Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California's Victim Compensation Fund helps pay medical, relocation expenses

Victims of violent crime may need immediate medical or psychiatric care. They may need to move to a new home right away.

The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) helps cover those costs. CalVCP is in the spotlight during California’s Victims’ Rights Month. The program will host a rally near the Capitol on Tuesday.

Executive Director Julie Nauman says CalVCP is a last resort for tens of thousands of crime victims.

"I can’t tell you the number of times that people have come up to me at events and have told me that if it weren’t for this fund, they don’t know how they would have held it together," she said.

Crime victims can claim up to $63,000. They’re also eligible for up to $5,000 for a funeral.

They don’t have to wait for a perpetrator to be convicted to file a claim. The fund administrators can verify a victim’s situation by looking at police reports.   

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Senators take apart immigration bill in second day of Judiciary hearings

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Bill Przyluvki outside immigration hearing in Washington DC.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from nearly two dozen witnesses today at an all-day hearing on the 844-page immigration bill.

There was tearful testimony from a DREAMer—a student brought to the U.S. as a child—who implored senators to make her family legal.

Representatives from the high tech industry told the committee members that they'd be willing to pay double for visas to bring in highly educated foreign workers. And they want the government to spend that extra money on education so American students have the skills needed in the computer industry.

And as expected, there were critics who label this immigration measure "amnesty" because it gives people who've entered the U.S. illegally a way to become legal residents.

Ag Workers

Most of the day was spent looking at the provision that allows 112,000 temporary farm workers to enter the U.S.

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Mayor Villaraigosa seeks to renegotiate pay raises, health care costs (updated)

LA City Budget

Alice Walton/KPCC

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced his final spending proposal Monday morning. He wants the next mayor and Los Angeles City Council to renegotiate employee benefits. Doing so could result in a surplus by the end of the next mayor's first term.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s $7.7 billion Los Angeles city budget proposal calls for the renegotiation of pay increases for municipal employees scheduled to take effect next January.  

The 5.5 percent raises would go to 60 percent of the city’s civilian force. The mayor wants the City Council and his successor to renegotiate those raises and force city workers to pay 10 percent toward their health care benefits. Villaraigosa has pointed to a 2007 decision to increase workers’ paychecks by 25 percent as one of the contributing factors to LA’s budget problems.

“I feel compelled and I have felt compelled to make up for that mistake,” Villaraigosa said.

“What if I told you that we have some employees that don’t pay a penny for health care? The notion that we should pay 10 percent of health care is not a radical notion. It’s a sustainable notion.”

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Maven's Morning Coffee: a new poll in the mayor's race, a special election in the Valley, an old claim against a councilman

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

A new poll from the Los Angeles Times finds Eric Garcetti leading Wendy Greuel in the mayor's race by 10 points.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Monday, April 22, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, mayoral candidates hit the airwaves, Antonio Villaraigosa talks about Mitt Romney, and the city's budget proposal gets a release.

A new poll from the Los Angeles Times finds Eric Garcetti leading Wendy Greuel by 10 points in the mayor's races. "The most important question in this campaign is whether Wendy Greuel can convince voters that her support from organized labor does not make her beholden to them," said Dan Schnur with USC’s Unruh Institute of Politics, per KPCC.

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California corrections office helps victims navigate parole hearings and release of perpetrators

iStockphoto.com

California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s main job is to keep criminals behind bars. But at some point, most of those inmates are released.

The agency’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services informs victims before that happens. To highlight that work, California prison officials are holding a ceremony Monday morning in honor of Victims Rights Week.

Corrections department spokesman Bill Sessa says the agency's responsibilities also include notifying victims if a prisoner gets a parole hearing.

"The board of parole hearings takes the feelings or the consequences of the crime on the victims as one serious factor in deciding whether on not someone should be released," Sessa said. "Those victims can testify in the parole hearing and our office of victim’s services helps them do that."

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