Board of Supervisors

Mayor Calls Cortese’s Sheriff Proposal ‘Political’ Ploy

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said a new proposal for sheriff officers to assist San Jose police would only be considered after other issues are resolved.

Elected officials in San Jose and Santa Clara County have expressed diplomatic, if not cautious, public support for a proposal that would have the Sheriff’s Office assist an undermanned San Jose Police Department. But behind the scenes, the two law enforcement agencies have been at odds for more than a year over services already contracted.

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County Supervisors Consider Minimum Wage Increase

The county wants to come up with a plan to increase the minimum wage in the region's unincorporated areas.

More than a year after San Jose upped its minimum wage to $10 an hour and as the conversation around pay increases for low-paid workers ramps up on a national scale, Santa Clara County is starting to look at enacting a similar measure for unincorporated parts of the region. Supervisor Dave Cortese, who’s also running for mayor of San Jose, will lead the discussion when the Board of Supervisors meets on Tuesday. A county ordinance comes with many more challenges than a citywide measure, Cortese notes.

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County Considers Wage-Theft Ordinance

More than two-thirds of low-wage workers reported being denied full compensation by their employers, according to one study. (Photo by khrawlings, via Flickr)

Santa Clara County will consider an ordinance to punish employers for wage theft, a charge that would disqualify businesses from public contracts and give workers a formal recourse to lodge complaints against stingy bosses. The motion going before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday would direct the county to come up with a draft ordinance over the coming months. Supervisor Dave Cortese brought forward the idea, citing a 2008 study by the National Employment Law Project that says two-thirds of the 4,387 low-wage workers polled in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago were denied full compensation.

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Federal Ruling Slashes Cost of Out-of-State Inmate Phone Calls

The cost of out-of-state phone calls just got a whole lot cheaper for inmates. (Photo via Department of Corrections)

A federal ruling will dramatically cut the cost of out-of-state phone calls for Santa Clara County inmates, making it actually cheaper to dial long distance than local. The Federal Communications Commission handed down a directive this month that drops the price for inmates calling to another state by 85 percent, though it’s been met with legal opposition from the phone companies that have a monopoly on jail and prison telecommunications. Global Tel-Link, the service provider for the 700 phones at both Elmwood Jail in Milpitas and the main jail in San Jose, is asking a judge to delay the ruling.

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Mayor’s Race Gets an Education Forum

On Wednesday, the county Board of Education agreed to participate in a mayoral candidate forum on education. Educate Our State invited the Board be a partner, and the data show a thoughtful discussion is needed. Nineteen of the thirty-one districts in the county are located in San Jose, and nearly 50 percent of San Jose’s public school students test below grade level in math and English.

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