Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for August 30, 2012

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There are only 36 hours left in the 2011-12 legislative session, aka the Tim Donnelly talk-a-thon. 

The bill to make "DREAM Act" eligible immigrants eligible for driver's licenses passed the Senate and returns to the Assembly for concurrence. Two Republicans (Blakeslee and Harman) joined 23 Democrats in support. 

AB 1527 (Portantino), the controversial bill to limit the public display of rifles, made it through concurrence after a long debate and is on its way to the governor. And, a similarly controversial bill, SB 1476 (Leno) allowing courts to determine that a child has more than two parents, is now on Brown's desk.

AB 2346 (Butler) also was sent to the governor. The bill creates new standards for protecting farmworks from heat-related illness. The bill barely passed with 42 votes and the intense fight between labor and ag now moves to the horseshoe.

As labor poo-poos the pension deal and the media generally says it doesn't do enough, the vote tomorrow will be very interesting. This will be perhaps the biggest test that we'll ever see of the leadership of Jerry Brown, Darrell Steinberg and John Perez. The LAT's Evan Halper and Anthony York cover the story.




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  • Ami Bera: 47%
  • Dan Lungren: 47%
  • Other: 6%

[Garin-Hart-Yang for House Majority PAC (D); n=401; +/- 5%; August 21-23, 2012]

BOOBIE TRAP: Mark Leno gets $7,800 from nudie bars.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I think even Stevie Wonder can see the importance of this bill" - Assm. Mike Davis (on AB 16)

TAKE THAT DEVORE! California Is Suddenly Adding Jobs Faster Than Texas—Why? [Jordan Weissmann @ The Atlantic]

SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL: Brawley keeps the party going, and Yorba Linda joins in.

DONNELLY: ". . . when we had a Republican governor, well sort of . . . [speaking about Arnold Schwarzenegger]

In all seriousness about the Donnelly jokes here and in the Twittersphere. He takes his role seriously and isn't just phoning it in from a safe seat.


Budget Cuts Hit Community Colleges Hard
Nanette Asimov @
Nearly a half million students have been shut out of California community colleges since 2008 - a 17 percent drop in enrollment - as budget cuts have forced schools to limit the number of courses they can offer, a new survey of the campuses shows.

Gov. Jerry Brown's Plan To Stem Pension Costs Is No Panacea
Evan Halper and Anthony York @
Governor's blueprint would save billions, but experts say taxpayers will still face a huge burden. Cutting current employees' benefits is called key by analysts.

Assembly Kills Bill To Stiffen Requirements For Ballot Initiatives
Jim Sanders @
The California Assembly rejected legislation Wednesday to place before voters a proposal to stiffen requirements for qualifying and approving citizen-led initiative drives that would alter the state constitution.

CalPERS Board Set To Discuss Jerry Brown's Pension Plan Today
The nation's largest public pension system will meet Wednesday to discuss the proposed pension changes for state workers unveiled by Gov. Jerry Brown, but is not expected to have a full financial breakdown of the plan. The board of the...

Pension Reform Savings: $40 Billion To $60 Billion
Ed Mendel @
A pension reform plan worked out by Gov. Brown and Democratic legislators could save state and local government employers $40 billion to $60 billion over the next 30 years.

CalPERS says California public pension savings could reach $60 billion
Jon Ortiz @
California state and local governments stand to save between $40 billion and $60 billion over 30 years, according to a hasty fiscal analysis of a pension reform measure set for a vote later this week, according to CalPERS.

Codepink Grabs Republicans' Attention - Sfgate
Medea Benjamin was in her element, striding confidently into a swank reception at the Cuban Club that Chevron and big insurance firms hosted at the Republican National Convention this week - and being recognized at the door as a celebrity. Benjamin, who has shouted slogans, disrupted events and created mischief for leaders including President George W. Bush, his Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and his Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was tossed from the club, but shrugged it off with humor. Benjamin and her fellow Codepink activists have given Republicans and Democrats headaches over the years, with messages against war and money in politics, and over reproductive rights that liberals have dubbed a Republican "war on women." Both parties, she said, are awash in corporate dollars and pursuing costly wars abroad, while ignoring issues such as health care, education and human rights.

Pension changes would cover less than half of liability, CalPERS estimates
A public pension reform proposal favored by Gov. Jerry Brown would save struggling state and local governments between $40 billion and $60 billion over 30 years, according to a hasty analysis by CalPERS.

California Community College Enrollment 17 Percent Below Peak
Kevin Yamamura @
Enrollment at California Community Colleges has dropped 17 percent below its 2008-09 peak, system officials said today, blaming the decline on post-recession state budget cuts.

Gov. Brown's proposed tax increase? Yes, it's about pensions too
George Skelton @
Despite his earlier rhetoric, the governor gets that Proposition 30 is not just about paying higher taxes; it's about pensions, parks and perceptions.

Bill Allowing Children More Than Two Parents Heads To Jerry Brown
Laurel Rosenhall @
California children could legally have more than two parents under legislation state lawmakers are sending to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Battle Under Way Over California Teacher Evaluations
Jim Sanders @
Months after a Los Angeles judge ruled that California's largest school district was violating state law by failing to use student test scores in evaluating teachers, lawmakers are scrambling to rewrite the rules.

Bill To Extend 'open Carry' Law To Unloaded Rifles Sent To Brown
Jim Sanders @
Open display of unloaded rifles in public would be banned in California under legislation sent to Gov. Jerry Brown today.

California Lawmakers Want Better Accounting For Special Funds
California lawmakers gave their final stamp of approval to legislation beefing up accounting practices in hopes of avoiding the kind of scandal that engulfed the parks department this year. The Assembly passed the bill 49 to 23 on Wednesday, sending...

Late-session Bill Seeks To Help Villaraigosa Fulfill Officer Pledge
David Siders @
If there is one criticism that especially bothers Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, it is that he has fallen short on certain promises, including an effort to expand his city's police department to 10,000 officers.

Actor Danny Glover Comes Out In Support Of Richmond Soda Tax Ballot Measure
Robert Rogers @
Actor and social justice advocate Danny Glover has come out in favor of Richmonds controversial local ballot measure to tax sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a news release issued early Wednesday by tax supporters.

California Feeds Super Pacs Of Both Political Persuasions
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California might be solid blue in presidential elections, and some prominent Republicans love to roast the Golden State, but when ...

California Pension Reform Incites Scrutiny
Steven Harmon, John Woolfolk and Thomas Peele @
Some of the big-ticket features of the pension reform unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown may not live up to their billing -- at least not for a long time.

CalPERS Hails Jerry Brown's "Sweeping Changes" To Public Pensions
Anthony York @
The governing board of the nation's largest public pension system gave positive early reviews to Gov. Jerry Brown's pension deal Wednesday, but said more work needed to be done before they could say how much money the plan would save....