FROM Mark Leno
Is California Facing a Financial Armageddon? Following yesterday’s special election , Governor Schwarzenegger was scheduled back in Sacramento this afternoon to talk to legislative leaders about what to do now. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer says the state will need to borrow to pay its bills. To establish credit, it will need a new budget no later than mid-July. We speak with State Senators Jeff Denham, Republican from the Central Valley, and Democrat Mark Leno of San Francisco, who sits on the Budget Committee.
Money and Power in Sacramento Lobbyists outnumber legislators in Sacramento by 8 to 1. Lobbying is a growth industry. In 1975, interest groups hiring lobbyists numbered 682; now it's 2,365. Since 1990, lobbyist spending has risen from $193 million to $550 million. Another reason that lobbyists get what they want is that they've been there a lot longer.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.