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Immigrant groups plan ‘next steps’ after DAPA setback

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When the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 last Thursday and stopped President Obama’s executive actions to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and create Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), there was major disappointment from pro-immigrant groups who had been hoping for a favorable ruling.

Some saw the decision – or lack of – as a political ploy given the election year with a strong likelihood that both presumptive nominees for the Democrats and the Republicans will likely bring up the issue to garner the Latino vote as November approaches.


Phone companies' unlisted-numbers fees are unjustifiable - LA Times

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Imagine if you had to pay extra to not have anchovies on your pizza. Or to not have flames painted on the sides of your car. Crazy, right?

Yet the telecom industry for years has charged landline customers a monthly fee to not have their names listed in phone directories — a recurring fee for a service that isn't being provided and will continue to not be provided at the customer's request.

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EDUCATION: Bill could help revive Inland adult schools

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State legislation would restore funding for programs decimated by budget cuts during the recession.

Rain or shine, sleet or snow, Rosa Vedoy won’t miss a day of school.

Vedoy, 42, drives from her Running Springs home every weekday for a basic English and math class at Inland Career Education Center, formerly the San Bernardino Adult School.


Bill would increase funding for adult education by $250 million

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State legislators are considering a bill that would boost funding for adult education by $250 million – reinstating funds that were diverted to K-12 schools during the recession, causing many adult programs to close or cut back the number of classes they offered.

“Every time I go back to my district, families ask when are the adult schools coming back, especially the English as a Second Language programs in local schools,” said Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, who has introduced Assembly Bill 1846 to increase funding. “There are 16,000 people on waiting lists for adult classes just in Los Angeles.”

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Patty Lopez: Neophyte No More

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California’s 39th Assembly District listened intently and took lots of notes. Nearly 40 residents of the 39th voiced their concerns and gratitude April 8 at the Scalabrini Retirement Center in Sun Valley, CA. Topics included: the environment; opportunities, services and education for under-employed, homeless and children; social activities for seniors and youth.

López has proven herself to be a legislator “of the people” in the short time she’s held office. The People’s Report Card of California awarded Assemblywoman López an A+ “Courage Score.” scores legislators on how well they stand up for their constituents over special interest groups seeking to exploit the poor, disadvantaged and people of color especially when it comes to voting on critical issues.

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Free trips for lawmakers to continue - LA Times

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State lawmakers on Wednesday derailed a bill that would have prevented them from accepting free travel to distant conferences, including an annual meeting in Maui, from nonprofit groups backed by special interests.

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SoCal High Speed Train Delay: Sweet Victory for the Northeast Valley

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By: Denyse Selesnick
Reposted with permission from CityWatch Los Angeles

I love traveling by train. I have used them in Europe, Asia, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and San Diego. In Los Angeles...not so much! In fact, probably like many of you, I have yet to take the train from the San Fernando Valley to Downtown -- even though I have every good intention of doing so…next time.

Therefore, I was curious as to the reasons behind the pro and cons of the proposed Super Bullet train which is supposed to whisk passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and forty minutes. Naturally, I would have had more than a passing interest if it were going through my back yard.

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Contra Costa Times editorial: Lawmakers: Do the right thing, outlaw junkets

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In the political arena, those with money to spend and a cause to promote often say all they want is "access" once a candidate is elected. They tell us they donate to campaigns not to buy votes -- as it appears they are doing -- but simply to obtain a fair hearing for their worthy cause.

It is a sweet notion that falls somewhere between the tooth fairy and unicorns on the plausibility index.

The reality is that lobbyists are generally paid to win, not to simply gain access.

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Bill would outlaw annual, special-interest funded Maui trip for legislators

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The Hawaiian island of Maui
The Hawaiian island of Maui is the setting for an annual conference a nonprofit funded by special interests hosts and that up to two dozen state legislators attend, with part of their expenses paid by the nonprofit. (Associated Press)

Every year, up to two dozen state legislators fly to Maui for a conference hosted by a nonprofit funded by special interests, but Assemblywoman Patty López (D-San Fernando) thinks the junkets look bad and should be outlawed.

The Independent Voter Project pays for the conference and part of lawmakers' travel expenses out of an account funded by donors including Occidental Petroleum Corp., the Western States Petroleum Assn., Eli Lilly & Co., tobacco company Altria and the state prison guards union.

López, who defeated Democratic incumbent Raul Bocanegra two years ago, has introduced a bill that would forbid nonprofit groups from paying for travel, lodging and other associated expenses. Similar, less restrictive bills, have had problems getting support.

"I do not agree with the current loophole that allows nonprofits to pay for travel to places like Maui so legislators can 'relax' with lobbyists," Lopez said in a statement.

"My neighbors are shocked when they hear about these trips, and they say the same thing to me every time: 'If our elected officials want to learn about the issues, they should come and visit the district and listen to what we have to say. They're not going to learn anything by golfing with lobbyists in Maui,' " López said.


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