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PolitiCal Roundup: The problem with propositions

-- The Economist turns its trenchant eye on California dysfunction. The state's enthusiasm for initiatives has created, in essence, two competing governmental branches -- voters and legislators, the magazine argues. In the end, no one is accountable and "schools have suffered the most."

-- A Republican congressman from California sponsors a bill to exempt Central Valley water projects from federal environmental regulations. The bill is probably not going anywhere, but highlights growers' yen for more irrigation water, faster.

-- And on a slow news day in Sacramento, a look at what poverty really means in California from the Contra Costa Times: early death. The paper parsed life expectancy in Bay Area ZIP Codes earlier this year and found that, on average, people in the best neighborhoods live an astonishing 15 years longer than those in the worst.

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