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THE NOONER for July 10, 2012

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After Sacramento Superior Court judge Michael Kenny rejected the arguments by attorneys for Molly Munger that counties gave preferential treatment in signature verification, Secretary of State Debra Bowen assigned numbers to November state ballot measures:

  • Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
  • Proposition 31: State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
  • Proposition 32: Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 33: Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.

Brown applauded the move, stating that his tax measure "deserves the dignity" of being the first measure voters consider.

Yesterday's argument focused on the county's signature verification procedures and not the alternative argument made in Munger's briefs that AB 1499 was not a valid budget trailer bill under Proposition 25. While Munger is not appealing, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is, with the goal of curtailing the Legislature's use of trailer bills.

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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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FIELD POLL:

Do you think that the pension benefits that most state and local government workers in California currently receive at retirement are too generous, about right, or not generous enough?

  • Too generous: 37% (-4% since November 2011)
  • About right:36% (+1%)
  • Not generous enough: 17% (+3%)
  • No opinion: 10%

The poll finds that 17% of likely voters are more likely to support the tax measure if pension reform is tackled, while 20% say they are less likely to support the tax measure. 

David Crane writes in Bloomberg that the real issue is retiree health benefits.

SPLIT COUNTRY: WAPO/ABC NEWS POLL:

  • Barack Obama: 47% (definitely: 81%)
  • Mitt Romney: 47% (definitley 77%)

Obama approve/disapprove: 47-49%

  • ... on the economy: 44-54%
  • ... on health care: 41-52%
  • ... on immigration issues: 38-52% 

Country right direction/wrong track: 33-63%

Who would do a better job? (Obama-Romney)

  • Handling the economy 45-48%
  • Handling health care policy: 48-44%
  • Handling immigration issues: 46-43%
  • Dealing with the federal budget deficit: 43-51%
  • Handling taxes: 46-46%
  • Making appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court: 48-40%

The beer question (who is more likeable and friendly?):

  • Obama: 63%, Romney 26%

TIME: Obama's California Bullet Train Still on Track - "Last week’s most important story was not the jobs numbers or the heat, but the California legislature’s close partisan vote to go ahead with its controversial high-speed rail line, a $68 billion bullet train designed to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours."

IT'S RAINING MEN: Baltimore Sun has Nancy Pelosi dancing at Barney Frank's wedding.

CD26: Julia Brownley announces raising $637,038 in second quarter and $320,000 cash on hand.

"FOOL'S ERRAND": West Sac mayor Christopher Cabaldon isn't too happy with the voice mail he received from Sac mayor Kevin Johnson on Sunday, informing the traveling Cabaldon that Sacramento was going after a major league baseball team for a stadium to be built in the railyards. The move could force the RiverCats to leave town, sticking taxpayers with an empty, debt-financed stadium.

IT COULD BE WORSE: Move over Stockton. The worst place to work in Scranton, PA may not be Dunder Mifflin, but rather the city itself. The mayor has defied a county judge and cut pay for all city employees to the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour and the city has only $5,000 on hand.

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Judge Rules Against Brown Tax Rival On Ballot Numbering
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
A Sacramento judge ruled this morning that election officials appropriately verified signatures for the November ballot, a decision that should allow Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative to take the top spot unless opponents file another challenge today.

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill Removing Water Bond From November Ballot
Patrick McGreevy @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown removes water bond from ballot

Billionaire Thomas Siebel Drops $500k Into Anti-union Initiative
Joe Garofoli @
blog.sfgate.com
Since the presidential candidates aren't mingling with Californians who don't write them big checks -- and we all know why - one of the most interesting races on the November ballot is a measure that would prohibit payroll deductions to be used for political contributions. The measure cut to the heart of union political power -- and unions are girding for a battle royale on this one.

Gov. Jerry Brown's Tax Initiative Tops List Of Ballot Measures
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Let the campaigning begin. Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Monday assigned numbers to the 11 propositions that will appear on the November ballot, hours after a Sacramento Superior Court judge lifted a restraining order that had prevented her from...

Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative tops full ballot
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise taxes has received top billing on the November ballot after a judge rejected a challenge from a competing measure.

Jerry Brown Calls Ballot Suit 'old-style Politics'
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed Molly Munger's failed lawsuit as "frivolous" on Monday and pressed forward with his own campaign for higher taxes, which will likely receive top billing on the November ballot thanks to a legislative change made during the...

Jerry Brown says California public pension reform won't be on November ballot
Jon Ortiz @
blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has backed away from his earlier call for legislators to put a pension-change measure on the November ballot, although the administration is continuing to push for statutorial changes.

The Buzz: Health care debate fuels ads, robocalls in CD 7
sacbee.com
An upcoming vote to repeal the federal health care law is fueling a new round of political ads in a heated Sacramento County congressional race.

Brown's Tax Measure Can Be First On Ballot, Judge Rules
Anthony York @
latimes.com
A judge rejects Molly Munger's contention that officials broke the law when they made the governor's proposal the first among 11 ballot measures in November.

Judge clears Calif. governor's tax for top billing
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
A judge is allowing Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative to get top billing on the November ballot.

Children's Advocates Divided On Healthy Families Transition
Emily Bazar @
blogs.kqed.org
As the Legislature debated — and ultimately approved –- a budget-cutting plan to transfer nearly 900,000 California children on the Healthy Families program into Medi-Cal next year, dozens of groups joined in opposition.

Feinstein Challenger Emken Wants To Debate
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Republican Elizabeth Emken has challenged Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to a series of debates. Emken is short on campaign money and name recognition and her campaign said it is counting on news stories to help her become better known to voters.

In Framing Touchy Election Issues, Party Leaders Take Risks
nytimes.com
President Obama and top Republicans made politically charged proposals on Monday on tax cuts and health care, but each risked opening fissures in their own ranks.

Community College Board Approves Class 'Rationing' Changes
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
Students and local residents will no longer be able to repeat recreational courses at California Community Colleges in fall 2013 under a final change passed today by the system's Board of Governors.

University of California Students Reflect on Proposed Smoking Bans
Uzra Khan @
sacbee.com
It's hard to find people smoking on the UC Davis campus these days. On a recent visit during summer recess, nobody was smoking in the quads or social areas.

Nehring to guide campaign against Feinstein
utsandiego.com
Ron Nehring, former chairman of the California and San Diego Republican parties, will serve as senior strategist to Republican Elizabeth Emken in her bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Texas rejects two pillars of new federal healthcare overhaul
Michael Muskal @
latimes.com
joining the chorus of states that are rejecting two key proposals of the Obama administration’s healthcare overhaul measure.

State Legislative Campaigns Least Competitive In Nation, Study Says
Will Evans @
baycitizen.org
Legislative races in California have been the most expensive and among the least competitive - in terms of fundraising - in the country, according to a new report.

California's Bullet Train Won Approval -- Now What?
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
OK, so the state Senate, by the narrowest of margins, has approved spending for an initial, 130-mile segment of the bullet train that Gov. Jerry Brown so earnestly wants to build. Where do we buy tickets?

'thank God' For High-speed Rail Funding, Gov. Jerry Brown Says
latimesblogs.latimes.com
"It's a jobs creator, and thank God we got it," Gov. Jerry Brown said of funding for high speed rail, narrowly approved by the Legislature last week. He and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were at the Port of Oakland...

AM Alert: Do California voters still want pension changes?
Amy Chance @
blogs.sacbee.com
Jon Ortiz reports today that California voters are a little less likely than a year ago to think state and local government pensions are too generous, according to a new Field Poll. But a strong majority still wants to see some specific benefit reforms.

Viewpoints: High-speed rail plan lacks common sense
sacbee.com
High-speed rail's biggest problem isn't high-speed rail but the people behind it, from backers in Washington to legislators in Sacramento who approved funding, capped by some rather artless fist-pumping from Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who seemed less interested in a better plan than in securing votes needed to pass a bad one.