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THE NOONER for October 11, 2011
LEGISLATORS OF THE YEAR - You're not a special interest, you're just special. For that reason, we will be awarding four members Legislators of the Year award next Wednesday, and the only opinions that count are The Nooner subscribers. Click on the link at the top of the page to vote. I'd love to give the growing number of Nooner paid subscribers a special vote, but no poll taxes will be part of this election.
I look forward to your creativity. Beyond the "winners," the rationale for your votes may lead to other stories and highlights.
TRIGGER HAPPY: California Tax Revenue Decline Inches State Toward Trigger Cuts [Mark Marios & James Nash @ bloomberg]
SACBEE Editorial: Brown veto pen not that sharp after all
TWEET-OFF DU JOUR
$$$ - Attorney General Kamala Harris yesterday reported a fundraising haul from September 26 totalling $49,000. The batch includes some familiar names--Ron Burkle, Microsoft and...Donald Trump. Trump kicked in $5,000 for Harris's 2014 reelection bid.
Trump rarely donates to California politicians, giving $22,000 to Schwarzenegger committees in 2007-08 and $3,000 to Newsom for Governor in 2009.
ATTENTION Y CHROMOSOMES - As shark fin soup lovers everywhere know, you don't want Humane Society lobbyist Jennifer Fearing on your bad side. She made these comments at a political conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of California's initiative and referendum process yesterday:
"As the first of only three female panelists in the entire line up today, I am compelled to start with a hat tip to California’s male voters of 1911. On that day they not only green-lighted direct democracy in California, but they also saw fit to dilute their shares by half by granting voting rights to their wives, daughters, nieces, mothers and sisters. . . .
So in honor of today’s suffrage anniversary, I call on political conference organizers near and far, male and female, to match the number of seats on panels like this one to the contribution of women to modern politics. C’mon guys, you can do it.
REFERENDA MADNESS - As promised, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly filed with the attorney general yesterday to conduct a referendum on AB 131, the California Dream Act. More unexpectedly, however, was the referendum notice filed by GOP attorney Chuck Bell to overturn SB 202, the bill moving initiatives from June to November.
A referendum on SB 202 is particularly interesting. If the requisite 504,760 valid signatures are submitted by January 6, SB 202 would be suspended until the people have the right to consider the referendum on the June 5 ballot. What else does it mean? Well, it means all those nasties that Democrats and labor don't want on the ballot in June would in fact be on in June--including rainy day fund creating ACA 4 (Gatto) and, if qualified, State Senate redistricting and "paycheck protection."
THE YEAR THAT WAS - Legislators declare success for different reasons. Some take the most pride in passing legislation creating a new state program, while others would prefer to be the defensive tackle against bills they deem harmful to their constituents. What's right for a member is what's right for the district. Okay, sometimes special interests and fundraising get involved...but, that's for chapter 2.
So, take the following stats as you may. They go in the "interesting" silo, and aren't a judgement on a particular member. The numbers are based on the lead authors of the final version of a bill, not the introduced version. In the case of multiple lead authors (i.e. SB 222, both get credit). If a bill was gutted and amended, the author of the final version gets credit, and there's no "penalty" against the legislator that originally introduced it (even though it was likely dead).
The data may not be perfect. It's 4:42 in the morning, I have checked lots of things and it looks right, but there could be errors. If you're writing your mom about how you did, check the data yourself.
THE SAN FRANCISCO TREAT: Leland Yee and Mark Leno claimed the most vetoes, at 5 and 4 respectively.
"JACKETS REQUIRED FOR MEN" - Hats off to the Capitol Morning Report for including that important phrase in reference to Assemblymember Tony Mendoza's $5,000 lunch funder at the French Laundry. I wish I had seen that before my first visit to the Yountville diner. Although, I have to say they have an impressive array of house jackets.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS:
Eureka, do the hokey pokey and spin us out some headlines...TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Jerry Brown Calls Bill Process 'Very Unusual'
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
BELMONT - Hours after dispatching with the last of hundreds of bills sent him by the Legislature this fall, Gov. Jerry Brown was still musing about the "very unusual process" that kept him up reviewing piles of proposed laws. "I was up late last night signing and vetoing lots of bills," the Democratic governor said under drizzling skies in Belmont. "It's a very unusual process that concentrates a lot of the work of state government in the last couple of weeks."
Calif. Marks 100 Years Since Political Reforms
JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press @ mercurynews.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The state that has seen pitched battles at the ballot box over property tax reforms, gay marriage, illegal immigration and recalling a governor was not always the standard-bearer for direct democracy.
Cal Chamber Praises Jerry Brown For Vetoing 'job Killer' Bills
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown may not be to the California Chamber of Commerce what Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was, but he did pretty well by the business group in his dispatching of proposed laws this fall.
Drive To Repeal Lgbt Education Law Is Faltering
By Josh Richman Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 at 11:03 am in California State Senate, Jerry Brown, Mark Leno.
A window into the governor's mind on education
Gov. Jerry Brown's candid veto of legislation to transform California'ÂÂs maligned school assessment practices is a radical departure from the mostly perfunctory messages of governors gone by, this one calling on Albert Einstein, lecturing the education community and issuing his own challenging alternative.
GOP Assemblyman Files Referendum Of California Dream Act
Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
A GOP state assemblyman today launched an effort to ask voters to repeal the California Dream Act signed into law this weekend by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Jerry Brown Signs Bill Speeding Involuntary Medication Of Inmates
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will speed up the process of involuntarily medicating dangerous patients held in state mental hospitals because they have been deemed incompetent to stand trial in county courts. The bill, written...
Gov. Jerry Brown Defies Easy Description In How He Handled Legislation
Steven Harmon @ mercurynews.com
In deciding whether to sign or veto the 563 bills the Legislature sent to him last month, Gov. Jerry Brown was, well, Jerry Brown.
Jerry Brown vetoes outsource contract reporting measure
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown handed labor a legislative loss on Sunday by rejecting a union-backed bill that would have forced the government to post outsource contracts of $5,000 or more on the Reporting Transparency in Government website and then on the Financial Information System for California website, which is still under construction.
UC Reaches Labor Deal With Its Largest Union
Larry Gordon @ latimes.com
The university and AFSCME Local 3299, which represents more than 20,000 workers, approved a new contract with at least 98% of the vote in its two units.
After Immigration Raid, Sacramento Nursery Rebounds -- But Questions U.S. Policy
Nicolas Vasquez makes his rounds at Matsuda's Nursery in Sacramento. Immigration officials last spring forced Matsuda's to fire 61 undocument- ed workers, many of them longtime employees. The business struggled to fill the positions; the firings put formerly taxpaying people on the street.
Inland Empire Lawmaker, Group To Fight Dream Act
AUTHOR: Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles
Union ratifies contracts with University of California system
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
AFSCME Local 3299 members have overwhelmingly ratified contracts covering 20,000 patient care and service workers at the University of California's campuses and medical centers.
Governor Sidelines Nursing Board, Takes Stand On Pensions
Gov. Jerry Brown took a strong stand against mounting pension obligations with his veto pen over the weekend with a decision that also removed the legal authority for the board that licenses and investigates nurses.
Autism Treatment Law Again Shows Insurers' Need For Therapy
David Lazarus @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill requiring health insurers to include coverage for treatments associated with autism. When I read that on Monday, my first thought was: Why aren't such treatments already covered?
Podcast: Breaking Our Silence | Capital Notes -- From Kqed's John Myers
Like the legendary Phoenix rising from the ashes, or else the annoying in-law who just won't take a hint, our weekly political chat is back.
2011 Session A Record Year For California Referendum Drives
Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
When it comes potential measures for the 2012 ballot, Californians appear to have a case of "refer" madness.
In Senate Vote, Administration Jobs Bill Faces Its First Hurdle
If an effort on Tuesday to take up the legislation fails to achieve the necessary 60 votes, as many predict, Senate Democrats may try to break up the bill into more palatable pieces.
Jerry Brown's bill actions frustrate, elate, confound
For a week, the political moderation of Gov. Jerry Brown could be measured by the Legislature's yo-yoing mood. Day by day, sometimes hour by hour, lawmakers of both parties hailed, then disparaged him.