FROM Chris Megerian
California's Oroville Dam in crisis After years of drought, Northern California is threatened by too much water. Specifically, damaged spillways for the Oroville Dam could unleash a 30-foot wall of water, and more than 100,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from the flood plains of the Feather River. Chris Megerian is covering the breaking news on the scene for the Los Angeles Times .
Who Is Really Funding Your Candidate? Over $24 million has been spent on this year's election by special interest groups. The record breaking independent expenditures are far more than the $16.7 million spent two years ago. But not every candidate is happy with the backing.
State Legislators Debate New Taxes During the Great Recession, the California legislature cut a lot of popular programs. As the recovery gains momentum, state revenues are increasing even faster than optimists were predicting. But, Governor Brown and Democrats in the Assembly and Senate are still looking for new ways to fund public healthcare, subsidize affordable housing and pay for road repairs. Chris Megerian reports from the Capitol for the LA Times.
Transportation Projects: Big and Small The LA Metropolitan region faces " Bumpy Roads Ahead ," according to a think tank based in Washington, DC. No less than 73% of our roads and freeways are in "poor" condition — and every year, that costs the average driver more than a thousand dollars in extra fuel, repairs and maintenance.
State Lawmakers Approve $156 Billion Budget Governor Brown has until the end of this month to veto items in the $154 billion state budget passed by the legislature's Democratic majority over the weekend. Mostly, it appears to be a done deal. Chris Mergerian reports from Sacramento for the Los Angeles Times .
Do Republicans Have a Future in Sacramento? Governor Brown and the Democrats' legislative majority balanced this year's budget on the assumption that Proposition 30 would pass. It did -- with 54 percent of the vote statewide and 60 percent in Los Angeles. He reminded doubters that he'd run for governor on the pledge that there would be no taxes unless people voted for them, and said he looked forward to being able to pass the first balanced budget since 1998. Passage means the state sales tax will increase by a quarter cent for four years, and income taxes on high earners will rise for seven years, with most of the money going to education. If Prop 30 had failed, it would have triggered $600 billion in cuts for K-12 public schools, universities and community colleges. You can see all our election coverage at KCRW.com/californiaelections .
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.