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Connecting the Dots: Top news stories for Thursday, March 15, 2012


Senate Leader Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg says he's happy about the tax initiative compromise reached yesterday by Governor Jerry Brown and the California Federation of Teachers. Steinberg estimated that the new plan would generate about two billion extra dollars for the state through June 2013...

The CalPERS governing board decided to lower its investment forecast by a quarter point, rather than the half point that had been proposed. The approved forecast will cost the state $167 million a year and raise costs for school districts and municipalities that belong to California Public Employees' Retirement System. Officials hope to phase in the budget reductions over time...

An Assembly budget subcommittee voted yesterday to block the expansion of a controversial court computer system. The Service Employees International Union has lobbied against  the system, arguing that the state is wasting money at a time when courts might need to lay off employees. So far $556.5 million has been spent on the new system, though it's only been installed in a few counties...

California's lawmakers are unlikely to receive higher salaries any time soon: A new survey finds that they make more money than their counterparts in all 49 states...

Oakland officials have issued preliminary approvals for four new medical marijuana dispensaries, though they may have trouble finding locations – proximity to schools and youth centers make many sites unfeasible. If the dispensaries do open as expected later this summer, officials estimate they'll generate $1.7 million in tax revenue for the city. Meanwhile, a prominent Berkeley dispensary has been forced to close its doors.

Connecting the Dots brings the day's news together.



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