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Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for October 10, 2011

[jump to the headlines]


  • AD58 - updated analysis

RON'S RECONSIDERATION: It only took 40 minutes and 27 seconds after Friday's Nooner for a statement to arrive in our inbox from Ron Calderon saying that his endorsement of Bonnie Lowenthal was not exactly set in stone:

"The redistricting process has significantly transformed the demographics and politics of many legislative districts. Until I have a clearer picture of the potential field of candidates, I am not making an endorsement in the newly drawn 33rd State Senate district. I have served with Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and think highly of her, but I am not endorsing her campaign for State Senate at this time."

That was exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes after the Lowenthal campaign sent out a release announcing new endorsements from Gil Cedillo and Hector De La Torre and reiterating the previous Ron Calderon endorsement.

If you missed Friday's story, it now looks certain that Ricardo Lara is jumping into the SD33 race against Bonnie Lowenthal. From what we know, it's nothing personal, but lots of folks want the seat, one of five majority-Latino seats, to be held by a Latino. With Lara focusing on the State Senate, it clears the field for Tom Calderon to return to the Assembly in AD58. [note Dept of Corrections item below, where I admit I suffered from Calderotti Confusion on Friday] Obviously, Ron is pretty happy that Lara is movin' on up and making room for brother Tom to return, and appears ready to switch his endorsement.

HOUSE HUNTERS: California redistricting means many lawmakers might move [Van Oot @ sacbee.com]

TODAY'S BEST ANALYSIS: John Myers: Brown Paddles Left, Right on Bills

"Though his veto rate may have been lower than that of his predecessor (who was, after all, a GOP governor dealing with largely Democratic bills), Brown nonetheless made no secret of his frustration that so many proposals were sent to him on topics that he sees as less than mission critical. "Not every human problem needs a law," the governor groused to reporters in mid September.

But every ratified legislative proposal does ultimately need an up-or-down vote from the guy in charge, a paddle stroke one way or the other. And Jerry Brown seemed to be showing in these last few weeks of decisions that, now 40+ years into his political odyssey, he still wants to position his canoe somewhere between two river banks filled with warring politicos."

...although, with this particular package of bill signings/vetoes, the guv is only going down the middle of the river is veering to the left.

LEDE DU JOUR: "Children of the Golden State: Prepare to fake bake no more." [Siders @ sacbee.com]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: Jerry Brown prefers intuition and a holistic approach, even at a time of increasing demands for data-driven accountability in government. The first big signal of this was the elimination of the California Postsecondary Education Commission via a budget line-item veto. Now, we get a veto of two bills that seemed to be "easy" to sign -- SB 14 (Wolk) and SB 547 (Steinberg).

Wolk's bill was part of a two-bill package sponsored by California Forward to rework California's budget process and move toward performance-based budgeting. The bill did not have a single "no" vote as it moved through the two houses and was the subject of an aggressive grassroots campaign.

Steinberg's bill would have replaced the state's Academic Performance Index system with an Educational Quality Index system incorporating more than standardized test scores. Steinberg assembled an impressive array of organizations that rarely agree on educational reform, and CTA stayed neutral. During the greatest rush to numbers in education accountability, Brown instead suggests convening local review panels:

"Lost in the bill's turgid mandates is any recognition that quality is fundamentally different than quantity . . . What about a system that relies on locally convened panels to visit schools, observe teachers, interview students, and examine student work? Such a system wouldn't produce an API number, but it could improve the quality of our schools."

The veto messages for SB 14 and SB 547 start off identically: 

  • SB 14: "This bill is another siren song of budget reform."
  • SB 547:  "This bill is another siren song of school reform."

While legislators move to respond to demands from constituents and policy wonks for more accountability, there biggest challenge may not be interest groups, but rather Jerry Brown.

CHILL PILL VETO MESSAGE: "Let's keep our powder dry on amendments until the court case runs it course." [Cedillo's SB 427]

THE BILLS: It was a busy weekend in the governor's office as he worked to beat the midnight deadline last night to clear his desk of bills sent to him at the end of session. The final tally:


[h/t John Myers

Leg Data Center hasn't been updated for the weekend yet, and thus neither has AroundTheCapitol's bill database. That said, I put out a couple of messages to ATC's 7,764 bill subscribers listing the actions on Saturday and Sunday.

Here are the hot bills we have been following:

20. SB 136 (Yee): Public contracts: prevailing wages. - SIGNED
- labor v. local government and business

19. AB 1182 (Roger Hernandez): CalWORKs eligibility: asset limits: vehicles. - VETOED
- advocates for the poor v. advocates for fiscal discipline

18. AB 22 (Mendoza): Employment: credit reports. - SIGNED
- consumers groups and labor v. the Chamber and credit reporting agencies

17. AB 267 (Swanson): Employment contracts. - VETOED
- labor and trial lawyers v. the Chamber

16. SB 676 (Leno): Industrial hemp. - VETOED
- farmers, environmentalists and Seth Rogen v. law enforcement

15. SB 791 (Simitian): Health care: mammograms. - VETOED
- ta-tas v. doctors

14. SB 397 (Yee): Online voter registration. - SIGNED
- Dems v. Reps

13. SB 746 (Lieu): Tanning facilities. - SIGNED
- health community v. nanny state and tanning salons

12. SB 161 (Huff): Schools: emergency medical assistance: administration of epilepsy medication. - SIGNED
- moms of sick kids and school districts v. California Nurses Association and California Teachers Association

11. AB 144 (Ammiano and Portantino): Firearms. - SIGNED
- cops and gun violence groups v. NRA

10. AB 809 (Feuer): Firearms. - SIGNED
- ditto v. ditto

#9.5 SB 914 (Leno): Search warrants: portable electronic devices. - VETOED
- newspapers and civil liberties groups v. cops and DAs

9. AB 210 (Roger Hernández): Maternity services./SB 222 (Alquist and Evans): Maternity services. - SIGNED
- policy: babies v. health insurers
- politics: Noreen Evans v. Roger Hernandez

8. AB 183 (Ma): Alcoholic beverage licenses: self-service checkouts. - SIGNED
- MADD, labor and cops v. Fresh & Easy, the Chamber and the Grocers

7. SB 185 (Hernandez): Public postsecondary education. - VETOED
- education and civil rights groups v. Ward Connerly and conservative bakers

6. SB 833 (Vargas): Solid waste: disposal facilities: San Diego County. - VETOED 
- tribes and environmentalists v. counties, labor and waste industry

5. AB 376 (Fong and Huffman): Shark fins. - SIGNED
- the authors, Jennifer Fearing and Bill Wong v. Leland Yee, Ted Lieu and gelatinous gourmands

4. AB 353 (Allen and Cedillo): Vehicles: checkpoints./AB 1389 (Allen): Vehicles: sobriety checkpoints: impoundment. - SIGNED
immigrants rights groups v. police organizations

3. SB 469 (Vargas): Land use: development project review: superstores. - VETOED 
- labor v. Wal-Mart, Chamber and local government

#2.5. AB 101 (John A. Pérez): Child care: family child care providers: bargaining representative. - VETOED 
SEIU v. child care industry

2. AB 131 (Cedillo): Student financial aid. - SIGNED
immigration rights and education groups v. John and Ken

1. SB 202 (Hancock): Elections: ballot measures. - SIGNED
- Dems, labor and voter reform groups v. Reps and critics of guts and amends

THE HONORABLE MENTIONS: These are the bills I heard most about from Nooner readers after leaving them off my list:

  • AB 9 (Ammiano): Pupil rights: bullying. - SIGNED
  • AB 165 (Lara): Pupil fees. - VETOED
  • AB 341 (Chesbro): Solid waste: diversion. - SIGNED
  • AB 438 (Williams): County free libraries: withdrawal: use of private contractors. - SIGNED
  • AB 486 (Hueso): Controlled substances. - SIGNED
  • AB 499 (Atkins): Minors: medical care: consent. - SIGNED
  • SB 26 (Padilla): Prisons: wireless communication devices. - SIGNED
  • SB 618 (Wolk): Local government: solar-use easement. - SIGNED
  • SB 734 (DeSaulnier): State and local workforce investment boards: funding. - SIGNED
  • SB 910 (Lowenthal): Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance. - VETOED
  • SB 946 (Evans and Steinberg): Health care coverage: mental illness: pervasive developmental disorder or autism: public health. - SIGNED

And, thank you governor for signing my little bill.

THE NEXT BIG ISSUE: With the flurry of bill signings, some may have missed California's four US Attorneys' presser on Friday to announce that they are cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries, specifically those that go behind members-only collectives.  The actions are consistent with guidelines issued in 2008 by then-AG Jerry Brown, although there is likely to be a bit of a backlash when the party is over. With the "Occupy" campaigns and a libertarian trend going into the 2012 elections, this issue could become significant and watching the reaction from politicians in both parties will be interesting.

DONNELLY'S DREAM POLITICAL ACT: Now that the governor has signed AB 131, providing state financial aid to some longtime undocumented youth, will Tim Donnelly pursue the promised referendum? Since the bill was signed on Saturday, he would have until January 6 to collect 504,760 valid signatures.

SIDETRACKS: Reed Hastings is no Steve Jobs - Steve would have stuck to his guns and let the chips fall where they may.


  • With Ricardo Lara likely running for SD33, that clears the field for Tom Calderon to return to the Assembly via AD58. Chuck's son Ian is running in AD57.
  • Art Torres was not President Pro Tempore. I have no clue why I typed that.

Eureka, what are people reading and clicking on this wet fall morning on AroundTheCapitol.com?

California Redistricting Means Many Lawmakers Might Move
Torey Van Oot @
For some sitting legislators, preparing to run for re-election in 2012 includes packing up boxes and hunting for a new home.

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Farmworker Bill
David Siders @
Four months after vetoing labor-backed legislation that would have made it easier to unionize farmworkers - touching off a highly personal, late-night protest at the Capitol - Gov. Jerry Brown announced this evening that he has signed the compromise measure he helped negotiate.

New Law Alters Local-government Bankruptcy Process
Anthony York @
Local governments will face more hurdles to declaring bankruptcy under a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday. Under the new law, written by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), cities would have undergo an evaluation from a neutral third party or declare a fiscal emergency, stating it will default on its bills within 60 days before it can claim insolvency.

Jerry Brown Vetoes Industrial Hemp, Pregnant Inmate Bills
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown today vetoed legislation that would have permitted the cultivation of industrial hemp in California, though the Democratic governor didn't seem happy about it. Senate Bill 676, by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would have created an eight-year, pilot program for the cultivation of industrial hemp in Imperial, Kern, Kings and San Joaquin counties.

Walmart supercenter restrictions vetoed by governor
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have required big-box superstores to submit a comprehensive economic analysis report when applying for a permit.

Jerry Brown Extends Tax Credit For Filmmakers Until 2015
Makers of film and television shows in California will continue to receive tax breaks through June 2015 for keeping their productions in California under a measure signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Sunday. Advocates for the $100 million in annual credits,...

Jerry Brown Signs Bill Letting Minors Seek HPV Vaccinations
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation allowing children who are 12 and older to seek medical care to prevent sexually transmitted infections without parental consent, including vaccinations against human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.

Jerry Brown OKs Bills On Autism, Unlicensed Drivers
Wyatt Buchanan @
On his final day to act on more than 140 bills, Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday waded into sensitive areas of health care and law enforcement, signing a bill requiring health plans to cover a key autism treatment and another...

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill Placing Limits On Dui Checkpoints
Police agencies in California will no longer be able to freely impound cars from sober but unlicensed drivers who are stopped at drunk-driving checkpoints under legislation signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Under the new law written by Assemblyman Gil...

Brown Paddles Left, Right On Bills
John Myers @
With the final decisions announced late Sunday night on scores of bills, Brown's "canoe theory" seems especially useful. The governor finds himself in a statehouse where, more than his previous two terms, powerful political interests are pushing hard on his paddle. Very few of these groups see any value in a course other than the one they've plotted.

Brown signs California health care legislation
DON THOMPSON, Associated Press @
Racing to finish work on bills from state lawmakers, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law three health care bills, including two designed to protect teenagers from skin cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Untapped Power Of The Legislature
George Skelton @
A rich Bay Area investor wants to see more quality in Sacramento. It's not about politics; it's about courage.

Pension Reform: Giving Workers Low-cost Option
Ed Mendel @
Unions and management in San Jose have bargaining proposals aimed at making a rare triple play in public pension reform — big cost cuts, done quickly and without a legal battle.

Gavin Newsom Draws Boos By Blasting Democrats
Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross @
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom caused a bit of a stir the other day at a Democratic gathering in Half Moon Bay, chiding party leaders from President Obama on down for not doing enough to fix the economy. As headline speaker at...

Jerry Brown vetoes industrial hemp, pregnant inmate bills
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown today vetoed legislation that would have permitted the cultivation of industrial hemp in California, though the Democratic governor didn't seem happy about it.

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs One Pension Fund Bill, Vetoes Another
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed one bill intended to strengthen government ethics and vetoed another.

Jerry Brown vetoes tax break sunset, new budgeting scheme
Dan Smith @
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed bills to restrict tax breaks and overhaul California's budgeting system, his office announced this morning.

California redistricting means many lawmakers might move
California's new district lines have shaken up the political landscape for next year's election. As a result, candidates and incumbents across the state are "diving and dodging" into districts that will give them the best shot at victory.

Jerry Brown signs law banning children from using tanning beds
David Siders @
Children of the Golden State: Prepare to fake bake no more.

Brown Signs Slate Of Clean Drinking Water Bills
From arsenic to E. coli bacteria, contaminants flow from the water taps of hundreds of communities across the state. But seven bills signed into law Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown seek to improve access to clean drinking water in California, particularly for residents in rural and disadvantaged communities. 

Gov. Jerry Brown Makes It Illegal To Openly Carry A Handgun In Public
Gov. Jerry Brown has outlawed the open carrying of handguns in public in California, targeting a practice that top law enforcement officials had denounced as dangerous. L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca were among those...

The untapped power of the Legislature
George Skelton @
Three rich Bay Area investors want to see more strength in Sacramento. It's not about politics; it's about courageous lawmakers.

Gov. Brown Mounts Frantic Finish To Sign Or Veto Bills Before Deadline
Steven Harmon @
He had to review nearly 200 bills Sunday, including tanning-bed regulations and health care coverage for autistic services.