,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for June 29, 2011

As expected, both houses passed a majority vote budget last night.  The bigger drama followed the budget vote, when several Democratic lawmakers joined farmworkers in a vigil by Bacteria Bear awaiting the governor's decision on the farmworker card check bill,  SB 104.  The governor vetoed it, gaining favor wit agribusiness and, as the LAT's Mark Barabak tweeted, bringing "Canoe Politics" back to the Capitol.  ("Paddle on the left, paddle on the right, and you'll steer right down the middle.")

Back to the budget...Here are the winners and losers among interest groups.  Everyone will be writing about the elected winners and losers, but I like seeing which interests win.


  • Wal-Mart - the leading proponent of the "Amazon" tax
  • Big Banks - the new $2.8 billion in Proposition 98 deferrals will lead to lots of borrowing and, well, lots of "underwriters discounts"
  • Car dealers - that BMW 3-series you've been eyeing is $558 less on Friday due to the drop in sales tax and VLF
  • Grover Norquist - fortunately he doesn't need California schools, hospitals or public safety
  • The labor coalition - defeated the idea of a special election to keep the third rails of pension reform and spending cap off the ballot and generally kept cuts away from core interests of members
  • California Teachers Association - kicks child care out of Prop 98 and keeps K-12 in the "third tier" of triggered cuts, which most people don't think will be pulled
  • Twitter - why hang out at the smelly Third Floor gate when you can get more budget news in 140-character bites?


  • Amazon - although, expect a protracted legal fight and the people that paid attention in law school (unlike me!) tell me they have a strong case 
  • The Zuck - if Facebook goes public year and his $13.5 billion becomes reality, he just saved a boatload of personal income taxes
  • League of California Cities - while redevelopment agencies MAY prevail in the courts, the grab was really a slap at the League's political strategy of the last seven years...from powerhouse to the doghouse
  • Higher education - deep cuts of $1.7-$2 billion solidify the abandonment of it as a state priority
  • Tani Cantil-Sakauye - the highly respected new Chief Justice (and thus top administrative officer of the court system) went to bat for the courts, but ended up losing
  • ...all of us that thought this year was really the end of budget gimmicks.

got more?  e-mail them to me...

to the headlines...and to home...on a flight back from Baltimore as eureka spins this baby out...

Oh, What A Night | Capital Notes -- From Kqed's John Myers - blogs.kqed.org
And the guy in the corner office now faces some choices about whether to stick to his strategy of pragmatic bipartisanship, even after coming up short on the biggest fight he's waged so far. The $86 billion general fund blueprint that was sent to Governor Jerry Brown was such a foregone conclusion that, for most of Tuesday night, bills sped by at a dizzying speed. Republicans, with only a few exceptions, declined to crank up any fiery speeches predicting gloom and doom. Unlike all years where a handful of GOP legislators -- either after special deals with Democrats or with the silent blessing of their leaders -- put up the necessary two-thirds vote, the new 'majority rules' budget left them powerless to stop a unified no-tax Democratic proposal.

Democrats pass austerity budget for California - Shane Goldmacher @ latimes.com
The Legislature passed an austerity budget Tuesday night that would cut from universities, courts and the poor, shutter 70 parks and threaten schools but would not — by officials' own admission — restore California's long-term financial health.

Dan Walters: California's new budget relies on shaky assumptions - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The much-revised state budget that Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have cobbled together solves their political problem, at least for the moment.

Details On The Budget 'trigger' Mechanism - blogs.sacbee.com
The biggest new component of the Democratic budget is a $4 billion assumption of higher revenues in 2011-12, backed by $2.5 billion in "trigger" cuts in case some or none of that money materializes. The "trigger" legislation will be either Assembly Bill 121 or Senate Bill 96, depending upon which house votes first.

The Unpredictable Mr. Brown - Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Rumors flew around the capitol that Brown was using the card-check bill as a bargaining chip in his budget negotiations. If some farm area Republican legislators would vote to put tax extensions on the ballot, Brown would veto the bill, the rumors implied. No Republican openly supported the tax extensions and the tax extensions were not part of the final budget. Yet, Brown vetoed the card-check bill, anyway.

Brown vetoes 'card check' unionization bill - blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation tonight that would have let farmworkers unionize more easily, despite intense pressure from fellow Democrats and labor allies who considered Brown their best chance in years to pass the bill.

State Chief Justice Blasts Budget Deal - Denny Walsh @ sacbee.com
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said today she is "dismayed and gravely concerned" about cuts to judicial branch funding in the proposed state budget announced Monday by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown.

Calif. lawmakers start closing $9.6B deficit - JUDY LIN @ pe.com
Exercising their new majority-vote authority, Democratic lawmakers began approving an $86 billion spending package Tuesday but did so without the tax renewals they had sought all year.

California Legislature Quickly Passes State Budget - Wyatt Buchanan,Marisa Lagos @ sfgate.com
After months of fits and starts, the state Legislature approved a budget package Tuesday night to close what was once a $26.6 billion deficit - giving the state a spending plan before the start of the fiscal year and...

California Redevelopment Agencies' Demise - Tibby Rothman @ laweekly.com
Until this week, Los Angeles' leaders had been on a mission that, due to attendant PR problems, unfolded behind closed doors: preventing California Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature from moving billions of dollars in taxpayer money out of the hands of developers and into state coffers to balance the budget and help schools.

In Major Test, Appeals Court Upholds Democratic Healthcare Law - Noam N. Levey and David G. Savage @ latimes.com
The new healthcare law President Obama signed last year survived its first test before a federal appellate court Wednesday, as the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati concluded that the law’s insurance requirement is constitutional.

Lawmakers Approve State Budget Plan - latimesblogs.latimes.com
Democratic lawmakers approved a budget Tuesday night that would result in reductions of services for many -- from students enrolled at public universities to the needy and disabled -- as Californians begin paying less in taxes next month. Their action...

Democrats Pass Austerity Budget For California - Shane Goldmacher @ latimes.com
California's Legislature passed a budget Tuesday night that would cut from universities, courts and the poor, shutter 70 parks and threaten schools. What officials admit it would not do is restore the state's long-term financial health.

Biggest Tax Avoiders Would Win On Tax Break - Bloomberg - bloomberg.com
As governments worldwide grapple with budget deficits -- $1.4 trillion projected for the U.S. and 597 billion euros for the European Union -- such income-shifting by multinationals cost the U.S. Treasury about $90 billion in revenue in 2008 alone, according to a March article by Kimberly A. Clausing, an economics professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Dems Go It Alone, Approve A Budget - David Siders @ sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown said for months that he could broker a bipartisan budget deal. By agreeing to a majority-vote budget, passed by Democrats in the Legislature on Tuesday, he conceded he could not.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes farmworkers' bill - Patrick McGreevy and Anthony York @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown, whose signature more than three decades ago gave agricultural workers the right to unionize by secret ballot, vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have made it easier for farm laborers to organize.

Legislature Passes $86 Billion Budget - Steven Harmon @ mercurynews.com
With a number of budget bills speeding through the Senate and Assembly, the Democratic Legislature approved the budget with two days to spare before the end of the fiscal year, a rarity in a process that for years has been dogged by lengthy budget delays.

New Jersey Shifts More Costs To Government Workers - Richard Simon @ latimes.com
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signs into law a measure that requires government workers and retirees to pay more toward healthcare and pensions.

California Legislature Passes Budget To Close $9.6b Deficit, Relying On Rosy Tax Projections... - The Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
California Legislature passes budget to close $9.6B deficit, relying on rosy tax projections

Calif. Legislature set to close $9.6B deficit - DON THOMPSON @ pe.com
California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown are set to achieve something rarely accomplished in California pass a budget and have it signed into law by the start of the fiscal year.

Budget Passes, $48m Grab Likely To Become Law - totalbuzz.ocregister.com
After a little more than an hour of drama, the State Senate passed the main budget this evening, making it increasingly likely a trailer bill taking $48 million from the County of Orange annually will be signed into law.

Calif. Lawmakers Begin Passing Budget Plan - The Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
California lawmakers began voting on an $86 billion spending package Tuesday without the tax renewals majority Democrats had sought all year.