Around The Capitol

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Sign up here

THE NOONER for June 28, 2012

jump to headlines

TWEET DU JOUR: @TheFix - "SCOTUS ruling, contempt vote, NBA draft and Charlie Sheen returns to television. This may be the greatest day. Ever."

HEALTH RULING IMPACT: First off, congratulations to SCOTUSBlog for being the go-to media outlet with the health care ruling (#CNNFAIL). By now, unless you're still in a fetal position under your desk from yesterday's budget votes, you have heard that SCOTUS upheld the vast majority of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare or RomneyCare.

Frankly, I don't think the ruling impacts the presidential race. Barring some landscape-changing event, turnout has largely been determined and the vast majority of minds are made up. There's probably 5-7% of the electorate that are up for grabs, and perceptions on the economy will shape those votes. The impact is worth debating.

However, the ruling is probably a political win for GOP congressional candidates in California's open swing districts. Democrats get nothing from bringing up the issue, while Republicans can campaign on "repeal and replace." This will be particularly effective in the CD21 (Valadao-Hernandez) and CD41 (Takano-Tavaglione), where the economy is particularly struggling. In Ventura's CD26, perhaps a little less so, but it's still not something Julia Brownley wants as a debate topic against Tony Strickland

Ami Bera is already doing what most incumbents and challengers will do--raise money off the ruling - "Today Chief Justice Roberts did something Dan Lungren would never do, he set aside politics to do what he thought was right. I'm running for Congress not just as a Doctor who knows how to lower costs and increase coverage, but as a citizen who wants members of Congress to work together to solve our nation's problems."

Democrats get the policy win, but likely not the political one. In addition to California's swing districts, the issue will be a hot one in the toss-up U.S. Senate races. Of course, there's a political question as to how much to campaign on "Repeal and Replace" in the high-profile races. In the same way that Romney can attack Obama on being "distracted" from the economy by health care, the same argument will be made by Democrats in races where GOP candidates try to make health care the bogeyman. At the end of the day, it's not popular, but nobody has been bit by the law yet, and the economy will continue to be the number one issue. 

Anyhow, here's a roundup of polling on the issue.

TODAY'S OTHER BIG CASE: The Fourth Circuit upholds ban on corporate contributions to federal candidates. Will the Supremes take it up to really identify whether corporations are people?


Advanced Public Sector Labor Relations: From Collective Bargaining to Arbitration - What Public Sector Employers Need to Know

Kronick Moskovitz's 2012 Labor Relations seminar will be held on July 12 at the Courtyard Hotel Sacramento Cal Expo. Join our Labor & Employment and Education law attorneys for this half-day seminar focusing on topics pertinent to all public employers, including the latest legal developments and court decisions governing public sector labor relations in California.

Full details & registration

reserve this space | subscribe to the ad-free version for $2.99/month

THAT'S THAT: As expected, the budget was signed by Jerry Brown last night and the governor's office says that the entire budget should be posted at by 9am today. A full summary of the plan including $154 million in vetoes is available. The vetoes are listed at the end.

Everything pretty much went as planned (see votes and bills here), although there is still a fair amount of confusion about some elements of the plan. Probably the most confusing is exactly how far the Legislature reached in the pockets of cities and other redevelopment successor agencies. 

The University of California "took the deal" and announced that Regents would not seek a fee increase as planned next month. This puts the California State Universities Trustees in a pickle. Last November, they approved a fee increase for this fall of 9%, and some students have already paid the fees. In AB 1502, the Legislature provided a $125 million carrot to each institution to not raise fees in 2012-13, promising the money in 2013-14 if the tax measure passes.

CSU probably has to take the deal and repeal the fee increase, although it essentially increases the trigger to $375 million and would force a double-digit fee increase if the tax measure fails. The recruitment pool for Charlie Reed's replacement may have narrowed yesterday...

Reed Galen writes on the tax and triggers components of the budget deal: "At this point our leaders play chicken at their own peril. Though California is a Democratic state, its voters are not monolithic. We know the difference between good policy and bad politics. Come November, the governor’s tax measure will likely fail, and our students will likely suffer as a result. Meanwhile, those who preserve the status quo remain unaffected and unaccountable."

And, the redevelopment fight is likely not over.

CD30: Yesterday, I linked to Kyle Trygstad's write-up on Berman-Sherman in Roll Call. Here's the voting analysis discussed in the article from Redistricting Partners/RPData, which reaches the following conclusions:

  1. Sherman's win was largely a function of geography – each candidate dominated in their old district lines, and Sherman’s area is much bigger.
  2. With Sherman's district advantage comes heavy Latino strength. Sherman also did better with Decline to State Voters and Republicans.
  3. Berman did better among Jews, but their percentage of the vote is in the low teens and not going to get any larger for November.


DUMP IT IF YOU GOT IT: Free Advice to Naughty Politicians: 10am is Your Lucky Number [GretaWire]

In other words, Paul Mitchell picked a bad day to announce that he has joined Political Data Inc. as Vice President. You can expect him to temper his snarky tweets as he transitions to the stable and trusted bipartisan data firm that supplies voter files and online campaign software. Paul is leaving his role as political consultant with his day-to-day campaign staffer Chris Chaffee taking over legislative and local campaigns.

Redistricting Partners/RPdata will continue to do local governance Redistricting and voting analysis with Brian Martin picking up the day-to-day work there.

CONSUMER WATCHDOG MISS: The health insurance rate regulation initiative moves to full count, missing today's deadline to qualify for November 2012. If it qualifies, which is likely, it will be on the November 2014 ballot.

SHIFT HAPPENS: There was a remarkable point yesterday when the Capitol Twitter conversation switched from the state budget to the Giants' sweep of the Dodgers.

GUESS THEY'RE STILL IN TOWN: Sacramento Kings' Draft Options: 5 Players They May Take with the Fifth Pick [Bleacher Report]

SPREAD THE WORD: I'm now automatically tweeting a link to the Nooner at 12:05pm. Spread the word by retweeting!

Supreme Court Upholds Healthcare Law as Tax Measure
David G. Savage @
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama’s healthcare law Thursday, ruling the government may impose tax penalties on persons who do not have health insurance.

With little fanfare, Gov. Jerry Brown signs state budget
Kevin Yamamura @
After wrangling with legislative Democrats earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new California budget late Wednesday that slashes courts and state workers while assuming voters will pass a multibillion-dollar tax hike in November.

Gov Jerry Brown signs California budget relying on taxes
Judy Lin @
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new budget for California on Wednesday that relies heavily on voters approving his proposed tax hikes in November.

House Republicans schedule vote to repeal Obama's healthcare law
Lisa Mascaro @
WASHINGTON – House Republican leaders set a vote in two weeks to repeal the nation’s health care law – a largely symbolic act that is not be expected to go anywhere in the Democratic-led Senate.

Bill To Speed Teacher Firing Process Dies In Assembly Education Committee
Barbara Jones @
A bill designed to make it easier for school boards to fire teachers embroiled in misconduct cases, was defeated late Wednesday by the Assembly Education Committee, effectively killing the legislation for the session.

Legislature Sends Bills Finalizing Budget To Gov. Jerry Brown
The California Legislature approved the final pieces of the state budget on Wednesday. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the budget and related legislation later in the day, before his midnight deadline.

The Health Care Decision, Explained In 1 Paragraph On Scotusblog
Derek Thompson @
In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

Chief justice leads Supreme Court's support of healthcare law
David G. Savage @
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. upheld the heart of President Obama's healthcare law Thursday, ruling that the government may impose tax penalties on those who do not have health insurance.

California governor signs budget relying on taxes
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new budget for California on Wednesday that relies heavily on voters approving his proposed tax hikes in November.

Brown Cuts $128 Million From Democrats' Budget
Gov. Jerry Brown trimmed $128 million from the budget passed by Democratic lawmakers before signing the spending plan into law late Wednesday night. The cuts include reductions to financial aid for college students and child-care programs -- two of the...

Fate Of California's Bullet Train Iffy In State Senate
Dan Walters @
The state Assembly would surely vote for Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to begin building a north-south bullet train in the San Joaquin Valley – but the Senate, where party discipline is much weaker, is proving to be a tougher political nut to crack.

Supreme Court Health Care Decision: What It Means For California
This morning's momentous Supreme Court decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act, including the mandate that every American have health insurance, has major implications for California where an estimated 7 million people – about 20 percent of the population – are not covered.

Romney uses healthcare ruling to motivate voters against Obama
Robin Abcarian and Maeve Reston @
In brief remarks two hours after the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s healthcare reform law, Mitt Romney said he disagreed with the court’s decision and used it as a call to arms for Republicans in November.

Cities Threaten Lawsuits Over Potential Garnish Of Local Taxes
Kevin Yamamura @
California cities are considering legal action over a new budget provision that allows the state to garnish local tax revenue if it believes governments are keeping too much money formerly dedicated to redevelopment.

Obama calls for country to move 'forward' after healthcare win
Christi Parsons @
WASHINGTON – President Obama claimed victory in the Supreme Court decision to uphold his healthcare law Thursday, declaring it a win for the American people rather than for him politically.

No Matter What Court Decides, Health Care Law Has 'got To Go,' Romney Says
Mr. Romney, speaking to a raucous and energetic crowd of several hundred, said that whether or not the court deems the government’s health care plan constitutional, “we already know it’s bad policy, and it’s got to go.”

Supreme Court Ruling Reshapes 2012 Presidential Battle — Strategy On Both Sides
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @
Supreme Court ruling reshapes 2012 presidential battle — strategy on both sides

Redevelopment: Budget Bill Has Hammer For Former Agencies
California lawmakers approved legislation that would give the state new powers to compel local agencies to hand over money that once paid for redevelopment, prompting warnings from city officials of a likely legal challenge.

Live chat at noon: Court rules in favor of Obama health care law
Join The Bee's Pia Lopez today at noon to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling today in favor of the Obama health care law.

CalPERS Considers Revamping Health Plans To Lower Its Medical Tab
Chad Terhune @
CalPERS is preparing to rebid its health insurance business, and 2 of its current plans, Anthem and Blue Shield, are likely to face intense competition.

Editorial: John Roberts leads court in saving health care act
Dan Morain @
California can proceed, without skipping a beat, in implementing the national Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the landmark legislation signed into law by President