Daily Headlines for March 22, 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

Senate Committee to Consider Job Killer Leave Mandate
A leave mandate job killer bill opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce will be heard today in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee.

Public Affairs / Politics

Gov. Jerry Brown Promotes His California Agenda in Washington With a Bit of Shuttle Diplomacy
As the leader of a state that seems more a country of its own in its isolation from the Republican revolution, Gov. Jerry Brown saw his visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday play out like that of any foreign ambassador to the nation’s capital. Los Angeles Times

Gorsuch Parries Objections, Moves Toward Supreme Court Seat
Neil Gorsuch stepped closer to filling the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy by parrying Democratic objections to his nomination over 10-plus hours of questioning. Bloomberg

Supreme Court Nominee Gorsuch Fends Off Barbs from Feinstein and Other Democrats at Confirmation Hearing
Judge Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday smoothly fielded questions on everything from abortion to wiretaps thrown by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and her allies who sought without apparent success to unsettle the Supreme Court nominee. McClatchy DC

Human Resources / Health & Safety

The Not-So-Creepy Reason More Bosses Are Tracking Employees
Social-media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only ones tracking how people connect and share with their peers. Employers are doing it too. The Wall Street Journal

This is Where All of California’s House Republicans Stand on the GOP Healthcare Bill
Less than two days before they are scheduled to vote, a handful of California’s 14 Republican members of Congress say they are still weighing how to vote on the GOP plan to undo and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. Los Angeles Times


US Labor Nominee Acosta Says He’ll Advocate for Workers
Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta is facing questions Wednesday about how, exactly, he would back up American workers when his record provides few clues. The Associated Press

Behind the Scenes, Bank Lobbyists Temper Expectations for Dodd-Frank Overhaul
Bank lobbyists who opened the Trump era with great expectations for sweeping regulatory reform are privately striking an increasingly dismal tone as hopes for a quick and thorough rewrite of Dodd-Frank legislation dim. Reuters

Environmental / Agriculture

What This Week’s Storms Mean for California’s Flood Control System
While a nearly record-breaking rainy season has battered California’s dams and stretched the limits of local levees, the storms that began to hit Sacramento on Tuesday aren’t expected to put much additional strain on the state’s flood-control system. The Sacramento Bee

Sen. Feinstein Suggests Gorsuch Would Undermine EPA on Fuel Mileage Standards
The heated dispute between California and the Trump White House over aggressive federal fuel mileage standards emerged as an issue in the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Los Angeles Times

1 Million Chinook Salmon Rescued During Dam Crisis Released
Almost 1 million spring-run Chinook salmon were released to the Feather River after they’d been evacuated from a hatchery downstream from a Northern California spillway that started crumbling, officials said. The Associated Press


Protectionism May Raise, Not Cut, Trade Deficits: ECB
Protectionist trade policies may increase, rather than reduce, a country’s trade deficit, the European Central Bank said in a study on Wednesday, just days after finance chiefs of the world’s top 20 economies dropped their pledge for open trade. Reuters

Germans See Rising Pensions as Wages Increase
The German government says pensions will rise by up to 3.6 percent this year as a result of higher wages in Europe’s biggest economy. The Associated Press

Greece Eyes Bailout Deal with Lenders Within April
Greece said on Wednesday it hopes for a deal with its international lenders within the month of April and is working to bridge differences on labor, pension and energy reforms. Reuters

Infrastructure / Education

New Effort to Extend the Time Needed for Teachers to Earn Tenure
A previous effort to extend the probationary period, led by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, failed at the ballot box. A lawsuit, Vergara vs. California, to do away with current tenure rules and some other teacher job protections prevailed at the trial court level in Los Angeles, then was overturned on appeal. Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Debating Size of ‘Granny Flats’ and Where to Allow Them
Los Angeles officials agree that “granny flats” — the second units homeowners often use for relatives — are a way to ease the city’s housing crunch, but they’re at odds over how large the units should be. KPCC

CSU to Overhaul Remedial Ed, Replace No Credit with Credit-Bearing Classes
The California State University system plans to overhaul its remedial education system by 2018, scrapping no-credit courses in English and math and replacing them with credit classes that include extra tutoring and built-in study sessions. EdSource

Notorious L.A. Earthquake Fault More Dangerous Than Experts Believed, New Research Shows
The Newport-Inglewood fault has long been considered one of Southern California’s top seismic danger zones because it runs under some of the region’s most densely populated areas, from the Westside of Los Angeles to the Orange County coast. Los Angeles Times


Brown has Been Unwilling to Update Political Reform Law
Capitalizing on the Watergate political scandal, then-Secretary of State Jerry Brown ran for governor in 1974 as an advocate of political reform. Dan Walters in The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Brown Goes in Search of Common Ground
Gov. Jerry Brown’s trip to Washington this week has inspired its share of leftist angst and right-wing sneering. The Sacramento Bee

To Grow California’s Economy, Legislature Must Act to Stop Junk Lawsuits
California’s business climate is more predictable than its weather. It’s always one storm after the other. Companies relocate to states where they are welcomed rather than vilified and preyed upon. Capital is moved to more jobs-friendly states. Productive workers just get out, or are left behind with few good opportunities to prosper in their field. Kerry Jackson in Fox and Hounds Daily

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