,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for December 13, 2011

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  • AD08 - removed Assemblymember Alyson Huber (D)
  • AD49 - added surgeon/former San Marino councilmember Matthew Lin (N)
  • AD63 - added Bell councilmember Ali Saleh (D)

TWEET DU JOUR: @paulmitche11: "It's "Back to the 80's Week" at the Secretary of State's Political Reform division. No computers, only paper forms. #notwaybitchen"

And, for those that are wondering, Paul was quite bitchin' in the 80s.  

Today at high noon, Governor Jerry Brown and Department of Finance (DOF) sheriff Ana Matasantos will swing open the saloon doors of Room 1090 with their six shooters, as it's time to announce the DOF's current year revenue projections and, thus, whether $2.1 billion in budget-cutting triggers will be pulled.

The 2011-12 state budget assumed $88.5 billion in revenue, which included $4 billion added on as part of the deal between the governor and legislative Democrats. Largely to gain the blessing from Wall Street needed to borrow $5.4 billion in revenue anticipation notes to get through the year, two sets of automatic trigger cuts were approved if revenue fell below projections.  The first tier is triggered if revenues fall below $87.5 billion, and the second tier if revenues fall below $86.5 billion. [AB 121 (triggers)/SB 73 (health)/AB 114 (Prop. 98)]

The triggers are to be pulled based on the lower revenue projection of either the DOF or the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO). Last week, the LAO projected current year revenues of $84.7 billion, which would require both sets of triggered cuts to be be made. 

I'm hearing that the DOF revenue picture is a bit more optimistic than the LAO's numbers--bouyed by the better-than-expected November revenues--but not enough to stop both tiers of triggers to be pulled.

Tier 1 Trigger Cuts
Reduce University of California budget - $100m
Reduce California State University budget - $100m
Reduce funding developmental services - $100m
Reduce service hours in IHSS by 20 percent and anti–fraud efforts - $110m
Increase charges to counties for youthful offenders sent to CDCR facilities and reduce CDCR budget - $99m
Reduce community college apportionments - $30m
Reduce child care funding - $17m
Eliminate state grants for local libraries - $16m
Eliminate vertical prosecution grants - $15m
Extend Medi–Cal provider cuts and copayments to all managed care plans - $15m
Reduce preschool funding - $6m
Total Tier 1 Trigger Cuts - $608m

Tier 2 Trigger Cuts - Proposition 98 reductions
Reduce school year by seven days - $1.1b
Eliminate K-12 home-to-school transportation - $248m
Reduce community college apportionment - $72m
Total Tier 2 Trigger Cuts - $1,436

Total Tier 1+Tier 2 Trigger Reductions - $2,044

Note that all of the reductions are "by not more than," so DOF could legally choose to not reduce some items.

Meanwhile, the PPIC Statewide Survey gets some early polling numbers on the governor's proposed tax increase:

"Governor Brown has proposed a plan to help close the state's budget deficit over the next five years. The plan, which would be put before voters in November, would raise $7 billion annually through a temporary four-year half-cent sales tax increase and a temporary five-year income tax increase on those earning more than $250,000. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?
65% favor
28 oppose
7 don't know

"What if these new revenues went directly to K-12 schools--would you favor or oppose this proposal?
70% favor
27 oppose
4 don't know

Don't get too excited, Jon Fleischman tweets. "Tax-hungry liberals shouldn't start spending yet - remember that in Feb 09 FIELD had Prop. 1A at 57% approval."

Tax opponents get a cue for their campaign from another question:

"Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don't waste very much of it?
57% a lot
32 some
7 don't waste very much
4 don't know

TOP READER QUESTION: Have I heard from the Secretary of State's Office re: yesterday's letter?  The Answer.

REALLY, "I DO" THIS TIME: Newt signs no-adultery pledge [Alexander Burns @ Politico]

FED BUDGET GEEKERY: Infographic on the federal budget situation [Congressional Budget Office]

Finally, I know a few staffers might be in hot water for failing to order their boss' holiday card this year. For those that have flooded my mailbox and helped keep the US Postal Service alive, I thank you. However, none of them are as dramatic as this San Juan, Puerto Rico mayor's holiday greeting.

Now...to get this Eighties bug out...time for some Pac-Man.

California Voters Side With Jerry Brown On Pensions
Dan Walters @
Jerry Brown made a rare gubernatorial appearance this month before a joint legislative committee that was delving – with obvious reluctance – into whether California's public employee pension benefits should be overhauled.

Poll: CA voters support tax hikes to help schools
BROOKE DONALD, Associated Press @
Nearly two-thirds of likely voters in California support Gov. Jerry Brown's recent proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy and raise the statewide sales tax to stave off further budgets cuts to education, according to a poll.

Jerry Brown Opens Tax Campaign Committee, Starts Fundraising
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown has opened a campaign committee and started fundraising for his November 2012 initiative to raise taxes.

Jerry Brown to order new round of California budget cuts
Anthony York @
Gov. Jerry Brown is announcing a revised budget forecast Tuesday, and with California's economy not growing as quickly as Brown and Democratic lawmakers hoped, state funding for public school busing could end and deeper cuts to the state's universities, community colleges and health programs could come in weeks ahead.

Majority Supports Jerry Brown's Tax Plan, Poll Finds
David Siders @
A new poll shows 60 percent of California voters, weary of state spending cuts and unsettled by the prospect of more, are ready to support Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to raise taxes.

California Still Has A Spending Problem :: Fox&hounds
As we head toward decision time for the budget trigger to be pulled and to what degree, fiscal information is starting to come in from the keepers of the ledgers. State Controller John Chiang revealed last week that while November tax receipts were a half-billion dollars ahead of projections, California was spending almost two-billion dollars more than projected.

For Water, Perilous Economy Is Big Player In November 2012
John Howard @
The most ambitious and expensive water program to confront California voters since the State Water Project was approved more than 50 years ago may wind up getting reduced by billions of dollars, a victim of politics and the economy.

University of California, clerks' union agree to two-tier pensions
Jon Ortiz @
The Coalition of University Employees - Teamsters Local 2010 and the University of California have agreed to a new labor contract that trades raises for a new pension plan tier and higher employee contribution costs for current employees and future hires.

California Overhauls Mental Health Department
Judy Lin @
California has begun transitioning its mental health services program to concentrate care on the most serious patients residing in state mental hospitals and prisons, but the cost-cutting move is raising concerns about patient care from state workers.

New brinkmanship in fight over payroll tax cut extension
Lisa Mascaro @
The hard-scrabble politics of approving President Obama's payroll tax break erupted on full display Tuesday when Democrats stalled a must-pass spending bill needed to keep the government running as negotiations with Republicans have stalled over a compromise proposal that would continue the expiring tax cut for 160 million workers.

Video archive: Jerry Brown talks "strike forces' and taxes
David Siders @
Following the pepper-spraying of protesters by police at UC Davis and the jabbing of students with batons at UC Berkeley, Gov. Jerry Brown said he was "seriously concerned" and asked the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training last month to review procedures for crowd control.

Occupy Sacramento Protesters Stage Demonstration At KFBK
Ed Fletcher @
Joined by longtime critics of right-leaning radio, Occupy Sacramento protesters stood outside of the Sacramento offices of radio giant Clear Channel to argue that since station is granted scarce space on the radio airwaves they need to do more to balance conservative voices with liberal ones.

We Need A Part Time Legislature But Grove And Costa Get It Wrong :: Fox&hounds
No fundraising this entire period. They can do that in the summer and fall, what the old pre-1966 part time legislature did: hold detailed interim hearings on major issues and deal with their constituents.

Jerry Brown's cuts to California schools less than feared
Gov. Jerry Brown will slash higher education, child care and school bus service, but he will largely spare K-12 classrooms from mid-year cuts under a revised budget forecast to be released at noon, sources said.

High court to review tough Arizona immigration law
MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press @
The Supreme Court stepped into the fight Monday over a tough Arizona law that requires local police to help enforce federal immigration laws _ pushing the court deeper into hot, partisan issues of the 2012 election campaign.

Supremes Inject Court Into The 2012 Campaign On Health And Immigration
Jesse Helfrich @
Obama won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008 but only 43 percent of the white vote, according to the Pew Research Center. Hispanics are a particularly important voting bloc in several states that shifted from Republicans to Democrats in 2008, including New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. They are also a key demographic in the swing state of Florida and in Arizona, a target for Democrats.

California Democratic Assemblywoman Alyson Huber opts not to run for re-election
Jim Sanders @
Reversing course, Assemblywoman Alyson Huber announced today that she will not seek re-election in a neighboring Assembly district after all.

PPIC POLL: Big majority support Brown's tax increase plan
Michael Gardner @
Nearly two-thirds of Californians favor Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike proposal, but fewer than half of them think he's doing a good job as governor, according to a survey released Monday by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California.

The Caucus: Reid Vows to Keep Republicans in Town
The Senate majority leader says he will block votes on bill to finance the government until Democrats get a bill they like on extending payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance,