Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for August 16, 2012

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Today, the Appropriations Committees in both houses will play executioner and decide which bills get a chance at passage. Technically, the Suspense File process is a way to manage the aggregate cost of bills approved by the Legislature, but it's also a way for members to kill a bill without, well, voting to kill it. The committees will hear hundreds of bills, but their fate has already been decided behind closed doors.

Leland Yee's office got ahead of the committee and yesterday announced that his assault weapons bill SB 249, the most followed bill on Around The Capitol, was being held in Approps.


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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CA BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE/PEPPERDINE POLL [n=877 likely, 8/12/12-8/15/2012,  +/- 3.4%]

Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Yes: 56.7%
No: 37.3%

Proposition 31: State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Yes: 38.3%
No: 32.9%

Proposition 32:
Yes: 55.2%
No: 33.6% 

Proposition 33: Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 56.6% 
No:  29.2%

Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 38.3%
No: 52.2%

Proposition 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 86.8%

Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 78.1%
No:  13.3%

Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 65.0%
No:  21.8%

Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 45.3%
No:  41.9%

Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 57.2%
No:  26.6%

Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
Yes: 44.5%
No:  18.9%

LAUNCH: Jerry Brown kicked off the campaign for Prop. 30 yesterday, and insisted it wasn't about him. [John Myers @ News10]

SACBEE EDIT: What price will Pérez pay for his pet causes?

$$$: AFSCME added $1 million to the No on 32 pot, while the Electrical Workers kicked in $300,000 to the Yes on Prop 30 effort. Meanwhile, B. Wayne Hughes, the founder of Public Storage, anted up $100,000 to the Yes on 32 campaign.

COURTROOM: The latest on Assemblymember Roger Hernandez's DUI trial. And, yes, this is why you don't want to take a case to trial. [Malaika Fraley @ Contra Costa Times]

EQUAL TIME: Boehner Should Follow the Nestande Precedent

REALLY? Ugh, I think this is the coffee shop at which I studied for the bar exam. Let's just say I don't associate it with the same excitement.


Steinberg Seeks Audit Of Funds From Mental Health Initiative
Jim Sanders @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg formally requested a state audit Wednesday of billions in mental health funds raised by the Proposition 63 ballot measure he authored eight years ago.

Jerry Brown, His Dog Sutter In Tow, Kicks Off Prop. 30 Campaign
Flanked by education and labor leaders, dozens of schoolchildren and his dog, Sutter, Gov. Jerry Brown formally kicked off his campaign Wednesday for Proposition 30, the measure on the November ballot that would raise taxes on state sales and incomes...

Brown Moves Tax Campaign To The Classroom, Downplays Parks Scandal
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown pitches his Proposition 30 tax increases Wednesday at New Technology High School in Sacramento. He emphasized the roughly $5.4 billion midyear cut to the state's schools and colleges if his ballot measure is defeated Nov. 6.

Assembly Speaker Vows Action On Public Pensions, 'Regulatory Reform'
Michael J. Mishak @
Assembly Speaker John A. Perez said the Legislature would end its session by passing measures to overhaul the public pension system and enact "regulatory reforms" to make California more attractive to businesses.

David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown, beginning to campaign in earnest for his November ballot initiative to raise taxes, appeared this morning outside a Sacramento school in a push to frame the measure as a choice between higher taxes and schools.

Steinberg seeks audit of mental health programs
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg formally requested a state audit Wednesday of billions in mental health funds raised by the Proposition 63 ballot measure he authored eight years ago.

Brown warns of deep school cuts if tax-hike fails
JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press @
Gov. Jerry Brown is kicking off his campaign for tax increases at a Sacramento high school, saying Proposition 30 is the only way to avoid billions of dollars in cuts to schools and higher education.

Money Pours In To Defeat Food Labeling Ballot Measure
Laurel Rosenhall @
An initiative on the November ballot that would change the way packaged foods are labeled is shaping up like a battle between a tiny health food store and a big box grocery.

Gov. Jerry Brown formally kicks off Prop. 30 tax hike campaign
Anthony York @
Money raised by the measure through higher sales taxes and a surcharge levy on highest earners would be used to mostly prevent cuts in schools.

Nurses' Union: Legislature Should Set Charity Care Level For Nonprofit Hospitals
Local @
A nurses' union urged state lawmakers Wednesday to set a minimum level of charity care for all nonprofit hospitals in exchange for their lucrative, tax-exempt status.

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Gets Approval From State Judge
Robert Barnes @
A Pennsylvania judge Wednesday allowed a Republican-backed law requiring voters to show IDs to go into effect starting this Election Day, a setback for Democrats and civil rights groups who contend that such laws could deny many Americans the right to vote.

Brown kicks off campaign for tax hikes
Steven Harmon @
Governor calls Proposition 30 a simple choice for voters: ask the 'most blessed' to give back a little or watch three weeks disappear from the school year.

Ryan's 'Roadmap' Would Have Slashed Romney's Tax Bill
Dave Umhoefer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel @
The sweeping fiscal plan proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in 2010 would have driven GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's effective tax rate down to 1 percent or 2 percent on the $21.6 million income Romney and his wife, Ann, reported that year.

California Has Below-average Rate Of Obesity
Dan Walters @
California may have high taxes and high unemployment, but its residents have one of the nation's lower rates of obesity, according to a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Richard Riordan, L.A. Business Leaders Threaten To Put Pension Reform On The Ballot
Rick Orlov @
Warning that Los Angeles could face bankruptcy like other cities, former Mayor Richard Riordan and local business leaders told city officials Wednesday they are prepared to ask voters to reform the public pension system if the City Council fails to act.

Senate Leader Seeks Mental Health Spending Audit
HANNAH DREIER, Associated Press @
State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg on Wednesday asked for a detailed audit of how counties have spent mental health funding from a 2004 ballot initiative that he co-authored.

Assembly To Decide Future Of School Seismic Safety Bill
Corey G. Johnson @
A state Assembly committee will decide today the fate of legislation seeking to improve the seismic safety of public schools.

Pennsylvania voters must show photo ID at polls, judge rules
David G. Savage @
A state judge has refused to block a new Pennsylvania law that requires voters to display a current government-issued photo identification at the polls, upholding a Republican-backed law that Democrats say may prevent tens of thousands of low-income and elderly voters from casting ballots.

Federal Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Over Spying On O.C. Muslims
Victoria Kim @
The judge says that allowing the suit to go forward would risk divulging sensitive state secrets. Several groups had sued over the activities of an FBI informant.

Sacramento Home Prices Climb At Faster Pace In July, Dataquick Says
Hudson Sangree @
After bottoming out earlier this year, Sacramento home prices rose at a faster clip in July, with rental investors and move-up buyers driving the gains, real estate information service DataQuick reported Wednesday.

Romney says he's paid taxes ever year
AP Member Choice Complete @
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday that he has never paid less than 13 percent of his income in taxes during the past decade.

First Lawsuit Filed For Chevron Fire - Sfgate
First lawsuit filed for Chevron fire Attorneys filed the first lawsuit Wednesday against Chevron in connection to last week's toxic refinery fire and called for an independent monitor to oversee future safety inspections at the Richmond plant. Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris and two colleagues filed the suit in Contra Costa Superior Court on behalf of eight residents who live near the plant and suffered health problems they attributed to the Aug. 6 blaze. The suit seeks unspecified damages and accuses the corporation of gross negligence for ignoring what the attorneys described as a troublesome safety record at the Crude Unit No. 4, where investigators said it appears a 40-year-old pipe failed and was the possible source of the fire. Burris, who won a federal lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department nine years ago that required a monitor to oversee reforms within the agency, said an independent observer would do the job government regulators haven't.

Money pours in to defeat CA food-labeling ballot measure
Laurel Rosenhall @
An initiative on the November ballot that would change the way packaged foods are labeled is shaping up like a battle between a tiny health food store and a big box grocery.

Sherman And Berman Square Off In First Debate Since Primary - La Daily News
Congressional candidates Rep. Howard Berman and Rep. Brad Sherman squared off Wednesday night in Sherman Oaks in their first debate since the June primary, using the hourlong match-up to repeatedly attack one another's records.