Daily Headlines for July 21, 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.  Receive Daily Headlines by Email

Today’s Top Story

CalChamber: State Proposed National Origin Regulations Too Broad
Regulations proposed by a state council to dictate how national origin is to be treated in the workplace are too broad and unsupported by any legal authority, a California Chamber of Commerce-led coalition said this week.

Public Affairs / Politics

A New Suit Says Lawmakers Broke the Law When They Changed California’s Recall Election Rules
Republican activists and an anti-tax organization filed a lawsuit Thursday to scrap a new law that revised the rules for California’s recall elections, accusing Democrats of a blatant attempt to help an embattled state senator keep his job. Los Angeles Times

Injunction Blocking Trump’s ‘Sanctuary Jurisdictions’ Order Upheld
A U.S. District Court judge on Thursday upheld a preliminary injunction he previously granted blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order stripping Santa Clara County and other so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” of federal funding. San Jose Mercury News

Human Resources / Health & Safety

Bad Publicity Leads to Recruiting Challenges
Word of mouth travels fast and can affect your company in countless ways. HRWatchdog

Sighs of Relief From Health Safety-Net Providers in California After Senate Bill Collapses
The bill proposed deep funding cuts to Medicaid, which is called Medi-Cal in California and covers one out of three state residents. KQED

Valley Fever Cases Increase in California
California public health officials on Thursday announced a large hike in the number of reported Valley Fever cases in the state, with illness onset in 2016 — but they don’t know what’s behind the increase. East Bay Times


Two-Thirds of States Adding Jobs, Government Says
Texas, California and Florida have added the most new jobs in the last year, continuing a trend that began at the depths of the recession. The Hill

Report: Northwest California Communities See $41M Boost from Outdoor Activity on Fed Lands
The hikers, bicyclists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts who use Bureau of Land Management lands each year in northwest California are generating tens of millions of dollars and supporting hundreds of jobs in local communities, according to an ECONorthwest report released Thursday. Eureka Times-Standard

Low-Income Earners See Weekly Pay Gain Faster Than Other Groups
For the first time in years, pay for the lowest-income Americans is rising faster than for other groups. The Wall Street Journal

Environmental / Agriculture

As California’s Labor Shortage Grows, Farmers Race to Replace Workers with Robots
Now, the $47-billion agriculture industry is trying to bring technological innovation up to warp speed before it runs out of low-wage immigrant workers. Los Angeles Times

Avocado Demand is Up, but California Growers Have Been Pulling Out Trees. What Gives?
Perhaps surprisingly, California avocado growers say they’re not rolling in the green, despite widespread love for their crop. ABC10

100 New Wildfires in California in Four Days, and More are Surely on the Way
Firefighters and determined residents of Mariposa County continued their battle against the massive Detwiler Fire on Thursday as wildland blazes continued to burn around the state, generating smoke for hundreds of miles. The Sacramento Bee


Canada, Mexico Urge Quick NAFTA Talks to End Uncertainty
Top Canadian and Mexican diplomats expressed optimism on Thursday that a NAFTA deal could be reached early next year and cautioned that widespread uncertainty over the future of the three-way trade agreement had slowed business investment. Reuters

New Agreement Will Allow US Rice Exports to China
The agreement gives US farmers access to the world’s biggest rice consumer, with China importing about 5 million tonnes last year. BBC

China Portrays U.S. Trade Talks in Glowing Light
Chinese negotiators on Thursday characterized high-level U.S.-China talks that appeared to end without progress as “positive,” saying the two sides were cooperating to narrow Washington’s $347 billion trade deficit with Beijing. The Wall Street Journal

Infrastructure / Education

Hydro, Wind and Solar Make Inroads in California’s Electric Grid
Better weather and continued growth in renewable energy sources resulted in some big changes in electricity generation in California in 2016, according to numbers recently released by the California Energy Commission. The San Diego Union-Tribune

California Proposes Minimal Sanctions for Low Participation in State Tests
In passing a new school accountability law — the Every Student Succeeds Act — Congress gave states more latitude to decide how to use federal education funding, particularly in improving schools serving low-income students and English learners. What hasn’t changed is the requirement for nearly all students to take annual standardized tests — and for states to see that schools and districts comply. EdSource

Catastrophic Engineering Expert Asks: Is Oroville Dam Leaking?
One of the country’s foremost experts on catastrophic engineering failures released a new report Thursday on the troubled Oroville Dam that asks a disturbing question: Is the country’s tallest dam leaking? The Sacramento Bee


Bill Would Ban Employers from Asking Salary History
As the CalChamber and a coalition of business interests point out, there are several legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for an employer to seek prior compensation information. Gordon Webster in The Business Journal

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