Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for June 26, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR: @romenesko - "Online porn and newspapers have same problem - nobody wants to pay for them with so many free offerings."

E-MAIL DU JOUR: "LAST CHANCE FOR FOIE GRAS" (From Hotel Angeleno's West Restaurant)

The stage is set for budget votes tomorrow morning. This morning, trailer bills were unveiled to the public.

The most interesting may be SB 1039, which would reorder ballot measures to place general obligation bonds and constitutional amendments at the top of the ballot, pushing statutory amendments to the bottom. With the water bond expected to be kicked to 2014, this would put the governor's tax measure at the top of the ballot, rather than sandwiched between Munger and the singles sales factor toward the bottom of a 10-11 measures. Of course, if California Forward's government reform measure qualifies by Thursday, it would get the number two spot on the ballot, right next to the tax.

Assuming the water bond is kicked, California Forward qualifies while Consumer Watchdog goes to 2014 (see below), the ballot would look as follows:

  • Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
  • State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
  • Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
  • Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
  • Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
  • Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
  • Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
  • Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
  • Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
  • Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
  • Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.

In AB 1476, K-12 districts are given the authority to reduce the school year to 160 days for both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, rather than the 10 days this year and 5 days next announced with the June 15 budget deal. The current requirement is 175 days, which is five shorter than is customary throughout the US and than California had before 2010. LAUSD is voting Thursday on a budget that will shorten the school year. Thank goodness our kids are so smart.

In AB 1502, UC and CSU were given a $125 million carrot to freeze tuition for the 2012-13 fiscal year, although the money would only be provided if the tax measure passes. If it doesn't pass, each system will take cuts of $250 million each. CSU trustees have already approved a tuition increase of 9% for this fall, and UC is contemplating a 6% increase. Now they are put in a pickle to decide whether to rescind plans in hopes that the tax measure passes.

CAFWD: With seven counties turning in random samples yesterday, the California Forward government reform initiative is now only 50,000 signatures from qualifying for the November ballot. Twelve counties are outstanding, although the only one that really matters is Orange. The raw count for the county was 72,094, so over 50,000 can be expected if the validity mirrors the state. The measure must qualify by Thursday to be on the November ballot.

Meanwhile, unless Los Angeles comes in with unbelievable validity, the Consumer Watchdog initiative will not qualify for November and continue to a full count. If it qualifies, it would be on the November 2014 ballot.

MEMO TO BIG TOBACCO: Joe Mathews has a message for tobacco companies.

BUYER BEWARE: Five warning signs when hiring a political consultant.

CANCELLED: With budget votes scheduled for tomorrow, we have cancelled the election webinar. For those that registered, refunds will be forthcoming.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Roger Hernandez is running for his second term. Meanwhile, he's in the news again.



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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Legislative Budget Slog Slowly Coming To An End
John Myers @
If all goes as now planned, the final details on a new state budget will be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday of this week -- a full twelve days since the first bills made their own way to the governor's desk on the Capitol's first floor.

California Budget Includes Harsher School-year Trigger Cut
Kevin Yamamura @
A new education budget bill allows schools to cut 15 days in each of the next two school years if voters reject additional taxes on sales and income in November, double what Gov. Jerry Brown proposed in his May budget plan.

Budget Deal Seeks To Freeze UC, CSU Tuition
Anthony York @
Governor and legislators see budget as a way to block higher fees at UC and Cal State systems, which could get an extra $125 million if voters OK tax increases.

SEIU Local 1000 releases polling locations for furlough vote
Hannah Madans @
SEIU Local 1000 will give members the opportunity to cast ballots Wednesday in an expedited ratification vote about the proposed furlough agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown's administration.

Healthcare Law Credited For Big Drug Savings By California Seniors
Chad Terhune @
Nearly 70,000 Medicare patients in California saved $41 million on their prescription drugs during the first five months of this year under the federal healthcare law, new data show.

LAUSD Board To Vote On $6.3b Budget Thursday; After-school Care For 50,000 Kids Nixed
Barbara Jones @
The Los Angeles Unified board is poised Thursday to approve a $6.3 billion budget for 2012-13 that salvages some adult and early-education programs but shortens the school year, eliminates thousands of jobs and wipes out after-school care for at least 50,000 youngsters.

Budget Tweaks Could Help Gov. Jerry Brown Make His Case For Tax Hikes
Kevin Yamamura @
Two days before California lawmakers were scheduled to vote on a new state budget, details emerged Monday on new provisions that could help Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative at the polls.

Plan would freeze UC, CSU fees if voters pass tax
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders have come up with a plan to freeze tuition rates at California's public universities if voters approve a tax hike in November.

State employee furlough language back in CA budget
Hannah Madans @
A new budget bill has restored language that would allow Gov. Jerry Brown to furlough state workers without an agreement with their unions.

Democrats push top billing for governor's tax hike
The Associated Press @
Democratic lawmakers are moving a bill that could give the governor's tax initiative top billing on California's November ballot.

Not One, But Two 160-day Minimum Years
John Fensterwald @
Call it a last-minute clarification or a June surprise, another piece of bad news: A trailer bill that the Legislature will vote on Wednesday permits districts to slash the school year by an additional three weeks for the next two years, if voters reject Gov. Brown's tax increase in November. That's twice what Gov. Jerry Brown seemed to suggest in the May budget revise when he proposed the elimination of 15 days divided over a two-year period. Instead, the Legislature is prepared to authorize a 160-day year, likely the lowest in the nation and far behind other advanced nations; nearly all states have a 180-day year, which California also required before 2010.

Fees Emmerson Bill Gets Cold Shoulder From Many In Assembly GOP
Jim Miller @
Legislation by state Sen. Bill Emmerson that would let counties raise recording fees on certain real-estate documents didn’t get a warm welcome Monday from many of his fellow Republicans in the Assembly.

Calif. Budget: Pay Cut For Union, Tuition Freeze
Marisa Lagos and Wyatt Buchanan @
As a vote nears on the final details of a 2012-13 budget, Gov. Jerry Brown has persuaded leaders of the state's largest public employee union to agree to a key portion of his plan to reduce state spending, a nearly 5 percent pay cut.

California Bill To Regulate Medicinal Marijuana Put On Hold
Torey Van Oot @
A California lawmaker has dropped his bid to regulate and allow taxation of California's medical marijuana industry.

Put pension reform in California to the vote
Marcia Fritz @
As the June 28 deadline approaches for the Legislature to place a measure on the November ballot, taxpayers should know what's at stake and what's necessary to fix the state's pension crisis.

The Buzz: Farmworkers union urges Jerry Brown to back overtime benefits
Two years after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation that would have given California farmworkers the same overtime benefits most other wage earners receive, the United Farm Workers union is trying again with Schwarzenegger's successor, Gov. Jerry Brown.

Buy Here Pay Here Auto Sales Bill Gaining Ground
Marc Lifsher @
Legislation to regulate the sale of high-mileage cars to credit-risky motorists breezed through a key committee of the state Assembly, despite growing opposition from so-called Buy Here Pay Here auto dealers.

Bill To Improve Dental Services For Sacramento County's Poor Children On Governor's Desk
Emily Bazar @
Some low-income children in Sacramento County who have tried but failed to get dental care would have an escape route under a bill awaiting action by the governor.

California Forward Waits And Waits :: Fox&hounds
The reform group submitted 1.2 million signatures May 7. Governor Brown submitted the first of his 1.5 million signatures to secure a spot for his tax increase measure on May 10.

Assembly Approves Bill For Higher Fees To Fight Real Estate Fraud
Jim Sanders @
California counties could bolster fees for real estate fraud prevention and enforcement under legislation passed Monday by the Assembly.

Bill to regulate and tax marijuana dies in California Legislature
A push to regulate California's medical marijuana industry amid heightened federal scrutiny of cannabis producers and sellers has fizzled due to a lack of support in the state Senate.