Ag, dust rules deferred for 60 days

By JAMES SIMMONS News Review Correspondent The Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District has postponed adoption of two proposed regulations that would affect agriculture, roads, ranching, farming, construction, grading, homebuilding and potential sources of dust. The district’s board of directors heard from a dozen people . . . Read Full Story >>

Gov’s budget receives mixed reviews

Rebecca Neipp

California legislators got their first look at Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget, unveiled last week, which addresses — in varying degrees — education, healthcare coverage, the state water crisis and the debt he inherited upon taking office in 2011. “This carefully balanced budget builds for the . . . Read Full Story >>

High-speed rail breaks ground amid protests

By REBECCA NEIPP News Review Staff Writer On the same day he released his proposed budget (see related story, this page), Gov. Jerry Brown attended a groundbreaking in Fresno for his controversial high-speed-rail project. The invitation-only crowd of 700 that included rail enthusiasts, labor representatives . . . Read Full Story >>

Fuller announces committee assignments

SACRAMENTO — Last week, State Sen. Jean Fuller announced the following committees on which she has been nominated to serve: • Vice Chair, Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communi-cations — Responsible for bills relating to electricity and gas companies, energy companies, all forms of energy . . . Read Full Story >>

Fuller comments on return to capitol

SACRAMENTO — On Monday the California State Senate began the New Year and the 2015-16 legislative session with a busy week including the swearing in of Gov. Jerry Brown. Following his swearing in, the governor delivered his ‘State of the State’ address to a joint . . . Read Full Story >>

Drought relief bill stuck in Senate

Drought relief bill stuck in Senate

Rebecca Neipp

While the rain brings welcome relief to drought-afflicted California, local elected officials are expressing concern that without policy reform, the state will not be able to protect one of its dearest resources. At the heart of the political conflict are the tiny smelt that live . . . Read Full Story >>

McCarthy comments on recently passed House bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the budget recently passed by the House: “The House passed a budget agreement that, combined with previous House budgets, has reduced discretionary spending by $176 billion since fiscal year 2010. And it . . . Read Full Story >>

House votes on drought relief

At press time the U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on legislation that would provide emergency relief to California to deal with impact from the drought. Bakersfield Republican Kevin McCarthy, recently re-voted in as the House majority leader, co-authored the bill to provide . . . Read Full Story >>

Grove, Fuller sworn back in on Monday

Grove, Fuller sworn back in on Monday

By REBECCA NEIPP News Review Staff Writer Local state legislators took the oath of office for their new terms in a swearing-in ceremony Monday in Sacramento. State Sen. Jean Fuller and Assmblywoman Shannon Grove — both Republicans from Bakersfield — each shared with the News . . . Read Full Story >>

McCarthy reelected House majority leader

When House Republicans elected new leadership last week, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield was selected by his peers to continue as majority leader. John Boehner will also serve a third term as speaker, and Rep. Steve Scalise will continue as the whip. “I am honored . . . Read Full Story >>

Officials brace for impact of Prop 47

Rebecca Neipp

The passage of a proposition that would purportedly keep communities safe will have the opposite effect, according to local law enforcement officials. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said that he was disappointed, but not completely surprised, to see Californians approve the measure by 59.3 percent. . . . Read Full Story >>

Voters select new city council majority

Rebecca Neipp

The most dramatic local changes in last week’s Genera Election were the three new faces voted into the Ridgecrest City Council. Local entrepreneur and community activist Peggy Breeden soundly defeated the challengers for the two-year mayor seat with a commanding 44.7 percent. She was followed . . . Read Full Story >>

Republicans win House, Senate majority

Rebecca Neipp

Years of gridlock born out of bitter partisanship in our nation’s capitol is believed to have fueled the Republican Party’s first seizure of the U.S. Senate in eight years. The results of the November General Election showed a net gain of seven seats to gain . . . Read Full Story >>

Dems win California, lose supermajority

Rebecca Neipp

While results of the 2014 General Election saw much of the country turn red, the California Democratic Party held onto its majority in both houses of the state legislature, while also retaining Democrats in all state offices. “In the rest of the country, they’re going . . . Read Full Story >>

Republicans win House, Senate majority

Rebecca Neipp

Years of gridlock born out of bitter partisanship in our nation’s capitol is believed to have fueled the Republican Party’s first seizure of the U.S. Senate in eight years. The results of the November General Election showed a net gain of seven seats to gain . . . Read Full Story >>

District looks at groundwater sustainability

Rebecca Neipp

The first collaborative discussion of state regulations for groundwater management was hosted at a recent workshop by the Indian Wells Valley Water District. Gov. Jerry Brown, with support from the majority of California legislators, enacted a plan this budget cycle to address groundwater sustainability. Although . . . Read Full Story >>

Supervisors scrap ag freeze

Rebecca Neipp

After revisiting an urgency interim ordinance that would have put a hold on all agricultural developments in the Indian Wells Valley, the Kern County Board of Super-visors voted at last week’s meeting to abandon that measure and focus instead on the county’s land-use management plan. . . . Read Full Story >>

Governor signs Grove charter school bill

SACRAMENTO – Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 2007, a bill authored by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove to allow virtual charter school students to remain enrolled in their classes, even if they move to another part of the state in the middle of the school . . . Read Full Story >>

Candidate blasts Kern County assessor’s office

Rebecca Neipp

A correction to property values that resulted in a loss of revenue in the Kern County general fund prompted a candidate for the seat of Assessor-Recorder to call out the county office for “dysfunctional management.” Last week, Bakersfield City Councilman Russell Johnson sent a press . . . Read Full Story >>

Supervisors table ag freeze

Rebecca Neipp

An urgency ordinance that would impose restrictions on current and future agricultural operations in the Indian Wells Valley was deemed unfair by the Kern County Board of Supervisors at last week’s meeting. 1st District Supervisor Mick Gleason directed staff on Sept. 16 to bring forward . . . Read Full Story >>