Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for June 12, 2012

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PAYCHECK PROTECTION: The Legislature has 84 hours to approve a budget. (don't ask me where I got the 60-hour tally yesterday)

As if perfectly choreographed to precede tonight's farewell party for California Budget Project chief Jean Ross, the budget committees of both houses will adopt a package today developed by Democratic leadership. The governor is not yet on board, although they are swallowing enough cuts that, with some line-item vetoes, the plan can be considered legit. The plans will be the same and there will not be a need for a conference committee. Full floor action is expected on Friday.

Senate Budget is scheduled for 2pm - agenda.

Assembly Budget is expected around 3pm - agenda.

You can follow the actions with the hashtag #cabudget.

Here's the Assembly's explanation of the "bottom line" of the plan:


Preliminary Estimates
Legislative Budget Plan Versus Governor's May Revision ($ million)
  Governor's May Revision Legislature's Budget Plan Difference
Starting Problem (15,692.0) (15,692.0) -
Expenditure Reductions 8,303.5 7,853.8 (449.7)
Revenues 5,918.9 5,934.5 15.6
Other 2,517.9 2,517.9 -
Total Solutions 16,740.3 16,306.2 (434.1)
Reserve 1,048.3 614.2 (434.1)


Kevin Yamamura summarizes the big points:

  • The Legislature's budget contains a $614 million rainy day fund, $434 million lower than the governor's $1.048 billion reserve.
  • The Legislature rejects the governor's $880 million overhaul of welfare-to-work. Instead, the state would save $327 million by exempting parents of young children from meeting work requirements to receive welfare grants. This reflects the fact that it costs the state more money to provide job training and child care than to provide grants without strings.
  • The Legislature maintains a 3.6 percent cut in hours to In-Home Supportive Services residents but rejects an additional 3.4 percentage point cut that Brown wanted. The Legislature also rejects a proposal to eliminate pay for domestic services like laundry for relatives of recipients.
  • The Legislature would allow districts to cut the school year by 15 days across the next two school years if voters reject the governor's November tax initiative.
  • The Legislature rejects rate cuts to child care providers, including a 35 percent cut that Brown had proposed.
  • The Legislature rejects the governor's proposal to require low-income students to have higher grade-point averages to receive Cal Grant scholarship aid. The Legislature agrees to cut Cal Grants for private college students, but not until 2013-14.

Additionally, the Legislature rejected the governor's proposed weighted student funding formula for K-12 schools, which was a major flexibility overhaul. The Senate Budget agenda says "While these are bold measures intended to provide greater equity, simplicity, and transparency of our education funding systems, ongoing budget cutbacks coupled with continuing economic uncertainty have undermined these proposals for the moment. However, we hope these proposals remain on the front burner moving forward."

John Myers dons the tie and gets airtime to talk about the deal. Memo to News10 execs: Myers needs a magic wall.

Joel Fox writes on the launch of the campaign to oppose the governor's tax measure.

QUALIFIED: The initiatives on genetically engineered food labeling and three strikes reform qualified for the November ballot.

NO CHANGES: Counties reporting more vote tallies yesterday include Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Kern, Nevada, Orange, and San Diego. The results didn't result in any change in top-twos or statewide measures. Scott Peters hangs on to a 795-vote lead over Lori Saldana in CD52.

WHY? How does Alameda County quickly finish counting all of their ballots, but is always the last to report signatures for initiative campaigns?

WELCOME BACK: It was nice to see Sharon Runner back on the Senate floor yesterday with her return following a double-lung transplant.

MYSTERY SOLVED: "A dingo ate my baby." [Classic Seinfeld]



The 2012 American Association of Political Consultants Conference in Sacramento June 27-28 provides key networking opportunities with those that have been in the trenches as well as topical and relevant information related to what is going on in California this year, including open primary, redistricting, ballot initiatives and how top consultants are utilizing all the tools available to them to reach and engage voters. Register today!

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California Legislative Leaders Huddle Before Budget Vote
Kevin Yamamura @
Legislative Democrats will vote by Friday's deadline on a state budget that has a "very substantial reserve" and is free of gimmicks to erase a $15.7 billion deficit, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said this morning.

Lawmakers Prepare For Tuesday Budget Vote With No Deal In Place
Anthony York and Chris Megerian @
Both the Senate and Assembly budget committees have announced plans to vote on a budget plan Tuesday, even though both sides acknowledge that negotiations between top Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown are ongoing.

Legislative Democrats Release Ca Budget Plan With Smaller Cuts
Kevin Yamamura @
Assembly Democrats released a budget plan this afternoon that includes a lower reserve and smaller cuts in health and welfare programs than Gov. Jerry Brown proposed to bridge a $15.7 billion deficit.

Lausd To Vote On Dropping Parcel-tax Plan
Gov. Jerry Brown was unable to get Molly Munger to drop her tax initiative, but he may be on the verge of keeping another major tax proposal off the ballot. The Los Angeles Unified School District is reconsidering a parcel...

Democrats Seek To Reduce California Budget's Welfare Cuts By Using Proposed Reserve Fund Money
Steven Harmon @
As a Friday vote looms on delivering a balanced budget, Democratic legislators are aiming to spend money the governor wants to hold in reserve.

Undoing Health Care Law Messy - La Daily News
WASHINGTON - It sounds like a silver lining. Even if the Supreme Court overturns President Barack Obama's health care law, employers can keep offering popular coverage for the young adult children of their workers.

California Budget Set To Pass Legislative Panels
Wyatt Buchanan,Marisa Lagos @
Lawmakers are expected to approve a framework for a state budget Tuesday, retaining most of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan but significantly reducing his proposed cuts to welfare, child care and other services that help the...

SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker holds online meeting on bargaining, furlough
Jon Ortiz @
SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker held an online town hall meeting to discuss negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown's administration over his proposal to cut employees' hours and pay by roughly 5 percent per month.

Budget Culprit Is California Tax Code, Ratings Agency Says
While Gov. Jerry Brown and top Democratic lawmakers haggle over spending cuts this week, Standard & Poor's said Monday that they're missing the core problem leading to California's budget crisis. The root of the budget morass, the ratings agency said,...

Brown Tax Plan Looks Very Shaky
Dan Walters @
The state budget that the Legislature will enact this week will assume that half of its deficit will be covered by voter approval of new income and sales taxes next November.

Democrats Unveil Cloudy State Budget Document
John Myers @
Democrats in the state Assembly are poised to formally reject some of Governor Jerry Brown's social services cuts and instead create a smaller cash cushion, while directing more local property tax dollars to help fund public schools.

AM Alert: California budget discussions continue as anti-tax campaign begins
Amy Chance @
The Capitol is awaiting word from Gov. Jerry Brown on the budget plan Democratic leaders say they will send him on Friday. The plan is moving quickly in the Legislature (amazing how a deadline tied to pay focuses the mind), but Brown's office says only that discussions are ongoing.

Sacramento County Sheriff Warns Of Early Jail Releases If Budget Is Cut
Brad Branan @
If Sacramento County supervisors approve a proposed $10.7 million budget cut, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said Monday that he would release 540 inmates early from local jails.

Delays by Contra Costa Health Care District could trigger expensive election
Lisa Vorderbrueggen @
Reorganized health care district's action could cost taxpayers $120,000 for a November election that could end up electing members to a board that has been eliminated.

State lawmakers will start moving budget plan through Legislature
Chris Megerian and Anthony York @
Legislators, at risk of having their pay docked if they fail to pass a budget this week, say they'll begin moving a spending plan on Tuesday, no matter if they agree what should be in it.

Obama Says He Was Too Busy To Campaign In Wisconsin Recall Election
President Obama suggested Monday that he was too busy to campaign in Wisconsin ahead of the recall election that targeted Republican Gov. Scott Walker, whose victory last week has raised questions about whether there are broader implications for the president in the fall.

Tech sector grumbles about Dianne Feinstein
Michelle Quinn @
Sen. Dianne Feinstein taps out messages on a BlackBerry, reads books on her iPad and is well-known in Washington for detailed command of policies from fracking to farming to patent law. Yet here in her home state, there are some rumblings in tech circles about whether Feinstein truly is one of them. Techies complain she’s of a different generation, “out of touch,” “unaware” of the intricacies of tech policy — and they point out she doesn’t even send her own tweets.

California Democrats Show Their Unwillingness To Cut Programs For The Poor - Gov. Jerry Brown - The Sacramento Bee
Gov. Jerry Brown uses a chart of projected budget shortfalls Monday in Sacramento as he outlines the state's financial dilemma. "It's very easy to play gotcha, real simple," the Democratic governor said as he cited reasons why the deficit problem wasn't solved in 2011.

Unitedhealth Pledges To Keep Some Reforms In Place
Dan @
For all the angst over the federal health reform that has come to be known as “ObamaCare,” many of its provisions are hardly controversial, and some are quite popular. The idea of federal intervention in health care scares people a lot more than the specifics that are in law.

Barbara Boxer Pressures Rental Car Companies
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @
Barbara Boxer pressures rental car companies

Grand Jury Says Inmate Shift Strains Yolo Jails
Darrell Smith @
State law moving nonviolent state prisoners into local custody will place even greater strain on a Yolo County jail system struggling with inmate overcrowding, re-offending criminals, and budget and staffing cuts, the Yolo County grand jury said in its new report.

FEC Allows Campaign Contributions Via Text Message
Matea Gold @
The Federal Election Commission gave the go-ahead to contribute donations to federal candidates and political committees via text messages, a move advocates hope will boost the participation of small contributors.

Dan Walters: Brown tax plan looks very shaky
The state budget that the Legislature will enact this week will assume that half of its deficit will be covered by voter approval of new income and sales taxes next November.

Romney touts healthcare plans ahead of Supreme Court ruling
Michael Finnegan @
ORLANDO, Fla. – With the Supreme Court on the verge of determining the fate of President Obama’s healthcare overhaul, Mitt Romney sought to position himself Tuesday as a champion of affordable coverage for the middle class.