FROM Bob Huff
Jerry Brown Delivers His State of the State Tonight, Governor Brown made the first State of the State speech since he was elected last year, his eighth in all, he reminded the legislature, if you count his first two terms. He lost no time in demanding that, when his proposed budget has been enacted, voters will get the chance to decide if taxes that are about to expire be extended to save public services. Cities and counties have been up in arms over Brown's proposal to shut down redevelopment agencies and use the money for other purposes. In contrast to former Governor Schwarzenegger, Brown read from notes and ad libbed after applause lines. Before tonight's speech was written, Brown told reporters it wouldn't all be bad news, and tonight he talked about the state's vast resources.
State Moves Closer to Insolvency The budget drama continues in Sacramento, where the Governor and the Legislature are under pressure to close a $24 billion budget gap with no time to spare. But the partisan gap between Democrats and Republicans appears to be growing. A conference committee composed of six Democrats and four Republicans has rejected the Governor's proposals to eliminate welfare, healthcare for children and money for state parks.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.