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THE NOONER for November 15, 2011

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DISTRICT UPDATES

  • CD03 - added deputy district attorney Tony Carlos (R)
  • CD03 - added Timothy Core (R)
  • CD06 - added businessman Erik Smitt (R)
  • CD52 - added physician Wayne Iverson (R)

THE TRIGGERS: The Department of Finance (DOF) counted a bit more change in the state's piggy bank in October than the controller, although the news still isn't good. DOF reports revenues coming in $608 million below forecast for the month, in contrast to the controller's $810 million. The difference isn't unusual, and usually settles out throughout the year. Finance pegs the year-to-date shortfall at $1.3 billion, while the Legislative Analyst's Office accounts for a $1.5 billion shortfall. 

With 27.3% of the year's revenues supposed to have come in through September 30, we are running 5.1% behind projections. Carry that through the year, and we would come in $4.6 billion below the budgeted level. That means that the May Revise projections would have been pretty darn close.

While the triggers were tied to a $4 billion inflation of revenue estimates, the first tier of cuts (higher ed, DDS, IHSS) are automatically made if the higher of LAO or DOF forecasts for the year are $1 billion below budget estimates. If the higher of the two forecasts is $2 billion below budget estimates, than tier 2 cuts are automatically triggered, including the politically unpalatable $1.5 billion in K-12 cuts.

The $4 billion in "unallocated revenue" was spread over the 12 months in rough proportion to the state's personal income tax collection. Thus, while some argue the "best months lie ahead," those best months (December, January, April and June) also have higher targets to make before making up for the miserable first four months of the year.

The LAO plans to post its Fiscal Outlook and revenue forecast at 11:30am tomorrow on its website. My bet: revenues under projections by $4-5 billion, and a beginning 2013-14 mismatch of revenues and expenditures of $9-10 billion. That would be a $13-15 billion eighteen month deficit, with our fingers crossed for some big IPOs.

FULL COUNT LIKELY: 710,924 signatures were turned in to county registrars for the redistricting petition, reports John Myers. For a full run-down, read John's post. Following a raw count, a random sample will be conducted to see if the number of valid signatures exceed 110% of the 504,760 required. Because invalid signatures actually create a penalty (instead of just being discounted), the number of submitted signatures will likely lead to a full signature count, as conceded by the campaign, meaning the referendum may not be certified until March. Unless the Supreme Court changes its mind now that the referendum has qualified, we're likely using the Commission's lines next year.

Will this resolve the high stakes political poker game being played in Pasadena?

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Hi-me again. E. G.'s in the bathroom, so I have a few seconds. He kept me up all night raving about his new Facebook page; if you "Like" it he’ll give you a free copy of his favorite story. You can also sample and buy Matters Familiar, or any of the individual stories in the collection as ebooks, from there. Please hurry—he's not happy with the overnight numbers.

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LET THERE BE FRIGHT: Out of fear of "rogue" protestors, the UC Regents yesterday cancelled this week's meeting in San Francisco. [Nanette Asimov @ SF Chron] 

Of course, the real fight today was not scheduled for the Regents meeting, but rather across the bay at UC Berkeley. Today, protestors are calling for a general strike in an attempt to get an encore feature on Stephen Colbert. [Best line: "When they say that Berkeley is crunchy, I didn't know they were talking about the students' rib cages."]

Meanwhile, the California State University Board of Trustees begins its two-day meeting today at mission control in Long Beach, and will be considering a $498 fee increase tomorrow. [Lisa M. Krieger @ Merc News]

THANKSGIVING CONVERSATION: Briana Bilbray, who is a cancer survivor, has emerged as an advocate for medical marijuana in city hall and the courts. Her father, Brian Bilbray (the new CD52), isn't sold:

"Not in a million years would I have dreamed that my little girl would be in this position." [Christopher Cadelago @ SD Union-Trib]

WELL, CEE LO YOU TOO: Orange County supervisors plan to withhold $73 million in property tax payments to schools to backfill $48 million state VLF cut. In a memo, they ration that the funds will be backfilled by the state. [Norberto Santana, Jr @ Voice of OC]

The supervisors believe that the VLF cut was targetted at Orange County because of the anti-tax stance of the legislative delegation.

CONGRATULATIONS: Greg Campbell is the new chief of staff for John Perez, replacing Sara Ramirez Giroux, who becomes chief consultant. [Jim Sanders @ Sac Bee]

 

And, to the headlines:

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Assemblyman Gil Cedillo To Run For Los Angeles City Council
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo has announced plans to run for the Los Angeles City Council in 2013.

Supreme Court To Review Health Care Reform Law
Jennifer Haberkorn @
politico.com
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear challenges to President Barack Obama’s health care reform law — but it’s not at all clear that the court will decide anything soon.

710,924 Signatures For Overturning Senate Map. And Yet...
John Myers @
blogs.kqed.org
But the referendum will likely need the full amount of time allowed by law for the petition signatures to be verified... a delay that could have serious implications for any further legal challenge to block the use of the citizen commission's Senate map.

California Finance Aides Peg Revenue Gap At Nearly $1.3 Billion
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
The budget news remains downbeat, but the state Department of Finance reported Monday that the state's revenue gap is less than what Controller John Chiang said last week.

Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case
James Oliphant @
latimes.com
The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

San Diego Mayor Urges Congress To Overturn Defense Of Marriage Act
Tony Perry @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican whose decision in 2007 to drop his opposition to same-sex marriage put him at odds with the GOP, has joined Gov. Brown and the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco -- all Democrats -- in urging Congress to overturn a law denying recognition of such marriages.

Assemblyman Gil Cedillo to run for Los Angeles City Council
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo has announced plans to run for the Los Angeles City Council in 2013.

Governor, S.F. Mayor Ed Lee Push For DOMA Repeal
Bob Egelko @
sfgate.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee are urging Congress to repeal the federal law that denies marital benefits to same-sex spouses.

California State University Considers 9% Tuition Hike
Laurel Rosenhall @
blogs.sacbee.com
California State University trustees will vote Wednesday on raising fees by $498, or about 9 percent, for fall 2012. That would bring annual tuition for undergrads at CSU's 23 campuses to $5,970, not including books, room or board. Most campuses charge an additional $1,000 in local fees.

Supreme Court puts healthcare law in campaign spotlight
David Savage @
latimes.com
A ruling could come just as the presidential campaign shifts into full swing. 'Probably no court case in modern times would have the impact this would,' a strategist says.

Congress Slashes Financial Watchdog
David Rogers @
politico.com
In a blow to Wall Street reforms, President Barack Obama’s budget request for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would be cut by more than a third under a House-Senate conference report which the Appropriations leadership expects to file Monday night.

Senate Judiciary Committee Votes Against Doma
loyalopposition.blogs.nytimes.com
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today in favor of a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a reprehensible Clinton-era law that discriminates against same-sex couples.

Orange County Supervisors Poised To Defy State Over $48-million Tax Grab
Norberto Santana, Jr. @
voiceofoc.org
Rather than lose $48 million in revenue -- the result of a budget-time tax grab by Gov. Jerry Brown last summer -- Orange County officials are poised to defy the state by keeping a total of $73 million in property taxes.

Redistricting: Republican Opponents Turn In Signatures
Jim Miller @
pe.com
A Republican-led campaign to overturn the state's redrawn Senate map said almost 711,000 voter signatures have been submitted on petitions to put the maps before voters next year.

Barack Obama's Supreme Court Health Care Gamble
Glenn Thrush @
politico.com
President Barack Obama is so confident of the constitutionality of his signature Affordable Care Act — and so happy to cast Mitt Romney as his human shield against its Republican critics— that he did little to stop the Supreme Court from fast-tracking a ruling on the law now likely to come in the middle of the 2012 campaign.

Supreme Court to hear challenge to health overhaul
Adam Liptak @
mercurynews.com
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to the 2010 health care overhaul law, setting the stage for oral arguments by March and a decision in late June as the 2012 presidential campaign enters its crucial final months.

Editorial: Health reform backers take a powder on law
sacbee.com
The health care overhaul was the signature achievement of President Barack Obama and the then-majority Democratic Congress in 2010.

CSU Students Face 9% Tuition Hike
Heather Somerville @
fresnobee.com
California State University students could face a 9% tuition increase next fall if the state doesn't boost funding by $333 million to cover the cost of more students, urgent maintenance needs, new technology and employee wages.

Former Democratic Sen. Teresa Hughes, 80, Dies
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Former Democratic Sen. Teresa Hughes, who served in the state Legislature for 25 years, has died. She was 80.

Brown, Sanders push to repeal federal gay marriage ban
signonsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders have joined several other state and local leaders across the country in urging the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages by passing the Respect for Marriage Act.

Preemptive Action By UC And CSU Over Protests
Kathryn Baron @
toped.svefoundation.org
The University of California has canceled this week's Board of Regents meeting, after UC police said they had "credible intelligence" that violent protests could threaten public safety.

Peninsulans Still Leery About High-speed Train
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
When the California High-Speed Rail Authority unveiled its much-revised business plan for the proposed north-south bullet train system this month, one of its implicit goals was to quiet fierce opposition among the very affluent and politically astute residents of the San Francisco Peninsula.

Democrats See Election Laws As Revival Of Poll Tax And Threat To Democratic Process
Megan Ruyle @
thehill.com
A wave of state election laws poses the single greatest threat to democracy and civil rights in generations, a number of House Democratic leaders charged Monday.

As California Governor, Brown Disdains Fundraising -- So Far
Steven Harmon @
mercurynews.com
Hes raised $110,000, a pittance in his first year compared with his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who chalked up $25.2 million in contributions.