strike a comprehensive trading deal with the bloc. Reuters

Could Trump’s Tough Talk on Trade Backfire on U.S. Jobs?
In some of the states where economic frustration propelled Donald Trump to the White House, the jobs he promised to bring back were already returning before he started making deals. McClatchy DC

Infrastructure / Education

Students Respond Enthusiastically to New Science Standards in ‘Early Adopter’ Districts
California’s new science standards were in full flower last week at a middle school in Oakland when 8th-grader Amy Zhang strung together a battery, wire and carpentry nail and marveled when not one, not two, but five paper clips jumped to the nail magnetically.  EdSource 

Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Field Could Reopen After Public Hearings
State oil and gas regulators say they completed a safety review of a Los Angeles gas storage facility where a blowout spewed methane for nearly four months. Based on that, they are setting some strict conditions for Southern California Gas Co. to reopen the underground field that blew a huge leak in 2015. KPCC

Bill Would Provide $20,000 Grants to Help Recruit Teachers in High-Demand Subjects
Students in teacher preparation programs who commit to teach math, science, bilingual education or special education could receive grants of $20,000 under a new bill introduced in the state Legislature. EdSource


Californians Opposed to Trump’s Immigration Ideas? Poll Results May Surprise You
California’s political leaders, the generals of the so-called Trump resistance, may be surprised that they don’t have as many troops behind them as they imagined according to the new Golden State Poll released by the Hoover Institution. In issues dealing with immigration—sanctuary cities, deportations, and denying immigration from certain countries—the poll showed split support for the issues the political leaders call “California values.” Joel Fox in Fox and Hounds Daily

Trump’s Inauguration is a Reminder that Rebelling Against the Ruling Class is in America’s DNA
Millions of Californians will click on their TVs Friday and groan. They’ll wince as the unthinkable becomes a reality. Can you say President Trump? It’s painful. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times

Lagging California Revenues Affirm Caution is Best Budget Approach
As he released his budget proposal for the next fiscal year, Gov. Jerry Brown emphasized the importance of building reserves to prepare for a possible economic downturn in the near future. The Long Beach Press-Telegram

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