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THE NOONER for March 20, 2013

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Happy Agricultural Day! Today would have been Mister Rogers's 85th birthday. Be a better human and spend your day watching old episodes free if you have Amazon Prime. 

Jennifer Fearing is raising the yellow card on Lois Wolk, stating that the senator intends to amend a bill to repeal the ban on California-raised foie gras. Matier and Ross write: "Wolk's chief of staff, Craig Reynolds, said his boss hasn’t made that call, but that 'it's possible she could carry legislation that would further the possibility of humanely produced foie gras being produced and sold sold in California.'"

The law's author isn't excited about the move:

"'This bill was signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, not some posy-plucker,' [John] Burton said."

Deal will avoid deep cuts in home care for elderly, disabled [Chris Megarian @ LAT] - "Gov. Brown, unions and social service advocates agree to an 8% cut in service hours rather than the 20% the state sought last year."

SD16: I errantly included Kings County supe Richard Valle yesterday among the possible candidates for the Rubio seat. As the Leticia Perez high-speed train headed through the valley, Valle ruled out a run on Monday, reports Lewis Griswold for the Fresno Bee.

$$$: LAO reports that annual total contributions to CalSTRS need to increase around $4.5 billion per year (from $5.7 billion).

AWKWARD: The Orange County Board of Supes has agreed on who they want to hire to be county executive officer, but can't agree on her salary. And, pursuant to the Brown Act, the conversation is open and public... Apparently, 2 votes are at $290,000, one is at $275,000, and two votes are at $254,000. [Andrew Galvin @ OCR]

Speaker John Perez gets a spot on the Fox and Hounds homepage to tout the bailout of the Secretary of State's business filings division and other pro-business efforts.

The Assembly Republicans put out a profile video of the 10 new members of its caucus, focusing on the diversity of members and experience.

EYE CANDY: Building the world's largest ship (in 76 seconds)


YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA: What significant issue was being debated on January 16, 2001, the day that Mike Bowers rammed a truck into the south side of the State Capitol?

YESTERDAY'S ANSWER: The electricity crisis. The following day, Governor Gray Davis declared a state of emergency as Californians experienced significant blackouts.

Correction on the number of original counties. There were 27. [h/t John Laird]

From CSAC:

"Effective February 18, 1850, twenty-seven counties were created in California. The new counties were Branciforte, Butte, Calaveras, Colusi, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yola, and Yuba." Branciforte became Santa Cruz.




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Assembly Committee Rejects Adult Education Program Shift
Melody Gutierrez @
An Assembly budget subcommittee voted Tuesday to reject Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to shift adult education responsibilities from K-12 school districts to the California Community Colleges system.

Assembly Panel Rejects Piece Of Jerry Brown's Education Plan
Anthony York @
An Assembly committee weighed in on a key provision of Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to overhaul the state's education finance system. Its unanimous message to the governor: try again.

Assembly Committee Rejects Moving Adult Ed To Community Colleges
Susan Frey @
In a clear message to Gov. Jerry Brown, an Assembly subcommittee voted unanimously Tuesday to reject his proposal to shift responsibility for adult education programs from K-12 districts to community colleges.

Darrell Steinberg Endorses Leticia Perez To Replace Michael Rubio
Dan Smith @
The field is taking shape to replace Shafter Democrat Michael Rubio in the state Senate, and President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has endorsed Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez for the job.

Experts Say Three Prisons Fail To Provide Adequate Healthcare
Paige St. John @
Gov. Jerry Brown 's contention that California has fixed the problems of delivering medical care in its prisons collides with the first reviews of some of those prisons by court-appointed medical experts.

Republican Lawmakers Push Bills Challenging Realignment
David Siders @
Republican lawmakers, citing a number of high-profile crimes and presenting a victim in a wheelchair to reporters at a news conference, called this morning for adoption of a package of legislation to modify or roll back provisions of California's historic prison realignment.

Riverside County: Jails Sued Over Health Care
Riverside County was served Tuesday, March 19, with a class-action lawsuit filed by three county jail inmates who claim they are being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment through denial of adequate mental and physical health care.

Gov. Jerry Brown Takes Notice Of Realignment Complaints
David Siders @
As lawmakers stepped up pressure to modify California's historic prison realignment - most recently at a news conference Tuesday featuring a crime victim in a wheelchair - Gov. Jerry Brown is taking notice.

Medical Pot Rules For California Proposed
Kevin Fagan @
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is making his second effort in two years to impose state control over California's huge hodgepodge of medical marijuana operations - but this time he's included a twist that he hopes will make the difference.

LAUSD Can Balance Budget This Year, But Potential Losses Loom
Barbara Jones @
Los Angeles Unified can balance its budget this year thanks to a windfall from voter-approved Proposition 30, but needs lawmakers to pass Gov. Jerry Brown's new student funding formula to keep its coffers filled next year, district officials said Tuesday.

A Look At The Tax Future Without A Crystal Ball :: Fox&hounds
With revenues coming in better than expected months after the voters approved a tax increase, why is the foundation for a future tax increase being laid, especially when the governor has given no signs that he supports such a move?

Field Of Candidates To Replace Michael Rubio In State Senate Grows
Patrick McGreevy @
A competitive race is shaping up in the Central Valley to fill the vacancy created when Michael Rubio resigned from the state Senate, and Senate Democratic leaders have picked their favorite.

Berkeley Couple At The Center Of Historic Fight Over Proposition 8
Local @
With arguments just a week away in Supreme Court, Bay Areas Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier share their story of taking on Californias ban on same-sex marriage

Greuel Backs Away From Call For New Talks Over L.A. Pension Cuts
David Zahniser and James Rainey @
L.A. mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel says she just wants to meet with unions in an effort to avoid a lawsuit over reduced benefits for new city hires.

Ca Lawmakers Hear Benefits Of Drone Competition
Jeremy B. White @
Plans to boost California's burgeoning drone industry could generate billions of dollars and thousands of jobs for the state, industry representatives told Assembly members on Tuesday.

Lawmakers should fully fund CalSTRS, LAO says
The Legislative Analyst's Office today called on lawmakers to fully fund the state teachers' pension fund, or CalSTRS, an ambitious goal that would cost billions of dollars over the next 30 years.

Gov. Brown Urged To Settle Drone Competition Involving Ventura County-Led Group
Timm Herdt @
After hearing from representatives of two competing California groups seeking FAA designation as a test site for the commercial development of drones, the chairman of an Assembly committee on Tuesday urged Gov. Jerry Brown to step in to try to bring them together.

Perez, With Big-name Backing, Rounds Out 16th Senate Front Runners | Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog
A little more than two months ago, Bakersfield Democrat Leticia Perez was sworn in to her first term on the Kern County Board of Supervisors.

California Attorney General Paid Less Than Several City Attorneys
Patrick McGreevy @
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris is the top prosecutor in the most populous state in the nation, but her counterparts in six other states, including Tennessee and Alabama were paid more last year, a state salary survey has found.

Same-sex marriage: What's coming up next week in the U.S. Supreme Court
Howard Mintz @
The U.S. Supreme Court has a busy docket in the battle over same-sex marriage next week. Here's the schedule of what is coming up:Tuesday: The court has scheduled one hour of legal arguments in the legal challenge to Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.

Rand Paul Calls On Conservatives To Embrace Immigration Reform
Michael A. Memoli @
Sen. Rand Paul is calling for conservatives to embrace the cause of immigration reform, outlining a proposal that would grant some form of legal status.

G.O.P. Opposition To Immigration Law Is Falling Away
Ashley Parker and Michael D. Shear @
Republican opposition to legalizing the status of millions of illegal immigrants is crumbling in the nation’s capital as leading lawmakers in the party scramble to halt eroding support among Hispanic voters -- a shift that is providing strong momentum for an overhaul of immigration laws.

Editorial: Senate bill could help ensure high-quality online education
The latest frontier in higher education – online courses – offers promise for widening access to knowledge. In California, done right, online courses can help reduce failure rates in entry-level courses, reduce bottlenecks in access to classes, reach people who are place-bound and spread unique courses offered on particular California campuses statewide.

California Women Still Face Hurdles From Economy, Budget
Chris Megerian @
Even as California's economy and budget improve, much of the progress has bypassed the state's women, according to a report being released Tuesday morning.