Stories you shouldn’t miss for Feb. 20:
1.Amid signs an Oakland school strike could be lengthy, comes an state-appointed arbitrator’s finding that the Oakland Unified School District cannot afford to oblige the union’s demands for a 12 percent pay raise, the East Bay Times reports. $$.
2. President Donald Trump ordered California to return $2.5 billion in federal funding allocated for the state’s uncertain High-Speed Rail project, the Associated Press reports. The order includes the cancellation of nearly $1 billion in future funding. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the costly rail project would be limited for now to a stretch between Merced and Bakersfield.
3. Will the East Bay “Feel the Bern” again? Will America? Sen. Bernie Sanders, the progressive standout who captured the imagination of lefties, announced a presidential campaign Tuesday, joining a growing field of Democrats in the 2020 primary race, including the Bay Area’s Kamala Harris.
4. Democrats in the Legislature are proposing a package of five bills Wednesday to limit sales of sugary drinks, Alexei Kosoff reports in the San Francisco Chronicle. $$. The proposed legislation would ban large fountain drinks such as “Big Gulps,” along with a prohibition on displaying sodas for sale in checkout lines.
5. Oakland Coliseum Joint Powers Authority officials and the Raiders are close to a deal to allow the team to play the 2019 season in Oakland, Phil Matier reports in the San Francisco Chronicle. $$. Meanwhile, your Oakland Athletics open up their Cactus League slate of spring training games on Thursday.
6. California’s estimated $1 billion windfall in legal cannabis taxes revenue hasn’t panned out, reports the East Bay Times. $$. The actual amount is $345 million.
7. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the upcoming 2020 Census can include a question on citizenship, reports Politico. A decision in favor will likely result in California losing seats in Congress. Some experts speculate the East Bay could be one area that loses representation.
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