Posted on September 25, 2015
September 25, 2015
It is time for change.
September 26, 2015
September 27, 2015
God bless ’em, every one. I hope with every fiber of my being that this is a successful endeavor. Thanks for the good news, JCW. I don’t hold out much hope for anything nowadays, but this is a pretty huge turn of events. Fingers crossed.
September 28, 2015
More from Kamala. “Actions speak louder than words”
Actions speak louder than words. I know it’s cliché — but it’s the simple truth.
As a District Attorney and California’s Attorney General, I haven’t won results for Californians by making grand gestures. I’ve made a difference for California families through action….
Friends, when it comes to this campaign, your actions matter as much as mine. Your investments give us the base of resources to build from.
We’ve got a huge goal coming up in 2 days — the end of the fundraising quarter. I need you to take action — give $5 or $10 to help us reach $50,000.
…..I want to go to Washington to take action for Californians [who are my compromised friends already in office, too] — but first we need to win this race. To do that, we need to reach goals. And we can start by reaching $50,000 before midnight tomorrow.
Click here to make a contribution of whatever amount makes sense. [is there a ZERO button?]
Thank you for letting your actions speak for themselves today.
Politicians who use the word “friend” while trying to get money, make me nervous!
September 29, 2015
Published today, Tuesday, September 29, from The Sacramento Bee, by Tony Bizjak:
State Offers Partial Payment For Overdue Traffic Fines
By Tony Bizjak
State traffic infraction amnesty program begins Thursday
Drivers can get discounts on vehicle code infraction fines
Amnesty only applies to tickets due prior to Jan. 1, 2013
California courts will give drivers with unpaid traffic tickets a financial break under a limited state amnesty program launched this week.
Motorists with outstanding tickets originally due on or before Jan. 1, 2013 will be allowed to pay them off at a reduced amount, either 50 or 80 percent of the citation amount, depending on the driver’s income, state officials said.
All assessed penalties will be waived, and payments can be made in installments.
The program, authorized by Senate Bill 85 and promoted by the Brown administration, goes into effect Thursday, Oct. 1. It contains provisions that will allow license reinstatement for drivers who lost their license because they failed to pay the fine or appear in court.
The Department of Motor Vehicles had received 4.73 million California license suspension actions from courts after motorists failed to pay or appear in court, according to data in April of this year. In that time, just under 82,000 were reinstated. In total, there are 25 million legally licensed drivers in the state.
The amnesty program, which lasts until March, 2017, covers tickets for most moving violations, such as speeding, red light violations, and failure to stop at a stop sign. It also covers some non-traffic infractions such as loitering, trespassing, and littering.
Parking tickets, local ordinance violations, and some major vehicle code violations, such as driving under the influence and reckless driving, however, are not eligible.
California has come under criticism in recent years for its stiff traffic fines, which include add-on fees and assessments that triple and quadruple the base fines for infractions. Civil rights groups and advocates for the poor argue the violations disproportionately affect the poor and minorities, and that the inability
Long live the ACJ.
So what happens to people who wanted to appeal their tickets in court, but couldn’t afford to w/o first paying the fines? Still can’t appeal it w/o paying the discounted fines — or now can’t appeal it at all?
“All assessed penalties will be waived, and payments can be made in installments.” Is there interest on those installments?
September 30, 2015
Union Courts Judicial Council Workers
Cheryl Miller, The Recorder
September 28, 2015
SACRAMENTO — After several years of flirting with the idea, the Service Employees International Union has launched a campaign to unionize employees of the Judicial Council.
The 95,000-member SEIU Local 1000 recently posted a website featuring five current council employees asking their colleagues to start the process of organizing. The action follows the recent release of a job classification and compensation study that resulted in 24 percent of council workers being placed on a graduated salary reduction plan that starts in 2016.
“Now rumors of more extreme changes are on the way … and it will all continue to happen without our input unless we work together to increase our influence and our voice in our workplace,” the online letter signed by the employees reads. “Only by coming together and forming a union will we be strong enough to join the conversation.”
SEIU has pursued legislation in the past, and again this year, that would clarify that Judicial Council employees have the right to organize and bargain collectively. SEIU officials say council workers already have that right under existing laws, but they wanted the statutory declaration before going through the state’s organizing process. This year’s bill has been put on hold while organizers gather support cards to petition for union recognition.
Approximately 575 nonmanagement employees at the Judicial Council would be eligible for membership, according to an Assembly committee analysis issued earlier this year.
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has said previously that she does not oppose efforts to unionize Judicial Council workers. The council did not take a position on this year’s legislation on employee organizing.
Contact the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AOC/Judicial Council and their minions are back out there trying to kill accountability and transparency. They are on a roadshow with all of the editorial boards with their typical misinformation which is always intended to mislead with the hopes that these negative editorials will persuade the Governor to veto SB 682. Below is a common sense independent view about privatizing public services.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2015
Another View: Outsourcing public services may deliver steep bill to taxpayers
SB 682 would protect taxpayers with contracting requirements
Bill would bring courts under the same contracting standards as executive branch
BY DONALD COHEN
Special to The Bee
Accountability for taxpayer dollars is an unassailable goal. Unfortunately, The Sacramento Bee is supporting outsourcing of public services and opposing common-sense bills that will protect taxpayers and improve public services (“Bills that should never become law”; Editorials, Sept. 17).
In the Public Interest, a comprehensive policy center on responsible contracting, has cataloged hundreds of cases of well-intended outsourcing efforts that delivered unexpected bills and unintended service reductions to taxpayers.
Our studies show privatization delivers the best value for taxpayers in cases where clear management standards, fair contracting practices and transparency requirements are written into the law. One such effort to protect taxpayer dollars by implementing gold-standard contracting requirements is Senate Bill 682, a bill Gov. Jerry Brown should sign.
SB 682 would bring California’s trial courts under the same essential contracting standards that apply to the executive branch and local government agencies. These standards protect taxpayers from hidden costs and reductions in service quality and hold public-sector managers accountable for conducting competitive bidding.
There is no policy reason for courts to be exempt from oversight in contracting. To the contrary, the central role of our justice system in public safety and in family and business matters makes it all the more important to keep these services accessible by safeguarding taxpayer resources.
In the Public Interest has seen an increasing number of public agencies undertaking the challenging task of rebuilding public services damaged by privatizing after contractors failed to save money or meet service expectations, a trend known as “insourcing.” Common-sense standards like those in SB 682 smartly require that analysis of the costs of contracting be done up front, rather than after taxpayers have already paid a steep bill.
At its worst, a blind push toward privatization has public agencies driving a race-to-the bottom that should concern taxpayers, who ultimately bear the brunt of poor service quality and low wages.
Common-sense standards like those in SB 682 ensure the public interest is paramount when services are contracted out.
Donald Cohen is executive director of In the Public Interest, a comprehensive research and policy center on privatization and responsible contracting.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article36080343.html#storylink=cpy
The Chief Justice may say that she doesn’t oppose efforts for AOC employees to organize. But if that’s true then she should put her money where her mouth is and voluntarily grant the union recognition once the employees have stated they’d like union representation. To be sure, they are more than likely calling in employees and trying to scare them out of joining a union with all kinds of tactics about job loss, lower wages, or maybe even enticements for salary increases and promotions for some. When the push comes to shove we’ll see once again what the Chief Justice’s word is really worth.
At this point in the AOC saga, I would recommend union representation. The AOC hired about 24% of you at a certain pay rate and gave you certain tasks that were never before questioned in other studies. Now they want to phase in cuts in pay and there are bigger changes on the horizon? The AOC’s studies are inherently corrupt. I’ve witnessed a few times where vendors were clued in on the AOC’s goals and the conclusion that the AOC wishes to see in their work product. So the reason 24% of you got new titles and phased in cuts in pay is because that was the conclusion that AOC management sought.
I seriously doubt that 24% of you would ever see a pay cut with collective bargaining.
This is probably another one of those slight of hand arrangements where the AOC lays off or eliminates positions and cuts worker salaries to make some room for larger salary bumps at the top of the food chain much like they did last time. No one outside of the AOC (except the lemmings on the judicial council) agrees that there has been the slightest degree of meaningful reorganization. Such reorganization should start with eliminating the directors whose mission is in total conflict with the judicial council and those changes should ripple down. Instead, changes are happening at a low level with suggestions (don’t hold your breath) that they will ripple up.
Like most of the rest of us, I’m not holding my breath and will recognize real reforms when I see them.
As far as outsourcing: I watched Jon Wintermeyer build a courtroom for a few hundred thousand dollars. I watched team jacobs to the exact same work for a half million dollars more. Employees can maintain these facilities for a fraction of what contractors charge and this is but one example. Other examples are CCMS and even the Long Beach courthouse where private entities are making some serious returns on their investment whereas if it was bond funded, it would have cost a few hundred million dollars less.
The big question is why is the AOC willingly overpaying contractors? Follow the money. Or better yet, sign up and join a union and insist that they follow the money.
You nailed it Michael:
“This is probably another one of those slight of hand arrangements where the AOC lays off or eliminates positions and cuts worker salaries to make some room for larger salary bumps at the top of the food chain much like they did last time.”
“The big question is why is the AOC willingly overpaying contractors? Follow the money. Or better yet, sign up and join a union and insist that they follow the money.”
Power to the people. Union power.
But what do I know?
My IQ still = my shoe size: 10 1/2.
October 2, 2015
Who gave you a thumbs down? Did you steal my troll?
FYI, you all. Here’s a really bizarre one out of PA. Bet this AG wishes she had a union she could turn to for help to stop the retaliation.
“Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Thursday she had evidence that a sitting Supreme Court justice – quickly identified by her staff as J. Michael Eakin – had sent and received ‘racial, misogynistic pornography’ on state computers.”
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20151002_Kane_says_Justice_Eakin_exchanged_porn_emails_on_state_servers.html#cJfiAulX6WZrtVZb.99
I am all for CA Court employees being in unions. I learned first hand how court executives can lay off their staff based on who they liked rather than on years of service, education, or performance evaluations. So unions for certain are needed to protect court workers from unfair layoffs and to check abuses of staff by management.
While I want civil service protections for judicial branch staff there is no question AOC staff are being paid far more than comperable jobs in the executive branch.
The AOC audit said:
“The AOC spent about $63 million on salaries in fiscal year 2012-13, which, on average, were higher than the average salaries of executive branch and trial court employees. Specifically, in fiscal year 2012-13, the AOC paid it’s employees an average salary of $82,000, while employees in the executive branch earned an average of $62,000 in 2013 and employees in four of the states large trial courts earned an average of $71,000.”
Given there are almost no education standards for working in court administration I can see no reason for higher salaries for AOC staff or judicial branch staff in general. I think part of it is due to the fact that the AOC is located in San Francisco which is a very expensive city to live in. However, the Auditor had a solution for that issue too and called for the AOC to be relocated to Sacramento in order to save money.
These are the real reforms needed in CA Courts. Nobody wants to take a pay cut. It is painfull and unpopular stuff but it is the right/fair thing to do given executive branch employees, who are mostly unionized, are paid so much less for comperable jobs. The alternative is to give all the executive branch staff raises but there is no money for that. So I see AOC staff unionizing but still getting pay cuts. Tough love.
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