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KSBR News Briefs on  Monday, April 24 2017

Becerra says our state isn’t in the 'business of deportation'

Our state Attorney General Xavier Becerra says our state is committed to keeping families together and “isn’t in the business of deportation."

Speaking yesterday on ABC's "This Week," Becerra hit back at a White House letter demanding our state and other areas help enforce federal immigration law or risk losing federal grants.

He told host George Stephanopoulos that the U.S. Constitution gives states the right to decide how to police its citizens.

Becerra said, "We're in the business of public safety. We're not in the business of deportation."

The attorney general says one of the ways our state is protecting people is by creating jobs in a state that is the sixth-largest economy in the world.


Our state moves - slowly - toward resuming executions

Our state has long been what one expert calls a "symbolic death penalty state," one of 12 that has capital punishment on the books but hasn’t executed anyone in more than a decade.

Prodded by voters and lawsuits, the state may now be easing back toward allowing executions, though observers are split on how quickly they will resume, if at all.

Corrections officials expect to meet a Wednesday deadline to submit revised lethal injection rules to state regulators, trying again with technical changes after the first attempt was rejected in December.

The California Supreme Court, in the meantime is expected to rule by August on challenges to a ballot initiative narrowly approved by voters in November that would speed up executions by reducing the time allowed for appeals.

Stanford Criminal Justice Center co-director law professor Robert Weisberg says our state could come close to resuming executions in the next year, though others say too many variables and challenges remain to make a prediction.

Our state has by far the nation's largest death row with nearly 750 inmates, about double that of No. 2 Florida.


High-speed rail chairman steps down from job

The chief executive officer of our state’s $64 billion high-speed rail program said he's stepping down after five years seeing the project through a contentious and high-profile period in which it faced a constant onslaught of criticism from across the political spectrum.

Jeff Morales said he'll leave the top post this summer.

Voters approved nearly $10 billion for high-speed rail as part of Proposition 1A in 2008. It was then projected to cost $40 billion.

The CEO's announcement came a day after the state sold nearly $1.25 billion in bonds, a milestone after years of legal delay for a project now projected to cost $64 billion. A Sacramento County judge is to rule this week on whether the California High Speed Rail Authority can now spend the bond money.


Volkswagen-Criminal Penalty

The financial hits just keep coming for Volkswagen — the company that cheated the U.S. on diesel emissions tests. A judge in Detroit has ordered the German automaker to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the U.S. That penalty upholds a government deal negotiated with VW for what the U.S. calls a "massive fraud" the carmaker engaged in. More than a half million VW diesel vehicles were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing — but to turn those controls off while the vehicles were on the road. In the meantime, VW is paying $1.5 billion in a civil case, mostly to settle allegations by U.S. environmental regulators. And it’s spending $11 billion to buy back its rigged cars and offer other compensation. Seven Volkswagen employees have also been charged with crimes here in the U.S. But five are in Germany and are unlikely to be extradited.


San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano’s City Council Wednesday will host a community workshop to review development proposals for City-owned Downtown properties the Playhouse and the adjacent parking lot.

Mayor Kerry Ferguson says following the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, the state had directed the City to sell the properties and give 90 percent of the proceeds back to the state and the City gets to keep ten percent.

She says out of many proposals the City received for the properties, the Council had narrowed the list to four. And it believes the one that is eventually selected should be a for a performing arts center.

She says the Council is expected to make a decision on a proposal next month.

Wednesday’s City Council workshop begins at five in the evening.



Arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.

Arthritis Foundation Sr. Executive Director Teresa Dinh says the disease is often misdiagnosed especially in children. Pediatricians may diagnose children with walking problems as having an orthopedic issue. It may be a long time before children are referred to a Rheumatologist.

Dinh says the Arthritis Foundation helps those living with the disease manage it, with personalized treatment plans and other resources.

She’s a guest on our public affairs show “Collage,” which airs this evening at seven.