,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for June 30, 2011

Well, the governor moved quickly to enact parts of the budget.  Brown yesterday signed bills that gut redevelopment (along with a much less attractive alternative) and force online retailers to collect sales tax.

Amazon quickly responded, sending nice notes like this to people like me:

Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011. Those California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned before today will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.

Fortunately, I don't use Amazon links on aroundthecapitol anymore, but it's a big hit to a lot of California web site owners.  Opponents of the bill highlight the impact on 25,000 small businesses, but big businesses such as the San Francisco Chronicle use Amazon links to enhance their site revenue. Anyway, Amazon and other online retailers are expected to take it to court.

Speaking of court, John Howard reports that redevelopment officials are marching directly to the California Supreme Court to overturn the gun-to-the-head hit to their agencies.  Will they find a sympathetic ear with new Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who was also very unhappy with the budget?

While Wyatt Buchanan looks at the losers in the budget fight (mostly poor people and college students), Kevin Yamamura and Diana Lambert look at the wins the California Teachers Association delivered to its members.  John Fensterwald notes that the state is reducing financial oversight of school districts at the same time it is restricting their ability to make cuts.

Finally, if you are like me and have those yellow stickers on your hybrid, today is the last day to make those solo drives in the carpool lane.  Maybe I'll go drive the 680 crush at 5pm...

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Laws To Ax Redevelopment Agencies, Collect Taxes From Online Retailers - Shane Goldmacher @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Wednesday proposals to abolish California’s existing redevelopment program and to try to force online retailers, such as Amazon.com, to collect sales taxes.

GOPer Meg Whitman Re-emerges, Criticizes Budget Plan By CA Dems And Jerry Brown As Lacking "Real Reform" - Carla Marinucci @ sfgate.com
Republican billionaire Meg Whitman, who dropped out of sight in 2010 after a record-setting failed $180 million bid for California governor, emerged Wednesday to criticize the new...

Calif. Budget Deal Leaves Taxes, Reforms To Voters - Juliet Williams @ old.news.yahoo.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats who dominate the California Legislature on Wednesday celebrated the rare enactment of a state budget before the fiscal year begins, after using their new power to pass the spending plan with a simple majority vote.

Prison officers union still battling state - Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Like gout and miserably hot Sacramento summers, a big fight between the state's prison officers' union and the government is about to flare up – again.

Hottest Ticket In Sacramento: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Meeting Tomorrow With GOP Supporters - Carla Marinucci @ sfgate.com
Hang on to your 10-gallon hats, Republicans -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry is blowing into Sacramento tomorrow to meet with 40 GOPers who want him to run for President. And he's one hot...

Universities, Redevelopment Agencies Ponder The Budget Ax - Sharon Noguchi and Tracy Seipel @ mercurynews.com
Local governments and California's public colleges and universities may have been resigned to the impending cuts after the state Legislature late Tuesday approved an $86 billion budget. By Wednesday morning, however, the reductions seemed increasingly hard to swallow.

Capitol Journal: Proposition 25 Proves Its Worth - George Skelton @ latimes.com
But Republicans squander their chance to win major reforms.

Brown's Countdown, Day 172: California teachers win big in state budget deal - Kevin Yamamura and Diana Lambert @ sacbee.com
Teachers win layoff protection while school finance officials see their powers curtailed in the state budget package Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign today.

California Online Tax Law Pressures Amazon - STU WOO @ online.wsj.com
Amazon.com Inc. may soon have to collect sales taxes in California after Gov. Jerry Brown signed an online tax-collection bill. California's legislation, which was signed by Mr. Brown on Wednesday, is the latest attempt by a state to force Internet retailers to collect taxes on online sales. At least nine other states have passed such laws, including Arkansas, Connecticut and Illinois this year.

California Won't Be The Same Under New Budget - Wyatt Buchanan @ sfgate.com
Poor people will receive less medical care and welfare, disabled people will see fewer services, state parks will close and public university students will pay more in California under the budget that takes effect Friday.

A Hope-and-a-prayer Budget - Mandy Honeychurch @ capitolweekly.net
If anything, the new budget is a gamble. The budget that Gov. Jerry Brown and his fellow Democrats pieced together this week retains some aspects of the original budget blueprint that Brown vetoed on June 16. But there is a big difference: It relies on an additional $4 billion in tax revenue that Brown says will be available for the 2011-12 fiscal year that begins July 1. This unexpected money may cover some of the most controversial items in the first budget -- including cuts to First 5 commissions, local sales tax increases and the sale of state buildings.

Web Retailers Say They'll Fight New California Sales Tax - Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
California's Internet sales tax became law Wednesday, prompting immediate push-back from two of the biggest online retailers.

Redevelopment Heading Directly To Supreme Court - John Howard @ capitolweekly.net
California’s redevelopment agencies are taking their fight for survival directly to the California Supreme Court, saying Gov. Brown and the Legislature ignored the voters’ will and violated the constitution by dismantling hundreds of local agencies.

Lawmakers Suspend Fiscal Oversight - John Fensterwald @ toped.svefoundation.org
The 100-page trailer bill was published Wednesday morning, 12 hours after Democrats in the Legislature passed it without discussion. Except perhaps for a handful of insiders, educators had no idea what was in it.

Do Elections Matter? - Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Those involved in the political world often repeat the refrain that elections have consequences. Who wins or what measures pass will determine the direction of government until the next election.

Dan Morain: Brown's Break With UFW A Sign Of The Times - Dan Morain, Senior editor @ sacbee.com
Democrats take it as an article of faith that the United Farm Workers of America is sacrosanct, even as the labor organization founders.

U.s. Appeals Court Oks Health Care Law - San Jose Mercury News - mercurynews.com
The Obama administration on Wednesday prevailed in the first appellate review of the 2010 health care law as a three-judge panel from the 6th U.

CA fees on vehicles, rural homes may be challenged - DON THOMPSON @ pe.com
Every Californian with a vehicle will pay $12 more a year to register it, and millions of property owners who live outside cities will pay $150 annually for state fire protection under two new fees imposed by lawmakers as part of the budget passed late Tuesday.

Lawsuits Could Boost Diversity On School Boards - Corey G. Johnson @ californiawatch.org
Civil rights attorneys are using a California election law to force school districts to make their boards more diverse.

Redevelopment Lives, Just With Less Money - voiceofsandiego.org
As part of budget plan, governor signs legislation that dramatically changes California's system for improving rundown neighborhoods.

O.C. lawmakers may fight state's $48 million grab - BRIAN JOSEPH and KIMBERLY EDDS @ ocregister.com
A day after the California State Legislature voted to take $48 million annually from the County of Orange, state lawmakers said the grab might not be legal.

Second Round Of Tuition Hikes Likely At UC And Cal State Systems - Larry Gordon and Carla Rivera @ latimes.com
Discussions are underway for tuition increases of at least 10%. That hike would come on top of an 8% increase at UC and a 10% boost at Cal State that already are set to take effect this fall.

Obama Says Deficit Deal Must Curb Tax Breaks For Rich - National Election News - Sacbee.com - David Lightman @ sacbee.com
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said Wednesday that any deficit reduction deal with Republicans has to include ending some tax breaks for the wealthy, and he urged lawmakers of both parties to "stay here until we get it done."