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THE NOONER for July 4, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR: @joseiswriting - "On our country's b-day, I celebrate my independence from the term "illegal." Undocumented American: huff.to/Ln19hb @defineamerican"

Good morning from Sandy Eggo, and HAPPY  FOURTH OF JULY!!! In America's Finest City, today is also known as "wear your ugliest shirt day." Seriously, in what proves to be a particularly contentious political year, let's embrace the freedoms that allow for us to engage in our passion for hardball political and policy debates.

CELEBRATE: For my friends on the left. For my friends on the right.

In more proof that Europe hates America, they stepped all over our red, white, and blue with news that they have discovered the GOD PARTICLE. They'll probably also steal our teevees today with Frenchie cyclists and silly tennis on grass. Andy Borowitz has the exclusive interview with the boson

Oh, indeed, there is serious gnus. It now looks like there won't be a pension deal this week, as the governor and Democrats are still too far apart. Actually, Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says that he's not exactly sure where the governor is. Yamamura quotes Steinberg: "Even if he wanted us to take up his hybrid concept today, we couldn't because the proposal has not yet been developed."

The disagreement is over the retirement age and hybrid limits for new employees. While Democrats offered age 67 for non-public safety employees, the proposal also included an increased formula factor (2.7% compared to the current 2.4%).

Could there also be some political thought that waiting until the end of August when more voters are paying attention might help the tax measure? Let's face it, nobody is paying attention right now. This is the time to bury news, not make it.

Speaking of the tax measure, Field Poll is out with a new survey today, for which Matt Rexroad tweets high value political insight: "So voters don't like tax increases or budget cuts. Shocker."

  • Jerry Brown job performance (approve/disapprove/DK): 44%-42-14 (+1% since May)
  • Legislature job performance (approve/disapprove/DK): 23%-64-13 (+4% since May)
  • Dem legislators (approve/disapprove/DK): 36%-49-15 (+5% since September)
  • Dem legislators (approve/disapprove/DK): 20%-62-18 (-2% since September)
  • California (right track/wrong track): 26%-64-10 (-4% since February)

The poll's finding that 72% of voters disapprove the trigger cuts brings up the interesting issue of what happens if the tax measure fails. I have long cautioned my community college folks and other higher education advocates that there is a huge vulnerability if the tax measure is not approved. There will be immense bipartisan pressure to undo the trigger cuts to K-12 as the prospects of shortened school years materialize, and the cuts will be shifted to non-K12 programs. While a certain amount of rollover deficit to 2013-14 is possible, the state is likely to have a major cash problem if the tax measure fails.

As I've repeatedly said, whether you love or hate your kids, you don't want the school year to be shortened. If you love them, you want them in school learning. If you hate them, you want them out of the houses and babysat for free at school.

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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.

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WATER BOND: The bill to move the water bond is AB 1503 (Perea). The bill is currently an urgency bill, requiring two-thirds vote. However, it was listed in the budget bill as a trailer bill and includes a needless $1,000 appropriation to the Secretary of State in case Republicans aren't on the party train. 

DANCING QUEEN: Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez does the desk boogie woogie.

MUST READ: Sherry Bebitch Jeffe draws a parallel between Molly Munger and famed lobbyist Artie Samish.

WHO KILLED VOTER TURNOUT? Joe Mathews puts on his detective hat and quotes a very questionable source.

CLUE: The latest parlor game in powerless Washington is who snitched on the flip Chief Justice John Roberts on health care. CBS reports two sources, and CW is that clerks would throw away their promising careers by leaking, and thus it is likely the conservative dissenting justices themselves.

PERV WALK: Well, here's one candidate we can take off the Latino GOP bench.

ME KNOW HISTORY: Politico has the top 5 American history gaffes.

THE GLOBAL REACH OF JENNIFER FEARING AND BILL WONG: China announces that shark fin soup will no longer be on the menu of state dinners.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: I'm told that the Local 1000 furloughs agreement did not include the banking provision won by CHP and other smaller bargaining units.

Sorry for that funky code on the link to the searchable past Nooners. Let's try it again: www.aroundthecapitol.com/nooner/

Get out of here. Stop reading. Walk away from the iPhone. Really, it's okay. Go barbecue.

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Steinberg: Jerry Brown has pension concept but no proposal
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
After Gov. Jerry Brown's office described a divide in negotiations over cutting public pensions, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg suggested Tuesday that the California governor had been slow to propose bill language on a crucial piece of the package.

Government Labor Unions Give Ground In California As Budgets Are Squeezed
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
When California's largest public employee union announced Tuesday that its members accepted another year of furloughs, it was one more sign that government labor unions are moving to make concessions.

State Senate Leader Predicts Pension Reform Next Month
Patrick McGreevy @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Despite a setback on pension reform, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said Tuesday that he expected a plan to be adopted next month and that the Legislature’s proposal would save $40 billion over 30 years.

How Senate Districts Would Benefit From Ca High-speed Rail
Dan Smith @
blogs.sacbee.com
As lawmakers prepare for a contentious vote later this week over billions of dollars in funding for high speed rail, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's office distributed a chart that shows the potential benefit of the project to each member of the upper house.

Romney, In Shift, Says Health Care Mandate Is A Tax
GERRY MULLANY @
nytimes.com
Mitt Romney said on Wednesday that the individual mandate in President Obama’s health care law was “a tax,” just days after his campaign said the candidate had rejected that characterization.

California Assembly Bill To Alter Teacher Firing Process Dies
Jim Sanders @
sacbee.com
Legislation to expedite the process of firing teachers for sex, violence or drug offenses involving children was killed late Wednesday by an Assembly committee after sparking strong opposition from the state's largest teachers union.

Steinberg says Brown has pension concept but no proposal
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
After Gov. Jerry Brown's office described a divide in negotiations over cutting public pensions, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg suggested Tuesday that the California governor had been slow to propose bill language on a crucial piece of the package.

John Roberts On Health Care, Jerry Brown On NCLB: Similar Logic
Benjamin Riley @
edsource.org
Benjamin Riley is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports education entrepreneurs. Previously, Ben worked as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice, where he worked primarily on education-related matters. He currently lives in Washington, D.C. but will one day return to the Golden State.

Use Of Government Aid For Junk Food Questioned
Carolyn Lochhead @
sfgate.com
As Republicans prepare to cut billions of dollars from food stamps, a Bay Area activist has stirred a hornet's nest on the left by questioning how much the program ends up benefiting corporations that peddle soda, candy and other junk food to low-income people.

California voters don't like midyear cuts targeting education, Field Poll finds
sacbee.com
Nearly three-quarters of California voters oppose the automatic, midyear spending reductions that would balance the state budget if a November ballot initiative to raise taxes fails, according to a new Field Poll.

Pension Talks Between Jerry Brown, Legislature Fall Apart
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats in the California Legislature have failed to reach a deal on pension changes, Brown's office said today.

Redevelopment Abolished In California? Not Really
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
Redevelopment is dead in California, or so we were told last year when the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown erased more than 400 local agencies and seized assets for the state budget. The dissolution is incomplete, however, as local officials attempt to shelter assets and joust with local oversight boards and state officials over what's in and what's out.

Romney Clarifies He Believes Individual Healthcare Mandate Is A Tax
Mitchell Landsberg @
latimes.com
Contradicting one of his senior advisors, Mitt Romney said Wednesday that the individual mandate in President Obama's healthcare plan is a tax, and stands as evidence that Obama has broken a promise not to raise taxes on the middle class.

High-speed Rail Funding Poised For Approval
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Even though Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers failed this week to reach a deal on public worker pensions, the Legislature may be ready to approve billions of dollars in spending on high-speed rail and related projects.

California Legislators To Tackle Sizzling Summer Issues
Steven Harmon @
mercurynews.com
The state budget is out of the way, but the Legislature has a few sizzling items in its summer basket -- and it wont be a picnic. Legislative leaders are promising action on high-speed rail and pension reform, the two most contentious issues of the current legislative session.

Democrats don't do pension reform. Why not?
Jon Healey @
latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown made it all but official Tuesday: Democrats have blown their chance to put a pension reform measure on the ballot in November. That may somehow rank as a victory for public employee unions, but it could spell trouble for the proposed tax increase the state is counting on to avoid more layoffs and cuts in service.

Both Parties Wary of Overemphasizing Health Care Issue
nytimes.com
s health care law has thrown a wrench into campaigns for control of the House and the Senate, Republican and Democratic leaders say.

Government labor unions give ground in California as budgets are squeezed
sacbee.com
When California's largest public employee union announced Tuesday that its members accepted another year of furloughs, it was one more sign that government labor unions are moving to make concessions.

CA Wildfire Liability Bill Language Emerges From The Ashes
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
California timber companies and other major landowners would pay significantly less money when found liable for wildfire damage under draft legislation that resurfaced Monday in the Capitol.

Wealthy Political Movers: Meet The Secret Boss Of California | Nbc Southern California
Uncategorized @
nbclosangeles.com
Follow Prop Zero | California and Los Angeles Political Coverage

Dan Walters: Redevelopment abolished in California? Not really
sacbee.com
Redevelopment is dead in California, or so we were told last year when the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown erased more than 400 local agencies and seized assets for the state budget.

Governor asks for more time on CA pension reform
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
The governor asked Tuesday for more time to negotiate public pension reform with state lawmakers, saying such a complex issue can't be resolved before lawmakers begin a monthlong recess at the end of the week.

Senate Panel Supports California 'fracking' Moratorium
latimesblogs.latimes.com
A state Senate panel has approved legislation that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing in California until regulators write rules governing the controversial procedure.

Correa Looks For O.C. Investment In High-Speed Rail
Brian Joseph @
totalbuzz.ocregister.com
Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg said Tuesday afternoon that there would definitely be a high-speed rail vote on either Thursday or Friday of this week. Speaking with reporters in his Capitol office, Steinberg once again acknowledged that the vote would be tight in the Senate, with several Democrats publicly voicing their opposition to the plan along with Republicans, who are universally opposed.