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THE NOONER for January 24, 2013

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By the time today's Nooner hits your inbox, the governor will have given his State of the State, which is at 9am today. You'll be able to find the speech here. There have been few leaks about the content, although the theme of trumpeting a balanced budget and the need for fiscal austerity and government (particularly school) funding reform will likely make tomorrow's headlines.

Meanwhile, the buzz last night was about Rob Stutzman's class action lawsuit against Lance Armstrong. The suit alleges that the claims in Armstrong's book that he beat cancer and was an awesome cyclist without the use of perfomance-enhancing drugs amounted to unfair business practices, fraud, false advertising, and deceit. The best part might be the claim in the suit that "Although [plaintiff Sacramento-based Republican strategist Rob] Stutzman does not buy or read many books..." [Kevin Yamamura @ SacBee]

One of my smartest readers reminds me that the trailer bill suit did not dispositively address the issue of whether a $1,000 appropriation tied to larger statutory changes is eligible for a Prop. 25 majority vote. The court writes "In deference to our coordinate branches of government, we defer other questions related to 'appropriations' and whether a bill is 'related to the budget' to future cases in which those issues are necessary for resolution."

I still think the court was sending a message, as answering the timeliness question was also not necessary for resolution. After all, the relief sought by the petitioners--keeping the governor's tax measure in its proper ballot order and not in the top spot as Prop. 30--was not available by the time the Third DCA got around to the case. Thus, they could have declared the issue moot, but chose to address the contemporaneous issue of trailer bills. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, John Myers reminds us there's a song for that...

Newly elected Assemblymember Marc Levine comes out swinging to show that he's just as progressive as the party-favored Michael Allen, introducing a bill to phase out the use of plastic bags. The Sierra Club and League of Conservation voters backed Allen in in the AD10 race.

Street art comes to the Los Angeles City Council campaign.

And, finally, our Taiwanese friends give us a Super Bowl preview.




Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 23rd Annual Southern California Public Retirement Seminar.

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Lakewood Civic Center, Lakewood, California (10 minutes from Long Beach Airport)

Registration Fee: $190

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State's Budget Cuts Leave Poor In A Fix
Joe Garofoli @
When he delivers the annual State of the State message Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown is likely to tout how the budget deficit has been "fixed," as he has described it, largely because of an unusual amount of fiscal discipline in Sacramento and California voters' approval of a $6 billion tax increase in November.

Debt Ceiling Vote Gives Ami Bera Chance To Act On Campaign Pledge
Torey Van Oot @
A political maneuver by House Republicans to include a "No Budget, No Pay" provision in legislation to temporary suspend the federal debt ceiling has given freshman Democratic Rep. Ami Bera the chance to act on one of his key campaign pledges.

Governor Brown, Democrats May Clash Over Spending
Steven Harmon @
Gov. Jerry Brown will take center stage Thursday morning when he gives his State of the State address. But hell have to keep his eye on restless Democratic lawmakers -- fresh off winning two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the Legislature -- who consider themselves equal partners in a brand new era of political dominance.

Jerry Brown, At A Turning Point, Delivers State Of The State Address - Gov. Jerry Brown - The Sacramento Bee
Gov. Jerry Brown outlines his budget plan last week at the Capitol. The plan projects that Latinos will become the state's largest ethnic group shortly after July 1.

California Lawmakers Split On Mickelson's Tax Comment
Juliet Williams and Don Thompson @
Republican state lawmakers reacted Tuesday with an "I told you so" after golf champion Phil Mickelson said he might leave California because voters approved higher income taxes on the wealthy.

It's Time To Bring Transparency To Back-Room Legislating
George Skelton @
Proposed reforms would let lawmakers -- and the public -- see what's in a bill before it goes to a vote. That would be a radical departure from last-minute shenanigans.

Public Safety Realignment Dollars Lacking, Say Valley Officials
John Myers @
A Central Valley state senator is prepping legislation to shift hundreds of millions of dollars from the state to local governments to pay for public safety realignment -- money he says the state is saving from the transfer of programs and should be given to counties.

Cal Lawmakers Propose 72-hour Posting Of Bills Before Final Votes
California lawmakers propose 72-hour posting of bills before final approval

Gov. Jerry Brown congratulates voters for embracing optimism
Juliet Williams and Judy Lin @
Cheering a California rebound, Gov. Jerry Brown said voter-approved tax increases have put the state on sound financial footing, but warned lawmakers that they must be tight-fisted with the government purse strings.

Lance Armstrong Targeted In Lawsuit Over Books
Lance Armstrong lied for years about doping, and now some unsatisfied customers who bought his books want their money back. A Republican political consultant in Sacramento, Rob Stutzman, and a professional chef, Jonathan Wheeler, are spearheading a class action lawsuit...

Optimistic State Of The State Address Expected From Governor
Anthony York @
Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State message is expected to be ambitious now that new tax revenue frees him to shift from patching holes in California's finances to a longer-term vision.

Vested Interests Hoping To Be Prioritized In Governor's State Of The State
Julie Small @
A joint session of California's state legislature will convene Thursday morning for Governor Jerry Brown's State of the State address.

La Leads Nation In Big-City Retiree Health Funding
Ed Mendel @
Los Angeles has the best-funded retiree health care among the nation’s big cities, a new study found, and it’s also paying a big price for a policy praised by many but practiced by only a few.

New Proposal Would Lower Voter Threshold For Police, Fire Taxes
Jim Sanders @
A newly proposed constitutional amendment would lower the threshold for California's local voters to pass special taxes for police or fire agencies.

Poll: GOP can woo Latino voters with shift on immigration
Brian Bennett @
WASHINGTON – A significant number of Latino voters could be convinced to vote for Republican candidates if the GOP changed tack on immigration, according to analysis of election results and polling data by a Seattle-based polling firm that extensively surveys Latino voters.

Appeals Court Upholds Order To End Race-based Prison Practices
A California appeals court on Wednesday upheld an order for the state's super-max prison to stop punishing inmates by race, following four-year lockdowns of southern Latino inmates because officials feared their gang ties.

Jerry Brown, at a turning point, delivers State of the State address
Following two years of crushing budget deficits and an all-consuming effort to raise taxes, here's how good things are for Gov. Jerry Brown: His tax campaign and billions of dollars in spending cuts behind him, Brown was able this month to declare the budget fixed, and all around the Capitol people swooned.

California Unions Gain Membership, Bucking National Trend
Dan Walters @
Bucking a national trend of declining labor union membership, California's unions saw a tiny uptick in 2012, according to a new report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Caucus: Republican Governors Open New Front in Tax Debate
Republican governors in a range of states are starting to act aggressively on taxes, setting up limited but politically ambitious and potentially telling experiments in what might be possible nationwide.

Democratic Senators Face Gun Owners Roused by Talk of New Laws
Several Democratic senators up for re-election next year are confronting galvanized constituencies that view any effort to tighten gun laws as an infringement.

Boxer Moves To Blunt Future Debt-limit Battles
By Josh Richman Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 10:39 am in Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senate.

SF Housing Authority Contracts Questioned
Heather Knight and John Cote @
A lawyer for the San Francisco Housing Authority says it pays to have friends at the agency - literally. Two contracts awarded by the public housing agency last year and obtained by The Chronicle have raised suspicions among employees and comprise the meat of new allegations in a lawsuit filed by the agency's attorney, Tim Larsen, against his boss, director Henry Alvarez.

Editorial: Can governor broker a water peace treaty?
Gov. Jerry Brown is sure to highlight water in his State of the State address today. Less clear are the answers to two key questions: