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NSPR News Brief: Dec. 22

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Thomas Hawk
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Flickr: http://bit.ly/1WCKTfR
The California minimum wage will go up to $10.50 starting Jan. 1.

Here's your daily briefing...

Pension revision: Officials overseeing CalPERS, the state’s public employee retirement system, slightly reduced its projected ‘rate of return’ on investments. The move, meant to create a more realistic target, should trim so-called ‘unfunded liabilities’ — the difference between pensions accrued by current and future retirees and estimates of how much money will be in the fund when those payments are due. The move will also lift the amount many state employees contribute, as well as the contributions of various government entities participating in CalPERS.

Death penalty plan bounced back: State officials were notified Wednesday that they’ll have to revise a plan to resume the death penalty in California, as the document submitted earlier was not up to bureaucratic snuff. According to the Associated Press, Corrections officials will have about six months to try again.

Lowest paid getting raise: California’s minimum wage gets a .50 cent an hour bump January 1st, the first in a series of incremental increases that will lift the minimum wage to $15 per-hour in 2022. As Capitol Public Radio reports, some are hopeful the small increase can help bring them closer to making ends meet.

Fuller reservoirs, fuller canals: December storms have prompted the California Department of Water Resources to boost deliveries in 2017 from 20 percent of requested water to 45 percent. While this year’s eventual allocation was 60 percent, this years might be higher. The lion’s share of California’s brief rainy season is still ahead.

And on the California Report: After refusing to comply with authorities, Uber says it pulled its self-driving cars from the streets of San Francisco. It took the DMV to revoke the registrations of the cars to gain the firm’s compliance. The DMV says the company lacked the right permits. Politicians in Sacramento are dueling over Denti-Cal. The dental insurance program for the poor, pushed by Democrats, is being criticized by Republicans who say low reimbursement rates mean few dentists will treat patients eligible for the program, making it a failure. And how seeds might limit flooding and help preserve California’s coast from rising sea levels.