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State of Affairs: Drought, high-speed rail, film tax credits and more




California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco, California.  Gov. Brown declared a drought state of emergency for  California as the state faces water shortfalls in what is expected to be the driest year in state history. Residents are being asked to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20%.
California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Gov. Brown declared a drought state of emergency for California as the state faces water shortfalls in what is expected to be the driest year in state history. Residents are being asked to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20%.
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It's Thursday and that means it's time for State of Affairs, our look at politics and government throughout California. To help us with that we're joined in studio by KPCC political reporters Alice Walton and Frank Stoltze.

First up: water politics. As we heard last hour, California is on tap to spend close to $700 million to free up water supplies. The plan unveiled by Jerry Brown yesterday includes funding to clean up drinking water, improve conservation and make irrigation systems more efficient. Jerry Brown has been faring so well as Governor lately. Might the drought be his undoing?

This issue is of course a concern locally. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti been addressing the issue:

"Governors and mayors, we don't have the luxury of debating the issue. I think its clear human beings have had an impact on creating the problem. But we have to solve it now. We are dealing with that in Los Angeles because we've done some common sense things out here to conserve water, change out our landscaping, strengthen our building codes."

Garcetti will be heading to Mexico City soon. But he's not the only one headed to Mexico. Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a trip of her own. What do we know about this?

Governor Brown's high-speed rail project hit another bump on the tracks with his Lt. Governor disembarking, so to speak — what some have described as a train wreck. What has Gavin Newsom had to say and what effect will this have?

The global fashion retailer Gap Inc. said yesterday it plans to raise the minimum wage for its U.S. employees to $9 an hour this year and $10 an hour by 2015. Now the L.A. City Council is considering imposing a higher minimum wage for hotel workers.  

For the first time, the Los Angeles Police Department is in charge of security at City Hall and officers there are taking a fresh look at just how safe and secure the building is for politicians and the general public. What sorts of changes are they talking about at City Hall?

Seems like there is a real sea change afoot when it comes to Californians leaving Congress. Who's the latest politician to say "that's all folks"?

Big budget films and TV productions may soon have more incentive to stay in Los Angeles.  

There could be an initiative on the November ballot that would split California into six states. Who's behind this and does it have any chance at all?