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THE NOONER for July 21, 2011

First, congrats to former Schwarzenegger communications chief Matt David, who WaPo reports has taken over as campaign manager for John Huntsman.

The redistricting commish is over at McGeorge right now numbering Senate districts and, perhaps more importantly, selecting a lawyer to handle the litigation that is certain to follow the commission's final maps.

Busy day for me, so I'll just leave it at that and let eureka spin out some headlines...

Californians Would Rather Ease Penalties Than Pay More For Prisons - Jack Dolan @ latimes.com
Cash-strapped Californians would rather ease "third-strike" penalties for some criminals and accept felons as neighbors than dig deeper into their pockets to relieve prison overcrowding, a new poll shows.

The Next New Thing: Infrastructure financing districts get close look - John Howard @ capitolweekly.net
As the clock ticks and the lawyers fight, dozens of redevelopment agencies across California are deciding whether to pay the state to stay alive or throw in the towel. Some are paying. Overwhelmingly, most aren’t – so far.

Study Upends Term-limit Theory - George Skelton @ latimes.com
Rather than encourage 'citizen legislators,' term-limited officials are always campaigning for their next job, the Center for Governmental Studies reports.

Audit Hammers Corrections For Poor Financial Controls - Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
A fired state employee received a final lump-sum paycheck for nearly $15,000 -- twice. An $8,000 salary advance to one state worker went uncollected -- for nearly three years. Overpayments to employees approaching a half-million dollars were carried on the books for three years or more. Those are just three examples of what Controller John Chiang this afternoon called, "grossly inadequate" payroll and travel advance tracking discovered through an audit of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Congress: Feinstein Wants To Repeal Defense Of Marriage Act - BEN GOAD @ pe.com
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate revisited same-sex marriage Wednesday, taking up legislation to repeal a 15-year-old law defining the institution as being only between a man and a woman.

Six State Senators To Represent Sacramento County? - Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Answer: A lightning rod for controversy, judging from reaction to plans by California's independent redistricting commission to split the county's suburbs into six state Senate districts.

Outside Lawyer Hired To Review Investigators In Rep. Waters' Ethics Case - Richard Simon @ latimes.com
The House Ethics Committee has brought on outside counsel to examine whether its own staff acted improperly while investigating Congresswoman Maxine Waters of Los Angeles.

Term Limits Failed To Spawn 'citizen Legislators,' New Study Finds - Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
The pitch to California voters was wrong in claiming that imposing legislative term limits would replace career politicians with "citizen legislators" who would serve at the Capitol and then return home to resume private careers, according to a new

S.F. Supervisors Put Pension Overhaul On Ballot - sfgate.com
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to place a charter amendment on the November ballot to overhaul city retirement benefits. "I believe this is absolutely, 100 percent, unequivocally the...

Compton Averts Shutdown But New Budget Will Force Layoffs - latimesblogs.latimes.com
After hours of discussion and occasional confusion, the Compton City Council took its final vote early Wednesday morning to approve a budget that includes layoffs of dozens of employees. The vote allowed the city to avert a government shutdown and...

For Redistricting Commissioners, What's A Conflict Of Interest? - Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
In the spring of 2010, when he applied to become a member of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Gabino Aguirre of Santa Paula described himself as a "community activist" who had been an "advocate for a variety of causes."

GOP Lawmaker Seeks Referendum On New Fire Fee - latimesblogs.latimes.com
A Republican state lawmaker said Wednesday he was filing paperwork to ask voters to overturn a new $150 annual fee on rural homeowners who depend on state firefighting services. More than 846,000 homeowners live in eligible zones, and the fee...

Jobs vs. Brain Damage - Malcolm Maclachlan @ capitolweekly.net
In October 2008, over two dozen people sat in a K Street conference room to talk about a potential bill that would allow non-medical school employees to be trained to administer Diastat. This is a gel form of Valium that, when delivered rectally, can stop a major epileptic seizure.

State Health Inspection Cites Svmh 'deficiencies' - thecalifornian.com
State health inspectors found recently that Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System officials failed to properly document whether its operating rooms had been cleaned and whether replacement workers during a recent strike were screened for the presence of tuberculosis.

California's College System In Decline, Study Finds - Carla Rivera @ latimes.com
The state no longer is a leader in such areas as affordability, preparation of high school graduates and college-going rates, according to a higher education institute at Cal State Sacramento.

Boxer Asks Dow Jones For Hacking-scandal Records - Josh Richman @ ibabuzz.com
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., want Dow Jones’ top editorial watchdogs to cough up proof that the British phone-hacking scandal now rocking parent company News Corp. didn’t extend to our shores.

Ted Gaines Moves To Halt State Fire Protection Fee - sacbee.com
A Roseville state senator filed referendum papers Wednesday to reverse a new requirement that rural homeowners pay a state fire fee.

Make California Legislature Part-time, Poll Majority Says - latimesblogs.latimes.com
It is time to bump lawmaking down to a part-time profession in California, according to an overwhelming number of respondents in a new poll. Asked if they favored moving the state's full-time Legislature to part-time status with part-time pay, as...

See Which Areas Have The Most Unauthorized Immigrants - sacbee.com
Undocumented immigrants comprise about 7 percent of the state's population and 9 percent of its workforce, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the state has held fairly steady at roughly 3 million for the past five years as immigrants settle more often in states other than California, according to the report, which is based largely on federal tax returns. Undocumented immigrants are heavily concentrated in farming areas and urban coastal communities. This map shows which areas have the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants.

Community college students feel pain of fee increases - Genevieve Jerome @ capitolweekly.net
Students attending California community colleges in the fall of 2011 are likely to be surprised when they look at the bill for their classes. Fees have gone up to $36 per unit in effect for fall 2011, college officials said, up from the current $26. For lower income students this could pose an effect on whether or not they attend community college this fall or work.

Meth Addict With Flame Thrower To Be Spared Prison As States Cut Spending - Christopher Palmeri @ bloomberg.com
U.S. crime has dropped in the past two decades, a period when the number of state prison inmates doubled to 1.4 million and correctional spending more than tripled to $52.3 billion in 2009, according to the Pew Center on the States and the National Association of State Budget Officers, respectively. Now deficits, and a rethinking of how convicts are handled, are prompting states to reduce the number of convicts they hold.

Legislators Introduce Bill To Resuscitate Pace Program For Green Upgrades To Homes - Tiffany Hsu @ latimes.com
The PACE program, which made installations of energy-efficient solar panels, insulation and water conservation systems more affordable for homeowners, has been stalled by a technical roadblock.

Stone Takes Rebellion Online - blogs.pe.com
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, who proposed that 13 counties secede from California, has taken his effort online.