Sacramento District 6 City Councilman Eric Guerra

The Long Game

Councilman Eric Guerra on homelessness, the marijuana industry and Latino representation in city government

After a decade as a key staffer in the California Legislature, last year the 36-year-old Sacramento District 6 City Councilman Eric became the first Latino to be elected to the Sacramento City Council since former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna died in 1999. We sat down with him recently to discuss some of the city’s major challenges and opportunities.

Apr 18, 2016 Rich Ehisen
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Dilemma of the Month: When a Personal Matter Gets Professional

The less you trust your boss, the more honest you need to be

I am an exempt employee and have been working at my company for just under three years. I recently had a serious medical issue that required me to terminate a pregnancy for my own health. I’ve now had three doctor visits in comparatively short succession, and my supervisor is asking why. Since this is an incredibly personal matter, I’m wondering how much I am required to disclose?

Mar 3, 2016 Suzanne Lucas
California State Senator Mark Leno

Share & Share Alike

Senator Mark Leno says the ‘sharing economy’ is a misnomer for big business

California State Senator Mark Leno never intended to enter the political arena. A Wisconsin native who spent two years in rabbinical studies at the Hebrew Union College in New York, his focus was on running the small sign business he owns in San Francisco. But in 1998, then-Mayor Willie Brown appointed him to fill a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors, and a new career was born. Now approaching his final year in the Legislature, we sat down with him to discuss raising the minimum wage, regulating the sharing economy and LGBT rights.

Feb 29, 2016 Rich Ehisen
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Save the U.S. From the Harvard-Educated Oligarchy

The late Justice Antonin Scalia argued last year that there was something wrong with having a Supreme Court composed entirely of people who had studied at Harvard and Yale law schools.

Feb 23, 2016 Justin Fox
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Action Civics

Civic learning belongs at the forefront of preparing students for college, career and civic life

We hear a lot about the bad news: Fewer than 8.2 percent of eligible voters ages 18–24 turned out in the 2014 general election; most Americans cannot name the three branches of government; many young people do not think their civic involvement is worthwhile. But there are pockets of good news all around us. More schools are building on the old adage, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” We call this “action civics,” and we know it works.

Feb 12, 2016 David Gordon
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Jerry Brown Proposes Record $123 Billion California Budget

California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a $123 billion general-fund spending plan for the next fiscal year, a 6 percent increase over the current budget and the largest ever as state coffers overflow with surging tax revenue.

Jan 12, 2016 Alison Vekshin
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The Right Assisted Living Facility for Mom

I am looking into assisted living facilities for my mother. What is the difference between assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, retirement homes, and board and care homes? What agency oversees these facilities and how are they licensed?

Dec 31, 2015 Coral Henning
(Photo: Peter Foley for Bloomberg News)

UC Davis Suspends KaloBios Drug Trial After CEO Shkreli’s Arrest

The University of California at Davis and Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida have suspended a planned drug trial sponsored by KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. following the arrest of Chief Executive Officer Martin Shkreli on securities fraud charges.

Dec 22, 2015 Stephen West
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Chevron CEO Blasts California Environmental Laws Governor Touts

As Governor Jerry Brown is in Paris urging other political leaders to follow his lead in curbing global warming, the chief executive of California’s largest oil company said the state’s policies “unambiguously raise energy costs and do nothing about greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Dec 11, 2015 James Nash
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California Debt Foe Campaigns to Block Billion-Dollar Bond Deals

Dino Cortopassi, who lives near Stockton, watched as the California city loaded up on debt for amenities like a waterfront ballpark, only to slash services after the community went bankrupt. So he’s spending $4 million in an effort to give the state’s voters more power to curb bond sales.

Dec 4, 2015 Romy Varghese
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I’m Exempt — What Does That Mean?

If you feel you're owed flexibility, you're wrong

I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee,  I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?

Dec 3, 2015 Suzanne Lucas

The Helping Hand

Senator Holly Mitchell says a level playing field is the mission behind most of her measures

California State Senator Holly Mitchell can be an imposing figure. While most people presume that term evokes physicality, it is Mitchell’s intellect and passion for defending those she believes have little or no voice in the political process that make her such a formidable figure around the Capitol. We talked with her about her effort to turn that passion into policy.

Nov 12, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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A Breakdown of Marijuana Laws

What patients and dispensaries need to know at the federal, state, county and city levels

Sacramento City Council has outlawed outdoor cultivation by legal cannabis patients, citing public safety and smell concerns. Now, added to this ban is the classification of cannabis cultivation as wasted water: Patients are no longer allowed to water legal, indoor plants, yet there is no penalty on those growing equally-legal crops hydroponically indoors, like tomatoes or herbs. What legal right does the council have to single out this particular crop when cultivated in accordance with local and state laws?

Nov 11, 2015 Coral Henning
Alexandria Goff opened her own practice right out of law school. She specializes in estate planning, probate and equine law.

The Contemporary Counselor

Law schools are responding to the gap in entrepreneurial education that up-and-coming lawyers need

Traditionally, the path from law student to full-fledged lawyer has been fairly straight-forward: A student starts out with a summer internship at a law firm, graduates and passes the bar exam, then gets hired at a law firm. In a secure and supportive work environment, law graduates can make good money, meet professional mentors and learn the skills required to be a real lawyer. This is the standard route, the one most students embark on every year. But more graduates like Alexandria Goff are choosing to buck tradition in the name of independence.

Nov 10, 2015 Russell Nichols
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Exempt Versus NonExempt: Why You Need to Know the Difference

Misclassifying could cost your business megabucks

You have 10 seconds to name the key differences that determine if an employee is exempt or nonexempt. Ready, set, go.​ Oh, you couldn’t do it? Color me surprised. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, not knowing the difference between the two is doing yourself a huge disservice, and, as an employer, can land you in some hot – scalding hot – water.

Nov 6, 2015 Frank  Radoslovich