Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: Senate Reaches Accord to End Shutdown and Avoid Default; BART Inches Closer to Deal with Unions

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate have reached a deal that would reopen the federal government and avoid a national financial default — while keeping Obamacare intact, the Washington Post$ reports. The deal, which is expected to pass the Senate easily, means that House Republicans have gained essentially nothing from the shutdown and default threats — other than extremely bad poll numbers. The deal, however, is only temporary — it extends until January 15.

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2. BART appears to be getting closer to reaching a deal with its unions as both sides continue to negotiate for new contracts for the transit district’s employees. The Chron reports that federal mediator George Cohen said last night that “we are devoting all our efforts to achieve this agreement."

3. AC Transit management, meanwhile, has requested that Governor Jerry Brown seek a sixty-day cooling off period after bus drivers announced earlier this week that they plan to go on strike on Thursday, the Mercury News reports.

4. Governor Brown is pushing forward with a plan to move 2,300 inmates into a privately run prison — rather than release low-level offenders — in order to help reduce overcrowding in state-run facilities, the LA Times$ reports. The plan will cost taxpayers $28.5 million a year.

5. And the Richmond City Council has slashed the city permitting fees for home-solar installations — from $615 to $100 — in order to spur more solar investments in the city, the CoCo Times reports.

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