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THE NOONER for January 17, 2013

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YES WE MATTER

Assemblymembers Dan Logue and Allan Mansoor jumped into the gun debate by introducing AB 134 yesterday, which would provide that the California Public Records Act does not provide for the disclosure of the addresses or phone numbers of holders of firearms licenses. The bill is in response to the Christmas Eve publication by Gannett-owned Journal News of a map with the names and addresses of all gun license holders, obtained via a public records request to three New York suburban counties (two responded with the data). 

The publication stirred a debate, as the possession of a license does not indicate the presence of a gun. Meanwhile, some pointed out that the people hurt were those identified by the map as not having a gun in their house, ostensibly making the house a greater target for burglars. 

Meanwhile, another Assembly Republican, Kristin Olsen, jumped in the UC/CSU tuition fray by proposing AB 138, which would guarantee an individual student's tuition was held constant if they completed in four years. This has been a policy concept floated for a long time that has strong appeal to students, but leaves university leaders that the state won't follow through with the funding levels existing for the three years subsequent to a student's initial enrollment.

And, new Assemblymember Scott Wilk introduced ACR 5, which would declare February 6, 2013 as Ronald Reagan Day. The day would have been the Gipper's 102 birthday. Now, let's see if the promising Wilk can find a way to get the no-brainer resolution adopted before the actual day. For those home-gamers, the Assembly is known for adopting resolutions declaring a date's recognition long after the date has passed.

 

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DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Sue Burr is the retiring executive director of the State Board of Education (who is now a member), not Sue Bird. I wish I could say "Damn you, autocorrect," but it was rather just fingers ahead of my brain.

 

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Jerry Brown Carries The Day On Online Classes At UC, CSU
David Siders @
sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown anticipated resistance when he announced his plan last week to pressure state colleges and universities to expand their online offerings and reduce costs. Yet as he traveled to the Bay Area on Tuesday and Wednesday to promote online education, he could hardly have had it easier.

University Of California Officials To Push Ahead With Online Education
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
SAN FRANCISCO - University of California officials said today that they will move to expand the university's online course offerings, in an apparent political victory for Gov. Jerry Brown. If successful, the effort could result in a new class of online students treated like those at community colleges, with the opportunity to transfer their credits to UC campuses and enroll.

Online Education Is In UC's Future, But How It'll Look Is Anyone's Guess
Local @
mercurynews.com
The University of California has $10 million to expand online education in the governor's budget proposal. But no one knows what the programs will look like or how much money they will save the university, if any.

Steinberg: Retiree health, CalSTRS need attention this year
Jon Ortiz @
blogs.sacbee.com
During a meeting with the Capitol press corps today, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said lawmakers need to look at the cost of retiree health benefits and stabilizing the state teachers' retirement system.

California Senate Leader Proposes $10-billion U.S. Mental Health Plan
latimesblogs.latimes.com
President Obama's proposal to expand mental health programs in response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre is a good start but much more should be done, according to California state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg.

How Would Stockton Bankruptcy Cut Pensions?
Ed Mendel @
calpensions.com
Bond insurers who want CalPERS to share the financial pain of the Stockton bankruptcy do not answer a key question in lengthy court filings: How would “bloated” and “overly rich” pensions be cut?

Some CalPERS Managers Given Second Jobs, Extra Money
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
For nearly two years, managers earning fixed salaries at California's massive public retirement system have been making extra money at second hourly-wage jobs at the agency.

Republicans Already Targeting Ami Bera, John Garamendi For 2014
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @
blog.sfgate.com
Republicans ALREADY targeting Ami Bera, John Garamendi for 2014

Help School Districts By Letting Them Raise Their Own Tax Revenue
George Skelton @
latimes.com
The California Legislature could help school districts raise their own revenue by reducing the voter threshold for levying parcel taxes from two-thirds to 55%.

UC officials to push ahead with online education
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
University of California officials said today that they will move to expand the university's online course offerings, in an apparent political victory for Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown Compliments, Cajoles Regents On Online Education
John Myers @
news10.net
For a man who prides himself on a collaborative style that he admits wasn't his forte in his early years, Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't quite lost his enjoyment of a good debate. That certainly was true during his daylong participation Thursday at the meeting of the University of California's Board of Regents and their examination of calls by Brown and others to greatly expand UC's catalog of online courses.

State Audit Rips California Utilities Commission For Fund Errors - State Budget - The Sacramento Bee
sacbee.com
In a scathing new review of the California Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Finance found widespread budget errors and inaccurate fiscal predictions of various fees that state consumers pay each month.

UC Regents pledge to expand online education in next few years
Larry Gordon @
latimes.com
The regents are under pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown to offer more online classes to provide wider access to college education and keep costs down.

Gov. Jerry Brown, Former AG, Slams Oakland, Praises Obama On Gun Violence
Carla Marinucci @
blog.sfgate.com
California Gov. Jerry Brown, the former state Attorney General, had some praise for President Obama -- and some tough words for Oakland leaders today -- on the issue of gun violence.

Bill would let California teens 'pre-register' to vote at age 15
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
California teens could submit paperwork to get on the state's voter rolls three years before they are allowed to cast a ballot under legislation introduced in the state Senate this week.

President: Mental Health Key To School Safety
Kathryn Baron @
edsource.org
President Obama wants to add up to 1,000 more mental health counselors and safety officers in the nation's schools to improve safety. The President's plan for gun control, released Wednesday morning and based on the recommendations of Vice President Joe Biden’s commission, calls for creation of a Comprehensive School Safety Program that seeks to prevent school fighting and bullying as well as violent attacks on schools.

Lawmakers sense opportunity for Calif. gun control
utsandiego.com
Lawmakers are sensing an opportunity to pass stricter gun and ammunition laws in California after New York passed the nation's toughest gun-control legislation and President Barack Obama proposed a sweeping national effort.

Steinberg to push mental health plan in Washington meetings
sacbee.com
California's top Senate Democrat will be in Washington next week to urge leaders to put a greater focus on mental health services in the wake of last month's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

Washington Township Health Care District lays off employees without public discussion
Ashly McGlone @
mercurynews.com
Fremont's Washington Township Health Care District says plummeting revenues led to job reductions, but board discussed the layoffs only behind closed doors, without public notice, in apparent violation of open meeting laws.

Michael Gerson: GOP's best politician is stepping back from the political stage
sacbee.com
Just before noon on Jan. 14, Mitch Daniels ceased to be governor of Indiana. By 2 p.m. he was in West Lafayette conducting a meeting as the soon-to-be president of Purdue University. A true Hoosier calls that a promotion. But his elevated new stage is a smaller one. And as national Republicans contemplate the second half of the Obama era, they wonder what might have been.

Obama challenges Congress on gun laws
Paul West, Kathleen Hennessey and Richard Simon, Washington Bureau @
latimes.com
President Obama urges lawmakers to support his gun proposals but indicates he'll go around them to seek public backing if necessary.

Pg&e Clarifies 'lost Its Way' Ad Campaign - Sfgate
sfgate.com
A top Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive told regulators that the company's ad-campaign acknowledgment that it had "lost its way" before the San Bruno disaster referred to a loss of focus on "basic operations," but not specifically to safety problems. Jane Yura, PG&E vice president for gas operations standards and policies, is the highest-ranking company official to testify at state Public Utilities Commission hearings into allegations that the utility violated safety laws leading up to the September 2010 explosion of a natural-gas pipeline. In the hearings in San Francisco before a pair of administrative law judges, PG&E has defended its pre-explosion safety record as having measured up to industry standards and said the hearings amounted a pointless search "for someone to blame." What Earley was referring to in the ad, she said, "really was about the fact that we need to focus on the core operations and basics of the business and that is where we had lost our way, that we had really begun to pursue many policy and other energy objectives, and perhaps along that we had lost focus essentially on the basic operations." Long also asked Yura about PG&E's reaction to the findings of a blue-ribbon panel that the utilities commission created to look into the disaster. The panel also concluded that PG&E had a "dysfunctional" corporate culture that placed safety far down the priority list.

Sacramento's Township Nine Starts With 180 Apartments, Light-rail Station
sacbee.com
People gather Wednesday for the Township Nine ceremony in Sacramento. "This is going to be a model for … the kind of sustainable communities we want to see more of," City Councilman Steve Cohn said.