Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for September 10, 2012

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Buenos dias desde Cancun. By the way, the Mayans here are laughing at the end-of-the-worlders en Estaados Unidos. Their response, "All calendars end. It's just time to get a new one...half off at Costco." Grab your paloma and recognize that we'll be here for awhile.

For my Giants fans, congratulations, and Dodgers fans (particularly Dan Weitzman), there's always October (if they can hold up until then). The internet is somewhat sucky here (blame Al Gore) this morning, so this will be quick.

Separating the wheat from the chaff, the governor signed a boatload of bills late Friday.

George Skelton faces the wrath of Jennifer Fearing with a column calling for a veto of SB 1221. "Bears are wreaking havoc, especially in the mountains. They're not cute or cuddly. They're criminal and too coddled."

TOP-TWO PLAY.  We'll see how this works in the San Fernando Valley: "FROM: Berman Press SUBJECT: BREAKING: Senators McCain, Graham, Lieberman Endorse Howard Berman"




Gov. Jerry Brown To GOP: 'Get Out Of The Way'
Michael J. Mishak @
Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday took to the national airwaves to weigh in on the presidential election, arguing that President Obama had laid a foundation for economic recovery and that the country would be better off if Republicans would “get out of the way.”

Pension Reform: Third Of State Workers Pay More
Ed Mendel @
Without the usual bargaining with unions, a new pension reform raises the amount roughly a third of state workers pay toward their pensions, an increase of 1 to 3 percent of pay over the next two years.

Prop. 33 Restarts Auto Insurance Debate
Drew Joseph @
An initiative on the November ballot that would allow auto insurers to base their prices in part on a driver's coverage history is pitting an executive at one of the state's largest insurance companies against a consumer advocacy group for the second time in as many years.

Study Finds Little Uniformity In CA School Discipline
Kathryn Baron @
There’s little consistency in the way California schools deal with expelling and suspending students, according to a new survey of 315 of the state’s largest school districts. Most districts agree on one thing, however: They need more counselors, support staff, and professional development to provide alternatives to kicking kids out of school.

Let The Dogs Loose On Uncontrolled Bears
George Skelton @
Hunting bears with hounds is humane, and legislation barring it should be vetoed, as should a bill to sterilize trout.

Information Is Power When Patients Make Health Care Decisions
Daniel Weintraub @
Low-income Californians are more likely to feel empowered and engaged in decisions about their health care when they are more informed about their condition and the options available to them, according to a report released Monday.

Legal Battles on Voting May Prove a Critical Issue in Election
With federal and state courts handing down decisions on ballot casting and counting, the presidential election may hinge partly on last-minute legal battles by both parties.

Many California ballot measures spurred by legislative inaction
At different times in recent years, Daphne Phung and Chris Kelly traveled to the state Capitol, hoping to get laws passed that would make life harder for criminals. At first blush, that would seem like a political slam dunk.

Bear hugs and Medicare for Obama in Florida
Christi Parsons @
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Obama spent much of the second day of his Florida bus trip talking about government health care for senior citizens as he campaigned in critical precincts of the state.

Political Empire: Hotel For California Had Scalding Water, Cockroaches
Construction noise, wet paint everywhere, scalding hot water from bathroom faucets, dysfunctional elevators, cockroaches: we’re guessing the Blake Hotel, home to California’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention, is going to get some tough reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Romney says he would keep parts of health law
Michael Barbaro and Jim Rutenberg @
Republican likes 'number of things' in Obama's health care overhaul

Romney Sidesteps Details Of Tax Plan For Top Earners - Bloomberg
Romney said he wants to reduce tax rates while maintaining the revenue collected by the government. The goal, he said, is to not lower taxes on high income earners while cutting them for middle income earners by doing away with the taxes they would pay on interest, dividends and capital gains.

California Has Political Attention Blues
Rick Orlov @
Now that the Democrats have finished their partisan slugfest, it's time for the real election to begin and, once again, solidly blue California will be left out of the battlefield.

California Ranked 4th Worst In Business Legal Climate
Dan Walters @
California ranks 47th in the nation in its courts' "fairness and reasonableness" regarding business lawsuits, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform.

The Buzz: California Lawmakers Need 64 Pages To Change A Few Words
Question: What takes 64 pages to change just a few words? Answer: Senate Bill 1395, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Friday. The measure switches the name "Bureau of State Audits" to "California State Auditor's Office," and switches "State Auditor" to "California State Auditor."

Romney And Obama Trade Shots Over Tax-cut Math, Medicare
Maeve Reston and Christi Parsons @
Mitt Romney defends across-the-board tax cuts and spending reductions but is vague on specifics; President Obama pledges not to replace Medicare with vouchers.

Sacramento searchers find body of missing UC Davis student
Authorities say a body found along the American River in Sacramento has been identified as a missing University of California, Davis student.

Mexico opposition leader quits leftist parties
Tracy Wilkinson @
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who came in second in the presidential election, says he is launching a campaign of peaceful resistance to the incoming government.

Paul Ryan Says Plan To Close Tax Loopholes Not A Secret, But He Is Short On Specifics
Chris Cillizza @
“Here’s the point I’m trying to make here, George,” Ryan said. “We think the secret to economic growth is lower tax rates for families and successful small businesses by plugging loopholes.”

Ex-Mexican law official sentenced in San Diego
ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press @
A former Mexican law enforcement official who worked closely with U.S. authorities on organized crime investigations has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for aiding a Mexican drug cartel.

Schools Find New Ways To Welcome Community College Transfers
Larry Gordon @
New efforts are meant to ease 'transfer shock' for a student population that helps public and private universities' bottom lines.

New life imagined for the hidden gem of Sunol
Denis Cuff @
San Francisco PUC proposes conference, lab, and exhibit buildings and picnic areas to make the historic Sunol Water Temple a popular destination

Bill Protects Religious Garb, Grooming In The Workplace
Patrick McGreevy @
Under AB 1964 signed by Gov. Brown, California employers face new restrictions against shunting Sikh and Muslim workers out of public view for wearing turbans, beards and hijabs.

French to fashion tycoon eyeing lower-tax Belgium: 'Get lost, rich jerk'
Thomas Adamson @
Bernard Arnault -- the richest man in Europe -- has ignited an uproar in France over taxes, citizenship, patriotism and what policies the government needs to promote growth.