Will California's Budget Surplus Lead to Increased Spending?
Gov. Jerry Brown is probably feeling pretty good this week. He inherited a huge budget deficit five years ago, and this week he looks like a turnaround artist. The governor revealed that since January, California has taken in $6.7 billion more than was projected in January. Most of that extra cash will go to schools and community colleges as required by law. But UC students get a tuition freeze under the governor's plan and low income folks would get a tax break to put some extra cash in their pockets. It is a very good news budget -- all of it driven by a strong economy. How strong? We put that question to Christopher Thornberg, co-founder of Beacon Economics.
Homeless Man Helps Shelters Provide a Basic Need: Wi-Fi
The tech industry may be booming in San Francisco, but the city's homeless are still struggling to just get online. Most public spaces have no Wi-Fi, and libraries are pretty much the only places to get access to a computer. One homeless man had a suggestion: why not get local tech companies to help put Wi-Fi in the city's shelters? His idea has already had a big impact for many of the other homeless people in his shelter.
Tracking and Treating California's Paroled Sex Offenders
In the past few months, we've reported on the growing number of inmates being released from state prisons. Today, we focus on one group of parolees who may spark stronger negative feelings than any other: sex offenders. There are about 6,000 sex offenders on parole in California. Their crimes range from rape to indecent exposure. Until recently, state law prevented all registered sex offenders from living within a half-mile of parks or schools where children gather. But the state Supreme Court found that blanket limitation on housing to be too restrictive. As a result, many sex offenders will soon be more integrated into neighborhoods. So how does the state keep track of registered sex offenders out in the community?
Parole Agents Just One Part of Keeping Tabs on Sex Offenders
Parole agents keep daily tabs on sex offenders in California. But big-picture policy falls to the California Sex Offender Management Board. We talk to its chair, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, about how treating and tracking sex offenders has changed in the state.
Between Homelands: How a Canoe Connects a Tongva Woman to Her Tribe
Picture the land all the way from downtown Los Angeles to Catalina Island. The dominant culture there was once the Tongva people. Today, Tongvan descendants have dwindled, and the tribe is still trying to get federal recognition. So while the region has been their home for millennia, some still struggle to find their place there. That brings us to our series “Between Homelands,” where students from USC Annenberg's School for Communication and Journalism tell stories of people in California who have come from afar, or who were born in the U.S. but feel like cultural foreigners. We find out how one Tongvan woman found her sense of home.