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THE NOONER for August 9, 2012

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As the legislative session winds down, Speaker John Perez yesterday announced leadership changes for the next year:

Leadership Changes
effective September 1
Position Current New
Speaker pro Tempore Fiona Ma Nora Campos
Asst. Speaker pro Tempore Mike Gatto Fiona Ma
Majority Floor Leader Charles Calderon Toni Atkins
Majority Whip Toni Atkins Roger Hernandez
Asst. Majority Whip Roger Hernandez Charles Calderon


Committee Chair Changes
effective August 10
Position Current New
Accountability and Administrative Review Roger Dickinson Marty Block
Appropriations Felipe Fuentes Mike Gatto
Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Nora Campos  Mike Davis
Banking and Finance Mike Eng  Roger Dickinson
Budget Sub 3 (Resources/Transportation) Rich Gordon Jared Huffman
Budget Sub 4 (State Administration) Joan Buchanan Bill Monning
Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Mary Hayashi Rich Gordon
Education Julia Brownley  Joan Buchanan
Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Bob Wieckowski Luis Alejo
Higher Education Marty Block Das Williams
Housing and Community Development Norma Torres Tony Mendoza
Insurance Jose Solorio Henry Perea
Judiciary Mike Feuer Bob Wieckowski
Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Warren Furutani Michael Allen
Revenue and Taxation Henry Perea Felipe Fuentes
Water, Parks and Wildlife Jared Huffman Bob Hueso

Considering termed-out members or those running for another office, yesterday's actions leave the following committees for new chairs when the new Legislature resumes in December:

  • Accountability and Administrative Review
  • Agriculture
  • Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media
  • Budget Sub 3
  • Budget Sub 4
  • Budget Sub 5
  • Health
  • Housing and Community Development
  • Human Services
  • Labor and Employment
  • Local Government
  • Revenue and Taxation
  • Transportation


Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 22nd Annual Northern California Public Retirement Seminar.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; CalPERS Auditorium

Registration Fee: $190

Register online or contact us directly


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Grab bag:


Forestry Bill With Lumber Tax Emerges In California Legislature
Kevin Yamamura @
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to impose a 1 percent lumber tax and limit wildfire liability awards formally surfaced in the Legislature this week amid heavy lobbying from the timber industry.

Critics Blast State Retirement For Private Workers
Judy Lin @
Opponents of a bill that would create the nation's first state-run retirement program for private-sector workers testified Wednesday that California taxpayers cannot afford to take on the potential for billions of dollars in new liabilities at a time when the state's public pension systems already are facing massive shortfalls.

Prop. 30 Opponents Raise Money, Release Online-only Anti-tax Ad
David Siders @
The campaign against Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot initiative to raise taxes released an online-only ad today criticizing Brown and the Legislature for their approval of California's high-speed rail project and for the recent state parks scandal, suggesting the state does not take care of the money it has.

Rep. Pete Stark Accused Of New Tirade
Carla Marinucci @
In a bizarre episode raising new questions about the behavior of California's senior member of Congress, a former Assembly leader says Rep. Pete Stark erupted in an angry tirade - questioning his sanity, threatening his livelihood and even vowing to call social workers to check on his children - after he informed Stark he was endorsing his opponent in the November election.

Lawmakers Propose Tax Breaks For California's Olympic Medalists
State lawmakers propose tax breaks for California Olympians

California Senate Blocks Broadcast Of Ballot Measure Hearing
Dan Walters @
When Sen. Lois Wolk opened a hearing of her Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday to consider four major ballot measures dealing with taxes and the state budget, she said she hoped the testimony and the factual data would help voters make rational decisions.

Lawmakers seek audit of mental health initiative
HANNAH DREIER, Associated Press @
Two lawmakers have requested a detailed audit of whether the state has spent mental health funding from a 2004 ballot initiative the way voters intended.

CalPERS Seeks Discounts From Vendors 'During These Challenging Economic Times'
Dale Kasler @
CalPERS is asking its vendors to give the big pension fund a discount to cope with budget cuts.

Anaheim City Council Rejects Voting Districts Proposal
Rick Rojas and Nicole Santa Cruz @
Ballot proposal aimed at helping to increase Latino representation on the City Council is killed on 3-2 vote, angering many in the crowded meeting.

Democrats Line Up To Support Tougher California Assault Weapons Law - Courts/legal News - The Sacramento Bee
In the wake of mass murders in Colorado and Wisconsin, a California lawmaker is pushing to close a "loophole" allowing owners of military-style guns to sidestep the state's assault weapons ban.

Tommy Thompson holding narrow lead in Wisc. GOP Senate primary
Bob Secter, Chicago Tribune @
Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and U.S. health secretary, holds a narrowing lead in bitter the Dairy State Republican U.S. Senate primary with less than a week to go before the Aug. 14 vote, according to a new poll from the Marquette University Law School.

California Lawmakers Authorizing State Audit Of Parks Department
Kevin Yamamura @
A joint legislative panel showed unanimous support Wednesday for an independent audit of California's state parks department after revelations that officials there hid nearly $54 million and approved unauthorized vacation buyouts.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants To Teach College Students Post-partisanship - Education - Good
Liz Dwyer @

California lawmakers look to scrap state tax on Olympic medals
Torey Van Oot @
A group of state legislators is looking to prevent that situation from happening in California with new legislation to exempt Golden State Olympians from paying state taxes on their medals and prize money.

Ad about woman's death causes campaign furor
DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent @
Mitt Romney's campaign fiercely protested a searing attack ad aired by allies of President Barack Obama on Wednesday, but drew expressions of dismay from conservatives when an aide to the former Massachusetts governor invoked the benefits of a state health care system he signed into law.

Women, White People: Is That What Campaign 2012 Is Coming Down To?
David Lauter, Washington Bureau @
President Obama appeals to women by pushing the issue of contraceptive access, while Mitt Romney accuses him of watering down welfare reform.

Cougar Hunter Dan Richards Is Out As Fish And Game Commission President After Vote | Kqed News Fix
The California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously for Jim Kellogg as president, thus ousting previous commission head and controversial cougar-hunter Dan Richards. Richards was gracious after the vote, expressing his appreciation to the commission and immediately turning over his gavel. Richards had said previously that if he was removed as president, he'd stay on the commission until his term ends in January. At that point it would be up to Jerry Brown to reappoint him, which Richards himself said is unlikely.

Dan Walters Daily: Senate hearing 'like a tree fell in the forest'
Micaela Massimino @
Dan Walters says that the California Senate's last-minute decision Wednesday not to let the California Channel broadcast a hearing on four November ballot measures meant that few people had a chance to hear proponents' and opponents' arguments.

Valley Republican Club Won't Give Nod To Either Berman Or Sherman
Jean Merl @
The San Fernando Valley Republican Club decided not to endorse either Brad Sherman or Howard Berman, both Democrats. The state's new "top two" elections system left Republicans in the 30th Congressional District without a candidate of their own party to vote for in November.

Morantes won't seek re-election to San Mateo County Board of Education, opening seat to a newcomer
Bonnie Eslinger @
The seven-member San Mateo County Board of Education will get at least one new voice after Nov. 6 because Memo Morantes won't seek re-election to his Area 7 seat.

Soda Industry Outspends Beverage Tax Supporters 10-1 In Richmond
RICHMOND – Groups aligned with the soda industry already have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars as Richmond prepares to vote on raising taxes on sweetened drinks an extra penny an ounce. Since the spring, tax opponents have outspent supporters almost 10 to 1, new financial records show.

Calif. Ranks No. 12 In Highest Sales Tax - Total Buzz - The Orange County Register : The Orange County Register
California ranks No. 12 in its sales tax rate, at 8.13 percent, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation. Tennessee tops the list at 9.43 percent, followed by Arizona at 9.12 percent. At the bottom of the list are New Hampshire, Delaware, Oregon and Montana, which do not have state sales taxes.