Local government employees earned a total of more than $41 billion – the highest since 2009, the first year for which the state compiled compensation data.
Joanna Lin is a data reporter for Reveal. She previously covered K-12 education and health for California Watch, a project of The Center for Investigative Reporting. She also was a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the Los Angeles Times, where she covered breaking news and wrote stories on religion and legal affairs for the metro and national desks. A San Francisco Bay Area native and graduate of the University of Southern California, Lin is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.
Tanks are now the primary source of water for more than 540 households in Tulare County, the epicenter of California’s four-year drought. In the poor, unincorporated community of East Porterville, the outlook is particularly bleak.
Reveal has updated its Payday California site, which tracks how local government employees are compensated, with 2013 data, the latest available from the state.
Dairy cows get treated with a variety of medications to help them fight illness, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to release the results of its inquiry – started more than four years ago – into whether these drug are showing up in their milk.
Making sense of public employee compensation is no easy task.
Four years after a small working-class town near Los Angeles became a cautionary tale of government excess, a state effort to avoid a repeat performance is falling short.
Although the salaries of government employees are public, most taxpayers know little about whether these paychecks, which typically represent more than a third of communities’ spending, are fair.
Students eat lunch in the Oakland High School cafeteria. To get lunch, students enter their ID number – which staff use to track free and reduced-price meals – in one line and then receive tickets to exchange for meals in other lines. One student said he typically waits 20 to 25 minutes for food.Noah Berger/The
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