The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

January 30, 2009
Steinberg puts gavel down on play by judges to boost benefits
Today's lead editorial looks at "sneaker bills" that inevitably enter into closed-door deliberations as lawmakers try to close out a budget deal. The editorial highlights one such bill that came across our desks -- an attempt by state judges to hike the benefits they could receive on top of their existing salary and compensation.

After we flagged it and inquired about it, the office of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he would not introduce it this session:

You can read the draft language in question here at
Judges bill

January 28, 2009
Budget dithering catches up with Sacramento County
Today's lead editorial in The Bee states that Sacramento County "has made a bad fiscal situation worse" by stubbornly clinging to wishful revenue projections and refusing, in past weeks, to disclose the extent of the county's red ink.

The bottom line:

"The time for wishful thinking is over. The county is experiencing an epic slide in property values and sales tax revenues, and this isn't a blip. It's a monumental challenge, and it will require sacrifices and realism from everyone - beginning with the people elected to run Sacramento County."
What do you think? If you want to send a letter to the editor, you can submit one here.
January 28, 2009
GOP lawmakers come to the rescue of diesel soot
Following up on an earlier Swarm item, an editorial in The Bee today hits Republican lawmakers for seeking rollbacks of environmental regulations as the price of a state budget deal.

The editorial notes that some of these environmental regulations -- including limits on diesel pollution from construction equipment -- were enacted after months of public hearings.

"Now, at the 11th hour, Republicans want to use a closed-door process to gain regulatory relief for construction companies that, instead of investing in cleaner equipment, have put their money into a lobbying campaign."
You can read the full editorial here.
January 26, 2009
Congress set to approve new wilderness and recreation areas
Bonnie Lake email.JPGToday's lead editorial urges the House to approve a public lands omnibus package that could expand wilderness areas in California by 700,000 acres, and create new snowmobile parks and other recreation areas.

The editorial highlights a proposed addition to the Hoover Wilderness that will protect dozens of gorgeous alpine lakes and meadows near Sonora Pass, just west of Bridgeport. The photo to the right shows Bonnie Lake, one of the areas that would become part of the Hoover Wilderness.    
To read a copy of S. 22, the omnibus package passed by the Senate and now in the House, go here.

So what do you think? A step forward for our public lands?

Photo couresty John Dittli, special to The Bee.

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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