Randall Benton / RBenton@sacbee.com

Gov. Jerry Brown, above, has appointed Michael Picker to the state Public Utilities Commission. Picker, a senior adviser to the governor on renewable energy, will replace Mark Ferron, who resigned.

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    A campaign by civil rights groups and their supporters to reduce suspensions and expulsion of public school students due to their disproportionate effect on black and Latino youngsters may be paying off. The state Department of Education on Thursday reported drops in suspensions (14.1 percent) and expulsions (12.3 percent) during the 2012-13 school year from the previous school year.

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The Buzz: SMUD board member takes post at PUC

Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 - 12:00 am

Brown tabs Picker to be on Public Utilities Commission

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Michael Picker, a senior adviser to the governor on renewable energy, to the powerful California Public Utilities Commission, Brown’s office announced Wednesday.

Picker, of Sacramento, will resign his position with the administration before joining the regulatory board, Brown’s office said. He will also resign from his seat on the Sacramento Municipal Utility District board, which he won in 2012, the administration said.

Picker, 62, was chief of staff to former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. in the 1990s and worked as an adviser to both Brown and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Like Brown, Picker is a Democrat. He will fill the vacancy left when former Commissioner Mark Ferron announced his resignation due to health reasons earlier this month.

The position requires Senate confirmation. It pays $131,952 a year.

– David Siders

Worth repeating

“A toy should look like a toy.”

SEN. NOREEN EVANS, arguing for her bill, SB199, which would require BB guns and pellet guns to look clearly different from weapons that fire bullets



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