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THE NOONER for June 21, 2012

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FASTTRACK: Los Angeles County provided an update on the random samples of signatures yesterday, qualifying three for the ballot:

Joel Fox asks whether the measures will appear sequentially next to each other as would be customary but perhaps politically harmful.

Still outstanding are California Forward's government reform measure and Consumer Watchdog's initiative to regulate health insurance rates. Both will be close calls and counties are not required to finish sampling before next Wednesday's deadline to qualify for November.

Meanwhile, Kevin Yamamura writes that the governor and legislative Democrats are getting close on changes to CalWORKs:

Under the deal being crafted by Brown and Democratic lawmakers, the state would generally cut off welfare-to-work recipients after two years if they do not meet federal work requirements, the sources said. However, the plan would exempt from the stricter time limit parents with young children or those living in counties facing high unemployment, among other criteria.

It also appears that legislative Democrats are giving up on their proposal to grab $250 million in redevelopment "pass-through" funds that go to other local agencies. Instead, Yamamura reports, $50 million more in budget savings (for total of $392m of $410m in the settlement) would be scored from the mortgage settlement.

From what I hear, a deal is very close. The governor has until next Wednesday (June 27) to sign the budget bill sent to him last Friday. Since Sacramento loves deadlines so much, I'm guessing we'll see action late Tuesday.

SCOTUS: SEIU Local 1000 loses at the U.S. Supreme Court over charging fees for political activity from fair-share members.

CONTEST: At this point, I think we're just making sure second place does not change in CD02 and AD46 before recognizing our winners.

REGISTER NOW: Register now for the post-election webinar at 10am on Wednesday, June 27. Paul Mitchell, Mike Madrid, Robb Korinke and I will take a look at the hottest races and lessons learned in the new top-two primary. The ninety-minute online event will also include a November election outlook and reviews of local bond and tax elections. The event is $99 per computer, and will be conducted using the Citrix GoToWebinar platform. Sit back in your jammies, listen to our analysis and interact with your questions and thoughts.

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF POLITICAL CONSULTANTS

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!

www.theaapc.org/default.asp?contentID=768

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Jerry Brown's Proposal And Two Other Tax Measures Qualify For November Ballot
Kevin Yamamura @
sacbee.com
As Democratic state leaders continue budget negotiations, Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike on sales and upper-income earners officially qualified Wednesday for the November ballot, as did two other tax measures.

Where Is Democrats' Urgency On Pension Reform?
George Skelton @
latimes.com
Voters won't OK Jerry Brown's tax increase to avoid deep education cuts unless the state enacts pension reform. So why does it look like legislators will delay?

Election-day Voter Registration Advances In California Legislature
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Election-day voter registration approved by senate committee

Jerry Brown And Democrats Close To Deal On Welfare Budget
Kevin Yamamura @
sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats are nearing a deal on welfare-to-work cuts that would reduce how long families can receive full aid and child care, but provide exemptions such as one for people in areas with high unemployment.

A Week After Partisan Budget Passes, Governor Remains Reluctant To Sign
Julie Small @
scpr.org
It's been nearly a week since California lawmakers passed a $92 billion budget, and there's still no word on whether Governor Brown will sign it. A handful of sticking points have left Democrats and the governor about a half a billion dollars apart.

Obama Campaign Predicts $1 Billion In Tv Spending By Gop
Chris Cillizza @
washingtonpost.com
Senior officials in President Obama’s re-election campaign predicted Wednesday that Republicans will spend upwards of $1.2 billion on television ads in the general election, a sum they are unlikely to match.

California's Pension Gap Widened In 2010, Research Center Says
Jon Ortiz @
blogs.sacbee.com
California's public retirement systems' pension obligations were a combined $112 billion beyond the value of their assets in 2010, according to a report released this week, with anticipated retiree health costs adding another $77 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Obama campaign girds for Supreme Court healthcare ruling
Michael A. Memoli @
latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- With the Supreme Court ruling on healthcare reform set to land, the Obama campaign is prepared to defend the president's signature legislative accomplishment, regardless of the outcome.

With Runoff Looming, Bruce Mcpherson Quits Gop: Longtime Moderate Republican Renounces Partisanship
mercurynews.com
SANTA CRUZ - The man long known as the only Republican who could get elected in Santa Cruz is no longer a Republican.

As Lawmakers Pursue Fracking Bills, Report Looks At Water Effects
latimesblogs.latimes.com
A new report on hydraulic fracturing has taken stock of the controversial procedure's effect on water supplies in Colorado, echoing concerns of California lawmakers as they seek to regulate "fracking" here. Western Resource Advocates, an environmental group, analyzed government and...

State leaders to announce budget deal, vote expected Tuesday
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats plan to announce a budget deal around 11 a.m. this morning, with floor votes expected Tuesday, according to Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.

Jerry Brown Abandons Bid To Protect High-speed Rail From Environmental Law - Transportation - The Sacramento Bee
sacbee.com
The Brown administration is abandoning legislation it proposed to insulate California's high-speed rail project from environmental lawsuits, the administration told environmentalists on Wednesday.

Gov. Jerry Brown, top Democrats reach budget deal
Anthony York @
latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have reached a framework of a deal on the state's $92.1-billion spending plan, according to sources close to the negotiations.

Consumer Groups Criticize SF Health Department's Lobbying Budget
Matt Smith @
baycitizen.org
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spared the city's Public Health Department from cuts in his latest budget proposal, which benefited not just health care consumers, but also a lobbying group that consumer advocates say works against them.

Lawmaker Drops California Bill Banning Allergy Treatment By Chiropractors
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Republican Sen. Bob Huff has decided to drop legislation that would ban chiropractors from treating allergies now that new rules prohibiting the use of laser therapy for the condition are set to take effect.

Latino Vote Looms Larger In This And Future Elections
washingtonpost.com
As Mitt Romney prepares to travel to Orlando on Thursday to address a large gathering of Hispanic political activists, the Republican Party is still struggling to respond to President Obama’s announcement last week that he would halt deportations of young illegal immigrants — a decision that could help the president with Latino voters in this fall’s election.

Another Report Urges Changing API
John Fensterwald @
toped.svefoundation.org
The bill, which has passed the Senate, will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee on June 27. Steinberg said he hoped to negotiate with Brown on the measures in the bill. It includes the possibility of including school inspections, which Brown raised in his veto message and mentioned in his State of the State message in January.

Assemblyman Hernandez Set For Jury Trial On Drunk Driving Charges
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) agreed Wednesday to stand trial before a jury Aug. 7 on two misdemeanor counts of drunken driving stemming from his arrest March 27 in Concord.

Proposals to raise taxes qualifies for ballot
The Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
California voters will get a chance to vote on competing proposals that would raise taxes as the state struggles with its budget deficit.

Jerry Brown abandons bid to protect high-speed rail from environmental law
sacbee.com
The Brown administration is abandoning legislation it proposed to insulate California's high-speed rail project from environmental lawsuits, the administration told environmentalists on Wednesday.

Gov. Jerry Brown, Democrats Approach Deal On Welfare Cuts
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats are nearing a deal on welfare-to-work cuts that would reduce the amount of time families could receive full aid and child care, but with exemptions such as one for people in areas with high unemployment.

California falls to 35th in nation in per pupil education spending
sacbee.com
Before the recession, California spent more per student on K-12 education than most other states, ranking 23rd in the nation. In 2010, it ranked 35th, according to figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.