,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for July 19, 2011

Late yesterday, Attorney General Kamala Harris gave the legal go-ahead for Amazon to seek signatures to overturn the tax collection measure included in the state budget.  As if perfectly choreographed, Borders announced that it is closing all stores.

At the same time, the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities asked the Supreme Court to declare that the budget's give-us-all-your-money-or-we'll-take-all-your-money redevelopment maneuver violates Proposition 22.  After all, we need redevelopment to attract businesses to fill all those Borders stores, as well as those still-empty Circuit City and Linens and Things big boxes.

Such a tangled web we weave...how many of the closed Borders were built with redevelopment subsidies?

Meanwhile, the Paul Mitchell and Tony Quinn redistricting romance continues today in a Jim Miller article looking at the IE and in Dan Walters's column, which looks at whether Dems will reach supermajorities in the Senate and Assembly.  Before the districts are even finalized, anonymous ads are up against Lois Capps, writes the Bee's Michael Doyle.  Sam Blakeslee, whose Senate seat is likely not winnable at 45-29% Dem, is expected to take a run at the Capps seat, which is 39%-36% Dem.

And, finally, since it's working so well in California, the House of Representatives is expected to pass today a balanced budget amendment that would require two-thirds vote for tax hikes.   

Budget Lawsuit #1: Redevelopment - John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
Local redevelopment officials and leaders of several California cities took aim -- as expected -- at the newly inked state budget this afternoon, suing the state for its plan to revamp redevelopment agencies and redistribute billions of dollars to state and local services.

Dan Walters: Will California Remap Give Democrats Two-thirds Majorities? - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and his fellow Democrats in the Legislature were frustrated this year in seeking a few Republican votes to close the state's budget deficit by asking voters to approve billions of dollars in tax extensions.

Region: Legislative Redistricting Proposals Taking Shape - JIM MILLER @ pe.com
California Republicans say they are ready to challenge the handiwork of the state's independent redistricting commission, although there have been no specific objections to proposed Assembly, Senate and congressional seats in Inland Southern California.

California AG Kamala Harris OKs Amazon Referendum - Kevin Yamamura @ sacbee.com
Amazon.com can begin collecting signatures to overturn California's new online tax law after state Attorney General Kamala Harris issued ballot language Monday for the retailer's proposed referendum.

State Budget Cuts May Affect Voter Services - Will Evans @ californiawatch.org
Buried on page 620 of the state budget bill are a few small cuts that could change the way we vote.

Bill Would Regulate Body Art Shops - Anandi van Diepen @ healthycal.org
California’s tattoo and piercing parlors may face statewide health regulations by July of next year. Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, is an anti-hepatitis B activist in her district, heading up the city’s “Hep B Free” campaign. She suffers from hepatitis B, and her family and the wider Asian American community suffer disproportionately from hepatitis B as well as liver cancer, which can result from untreated hepatitis B.

Amazon.com Can Move Forward On Tax Referendum - Kevin Yamamura @ blogs.sacbee.com
Amazon.com can begin collecting signatures to overturn California's new online tax collection law after state Attorney General Kamala Harris issued ballot language Monday for the retailer's proposed referendum.

Calif. Pension Fund Grows Nearly 21 Percent - By ADAM WEINTRAUB, Associated Press @ sfgate.com
The nation's largest public pension fund is seeing its highest investment returns since before the recession, reporting returns of 20.7 percent for the fiscal year ended June 30.

Campaign 2012: Inland Incumbents Post Big Fundraising Totals - BEN GOAD @ pe.com
WASHINGTON - Inland Southern California's congressional incumbents are busy amassing their war chests for a 2012 election season filled with uncertainty, federal campaign finance reports show.

Looking Back: From Stickers To Win Buttons; And From Lockyer To Reagan - Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Who remembers the WIN Button from the Ford Administration? The WIN button campaign came to mind in reading the new effort devised by the California State Employees Association Retirees to place stickers on checks that read: "Paid by State Retiree."

Maxine Waters Calls For Case To Be Dismissed - John Bresnahan @ politico.com
Rep. Maxine Waters is calling for the House Ethics Committee to dismiss the long-running case against her, claiming she can’t get fair treatment from the secretive panel in the wake of allegations that staffers improperly shared information in an investigation into her finances.

New Campaign Groups Target Incumbent Members Of Congress - Michael Doyle @ sacbee.com
An anonymously funded ad volley Monday targeting Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, kicked off what's likely to be one of California's most hotly contested 2012 campaigns.

Mitt Romney: Carbon Not A Health Threat - Darren Samuelsohn @ politico.com
Mitt Romney says he doesn’t think carbon pollution threatens human health and would not green light EPA climate regulations if he were in the White House.

Pringle Quits California High-speed Rail Authority Board - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
The former Assembly speaker and Anaheim mayor was chairman of the board for two years before his term ended in June.

Dianne Feinstein In For Long Haul On Doma Repeal; Update: Obama Endorses : Politics Blog - Carolyn Lochhead @ sfgate.com
Update: President Obama has endorsed Feinstein's DOMA repeal, called the Respect for Marriage Act, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein was one of just...

New State Fire-Prevention Fee Raises Unanswered Questions - Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
As part of the just-enacted state budget, lawmakers established a fire prevention fee "not to exceed $150" to be levied on owners of structures "used or intended to be used for human habitation" that are located in areas in which the state has primary responsibility for fighting fires. So, who exactly has to pay, precisely how much will they be charged, and on what services will the money be spent?

Supreme Court Upholds Worker Retention Law For Supermarkets - Paresh Dave @ blogs.sacbee.com
The state Supreme Court today upheld a Los Angeles ordinance that makes it more difficult for a large supermarket to fire the existing workforce after a change in ownership.

State Board Gives Parents More Control Over Schools' Administration - californiawatch.org
Bright and articulate, Enrique Duarte IV, 11, rode the bus with his parents from Los Angeles to Sacramento with one cause in mind: to tell the state Board of Education that someday, he wants to return to a public school classroom.

Legal Fees Top $300,000 In SCERS Secrecy Bid - Brad Branan @ sacbee.com
Sacramento County's retirement system can expect to spend over $300,000 on legal fees in its unsuccessful bid to keep pension records secret.

CalPERS and California State Teachers' Retirement System returns: - Nathaniel Popper @ latimes.com
The California Public Employees' Retirement System pension fund grew 20.7% in the fiscal year ending June 30, its best return in 14 years. The California State Teachers' Retirement System fund, known as CalSTRS, increased 23.1%, the best it has done in a quarter century.

Teacher Retirement Oversight In Budget Bill - toped.svefoundation.org
Collective bargaining usually involves some give and take. Even in times of extreme financial pain, labor can find something to grasp, like… well, saving their jobs. Finding the good may be more challenging for teachers if California’s projected revenues aren’t met and the state imposes midyear budget cuts on schools.

Pringle Quits High-speed Rail Board - Brian Joseph @ totalbuzz.ocregister.com
Former Anaheim Mayor and Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle resigned from the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board today, saying in a letter he would like to focus on a his lobbying firm and “other responsibilities.”

Ami Bera Machine In Gear For Rematch Against Dan Lungren - Dan Smith @ blogs.sacbee.com
The new maps aren't done quite yet and he may well have to navigate a primary this time, but Democrat

GOP Has No Backup Plan After Vote - Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman @ politico.com
There’s a narrative gaining traction in Washington as a debt crisis looms: House Republican hard-liners might soften their stance once they’ve gotten a vote on their Cut, Cap and Balance proposal.