Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: State Legislature Tables Soda Labeling Bill; Berkeley Has Worst Income Inequality in California

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. After intense lobbying from the soda industry, the California Senate has tabled legislation that sought to require warning labels on sugary beverages, the LA Times$ reports. Although the author of SB 1000, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), had argued that the legislation would save the state millions in health-care costs related to obesity and diabetes, opponents of the bill convinced senators that the annual $370,000 in estimated costs to enforce the new labeling rule would be too onerous. Health-care costs related to obesity cost taxpayers an estimated $52 billion a year.

2. The City of Berkeley has the worst income inequality ratio in the state, and is tenth worst nationwide, Berkeleyside reports, citing a new Bloomberg analysis. Berkeley has a substantial number of wealthy residents and families who live in poverty. Atlanta had the highest income inequality in country. Oakland ranked 28th in the nation (tied for second with Los Angeles in California) and San Francisco came in 30th in the United States.

3. The Oakland Police Department has made progress in fulfilling its federally mandated reforms, the Trib$ reports, citing a new quarterly review from Court Monitor Robert Warshaw, who is also now the department’s overseer. Warshaw credited Mayor Jean Quan for her role in achieving improvement. “‘While there is still work to be done, the mayor's active engagement in the process, coupled with the department's earnest attempts to be transparent with the findings, constitute a new willingness’ to meet the tasks and open public discourse, Warshaw wrote.”

4. California’s high school graduation rate topped 80 percent for the first time, the Contra Costa Times$ reports. The graduation rate surpassed 80 percent in Alameda and Contra Costa counties as well.

5. And an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy was speeding at more than twenty miles per hour over the limit when he struck and killed a pedestrian last year in Cherryland, the Hayward Daily Review$ reports, citing a CHP investigation. The deputy also was driving without his car sirens and emergency lights on.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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