Initiative loophole hurts communities by skirting environmental review

Two years ago, one of my constituents was approached for his signature on a ballot proposal. He was intrigued; the proposal seemed important and promised to bring jobs to the community. While he wanted more time to discuss the idea with his friends, he thought it important enough for the community to decide. He signed the petition, figuring that by the time it came to a public vote, he would be more informed on its regional impact, where big projects can often mean hazy air and increased truck traffic.

But it never came to a public vote.

After scathing UC audit, California leaders look to stop recent tuition hike

Some high-profile California politicians from both political parties are angrily asking the University of California to block or reverse its recent decision to increase student tuition after scathing revelations in an audit of the UC Office of the President were released this week.

Taking another look at ‘college ready’ definition

For years, community college and university administrators have decried the lack of “college ready” students being fed into their systems and burning valuable resources on remedial math and English classes to get up to speed.

In California, many of those not-ready-for-college students have been Latinos and others of color. Research shows that students from groups that are historically underrepresented in higher education are more likely to take a remedial course at some point in college.

In California, José goes with an accent mark on the "e"- by law

Thousands of Spanish names in California have been Americanized. Cañon Drive it's never to be found written "Cañón", and José is often written as Jose, with no accent. In an attempt to change that, Latino assemblyman Jose Medina recently introduced a bill aiming to overturn the ban on diacritical marks so that Spanish names can include accents and the distinctive letter ‘ñ’ in official documents.

Strength in numbers: Jewish caucus a powerful advocate in Sacramento

Assemblymember Jose Medina, who represents parts of Riverside County, is one of the caucus’ three associate members. He said he worked with Rabbi Suzanne Singer of Temple Beth El in Riverside to put together a meeting with UC Riverside officials over concerns about a class with an anti-Israel slant being taught there.

California bill aims to make it harder for megaprojects to sidestep state environmental law

Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside) says the Rams — and at least five other large developers whose projects were approved by similar means in recent years — have been able to spend significant sums of money to ignore state environmental laws. He’s authored new legislation to block future developers from doing what the Rams did, by prohibiting local governments from approving projects without an exhaustive environmental review.

“You shouldn't have such undue ability that money buys access,” Medina said.

What's in a name? This bill would allow accent marks on California birth certificates

The smiling, little boy in the photo is Nicolas — not Nicolás, as his father, Pablo Espinoza, wanted to name him when he was born in May at a Los Angeles hospital.

"We thought it was an issue of the keyboard," said Espinoza, special projects media consultant for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Instead, it was a result of state law.

Inland leaders push for higher college attendance

A Thursday morning hearing on boosting college readiness and college graduation rates drew about 100 people to UC Riverside where they heard ideas ranging from a centralized student data system to supplemental programs for high school students.

Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, who heads the Assembly Higher Education Committee, said the meeting focused on issues in the Inland Empire. The meeting drew education leaders from across the region as well as several other Assembly members, including Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino.

State should help students abused by for-profit colleges

Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education suspended federal financial aid for prospective students at ITT Technical Institutes, a national, publicly traded, for-profit college. The next day, the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education prohibited California ITT locations from enrolling new students.