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tv   This Week in Northern California  PBS  November 19, 2011 1:30am-2:00am PST

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sets up camp at ut berkley where students protest economic inequality. the state's $3.5 million revenue short fall could mean deeper cuts to public education, libraries and social service programs. the u.s. supreme court will review the national health care reform law. what is at stake for california where implementation has already begun? plus, leading the way into the future. start up accelerators in silicon valley are supporting new tech
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ventures and we creating jobs. coming up next. good evening. i'm belva davis. welcome to this week in northern california. joining me on our news panel are sarah varney, health reporter for kqed news. nanette asimov and john myers joining us from the state
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capital. across the country marchs were held on thursday in recognition of the two month anniversary of the occupy movement which continues to gain momentum despite clashes are police. more events are planned for this weekend in san francisco's financial district. nearly 100 arrest. the mayor called for dramatic changes at the encampment there which was declared a public health nuisance. also, thousands participated in the occupy general strike at campuses throughout the strait. uc berkley demonstrators were joined by members of occupy oakland. the campers in oakland had been evicted earlier in the week under orders from the mayor. nanette asimov you were pretty quiet on the movement until this
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week. what happened? >> that's right. about a week and a half ago they caught fire. the occupy movement just seems tailor made for student anger over rising tuition and high executive compensation. it's perfect for them because there is a ready made 99%. there is a 1% of leadership that controls. in the past, the regions of the university of california and the california state university trustees had tried to direct student anger to sacramento. get with the legislature. they control the purse strings. now the occupy movement has said go to the people on the bank boards. go to the people who have the money. the students are all too happy to look at which regions are on boards of banks and say do something for us. you have the power. this is really energized the
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campuses. they are setting up the tents. unfortunately they are also being batoned by police because universities don't want the encampme encampments. >> one of the things that the occupiers are doing is asking individual regions to please sign a pledge that they will rescind the tuition increases, that they will stand against prop 13, tax loopholes for commercial businesses. that's what the occupiers want. not one trustee of the california state university has done so. >> belva: well, this week there were more hikes. >> there were. the trustees raised tuition 9%. that was on top of 12.5% earlier this summer. in all, i think for both university systems, the price of
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the undergraduate year is three times what it was ten years ago. at the same time, executive compensation has increased because new executives come in and they get higher packages. there was one that got $100,000 more than predecessor at san diego state. and so, students are i think calling this an attack. it is the republicans in the legislature that says we won't raise taxes. but the students are saying what do you think this is. you are raising taxes on us by raising tuition. >> you say they usually tell people to come here to complain. do you think they were caught a little flat footed this week? they did nit closed doors and now they say vote again on the tuition hike. were they somewhat flat footed by the reaction from this crowd? >> i think they knew there would
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be something. they didn't know how violent it was going to get. when student protesters and a group called refund california stood up and made the demands, they were escorted from the room. i was listening in and i thought that the chairman carter was trying to be polite. he was perhaps a little more toller ant than the region probably. at one point the police had to escort them out. they clashed ten feet from the board room. plate glass shattered. one guy was sent to the hospital. tear gas. trustees moved to another room and kept up their business. now newsom who is a trustee is saying, look, you can't conduct your business out of the range of the public view. there were no press there
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because they were all with the okccupier occupiers. so they were caught flat footed. they thought they were going with the law. chancellor reed has now told them we are not changing your vote. this is what's done. so that's what we did. >> belva: it is like $6,000 now at some universities. >> right. they are over 13,000. this is basic tuition and mandatory fees. it is over 13,000. i think two-thirds of the country, students have debt. they can't graduate on average $25,000 in debt. students are saying we just can't afford this. wasn't education supposed to be free in california. as a matter of fact, it was. >> belva: more demonstrations expected this weekend. some coming from cities like oakland and san francisco i suppose.
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rp stude are students involved in this? >> students are regrouping. they are planning occupy at uc berkley. i have to tell you how creative the students are getting. they floated their tents because they were told no tents. they floated them in balloons. they'll come up with something new. >> it continues to grow. >> yeah. >> belva: mostly growing. the root of all of it leads to the university, john myers. the fact that will is nop money. legislative analyst also said maybe some other dire cuts might have to come along because of the shortage of taxes is that right? >> yeah. we got word this week, belva. we've been waiting for two different sets of economic forecast about the state and the state budget and the budget that was signed into law in the summertime. the first one we got from andest taylor who said the state is
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going to miss revenue projections by almost $4 billion, which coincident tally happens to be the balance of the budget back in june. if that happens we've got these trigger cuts. another 100 in csu. social services cuts and also very controversial if we miss the revenue projection by that much, about a billion and a half dollars cut from k through 12 schools. that's going to be rippled all across the state. governor brown's team is going to weigh in in december for the full cuts. bottom line is, that budget crafted is way too optimistic. i think the people are going to be subjected to a lot more. >> what about the k-12 situation? i get confused between prop 98
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money that was supposed to protect them and the reality that we live in. >> well, tb reality of proposition 98 is it's only a protection for school funding as long as the tax revenues materialize. prop 98 is written in such a way. it's one of those confusing parts of the state constitution that the voters put in there. written in a way that if the revenues go down schools are only guaranteed a portion of the revenues that exist. so when we're sitting here talking about the forecasting showing that revenue will be about 4 billion lower than projected, that automatically lowers the amount for the school. the interesting thing about the k-12 schools in this process is people are saying well, you can shorten the school year by six, seven days. well, that may or may not be possible. one, we've already started the school year. two, the way the budget was written is the only way to shorten it. one education lobbyist told me this week, how you going to get
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them to shorten their own paychecks. they are going to want some other concessions. some of the schools may be defiant. i think you say see the k-12 levels of schools in california saying we're not going to do it. >> the adult health care centers $85 million. they were essentially going to dismantle the adult day care network in california. just yesterday the state reached a settlement with the advocates for the disabled. they have miraculously managed to put this benefit into managed medical care plan. i wonder if we're going to see these sort of cut go through and then you'll actually have things where the state is violating
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state law. >> i the we have seen so many losses in the budget over the last few years. lawmakers make a particular plan. somebody goes to court. it is declared illegal. we roll it back and they keep coming back some other way. so, yeah, even in these trigger cuts that could happen, these cuts of a couple billion dollars. let's tack about social programs. developmental disability would be cut by $100 million. services would supposedly be cut by 100 million. already we're hearing a lawsuit would be to challenge that cut. i think this goes to show the options for lawmakers are narrower and narrower. >> so, where does this end? sit just a continual cut upon cut? the people who don't want to raise revenue, where do they see the ends game? >> you know, is far all we know, and the legislature is having a session so we're going to hear
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more in january. but really what we're hearing from people who don't want to raise taxes, usually republicans in the state house, are saying this is all the money we have. we're going to vo to cut funding in other places. that is this on going huge debate that we've had for several years about do we just take the money we have or do we find a way to grow that pot. he did get data today. unemployment going down in california. people think the economy is slowly stabilizing our slightly getting better. but tax revenues are what they are. i think we continue this debate into an election year which will be very interesting about what the size and scope of the government should be. >> well, money again is at the top of list even though the action of the u.s. supreme court has to do with hmt health care. if the court makes a decision it requires more money, john. you're saying there is no more money?
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sarah. >> there are a lot of people in california really nervous about this. as you said, the u.s. supreme court has agreed to hear this monumental challenge against the signature health care bill. at issue is whether or not we buy health insurance. there's a lot of speculation about how narrowly the court may or may not rule. in california i can tell you we have plowed away with the implementation of this law. california was the first to set up the insurance exchange. this is just an online super store where in 2014 individuals who are currently uninsured or small employees who currently can't get insurance can go and compare apples to apples on a purchase plan. for those individuals who are as low and moderate incomes who currently don't qualify for medicaid they will be able to qualify for government subsidies up to about 400% of the poverty level which is about $88,000 a year for a family of four. in 2014 the state is essentially
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building the scaffolding to be ready for 2014. i think nebrasobody at this poi willing to consider what happened if the federal subsidies go awe. because clearly it is not sustainable at that point. >> what happens -- how will live change in terms of insurance for people employed? for people who are not employed? who does it impact the most? >> one are the so called childless adults, poor childless adults who have been excluded from medicaid. a lot of people think if you're poor you have to have health insurance. that's in the true. you have to be pregnant, with child. a lot of people who are very poor, earning $10,000 a year. just because they don't have a child in the home they don't qualify for medicaid. so in 2014 that medicaid exception goes away.
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the second bucket are people who are uninsured right now because of preexisting conditions or they can't afford a policy. these are people that maybe earn 40, 50,000, 60,000 a year. they will be able to go to the insurance exchange. insurance companies will not be able to deny them a plan because of their preexisting condition. can't charge them more if they are sicker. can't charge them more if they're a woman. a consumer will be able to go to the insurance exchange and compare plans and decide which is best for them. >> belva: i hear more money is needed. >> well, in the past, there are massive projections in terms of save frgs the medicare program, specifically medicare. i think nobody -- this is really sort of health insurance expansion bill. it is not a cox control bill for
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sure. that's exactly the approach in massachusetts as well. they said we have to get everybody in first. we can tweak levers here and there to try and bring cost down. then once we sort of get everybody in then we need to figure out, okay, how do we bring cost down. we know the cost curve is unsustainable in the united states. >> john, i interrupt you there. >> no, no. that's fine. this is actually a good point. wanted to ask var. talk about cost if the federal law is upheld. the cost impact to the state versus the feds. because it feels like what i hear ar lot is there is concerns we get shoved to extra cost we can't afford. >> it is going to depend on how the court rules. so, if the court leaves in place the medicaid expansion which there is no real reason to think they would dismantle than. presumably the federal government will have to provide the match as they do now.
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so, yes, in the long term, al the let me say in the first few years twb way the federal law is written the federal government picks up the tab 100%. supposed to give the state breathing room until 2017, 2018, 2019. it gets phased in when the state ultimately has to take over its share of that program. >> belva: so the supreme court already have a decision mid-year. >> june i think. they are supposed to hear arguments in march and have a decision some time in june. just in time for the presidential election. >> belva: thank you all very much. when you really look at it, money is at the center of almost every story we've talked about tonight. thank you all. there is some good news on the job front. the employment development project says the state will have 25,000 jobs the october.
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hari sreenivasan takes us inside. they are helping to grow technology startups which create about 3 million jobs every year nationwide. >> this is demo day. think of it as a ball for start up companies where founders meet their funders. these entrepreneurs are trying to target deep pocket investors. the startup companies want them to invest the dollars to get their business off the ground. the investors are looking for the next facebook, or even google. >> high core, high pressure big stakes. at the end you probably are going to close some funding. >> before they made it to this ball, these entrepreneurs went through an accelerator, like a boot camp for new businesses. accelerators our incubators are companies that provide guidance and expertise for new start ups. >> our entire vision is to make
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open source easy for organizations to use. >> this one in san francisco called angel pad is an intense 10 week course started by an exgroup of google employees who want to invest in the next wave of internet companies. >> we want to enable anyone anywhere to sell online with ease and simplicity and elegance. >> they have 2,000 applications for 15 slots. so it's like winning the lottery just to get in. then once you get in you have to work your ass off. you have to go without sleep for nine weeks. working around the clock trying to improve your product so you have a great pitch when you end up at demo day. >> vast majority of startups will fail. the way we can change that is to give founders a lot more tools to succeed. >> the managing partner an
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founder of angel pact. >> we look for an amazing team. people that have a deep understanding of the program they are trying to solve. looking for technical people that can actually solve that problem by using technology. the third one we look for is teams that show leadership, that can hire people, can build beg companies and lead them. >> some mentors advise the start jumps on everything from prugt and design to customers and fund raising. they also provide a close-knit community of other start up founders and spers. >> one of our lawyers comes in to exchain the process. you do can do that only once instead of 15 times individually. >> in exchange the accelerators get stuck in any of the new companies they propel. >> introduce know some of your other companies. >> sure. >> weeks leading up to demo day i met with some of the founders and learned more about the
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course. >> my we allow them to share their deals and also discover relevant deals through their social network. >> what have you learned in the past couple months? >> we've been really honored to be around 14 other teams. the mentors really help us take what we originally started and make it a bigger vision. taking what we think was a cool idea. >> the idea of start jump accelerators suspect new. most follow the model laid out which has been running since 2005. today there are more than 300 out there. this summer it launched 63 new startups in a single day. some whether this is sustainable. >> i do worry that there is sort of an overcrowding effect going
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on. i think in this case there is a bit of a bubble happening. i'm not sure if these companies are coming up with services and products. each service and product that comes out has to dwoiistinguish itself from all the others. the more companies, the harder it is to set themselves apart. >> execonomy. he has started start ups the past ten years. he says the internet frenzy is back because the cost of technology keeps dropping. >> back in the 90s, a typical start startup had to go out and raise thousands of dollars so that people could come and find their services on web. it is now possible to raise 100,000 or 200,000, and if
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you're willing to eat ramen, you can make it. >> the failure rate is already incredibly high. >> u.s. economy creates 700,000 new companies every year and 675,000 of them fail. and that's like clock work. i'm not sure that the incubators can really do much to change the number on that. >> dot come bubbles bursting may send shivers up your spine. tech insiders point to these startups as the last big advantage of american business. >> the things that made us what we are is forgetting. the rest of the world is copying
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our strength. we need to have having hundreds here because some of them will become very successful. they will become the nest general motors, the next walt disney, the next google. the next facebook. america will win. >> leading the way are startups like these incubated and about sek rat accelerated by those who have gone before. >> for american business this is awesome. you see all these start ups that have got an few million dollars in funding and they start taking off. gives me hope for the future. >> while it is still too early to tell which one of these companies might become the next google or facebook, one thing is certain, they will be hiring. >> belva: so we end on good
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news. that's all for tonight. ru can subscribe to our newsletter and our pod cast and share your thoughts about the program and our story. we will be off next week for the thanksgiving holidays. we'll present ap rebroadcast of our broken california special on efforts to repair the state government. i'm belva davis. thank you for watching. good night.
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