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THE NOONER for July 26, 2011

The governor announced today that he is nominating Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court, to replace retiring Justice Carlos Moreno.  Liu was caught in a partisan fight for a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and withdrew after it was clear a hold wouldn't be lifted by Republicans against his nomination.

If approved by the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, Liu would give the Supreme Court an Asian majority for the first time, and the court will lack a Latino or African-American justice for the first time in decades.  While the nomination of Liu is being cheered by the left that were his biggest supporters for the Ninth Circuit, the nomination has left African-American and Latino groups steamed.

Of course, Jerry Brown appointed the first African-American (Wiley Manuel), first Latino (Cruz Reynoso), and first woman (Rose Bird) to the court, so he has a fairly long leash to work with.

Using Google+, the governor let us know he will be calling in today for possible jury duty on Wednesday.  If you haven't gotten a Google+ invite yet and want one, let me know.

Anyway, apparently the guv is expecting to get on a long trial, because he took a major step at clearing his legislative backlog yesterday, signing 33 bills and vetoing 2 bills.

Signed Bills

  • AB 23 by Assemblymember Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) – Local agency meetings: simultaneous meetings: compensation disclosure.
  • AB 82 by Assemblymember Kevin Jeffries (R-Riverside) – Vehicles: firefighting equipment.
  • AB 130 by Assemblymember Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) – Student financial aid: eligibility: California Dream Act of 2011. 
  • AB 159 by Assemblymember Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Community care facilities: foster family agencies.
  • AB 169 by Assemblymember Norma Torres (D-Pomona) – Education finance.
  • AB 182 by Assemblymember Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) – Political Reform Act of 1974: statements of economic interests.
  • AB 222 by Committee on Agriculture – Food and Agriculture: omnibus bill.
  • AB 280 by Assemblymember Jim Silva (R-Huntington Beach) – Horse racing: California-bred horses and parimutuel tickets.
  • AB 417 by Assemblymember Bill Berryhill (R-Stockton) – Structural pest control.
  • AB 426 by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) – Transit fare evasion.
  • AB 454 by Assemblymember Jim Silva (R-Huntington Beach) – Protective orders: early termination.
  • AB 458 by Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) – Guardianship.
  • AB 611 by Assemblymember Richard Gordon (D-Redwood City) – Private postsecondary education: unaccredited doctoral degree program.
  • AB 612 by Assemblymember Richard Gordon (D-Redwood City) – Parks and recreation: districts: repayment of indebtedness.
  • AB 713 by Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego) – Military service: legal benefits.
  • AB 741 by Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) – Onsite wastewater disposal.
  • AB 782 by Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) – Public employee benefits: audits.
  • AB 807 by Assemblymember Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) – Vehicles: taxicab transportation services: periodic reports.
  • AB 912 by Assemblymember Richard Gordon (D-Redwood City) – Local government: organization.
  • AB 943 by Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) – Public contracts: California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission: local contracts: alternative procedures.
  • AB 966 by Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) – Public cemetery districts: nonresident burial.
  • AB 1029 by Assemblymember Ricardo Lara (D-South Gate) – Community colleges: course approval.
  • AB 1082 by Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Burbank) – Powers of attorney: statutory form power of attorney.
  • AB 1105 by Assemblymember Richard Gordon (D-Redwood City) – High-occupancy toll lanes: roadway markings.
  • AB 1127 by Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) – Physicians and surgeons: unprofessional conduct.
  • AB 1269 by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) – Classified school employees: layoff: reemployment.
  • AB 1305 by Assemblymember Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills) – Decedents' estates: smaller estates.
  • AB 1412 by Committee on Elections and Redistricting – Vote by mail.
  • SB 91 by Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review – Adult day health care centers.
  • SB 154 by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) – Marriage licenses: vital records: fees: domestic violence: Solano County.
  • SB 209 by Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) – Common interest developments: electric vehicle charging stations. A signing message can be found here.
  • SB 235 by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) – Water conservation districts: reduction in number of directors.
  • SB 614 by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) – Childhood immunization. 

Vetoes

OH, NO HE DIDN'T: Some members were not happy that he vetoed the budget trailer bill AB 96, which mitigated the adult day health care cuts.  Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) put out a release:

Today’s veto is both disappointing and incomprehensible; especially from someone who is himself a member of the senior community. AB 96 would have provided partial relief to some of California’s most vulnerable adults. Instead, this ill-advised action will ultimately result in higher costs to the State, and more tragically, exact an immeasurable toll on 37,000 frail elders, their families, and those who care for them.  

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM: The bill of the day was AB 130 (Cedillo), the Dream Act.  As to whether this was a major step forward or a constituency nod depends on your perspective.  There are essentially three tiers to the "Dream Act": eligibility for citizenship for completion of higher education or military service (federal); financial aid (state--AB 131); and state-administered private scholarships, which was approved Monday by the governor.  (disclosure: my day job involves advocating for all of the above.)

WINED-ING DOWN?  Bad news aroundthecapitol...The Bee's Dale Kasler reports L Street Wine Bar is closed, at least for two months as it sorts out finances and a construction lawsuit.  The wine bar has several young investors from the political community.

More and more often, young (well, younger) people feel screwed.  Young people see their college tuition skyrocketing, homeownership out of reach (or underwater), and the continued observance of the third rail of cutting benefits for grown-ups.  And now, they want to sell our cemetary plots to outsiders

So, if you want a spot in the local plot, just remember what Billy Joel said...

On that note, eureka, give us some of that headline lovin'...


Jerry Brown nominates Goodwin Liu to Supreme Court - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Liu, 40, withdrew his nomination to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in May after Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation.

Redistricting Commission Makes California's Divisions Official - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
California's evolution into one of the planet's most economically, culturally and ethnically diverse societies sparks ceaseless political debate, touching everything from illegal immigration to the plight of public education.

Poll Question Reflects A Concern For Business - Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll asked how voters felt about giving more taxing authority to local governments. Curiously, however, the question asked in the poll did not reflect the proposal being discussed in Sacramento.

Amazon Tax Suspended If Referendum Qualifies? - John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
Legislative lawyers believe that if a referendum on the new law requiring sales tax collection by online retailers qualifies for the ballot, the law will have to be put on hold until the voters have their say.

Tears Over Race Punctuate Weekend Meeting Of Redistricting Panel - Tracy Wood @ voiceofoc.org
Two members of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission broke down in tears Sunday during intense discussions of racism and favoritism as the commission gave informal approval to new political boundaries after a marathon weekend session.

Jerry Brown nominates Goodwin Liu to California Supreme Court - Maura Dolan @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown nominated UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court Tuesday, giving the state high court a fourth Asian justice and a collegial liberal who is likely to be strongly supportive of civil rights.

New Marijuana Ballot Measure Starts Circulating - Josh Richman @ contracostatimes.com
A new marijuana legalization ballot measure was cleared Monday to start seeking petition signatures. But its proponents aren't affiliated with the Oakland-based backers of last year's Proposition 19, who intend to mount a 2012 initiative of their own. The state attorney general's official summary says the measure, named by its proponents as "The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012," would decriminalize marijuana sales, distribution, possession, use, cultivation, processing and transportation by people at least 21 years old.

Bell-related Reform Bill Signed By Governor - latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown took action Monday to make it harder for city council members to improperly pad their paychecks, giving his first signature to reform legislation in response to the city of Bell financial scandal. In recent years, Bell City...

Battle Over Pension Spiking Bill - John Fensterwald @ toped.svefoundation.org
The California Teachers Association and the state teachers retirement system are pushing for significant changes to SB 27, Sen. Joe Simitian's bill that would prevent “spiking,” the practice of larding on compensation near retirement to boost a public employee’s pension – a practice that is drawing increasing scrutiny. It also would limit the types of compensation that would be used in calculating a standard pension.

Daily Kos: Redistricting: What California Can Teach The Nation - dailykos.com
Measures like the California commission may force good Democratic representatives to roll the dice every fifth term. But from a progressive perspective, that's a far better thing than watching helplessly as Republican state lawmakers with no moral compass take turns performing ever more egregious acts of political brazenness with their redistricting procedures. It might be something that Democratic leaders in state governments may wish to consider the next time they have the word "majority" in front of their titles.

California Commission Finalizes Districts That May Boost Democrats - Jim Sanders @ sacbee.com
An independent California commission has set the stage for what could be the largest shake-up of the state's political system in decades – and potentially give Democrats a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature.

Citizen Jerry Brown Called For Jury Duty - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
"We'll find out tomorrow night when I call in," Brown said this morning between appearances in Los Angeles. "If they call me, I'll be there Wednesday morning."

Gov. Brown Signs Dream Act -- Part 1 - Kathryn Baron @ toped.svefoundation.org
Gov. Jerry Brown ended veto streak by his predecessor, signing a bill to let undocumented college students apply for private scholarships at state colleges and universities. AB 130 is one of a two-bill set by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) that makes college more affordable for students brought to the country illegally by their parents.

California Capitol Empties For Rare Summer Recess - Paresh Dave @ sacbee.com
Ditch the ties. Bust out the blue jeans. The budget's done, and the lawmakers are gone. For the first time since 2006 and just the third time in the last decade, all 120 legislators this year can take a full four-week summer break having already passed a budget. The recess, which officially began July 15, is scheduled to end Aug. 15.

Calif. Supreme Court Rules On Illegal Taxes - Bob Egelko @ sfgate.com
The state Supreme Court made it easier Monday for California taxpayers to seek refunds from cities and counties, ruling that a claim of an illegal local tax can be pursued as a class action on behalf of everyone who was...

San Diego Council Overturns Pot Law Rather Than Hold Election - latimesblogs.latimes.com
Rather than put the issue to a vote of the public, the San Diego City Council voted 6 to 2 Monday to rescind an ordinance restricting where medical marijuana dispensaries can be located. In April the council voted to allow...

Ducheny vs. Vargas for Congress? - Michael Gardner @ signonsandiego.com
There may be a classic political slugfest shaping up in a looming south San Diego County congressional race. Former state Sen. Denise Ducheny said Monday that she is mulling over a bid for Congress now that it appears her Imperial Beach home will be in drawn into a new district that also runs along the California-Mexico border.

CalPERS Joins Pensions Urging U.S. Debt-limit Deal Warning Of Devastation - James Dash @ bloomberg.com
Overseers of 10 public pension funds with combined assets topping $1 trillion joined a call for a deal on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, warning that a failure by leaders in Washington would have “devastating” consequences.

Brown Signs Private-Scholarship Part Of Dream Act - Wyatt Buchanan @ sfgate.com
Undocumented immigrants who attend California universities and colleges will have greater access to privately funded scholarships after Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law a portion of what is known as the Dream...

Brown Signs 'Dream Act' Bill, Vetoes New Elderly Care Program - Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown signed several dozen bills into law this afternoon, including a measure to allow college students who are undocumented immigrants to qualify for scholarships funded with private donations.

California Seeks $5 Billion Loan As U.S. States Work To Avoid Debt Chaos - Michael B. Marois @ bloomberg.com
California will borrow $5 billion today through a temporary loan as U.S. states make plans to cope with any credit-market disruption should lawmakers fail to raise the federal debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline.

Brown Vetoes Union-sponsored Legislation - Paresh Dave @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown today vetoed a union-sponsored measure that would have mandated the make-up of local civil service commissions.

Gov. Brown Pushes Renewable Energy Goal At UCLA Conference - Tiffany Hsu @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown wants a major chunk of California's renewable energy to come from urban rooftops and backyards, rather than just the massive solar and wind installations scattered around the outskirts of the state.

2 Former California National Guard Leaders Told To Repay 'Double-Dip' Earnings - Charles Piller @ sacbee.com
The California state controller has demanded that two former top leaders of the state National Guard remit substantial sums in "double-dip" earnings – two days' pay for a single day of work – received improperly while in office.