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Joaquin Arambula

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula was found not guilty Thursday of a misdemeanor child abuse charge. The jury, made up of six men and six women, deliberated for less than seven hours.

 

The Democrat’s family clapped and cheered in the crowded courtroom after the verdict was read.

 

Prosecutor Steve Wright told reporters he was disappointed with the verdict, but he understands the jury’s decision.

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Closing arguments ended Wednesday afternoon in the child abuse trial against Fresno Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula. Now it’s up to the six men and six women on the jury to decide if the evidence proves the democrat slapped his daughter, causing a bruise on the side of her face.

Arambula is being charged with a misdemeanor for child abuse. If convicted, he could face up to six months in county jail.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula’s criminal trial continued Tuesday with a second daughter testifying. Arambula is accused of alleged child abuse after his 7-year-old daughter, who testified Friday and Monday, told school officials back in December that he slapped her, causing a bruise on her face.

John Walker / The Fresno Bee

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula’s criminal trial continued Friday in Fresno County Superior Court with opening statements and testimony from one of his children.

With her grandfather next to her, Arambula’s seven-year-old daughter answered the prosecutor’s questions before a packed courtroom. She is the alleged victim in a misdemeanor child abuse charge against Arambula.  

Flickr User United Workers, License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Before we look ahead to the midterm elections, we’re taking a quick look back at some health care legislation passed at the end of the legislative session in September: Specifically, a campaign known as Care4All, aimed at universal health coverage that’s more affordable and accountable. Of around two dozen Care4All bills and budget items introduced earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown ultimately signed eight into law.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California’s legislative session ends on Friday, which means it’s a marathon week in Sacramento as state lawmakers rush to pass bills and get them onto Governor Jerry Brown’s desk to be signed into law—or else wait until 2019 to reintroduce their legislation and begin the process all over again.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Finding enough money to pay for child care is a struggle for many Central Valley families. But last year despite the region’s high poverty rate, Fresno County returned $10 million in unspent money to the state that was earmarked for child care for low-income families.

Fresno State / http://www.fresnostate.edu/president/investiture/images/castro-photos09.jpg

Fresno State President Joseph Castro says he wants to see any new effort to build a public medical school in the San Joaquin Valley be a collaboration between the UC and CSU systems.

Last month, Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula introduced a bill in Sacramento that would authorize a new medical school at Fresno State. But the state’s master plan for higher education calls for medical schools to be the domain only of the University of California.

Fresno State / Official Facebook Account

A new bill introduced in the California Legislature last week by Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula calls for the authorization of a new medical school at California State University, Fresno. Arambula, who is a former emergency room physician from Fresno County, says training more doctors locally is one way to help solve the valley's chronic physician shortage. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The State of California is promising to spend an unprecedented amount of new money investing in Fresno. The state is planning tens of millions of dollars from its cap and trade funds.

Governor Jerry Brown is recommending spending $70 million of cap and trade money in Fresno.

The funds come from pollution credits and are set aside to aid the most heavily polluted and poor areas.

The City of Fresno expects to get half of all the climate change money that the state has designated for those communities.

Voters in California’s 31st Assembly district head to the polls tomorrow to vote in a special election to fill the seat for the rest of the year. But do voters even know its election day? Who actually turns out to vote could play a significant role in who winds up winning.

On a beautiful clear day in the town of Selma, in the heart of the 31st district, I stood in the town square to ask people this question: Do you know who is running in the special election?

Most reactions I got went something like this.

Valley Public Radio

Election day in California is still 10 weeks away, unless you live in the 31st Assembly District. That's because voters there go to the polls on April 5th in a special election to fill the vacant seat once held by Henry T. Perea. Joining us on Valley Edition to talk about the race between Republican Clint Olivier and Democrats Joaquin Arambula and Ted Miller is John Ellis of The Fresno Bee. Among our topics:

While election day may still seem far away for many Californians, the residents of the 31st Assembly District don't have to wait until June to vote. Instead they'll be asked to select a candidate in April to fill the seat left vacant after Henry T. Perea resigned last year. That's in addition to the regularly schedule primary in June and general election in November for the seat. Four candidates are vying for the spot, including front runners Clint Olivier , (a Republican) and Joaquin Arambula (a Democrat).

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

Governor Jerry Brown has set the dates for the special election to fill the vacant seat for 31st Assembly District. A special primary will be held in three months on April 5th. The top two candidates from that contest will advance to a special election on June 7th. That of course is also the date of regular June primary for all other races.