,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for July 11, 2011

Do you feel giddy like a little kid the week before summer recess?  That's how legislators (and staffers and lobbyists) are this week, but there is work to be done and there are ruffled feathers to deal with.

BREAKING TWEET: @CapitolALERT: Asm. Portantino (D) says he has been told his ofc budget will be slashed, staff put on leave w/o pay in fall bc he voted against #cabudget.

Probably fun to watch http://twitter.com/#!/search/portantino this afternoon.

TAXMAN: One of the most interesting bills may be SB 116 (De Léon), which would mandate the single sales factor, but also provide several new tax breaks favored by in-state individuals and corporations.  Out of state corporations that have little in-state property (i.e. Big Tobacco) and few California employees hate the single sales factor.  John Myers has a rundown on the bill and associated politics.

TRIGGER HAPPY?  Controller John Chiang came out with the June revenue numbers today.  Good news: we're $440 million above May Revise projections.  Bad news?  We're $350 million behind adopted budget projections.  Remember, we need $3 billion of the "new $4 billion" to avoid pulling the first group of budget-cutting triggers.

HOLD THE LINE: Late Friday, the Citizens' Redistricting Commission scrapped the second draft of new districts that had been postponed and expected later this week.  The commission now plans on releasing the final draft of maps on July 28th and adopting them on August 15.  Paul Mitchell writes, "Michelangelo never had a Second Draft!"

What is particularly interesting about the commission's procrastination?  The maps are now going to be dropped during the Legislature's summer recess, which is generally when members of the Legislature (and Congress) take off on summertime junkets and family vacations.

It's pretty clear that the first draft of maps were thrown in the garbage, particularly as they deal with greater Los Angeles.  Now, the first time legislators may be able to look their new bedfellows in the eye will be the first day back in session, August 15.

It could make for a very interesting final month of session, but remember, breaking up is okay.  

Michelangelo never had a Second Draft! - Paul Mitchell @ aroundthecapitol.com
This weekend the Citizens Redistricting Commission shocked the eleven people watching the live hearing when they voted to eliminate the second draft. Listening to the comments this was either because they were unable to get the maps done in time, unable to get maps that would garner the votes necessary, or uninterested in another round of commission-bashing that would ensue from a public release of second draft maps.

Californians Are Paying A High Price For A Low Car Tax - George Skelton @ latimes.com
Republican legislators have been taking credit justifiably for cuts in sales and car taxes. But they're disingenuously denying any responsibility for soaring university tuitions, the closing of state parks or the shredding of grandma's safety net. They can't have it both ways.

Dan Walters: California cities feel clobbered by Capitol - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The cities were clobbered by a decree that they must shut down their redevelopment agencies or give $1.7 billion to schools, thereby easing the state's education obligation, and by an almost gratuitous raid on some cities' vehicle license fee revenue, which is being shifted to help pay for realignment. But budget hits on cities are only part of the story unfolding in the Capitol this year. They must also contend with a slew of bills, mostly sponsored by unions representing city employees, that, if passed and signed by Brown, would interfere with how they manage municipal affairs.

Redistricting Commission Cancels Next Round Of Draft Maps - latimesblogs.latimes.com
Rushing to meet next month's deadline for completing its task of drawing new political boundaries for California, the state's Citizens Redistricting Commission decided over the weekend not to release a second round of proposed maps. The commission was scheduled to...

Sacramento's Formerly Exempt City Workers Move To Join Union - Ryan Lillis @ sacbee.com
More than 200 workers at Sacramento City Hall who have not been represented by unions are moving forward with organizing, a move that will give them more clout as budget officials eye their pensions for ways to save.

New Bill Tries To Clear Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits - Ryan Gabrielson @ californiawatch.org
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, authored legislation three years ago mandating that the state’s law enforcement departments report annual numbers on rape kits received and tested. Portantino was responding to the discovery of more than 7,000 untested kits in Los Angeles County. His bills twice reached the desk of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who twice vetoed the measures, citing financial concerns. This year, Portantino again has a rape kit bill moving easily through the Legislature, AB 322. It is two votes away from going to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.

NEW: School Funding Reform Skewered by CTA - WAYNE LUSVARDI @ calwatchdog.com
The California Teacher’s Association (CTA) pushed for putting AB 18 on ice even though Gov. Brown and Assemblywoman Brownley covertly maneuvered an 11:59 p.m. rider to the recently approved state budget that mandates no core teacher layoffs. The unions have solidified their hold on the State Capital, despite the recommendations of the Legislative Analyst’s Office and other good government recommendations to reform the “categorical” funding system for public schools. Neither did Gov. Brown issue any statement in opposition to this move or exercise his line-item veto powers.

Cd36: Hahn Should Survive Huey’s Tea Party Frenzy - Gene Maddaus @ calbuzz.com
By all rights, Janice Hahn should run away with Tuesday’s Congressional special election. Democrats have an 18-point registration advantage in the 36th District, and she’s facing a virtually unknown challenger in Republican Craig Huey.

'South California' For 51st State? - Phil Willon @ latimes.com
Accusing Sacramento of pillaging local governments to feed its runaway spending and left-wing policies, a Riverside County supervisor wants 13 mostly inland, conservative counties to break away and form "South California.''

Don't look now, the Legislature is increasing your taxes - Loren Kaye @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Just because state taxes weren't extended by the Legislature (or the voters) to close the state budget gap doesn't mean the Legislature is not planning to raise your taxes.

2nd Draft Redistricting Maps Canceled By Panel - Total Buzz - The Orange County Register - totalbuzz.ocregister.com
First, the Citizens Redistricting Commission postponed its scheduled July 7 release of the second public draft of new congressional and state legislative districts. Now, the commission has announced that it won’t do a second draft at all – that a final version will be unveiled on July 28 and then be adopted Aug. 15 by the commission.

Vitriolic South Bay Congressional Race Nears Combative Finish - latimesblogs.latimes.com
The vitriol continued to mount as an especially hard-fought South Bay congressional race entered the last few days of the campaign. Democrat Janice Hahn and Republican Craig Huey, combatants for the seat resigned earlier this year by then-Rep. Jane Harman...

Editorial: Under pressure, caucus finally opens its books - sacbee.com
It took too long and too much consternation, but the California Latino Legislative Caucus is doing right and disclosing who is donating to its nonprofit foundation.

Governor Taking Stock Of Judge Picks - Local @ contracostatimes.com
While yet to appoint a new judge, Gov. Jerry Brown showing signs hes starting to move on filling judicial openings, including a crucial spot on California Supreme Court

School-grown Food For Lunch: Against The Law? - Karla Hampton @ healthycal.org
With escalating obesity rates and growing interest in “eating local,” many schools are looking to add their schoolyard harvest to cafeteria lunches. But school administrators may be wary of the prospect, citing concerns about food safety, sanitation, and state and federal rules about school meals.

Left, Right and Wrong on 'Reform' of Initiative Process - Joe Mathews @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
The good news: reform of the initiative process is finally on the table in California. The bad news: the left and the right are getting reform wrong.

Community Colleges Consider Cutting Off Repeat Course-takers - Erica Perez @ californiawatch.org
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors today will consider a policy change that would free up more spaces for new students by limiting the number of times students can repeat certain courses on the state’s dime.

Excluding The Public: The Redistricting Commission Goes Dark - Tony Quinn @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Running out of time, beset by rebellious consultants, and manipulated by partisans, the Citizens Redistricting Commission has decided to exclude citizens from the process. The Commission is going dark.

Veterans Face High Unemployment After Military Service - Alana Semuels @ latimes.com
Unemployment among recently returned veterans, already in double digits, is poised to get worse as more soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Riverside County: Supervisors Mull Redevelopment Payment To State - DUANE W. GANG @ pe.com
Riverside County supervisors will decide Tuesday whether to pay the state more than $31 million this year to keep the county's redevelopment agency active.

Obama, Congressional Leaders Fail To Break Debt Deadlock - Peter Nicholas and Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau @ latimes.com
President Obama continued to push for a $4-trillion deal to rein in government deficits Sunday, but a meeting with congressional leaders failed to break a deadlock over spending and taxes. Negotiators will meet again Monday.

Bill Seeks Standards For Charter Schools' Student Demographics - californiawatch.org
Charter schools sometimes have been accused of trying to force out lower-achieving students while retaining their cream of the crop. In an effort to address this, a new bill in the Assembly would require charter schools to show their student demographics are appropriate for to the neighborhoods they serve.

CSU, UC Students Brace For Another Round Of Tuition Hikes - Lisa M. Krieger and Ellen Huet @ mercurynews.com
The schools say the hikes are necessary to help offset the $150 million in additional budget cuts approved for each system when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the new state budget last month. In turn, the schools say they will boost financial aid to help.