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THE NOONER for December 21, 2012

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Well folks, there are very few of you still around, as I discern from the out of office messages. I'll be taking several days off of the Nooner, although the daily headlines will be mailed out, just without my preceding rambling.

I'll be working on The Nooner Year in Review, which will likely go out on New Year's Eve. I would love your input on what should (and shouldn't be included as we look back at 2012. Feel free to peruse the 252 Nooners I've put out this year.

If you're new, here's the spot to fill out a survey to guide my early morning writing.

Best wishes to for a happy and healthy holiday to you and your family,




For the next 12 days (including Saturday and Sunday), and Political Data Inc. will be asking a question each day, which will be answered on the site. The closest (and first in the event of a tie) answer each day by 9pm PST will win a free map from and a $5 Starbucks gift card--a $50.00 value.

YESTERDAY'S QUESTION: The average turnout of registered voters of the 20 State Senate districts that had a regular election on November 6 election was 70.47%. Name the districts with the highest and lowest turnouts among State Senate districts that had a regular election (excluding SD04, which was special). If nobody gets it correct, those that get the closest to each will be the winner.

YESTERDAY'S ANSWER:  SD01 (74.8%) and SD33 (52.7%)

WINNER:  Robert Neff

TODAY'S QUESTION: How many voters are registered at a street address of 1225?  [SUBMIT AN ANSWER]



There are 30+ new members this session – will you recognize them in the hall or around town?

CA Political Maps announces our 2013-2014 Legislative Class posters. Posters include headshots of the newly elected 2013-14 class, organized alphabetically and numerically for easy reference. Our double-sided posters display full color Senate and Assembly district maps, and include district numbers, county, city, geographic data, and blowups of LA, Bay Area, SD, and Sacramento regions.

Use coupon code "Nooner" for a 15% discount on your order!

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Davis City Unions Agree To Retiree Health Care Changes
Darrell Smith @
Davis officials say the city will save $4.9 million over the run of a new three-year deal with managers, support staff and the city's police force brokered this week after coaxing employee concessions on retiree medical and other health benefits.

California Democrats Propose Stricter Campaign Disclosure Laws
David Siders @
Following the controversy in California's initiative campaigns over an $11 million donation from a secretive, out-of-state group, Democratic lawmakers have begun introducing legislation to increase disclosure requirements and the power of the Fair Political Practices Commission to enforce them.

California Senate Leader Asks Feds For More Mental Health Funding
Connecticut elementary school shooting: The leader of the California state Senate proposed Thursday that the federal government step up and begin fully matching state spending to help the mentally ill.

California Legislature Is Biggest Generator Of Major New Laws
Dan Walters @
If you sense that California's Legislature is the nation's most active -- or most intrusive -- generator of new laws, a nationwide compilation of 2012 state legislation by the National Conference of State Legislatures seems to prove the case.

Prop. 30 silver lining: Open meeting law restored
John Hrabe @
Prop. 30 effectively restored the state’s open meeting law for local governments and special districts.

State Senate Leader Backs Medi-cal Expansion
Sen. Darrell Steinberg, the Democratic leader of the state Senate, urged Gov. Jerry Brown to expand the state's public health system as part of the implementation of the federal healthcare overhaul.

Use California As Mental Health Model, Says Lawmaker
John Myers @
California's voter-approved mental health services can serve as a model for the rest of the nation, says the leader of the state Senate in the wake of the Connecticut school mass shooting.

Sacramento-area Schools Evaluate Safety In Wake Of Connecticut Shooting
Diana Lambert @
It was on the front page of newspapers across the nation, the photo of a line of schoolchildren – hands on the shoulders of the student in front of them – being guided out of the school where 20 of their classmates and six adults had been killed.

Boehner cancels House vote as 'Plan B' falls short of GOP support
Lisa Mascaro, Michael A. Memoli and Christi Parsons @
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John A. Boehner abruptly called off a vote on his “Plan B” tax proposal late Thursday, a stunning political defeat after GOP leaders failed to round up support for his alternative to a broader budget deal with President Obama.

Sacramento Airport's New Terminal Design Biased Against Disabled, Suit Claims
Tony Bizjak @
A Bay Area disabled rights advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit against Sacramento County, saying the design of Sacramento International Airport's new $1 billion terminal discriminates against people in wheelchairs.

Obama to nominate John Kerry to be next secretary of State
Paul Richter @
WASHINGTON – President Obama will nominate John F. Kerry, the five-term senator from Massachusetts, to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, White House sources confirmed, choosing a longtime political ally who shares much of his foreign policy worldview and is likely to sail through confirmation hearings.

Oakland: Magistrate To Rule On Pot Club
Ellen Huet @
The federal government faced off against the city of Oakland and the nation's largest medical marijuana dispensary Thursday in a case of dueling lawsuits over whether the dispensary can keep operating while its long-term future is being decided.

Sharp words ahead of 'Plan B' tax vote
Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro @
WASHINGTON – As the House prepared to vote Thursday on Speaker John A. Boehner’s tax plan, party leaders blamed each other for the stalemate as little progress is made to prevent falling off the “fiscal cliff,” the automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to come in the new year.

Led By Key Angel Investor, Silicon Valley Flexes Clout In Gun Debate
Carla Marinucci @
What would happen if Silicon Valley’s social media, start-up and high tech insiders begin marshaling brainpower and collective clout for tougher gun controls in the wake of the tragic Newtown shootings?

The Caucus: With Nomination to State, Kerry Has Chance to Reshape Resume
If Senator John Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state, he will become the first losing general-election candidate ascend to a major new political position since Richard Nixon recovered from his close 1960 loss to John F. Kennedy to win the presidency in 1968.

John Boehner Swings And Misses On 'Plan B'
Chris Cillizza @
Roughly 24 hours after publicly pledging that the House would pass a bill that would extend the current tax rates for all but those earning $1 million or more, Speaker John Boehner was forced to admit defeat -- putting out a statement explaining that the legislation lacked the requisite support to bring it up for a vote on the floor.

Steinberg calls for early treatment for mentally ill
In the wake of the Newtown school shooting tragedy, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg assembled a group of mental health professionals Thursday to call for an expansion of early treatment programs for the mentally ill.

10 California Hospitals Fined For Medical Errors
Anna Gorman @
The California Department of Public Health fined 10 California hospitals $785,000 Thursday for errors that caused "immediate jeopardy" to the health and safety of patients.

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich To Send Gun Owners A Letter - La Daily News
Following last week's schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich announced he and other law enforcement officials will send letters to all Los Angeles gun owners reminding them of city laws regarding safe storage of weapons and reporting if a gun is lost or stolen.

Retirees At Center Of San Bernardino-vs.-CalPERS Bankruptcy Battle
Since filing for bankruptcy Aug. 1, the city has stopped paying its share of required payments to the California Public Employee Retirement System and anticipates deferring those payments until the end of fiscal year 2013 - by which time CalPERS calculates it will owe up to $19 million.

Brown: Medi-Cal expansion could hit Calif. budget
JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press @
Gov. Jerry Brown says he is wary of expanding Medi-Cal as the state implements federal health reform because it could put California's budget "right out of whack" by adding up to $4 billion a year in costs.

Districts Use Creative Methods To Counsel Students
Susan Frey @
In an era of budget cutbacks and more pressure on students to perform, some districts and teachers are finding ways to stretch their dollars to provide mental health services for students.