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THE NOONER for February 21, 2013

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Greetings from Monterey where the Interweb connection that was perfect yesterday now parallels my 1200 baud modem from yesteryear, and where I'm having a really difficult time drinking water from the tap.

The bills keep on a comin' ahead of Friday's deadline.

And, while we lobbyists may bitch about "spot bills" and claim they are a new phenomena, they really have been around for a long time.

GAME ON: Because someone asked last night, here is the partisan playing field for 2014 with my preliminary district ratings given the candidate fields and off-year cycle dymanics:

Congress:

  • CD03 (John Garamendi, incumbent D) - Leans D
  • CD26 (Julia Brownley/strong>, incumbent D) - Leans D
  • CD31 (Gary Miller, incumbent R) - Toss Up
  • CD52 (Scott Peters, incumbent D) - Toss Up

State Senate:

  • SD34 (Lou Correa seat, open) - Leans R

State Assembly:

  • AD36 (Steve Fox, incumbent D) - Leans R
  • AD65 (Sharon Quirk-Silva, incumbent D) - Toss Up

The LAT starts catching up with voters, endorsing Gardea (CD1) and Blumenfield (CD3) yesterday and Bonin (CD11) today. 

David CraneCalifornia: A High-Revenue, Low-Services State

NO GAME: Kings trade Francisco Garcia, Thomas Robinson and Tyler Hunnicut to the Rockets. More proof that the Kings (majority) ownership has no interest in Sacramento, and it's time for us to rally around the soon-to-be-unveiled whales to keep the team in the 916.

YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA: Which governor signed into law the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and what was the major limitation that was later expanded by the California Supreme Court?

ANSWER: Ronald Reagan, with the expectation that CEQA only applied to public projects. The California Supreme Court enlarged the law's coverage in Friends of Mammoth v. Board of Supervisors of Mono County.

TODAY'S TRIVIA: Name the three holders of Barbara Boxer's "junior" United States Senate seat who ran for President. (A tough one, courtesy of Tony Quinn.) 

EYE CANDY: 84 Best Picture winners in 4 minutes.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: The current salary for legislators is $90,526. 

 

**CLASSIFIEDS**

  • Community College League of California: Legislative Advocate [Full-time, Sacramento, 3+ years experience] 

  • $125,000 Irvine Leadership Awards: Do you know an innovative, effective leader who is improving California's future? Nominate him or her for a 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award at irvine.org/leadership/. Deadline: April 5, 2013.

  • The UC Sacramento Center and Capitol Weekly are presenting a Cap and Trade Conference on Thursday, February 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. [more information]

 

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PUBLIC RETIREMENT SEMINAR

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

Register online or contact us directly

916-341-0848

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Californians In Sunnier Mood, Lifting Public Approval Rating Of Legislature, Jerry Brown - Bee Capitol & California - The Sacramento Bee
sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown arrives in the Assembly chambers last month for his State of the State speech in which he declared that the budget deficit problem is solved.

Legal Opinion Sought On Pay Hike For Governor, Lawmakers
Patrick McGreevy @
latimes.com
California’s budget situation has improved, but has it done so enough to allow raises for Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators this year?

Gov. Brown's Approval Rating Up In Poll - Sfgate
sfgate.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's approval rating has surged to its highest level since he was elected and, despite still giving the Legislature low marks, a strong majority of voters view the Democrats' two-thirds supermajority as a positive, according to a Field Poll released Thursday. The uptick for the governor is due largely to his ability to erase the state's chronic budget deficit that voters had become accustomed to, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. The highest Field Poll approval rating for a California governor was given to George Deukmejian, who had the backing of 70 percent of voters in the middle of his term. A slight majority of those surveyed, 52 percent, also said Brown favors tax policies that harm the state's economy, and 47 percent said he "favors organized labor too much."

Lack Of Immigration Reform Threatens California Farmers
George Skelton @
latimes.com
SACRAMENTO — Except for illegal immigrants, no group has more at stake in the national fight over immigration reform than California farmers.

Proposition 8 challenge: Same-sex marriage advocates urge U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's gay marriage ban
Howard Mintz @
mercurynews.com
Same-sex couples raise broad arguments to convince Supreme Court that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional

California State Auditor Offers Hypothesis On Hidden Parks Funds
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
One curiosity in California's state parks controversy is why department officials hid millions of dollars when they needed the Legislature's approval to spend the funds.

Lawsuit Brought By Wiccan Inmates Revived By Appeals Court
Amanda Covarrubias @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
A lawsuit by female prisoners who contend the California prison system is violating their rights by refusing to hire a full-time Wiccan chaplain has been revived by a federal appeals court. A district court rejected the inmates' suit, but a...

Californians Divided Over State's Direction, Field Poll Finds
Anthony York @
latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Californians' optimism about the state's future is down slightly since September, but is still higher than it has been for most of the past decade, according to a new Field Poll.

Obama considers weighing in on gay marriage case
utsandiego.com
The Obama administration is quietly considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on gay marriage, a step that would mark a political victory for advocates of same-sex unions and a deepening commitment by President Barack Obama to rights for gay couples.

CalPERS Sets New Long-term Care Rates, Plans Open Enrollment
Jon Ortiz @
blogs.sacbee.com
A key CalPERS committee today approved a plan to reopen its long-term care insurance to new policyholders, widen the eligibility pool and introduce a new, cheaper benefit program.

Californians Haven't Loved President Obama This Much Since He Took Office, Poll Finds
contracostatimes.com
President Barack Obama has scored his highest approval rating among Californians since he first took office, as Golden State residents continue to be optimistic about the future of the nation thanks to a growing economy and left-leaning policies from the White House.

California Laws Banning 'one-stop' Optician Shops Withstands Challenge - Business - The Sacramento Bee
sacbee.com
A decadelong legal fight that originated in Sacramento to scuttle California's prohibition on "one-stop-shops" offering both eye examinations and prescription lenses has finally hit the wall with the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to accept the issue for review.

Stanford Becomes 1st School To Raise More Than $1 Billion In A Year
Alejandro Lazo @
latimes.com
The nation’s top fund-raising institution last year, Stanford University, raised $1.03 billion from donors, the first to raise more than $1 billion in a given year.

Report suggests broadly expanding federal K-12 education spending
Sharon Noguchi @
mercurynews.com
A federal commission recommends overhauling state’s education financing systems to create more opportunity for poor children. It also suggests seeking higher-caliber teaching candidates, perhaps by raising average starting pay from $37,000 to $65,000, and by raising top salaries from $70,000 to $150,000.

Study: Californians Leave Billions In Federal Food Stamp Funds Unclaimed
dailybulletin.com
The California Food Policy Advocates on Wednesday released its annual Program Access Index, which measures the portion of people who can receive food stamps in each of the state's 58 counties and actually sign up for them.

California Consumers May See Rebate From Energy Crisis
DON THOMPSON, Associated Press @
mercurynews.com
SACRAMENTO -- California electricity consumers could see $1.6 billion in refunds from energy wholesalers that profited from the states energy crisis more than a dozen years ago, if an administrative law judges recommendation holds up under review, regulators said Tuesday.

Garcetti To Immigration Advocates: 'this Is The Time To Act' | Neon Tommy
anonymous @
neontommy.com
The Council voted 12-0 earlier that day in favor of Garcetti's motion to staff a new office that would handle issues concerning L.A.'s immigrant population such as access to city services and benefits. The office was proposed by Garcetti in 2002 and established in 2004 during then-Mayor James Hahn's time in office, but has been inactive in recent years. 

Why Congress Won’t Win A Sequester Showdown With President Obama — In 3 Easy Steps
Chris Cillizza @
washingtonpost.com
In politics, the simplest answer is almost always the right one.

Wendy Greuel, L.A. Mayoral Candidate, Says She Supports Hollywood Community Plan - La Daily News
dailynews.com
Days after Wendy Greuel's political consultant accused rival Eric Garcetti of bringing skyscrapers and traffic to Hollywood, Greuel said she backs a city plan allowing towers in the district.

Prosecutions Of California Lobbyists On The Rise, FPPC Reports
Laurel Rosenhall @
blogs.sacbee.com
California lobbyists are facing increased scrutiny by the Fair Political Practices Commission, according to a new report by the state's political watchdog agency.

Stanford top of the heap – $1 billion donated in a year
sacbee.com
Stanford last year became the first university to raise more than $1 billion in a single year, according to the Council for Aid to Education's annual college fundraising survey.

New taxes, fees urged to improve water systems
utsandiego.com
California water officials are urging state lawmakers to create a new source of funding by implementing some new taxes and fees so that communities with high levels of nitrates in their drinking water can build and operate safe water systems.