Senate Republicans are grappling with a demanding policy agenda riddled with political peril, as they prepare to try to confirm a new FBI director and reshape the nation’s health care system – two challenges that have landed before them in the space of a week. President Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey has raised concerns in both parties and taken a toll on the pace of the health-care talks, which were already off to a rocky start. It is a moment of reckoning for Republican senators dealing with an unpredictable president, who most supported in the election and have championed in office.
Gov. Jerry Brown released a revised, $180 billion budget Thursday that maintains a cautious approach amid uncertainty about the economy and possible loss of federal funding for key state programs. The revised plan follows disappointing revenue numbers for April, the state’s biggest tax filing month, but reflects a $2.5 billion uptick in estimated revenue through June 2018. It puts $400 million into easing the burden on counties to pay for home-care services while pulling back on an earlier proposal to freeze child-care provider rates. It also links more money to the University of California to the system’s acting on recommendations in a scathing state audit. Yet much uncertainty remains if the economy should dip into recession after a historically long expansion.
Santa Ana selects Cynthia Kurtz as interim city manager
Former Partnership President & CEO Cynthia Kurtz has been appointed interim city manager for the City of Santa Ana. She is the second interim city manager appointed since the city council fired the former city manager four months ago. Cynthia Kurtz has previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of the LA River Revitalization Corporation, interim city manager of City of Covina, and city manager and public works director for the City of Pasadena. Our best wishes to Cynthia for her success in Santa Ana.
State lawmakers have introduced more than 130 bills this session to solve California’s housing affordability crisis, proposing everything from more 150 square-foot apartments to a $3 billion affordable housing bond. Nearly a decade removed from the Great Recession, a staggering 38 percent of California’s 18-34 year-olds still live with their parents, according to U.S. Census data. That’s roughly 3.6 million people stuck at home. If these California millennials formed their own state, they would be have more electoral votes than Connecticut, Iowa or Utah. The trend to live at home has only accelerated over the past few years.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from rural northwestern Illinois, won her seat in a 20-point landslide in a year when Democrats struggled in rural areas across the Midwest. Democrats have struggled during the Obama years to compete against Republicans with rural voters. The Bustos blueprint is rooted in unslick, face-to-face politicking. She shows up, shakes hands, asks questions. “Don’t talk down to people – you listen,” she stressed. When Bustos does talk, she talks as much as she can about jobs, wages and the economy and as little as she can about guns, abortion and other socially divisive issues.