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THE NOONER for July 3, 2012
SEARCH PAST NOONERS: Now you can search past Nooners and call me out on all my errors and false predictions at http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/r.html?s=n&l=http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/nooner. It's a bit crude, and I'll be playing with it to continuously improve.
SESSION CONTINUES: After the first few minutes of session yesterday, it was clear that the rumor of a two-day marathon leading to an early recess was just high hopes. The Assembly celebrated the Fourth of July through a bipartisan reading of the Declaration of Independence and the signing of God Bless America. In the Senate, Ted Gaines donned a cowboy hat to celebrate the Day of the Cowboy. The Assembly--which last week voted to curtail welfare benefits, child care, and Cal Grants--adopted a resolution 72-1 to urge the United States Postal Service to scrap its plan to reduce delivery days.
The session highlight was partisan votes on the mortgate overhaul conference report.
PENSIONS: Negotiations continue between the legislative leaders and the governor on the pension overhaul conference report. A couple of details emerged yesterday on the hybrid plan that conflicted with what I heard Friday. Capitol Public Radio's Ben Adler reports that for new employees:
Adler quotes conference committee co-chair Gloria Negrete McLeod: "We agreed with the governor on 7 points - no problem there - and then we went far beyond what the governor had asked on some other things. I think this will clear up pensions as a whole."
While the age changes seem huge for non-public safety employees, it is likely that the defined formula would change to 2.7%, a hike from 2.4% for many employees. If this is true, the new system would actually make it more likely that a new employee could reach 100% of their compensation, but would have to work much longer to do so.
The Nooner has lots of local government readers, many of whom were asking which would apply to them and which would not. Because the conference report does not have the votes to be a constitutional amendment, much of it could only apply to employees under state-governed systems (CalPERS and CalSTRS). However, some provisions (e.g. forfeiture for a felony), could be placed in statute and be binding on all retirement plans and for current and new employees.
And, again, most provisions will only apply to new employees.
Following work on a handful of bills, both houses announced session for Thursday.
BIRTHDAYS: Senator Rod Wright, Assemblymember Rich Gordon, former Assemblymember Lloyd Levine [new feature - send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org - not limited to electeds, but without your help, it'll just be my Facebook friends]
OFF MESSAGE: State Controller John Chiang is appealing the decision that he has the authority to withhold lawmakers paychecks for budgets he deems unbalanced, a news story that's not exactly going to inspire more support for the tax measure.
LEAVE FORMALLY KNOWN AS FURLOUGHS: The membership of SEIU Local 1000, the state's largest bargaining unit, has voted to accept 12 days of unpaid leave and a 5% pay cut. The sweetener is that, like other bargaining units, they get to bank the days, which could increase pension benefits by allowing employees to use these days instead of vacation days.
SIGNS OF LIFE: Leland Yee amended his SB 9 yesterday, which would allow for resentencing for youths sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Yee may have new confidence that he can get four of the fifteen Assembly Democrats that didn't vote yes last September to reverse following the Supreme Court's ruling in Miller v. Alabama. The 5-4 ruling held that mandatory life without the possibility of parole for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment.
MY THREE DADS: SB 1476 (Leno) would allow a child to have more than two parents.
ANOTHER: Mammoth Lakes joins Stockton in Chapter 9 bankruptcy, following a $43 million breach of contract judgment in favor of a developer.
VILLARAIGOSAPARKER: Antonio Villaraigosa and Lu Parker are no more.
THE PHANTOM: Bill Wong has is video camera out again
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Senate Committee Votes To Shift California Water Bond To 2014
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
Legislation that would shift an $11 billion water bond from the November ballot to 2014 cleared the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee Monday on a bipartisan, 5-0 vote.
Controller Appeals Ruling Over Lawmakers' Pay
The state controller announced Monday that he is appealing a judge's decision that prevents him from blocking lawmakers' pay if they fail to pass a balanced budget on time.
SEIU Local 1000 Counting Ratification Votes, Announcement Expected Today
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
SEIU Local 1000 spokesman Jim O'Donnell said this morning that the local is tallying the vote on its side-letter furlough agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown and will announce the results "later today."
Super PAC, Union Reserve Sacramento Ad Time
By Josh Richman Monday, July 2nd, 2012 at 5:09 pm in 2012 Congressional Election, campaign finance, Dan Lungren, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, U.S. House.
Transportation Conflict Resurfaces For Gov. Jerry Brown
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Assembly Bill 1458 is a blast from Gov. Jerry Brown's political past. The measure by Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, would undo a provision of the "governmental reorganization plan" that Brown has submitted to the Legislature. It deals with the California Transportation Commission, which controls billions of dollars in transportation construction.
SEIU Local 1000 members vote to accept furloughs
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
SEIU Local 1000 has announced that 65.76 percent of its members have approved a furlough agreement reached with Gov. Jerry Brown last month that assigns them them 12 unpaid days off over the fiscal year that started on Sunday.
The Caucus: TimesCast Politics: Romney and Health Care
THE NEW YORK TIMES @ nytimes.com
Michael D. Shear discusses the Romney campaign's mixed response to the health care ruling, Jeff Zeleny looks at Rob Portman's potential as a leading vice-presidential candidate, and Ashley Parker reports as Romney takes a few days of vacation.
Chiang says he'll appeal ruling on lawmakers' pay
State Controller John Chiang will appeal a judge's ruling that he does not have authority to withhold lawmakers' pay in cases in which the Legislature passes a budget that Chiang finds is unbalanced.
The Fallout From Health Care Reform — In Three Charts
Chris Cillizza @ washingtonpost.com
The Supreme Court's ruling in support of President Obama's health care law isnât even a week old yet but we are already seeing some fascinating numbers about how the ruling changed -- or didnât change -- how people feel about the Affordable Care Act.
Romney Campaign at Odds With G.O.P. on Health Care âTaxâ
s health care mandate would be a penalty, not a tax.
California controller appeals ruling on lawmakers' pay
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
John Chiang last year docked wages of lawmakers who he said didn't pass a balanced budget. A judge found that the Legislature had met its obligations for being paid.
UC Settles Suit By Arrested Photographer
Local @ mercurynews.com
The University of California has settled a lawsuit filed by a photographer who was arrested and whose camera was confiscated as he photographed a 2009 UC Berkeley protest.
Largest state workers union ratifies furlough deal
The Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
California's largest state workers union has ratified a furlough agreement to reduce employees' pay by roughly 5 percent for a year.
Medical Providers - Providence And Facey - Align To Prepare For Obama Plan
Gregory J. Wilcox @ dailynews.com
Two San Fernando Valley area medical providers said Monday that they have formed an affiliation to better deal with the national health care law declared constitutional last week by a divided U.S. Supreme Court.
Factions Gear Up For War Over Darrell Steinberg's Lawsuit Bill
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
The contents of Senate Bill 1528 are scant but lobbyists for personal injury attorneys and business and insurance industry groups assume that the final language will spark political war and the contending factions are arming for battle over its high financial stakes.
The Caucus: Polls: Public Division Remains Over Health Care Law
ALLISON KOPICKI @ nytimes.com
Despite the Supreme Court's decision last week to uphold much of the law, Americans still remain fairly split on the legislation.
Most Contra Costa Cities Again See Dips In Assessed Property Tax Values
Contra Costa property values set for the purposes of collecting taxes are up slightly countywide but dip in the majority of cities. Contra Costa Assessor attributes most of the overall bump to the Chevron refinerys failed property tax appeal.
Dan Walters: Transportation conflict resurfaces for Gov. Jerry Brown
Assembly Bill 1458 is a blast from Gov. Jerry Brown's political past.