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FROM THIS EPISODE

Gray Davis said his top three priorities were -education, education, education,- but he spent $20 million to fight a lawsuit demanding that the state be held responsible for failing schools. Filed by the ACLU on behalf of 24,000 students in 18 school districts, the suit accused the state of allowing rotting classrooms, locked bathrooms, un-credentialed teachers, too few books and a lot of other conditions that violated their constitutional right to a free and equal education. Now, Governor Schwarzenegger has reversed direction and settled. Civil rights attorney Connie Rice explains what the billion-dollar settlement means, symbolically and on the bottom line.
  • Making News: Tree-sitters in Humbolt County
    One of the hundreds of bills still pending this last week of the legislative session is the Heritage Tree Preservation Act. While most lobbyists crowd around the Assembly and Senate chambers, one advocate has spent the past 9-and-a-half months in Humboldt County, 120 feet off the ground in a tree called Jerry. Willow explains advocates' efforts to save old-growth trees, some of them over 1000 years old.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Term Limits in the Sacramento Legislature
    Politicians once served in the State Legislature long enough to figure out how one of the world-s largest bureaucracies really works. Term limits have changed the Assembly in the past few years, and this year, they'll do their work in the Senate. The Sacramento Bee's Dan Weintraub, himself a decade-long veteran of Sacramento, says term limits will cost the Legislature 300 years of institutional memory.

Heritage Tree Preservation Act (SB 754)

Williams v California (settlement)

ACLU on settlement of Williams Case

Term Limits (Prop 25, 1998)

Senator John Burton

Senator Jim Brulte

Senator Ross Johnson

Senator John Vasconcellos

Senator Byron Sher

Producers:
Frances Anderton

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