FROM Bill Habermehl
Yet Another School System in Big Trouble Education in California is likely to be hit hard if revenues don't measure up to the optimistic projections made in Sacramento when this year's budget was passed. In the meantime, Orange County Supervisors plan to use school money for purposes of their own. To balance the County budget and pay their bills, they plan to divert $73.5 million in property taxes earmarked for K-12 education. School Superintendent William Habermehl says he won't allow that to happen "on the backs of the children."
Politics and Finance in a World-Class Economy With a majority vote in the legislature, Democrats can pass a budget, but Republicans can prevent the two-thirds required to raise taxes. The failure to come up with a balanced plan by last week's constitutional deadline means that Senators and Assembly members are not being paid. Now the Democrats and Governor Brown have agreed on a plan based in part on revenues that might never materialize. Most of the cuts to social services were made a couple of months ago. But they could go deeper. If the economy doesn't provide the new revenues the budget depends on, K-12 education will be allowed to drop one week of school. Is this really a state too poor to pay its bills, or is this all about politics? We hear more about what the new budget could mean for the quality of life in California.
Rhetoric and brinksmanship on the Korean Peninsula For 25 years, the US has viewed North Korea's nuclear program with increasing alarm. Now President Trump says this country has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what he's actually doing… and what might come next.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.