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  • Medi-Cal care trumps California's fiscal woes, judge rules

    01/06/2012 8:51:22 AM PST · by SmithL · 7 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 1/6/12 | Darrell Smith
    The state's fiscal crisis does not outweigh access to health care, a federal judge said in temporarily blocking state Medi-Cal cuts that rural hospitals say would have endangered skilled nursing care for their elderly and long-term patients.The ruling by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles federal court Dec. 28 puts the brakes on Medi-Cal cuts that were intended to save California up to $623 million by trimming reimbursement rates to care providers by as much as 10 percent. An earlier round of cuts, also temporarily blocked by the courts, would double the reductions. Medi-Cal, the state's federal Medicaid...
  • Judge orders more protection for imperiled species

    06/28/2011 9:14:56 PM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 6/28/11
    A federal judge has ordered the government to increase protections for about 40 threatened and endangered species that live in national forests in Southern California. Tuesday's decision by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Patel requires the federal government to develop new protective measures for imperiled plants and animals . . .
  • A Texas judge declares spanking a child a crime

    06/23/2011 8:16:27 AM PDT · by SmithL · 38 replies
    SFGate: The Mommy Files ^ | 6/23/11 | Amy Graff
    A Texas woman was sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to the charge of Injury of a Child. What did this Corpus Christi mother of three do? She spanked her then nearly 2-year-old daughter. "You don't spank children today," said Judge Jose Longoria. "In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don't spank children."
  • Judge orders state to boost foster payments

    05/31/2011 6:00:02 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/31/11 | Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge has ordered California to increase payment rates immediately to thousands of foster parents, noting that it has been more than 2 1/2 years since he ruled that the state's reimbursement levels failed to cover the costs of raising a child. State officials "have now had a full and fair opportunity to come into compliance with federal law. They have not done so," U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco said Friday.He told the state Department of Social Services to raise its rates to levels specified in a UC Davis study of foster children's...
  • Lawsuit claims prison receiver is padding state pension with federal salary

    04/29/2011 8:15:31 AM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/29/11 | Jon Ortiz
    A Sacramento lawsuit alleges that prison receiver J. Clark Kelso – with help from a federal judge, the state courts and CalPERS – is padding his state pension with his federal salary. Daniel E. Francis v. Board of Administration for the California Public Employees' Retirement System contends that Kelso's employment deal illegally washes his pay through the state' Administrative Office of the Courts so that the money can be factored into his retirement. Francis is bringing the suit as a taxpayer, retired state worker and CalPERS member. Kelso's total compensation came to about $270,000 last year, according to state payroll...
  • Judge to tour California's death chamber

    12/23/2010 5:29:44 PM PST · by SmithL · 13 replies · 1+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 12/23/10 | PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press
    San Francisco, CA (AP) -- A federal judge who halted lethal injections in California over concerns that it was cruel and unusual punishment plans to tour the state's new death chamber in February. U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel on Wednesday told attorneys representing a death row inmate who filed a lawsuit and the state attorney general's office that he wants to hold a hearing at San Quentin State Prison sometime in February. Fogel is determining whether the state's new lethal injection procedure is constitutional. Fogel halted executions in early 2006 and ordered prison officials to improve their lethal injection...
  • Judge blocks childcare cut pending more state action { CalWORKs }

    11/05/2010 4:01:29 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 11/5/10 | Susan Ferriss
    An Alameda County Superior Court judge today blocked the elimination of funds for a welfare-to-work childcare program until the state notifies parents they can be screened for eligibility for other programs. Judge Wynne Carvill ordered a stay on the cut until the state Department of Education issues new notices to parents that they can be screened to see if they qualify for alternative aid. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cut the $256 million from the CalWORKS welfare-to-work program with a line-time veto.
  • Cuts to CalWORKS child care program delayed by judge

    10/29/2010 6:02:28 PM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 10/29/10 | Torey Van Oot
    An Alameda Superior Court judge has delayed $256 million in budget cuts to a state program that provides child care assistance to low-income families. The funding cut for CalWORKs Stage 3 Child Care was part of the nearly $1 billion in line-item veto cuts Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made to the budget passed earlier this month. Cuts to the program, which provides child care subsidies to parents who have secured employment after going through California's welfare-to-work program, were scheduled to take effect Monday.
  • US APNewsAlert { Don't ask, Don't tell }

    10/12/2010 12:44:14 PM PDT · by SmithL · 107 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 10/12/10
    Federal judge issues nationwide injunction stopping enforcement
  • Judge orders release of Guantanamo detainee

    08/16/2010 4:06:30 PM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 8/16/10
    A federal judge has ordered the release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee imprisoned at the island facility for more than 8 1/2 years.
  • Judge has spoken - whether you like it or not

    08/05/2010 8:05:44 AM PDT · by SmithL · 126 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 8/5/10 | Debra J. Saunders
    "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," federal Judge Vaughn Walker wrote. So one judge overturned a measure approved by 52 percent of California voters in 2008 and upheld by the California Supreme Court in a 6-1 ruling. . . . Walker summed up support for Prop. 8 as emanating from "a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples." Wrong. Voters have reason to be afraid lest legalizing same-sex marriage result in unintended consequences - such as the legalization of polygamy, as recommended by a Canadian...
  • ADA Vs. Chipotle

    07/27/2010 5:51:36 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 21 replies · 1+ views
    IBD Editorials ^ | July 27, 2010 | Investors Business Daily staff
    Overregulation: Leave it to California's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to mark the 20th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) with another of its goofy, ripe-for-recision rulings. This one involves the counter height at a couple of Chipotle Mexican Grills in San Diego. Seems the 45-inch walls between customers and the food-preparation areas prevent people in wheelchairs from "fully participating in the selection and preparation of their order," as Judge Daniel Friedman put it. In short, Friedman wrote for the court, the wall "significantly reduced" the "ability to enjoy the Chipotle experience." We won't argue that "the Chipotle...
  • Judge halts Sacramento County cuts to indigent health care

    07/02/2010 1:05:27 PM PDT · by SmithL · 13 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 7/2/10 | Robert Lewis
    A balanced budget for Sacramento County? Not so fast. A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Thursday blocked the county's scheduled cuts to medical programs for the poor, ordering that clinics slated for closure remain open. The cuts were set to take effect this weekend – the start of the new fiscal year. Cuts to primary care, including the clinics, were projected to save $7.8 million. It was part of a spending plan the Board of Supervisors approved last month that included layoffs for nearly 700 workers. The board had to balance a $1.9 billion general fund budget. Included in the...
  • Conn. school board to appeal church grad ruling

    06/08/2010 7:02:32 PM PDT · by SmithL · 21 replies · 69+ views
    A Connecticut school board has voted to appeal a federal court ruling that would keep the town's two high school graduation ceremonies out of a megachurch. . . . Hall found that holding the June 23 and 24 graduations at First Cathedral Baptist Church in Bloomfield would amount to an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.
  • State Loses Fight To End Prison Oversight

    04/30/2010 4:15:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 199+ views
    AP via KTVU-2 ^ | 4/30/10
    SAN FRANCISCO -- The Schwarzenegger administration lost a legal fight Friday to end oversight of California's prison health care system.A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal judge can continue with a court-appointed receiver to improve inmate medical care.The appeals court also dismissed the administration's request to stop the receiver's construction plans to add medical beds.Rachel Arrezola, a spokeswoman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said the state will appeal the entire ruling
  • California says in-home service cuts are ready, can't be quickly changed

    10/16/2009 12:54:35 PM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies · 707+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 10/16/9 | Susan Ferriss
    California officials say computer programming changes make it impossible to stop budget cuts before Nov. 1 to the In-Home Supportive Services program – even if a federal judge orders it. Federal Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday blocking officials from sending notices Thursday to 130,000 seniors and disabled people slated to have aid cut or reduced as of Nov. 1. But program officials say programming changes that took weeks to accomplish cannot be reversed by then. "Even if we don't send the notices, the cuts will take place because they can't be stopped," said Lizelda...
  • Texas judge clears way for gay divorce

    10/01/2009 9:22:34 PM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies · 1,120+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 10/1/9 | MATT CURRY
    DALLAS (AP) -- A Texas judge cleared the way for two Dallas men to get a divorce, ruling Thursday that Texas' ban on same-sex marriage violates the constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he'd appeal the ruling, which he labeled an attempt to strike down the ban approved by voters in 2005. "The laws and constitution of the State of Texas define marriage as an institution involving one man and one woman," Abbott said in a written statement. "Today's ruling purports to strike down that constitutional definition — despite the fact that...
  • AP NewsBreak: Proposed deal for Calif. inmate care

    05/28/2009 6:02:28 PM PDT · by SmithL · 16 replies · 543+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/28/9 | DON THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer
    Sacramento, CA (AP) -- The Schwarzenegger administration and a federal court appointee have agreed to the framework of a legal settlement to overhaul the way medical care is delivered to prison inmates. The outline of the proposal was given Thursday to The Associated Press and would be the first step toward ending a long-running legal drama that appeared headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The proposed agreement, if accepted by the federal courts and the Legislature, would call for a sharply scaled-down and far less expensive plan to improve poor inmate medical care than the one the federal receiver previously...
  • Court to hear California prison health care showdown

    02/11/2009 9:21:13 AM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies · 299+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 2/11/9 | Denny Walsh
    California prison health care has already grabbed front-page headlines this week, but the issue will be front-and-center again on a separate matter before different judges. An appellate court on Thursday will hear oral arguments on how far the law allows a federal judge to go in imposing his will on the officials who run California's 33 adult prisons. For weeks, the level of rhetoric and posturing by the principals has been through the roof. State officials contend that U.S. District Judge Thelton E. Henderson of San Francisco and his appointed receiver, law professor J. Clark Kelso, have made unreasonable demands...
  • California prison czar scales back plan for medical care

    02/06/2009 12:37:23 PM PST · by SmithL · 1 replies · 235+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 2/6/9 | Andy Furillo
    The prison medical czar today offered downsized versions of his plan to build long-term care beds for physically and mentally ill inmates, the least expensive of which would cost the deficit-ridden state $2.5 billion. Federal receiver Clark Kelso offered the alternatives as more budget-minded options to what had been an $8 billion plan that would have paid for 10,000 beds and fixed up existing medical facilities in California's 32 prisons. He said that he is "cognizant" of California's impending $40 billion budget deficit, but that the plan is needed to bring the state into constitutional compliance to provide health care...