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THE NOONER for January 8, 2013

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PDI RECEPTION: Political Data Inc. will be hosting a reception from 6-8pm on tomorrow (Wednesday, January 8) at Spataro. The reception celebrates a successful 2012 and the opening of PDI's Sacramento office. RSVP to Paul Mitchell @

THE BUDGET: The governor's proposed budget will be released at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 10. I'll be writing more about what to look for later in the week, but the scramble to make calls on new money continued yesterday, with Republican legislators calling for funds to freeze tuition at UC and CSU.

I have lots to say about this move, but it's colored by my role as a community college advocate, so I'll hold my tongue, other than to say it's a smart political  move. It creates a triangle between Democrats (who have many competing priorities), the universities (which may money from both the general fund and fee increases, particularly in out years), and Republicans (who have found a nice politically popular wedge issue).

I will take the privilege to criticize the legislation, which has a provision to prohibit community college enrollment fees from rising. Of course, the Legislature sets the enrollment fee in Ed. Code sec 76300. Thus, even with the new provision, it would take the same vote of the Legislature to raise community college fees.



The 2012 Presidential Election forever changed both national campaigns and Americans' awareness of race. On January 17, the Leadership California Institute and Race 2012: A PBS Election Special will host a screening of the PBS documentary "Race 2012" followed by a panel discussion with experts on how race, ethnicity and politics interact.

This screening and discussion will be hosted at the Crest Theater at 1013 K St in downtown Sacramento from 11:30 am to 2 pm. Lunch will be provided and admission is free but space is limited so please reserve your seat quickly. RSVP online at or directly to Nicki Arnold, or (916) 529-4722.

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Making several of us wrong, special elections for SD32 and SD40 were called by the governor yesterday for March 12, with a May 14 runoff if necessary. (Yes, for you election law geeks, he technically called only the May 14 date, and the Elections Code provides that the primary is on the ninth preceding Tuesday. Elections Code sec 10703.) 

The governor's office also announced that the State of the State January 24 at 9:00 a.m. Newspaper reporters are relieved that the State of the State, which was given at 5 p.m. during the good years for evening news, is once again being given by Brown in the morning with plenty of time to write before deadline.

WELCOME ABOARD, SON.: Eric Swalwell gets House leadership role [Josh Richman @ BANG]

EAGER BEAVER: Marc Levine: "For what it's worth: I'm the first check-in of the first check-in session. Yesterday was a great first day back at the start of session."

AS THEY SAY IN LAW SCHOOL, THE VERACITY OF THE WITNESS MATTERS: Charlie Sheen Says Villaraigosa is Lying - "Actor Charlie Sheen called out Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa 'claiming he was flat-out lying when he said he spent only 3 minutes with the actor in Cabo,' TMZ reports . . . Instead, he says the Mayor 'hung with him for hours, chatting it up and drinking with a bunch of hot chicks.'"

SHINGLE-HANGING: Peter Kellison, Fred Main and Kevin Pedrotti have formed Clear Advocacy, LLC ( and will soon open an office at 925 L Street.

FAREWELL: Huell Howser (1945-2013) . . . and a tribute [YouTube]


Besides Budget, Steinberg Has Full Plate For Lawmakers
Chris Megarian @
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg has only two years left in the Legislature before term limits force him out, and he has a long to-do list he wants to finish before then.

Jerry Brown's State Of The State Speech Set For Jan. 24
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown, who has limited his public appearances since the November election, will deliver his State of the State address on Jan. 24, after releasing his annual budget proposal at a news conference Thursday, his office said this afternoon.

LaHood: California Will Get Federal High Speed Rail Cash
John Myers @
Ray LaHood isn't a man willing to concede much ground on the future of high speed rail in the Golden State. And neither, he said on Monday morning at an event in Sacramento, is President Barack Obama - even as Congress continues to collectively shrug its shoulders about the billions the state needs from the federal government in years to come.

Jerry Brown Sets Election Dates For Two Open State Senate Seats
Torey Van Oot @
Two open seats in the state Senate could be filled as soon as mid-March.

7-year Freeze On University Fee Hikes Proposed By GOP Lawmakers
Patrick McGreevy @
Legislative Republicans on Monday proposed a seven-year freeze on tuition and fee increases at California’s public universities and community colleges to correspond with the length of tax increases under voter-approved Proposition 30.

New Assembly Rules Tighten Reporters' Floor Access To Legislators
Jim Sanders @
Reporters will be barred from interviewing legislators in the back of the Assembly chambers under new rules ordered by Speaker John A. Perez before Monday's first session of 2013.

Brown's Budget Expected To Aid Schools' Energy Efficiency
When Gov. Jerry Brown releases his budget proposal Thursday, he will include his plans for $500 million in new spending on energy efficiency and related programs. Much of that money is expected to be earmarked for retrofitting schools to help...

Dan Walters: California Farm Labor Law Still A Hot Issue
Dan Walters @
The farm labor issue, therefore, is still simmering, even if economic circumstances have changed. Some segments of the nation's largest agricultural industry have declined – fresh fruit, for one – while others have flourished, such as wine grapes and tree nuts. And the once-abundant supply of farm labor has shrunk, largely because of tighter controls on illegal migration from Mexico.

UC Online Courses Fail To Lure Outsiders
Nanette Asimov @
The University of California is spending millions to market an ambitious array of online classes created to "knock people's socks off" and attract tuition from students around the world.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's Wife Pregnant With Baby Girl
David Siders @
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's wife is pregnant, with the couple expecting a baby girl in July, Newsom's office confirmed this afternoon.

California Gets An F In Report On State Education Policies
Local @
California has earned an F on a report card issued by the maverick education-reform group StudentsFirst. And as a sign of how fractious school politics has become, the state's No. 2 education official called the failing grade "a badge of honor."

Halt In Inmate Releases Sought - Crime - The Sacramento Bee
California has reduced its prison population by nearly 42,000 inmates since 2006, the Brown administration told the federal court.

Edwatch 2013: Teacher Evaluation Law Will Be Taken On Again
John Fensterwald @
Breakthrough agreements in two California school districts and a much anticipated report on improving teacher effectiveness have raised expectations that it might actually be possible to amend or rewrite the state's outdated and ineffective state law on teacher evaluations in a way that can work for both unions and school districts.

Longtime Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully Rules Out Running For Re-Election
Andy Furillo @
Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced Monday she will not seek re-election when her fifth term expires at the end of 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Proposition 8 Arguments On March 26
Local @
The high court is set to consider the California gay marriage ban on the first day and then hold arguments the next day on the challenge to federal gay marriage restrictions.

The Buzz: As new year dawns, gun bills stack up in California Legislature
With lawmakers reconvening at the Capitol on Monday to start their new legislative year, Assemblywoman

Unusual respite from surging health care costs
WASHINGTON -- Americans kept health care spending in check for three years in a row, the government reported Monday, a respite that could linger if the economy stays soft or fade like a mirage if job growth comes roaring back.

With tax hikes passed, lawmakers seek broad agenda
Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday with a wide-ranging agenda that includes revisions to school funding, gun control laws and environmental regulations.

Berkeley Legislator Unveils Bill To Regulate California Ammunition Sales
While a national debate rages over whether to reinstate a federal assault weapons ban similar to California's, East Bay Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner wants the state to track every bullet and shotgun shell sold here.

Bay Area Transportation Officials Support Lowering Sales Tax Threshold To 55 Percent
Traffic @
$296 billion shortfall statewide projected over next decade to maintain and expand highway and transit systems.

Roger Dickinson, Jim Cooper create committees for 2014 campaigns
Torey Van Oot @
The newly-elected Legislature has barely gotten back to work, but the jockeying for Sacramento-area seats up for a vote in 2014 is already underway.