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THE NOONER for March 21, 2013
MEMBERS GONE WILD!!! Spring break for the legislature starts after session today. Meanwhile, lots of bill amendments are being made as spot bills get meat.
SIREN: "A Santa Clara County judge has ruled that San Jose must provide city officials' private text messages, emails or other electronic communications about city affairs in response to an activist's request, a potentially far-reaching decision that could settle a growing dispute over what open-government advocates say has become a glaring loophole in the state's public records law."
Of course, local governments are under the Public Records Act, while legislators are under the laxer Legislative Open Records Act. If the ruling stands, it would likely create an obligation of local governments to curate text messages and emails related to public business received on personal devices. Of course, that would be near impossible for text messages, which would have to be forwarded from the SMS system/phone to the agency, relying on the official's compliance.
Meanwhile, open government advocates and media reps are upset at a proposed $10 fee to search California court records.
POLL POSITION: PPIC is out with its statewide survey. The sample finds a bit more pessimistic electorate.
While a minority of voters support the water bond or moving forward with the current high speed rail plan, a majority support both if they are scaled down to cost less. But, they probably would be more pessimistic when they see this graphic from yesterday's LAO report. [h/t Phillip Ung]
[n=1,703 California residents; March 5-12; English and Spanish; landline/cell; MOE +/-3.8%]
CD17: Mike Honda releases a poll showing a 52-point lead over potential challenger Ro Khanna. - "Honda begins with 57% of the vote while Khanna has 5%. Republican Evelyn Li picks up 13% of open primary voters with 23% undecided. Honda’s lead remains strong, holding an absolute majority of votes, even after compare and contrast messaging is provided."
DUCK FARM: From Craig Reynolds,in response chief of staff for Lois Wolk: "Ms. Fearing is not licensed to raise any yellow cards. Senator Wolk, however, is. Wolk is a licensed AYSO referee and former Davis Soccer Commissioner fully authorized to raise a RED card on stupid legislation whenever and wherever she sees it, as she did in 2004 when she voted NO on SB 1520 as it was force-fed to the Legislature by its powerful leader at the time. If it quacks like a duck... well you know the rest."
ASM REPS: Sorry for the bad link yesterday on the video introducing the freshmen members of the Assembly GOP Caucus. Here is the correct link. Also, yesterday, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway announced her leadership team:
AB 19 (TING): Internet voting pilot program
MAKE GOV'T LIKE BUSINESS: Marissa Mayer Loves Paperwork, And It's Driving Some People Nuts
35 THINGS: . . . you probably didn't know about Mister Rogers [Mental Floss]
FAREWELL: Former State Senator Nicholas Petris (1923-2013)
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
LAO Recommends $4.5 Billion CalSTRS Rate Hike
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
The Legislative Counsel told the committee that requiring school districts and other employers to contribute more to CalSTRS would trigger an offsetting increase in the Proposition 98 guarantee.
Jerry Brown Says Panel Shouldn't Cut Elected Officials' Pay
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown said this evening that the commission that sets pay packages for lawmakers and constitutional officers, including the governor, should not further reduce any officials' pay.
Senate OKs legislation to keep government open; House votes next
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON — All but ensuring there will be no federal shutdown, the Senate on Wednesday approved a measure to keep the government running — but not before tweaking the automatic budget cuts that threaten some of the lawmakers’ favorite programs.
California Investigation Says Kaiser Wrongly Denied Mental Health Care - Health And Medicine - The Sacramento Bee
A state investigation found that Kaiser Foundation Health Plans wrongly denied patients timely access to mental health care, possibly worsening their conditions.
Report Paints Dire Picture Of Teacher Pension Fund
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
The pension fund for California teachers and school employees will run out of money by 2044 if lawmakers don't take drastic action, according to a new report from the Legislative Analyst's Office.
Longtime Lawmaker Nicholas Petris Dies - Sfgate
Peter Fimrite @ sfgate.com
Nicholas Petris, who eloquently championed liberal causes as an East Bay representative in the state Legislature for 37 years, died Wednesday at an Oakland nursing center after a two-year bout with Alzheimer's disease, relatives said. Mr. Petris was a tireless advocate for environmental protection, affordable housing, health care, higher education, farmworkers and tenants. In the late 1960s, he introduced a bill calling for the elimination of the internal combustion engine, causing outrage in the auto industry. The bill eventually failed, but his efforts ushered in an era of clean fuel regulation and air pollution laws in California that were often stricter than national standards. Mr. Petris also wrote laws banning smoking on airplanes, trains and buses, and it was his legislation that required redevelopment agencies to build housing for low-income families.
Legislators urged to deal now with $73 billion CalSTRS shortfall
Lawmakers began confronting a multibillion-dollar budget headache Wednesday that's been looming for years: the funding gap at the state teachers' pension fund.
Support For California Water Bond Falls, Poll Finds
Bettina Boxall @ latimes.com
Poll finds fewer likely voters support $11 billion California water bond than a year ago
PPIC Poll Shows Division Over High-speed Rail, Water Bond
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Californians remain sharply divided about California's $68 billion high-speed rail project, even as officials prepare to start construction in the Central Valley this year, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released tonight.
The Caucus: Key Democrat Chides President and Senators on Pace of Immigration Bill
ASHLEY PARKER @ thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, frustrated that political calculations have delayed the release of an immigration proposal, issued a plea for more speed.
Nicholas Petris Dies, Longtime Lawmaker - Sfgate
Nicholas Petris, who eloquently championed liberal causes as an East Bay representative in the Legislature for 37 years, died Wednesday at an Oakland nursing center after a two-year bout with Alzheimer's disease, relatives said. Mr. Petris was a tireless advocate for environmental protection, affordable housing, health care, higher education, farmworkers and tenants. In the late 1960s, he introduced a bill calling for the elimination of the internal-combustion engine, causing outrage in the auto industry. The bill eventually failed, but his efforts ushered in an era of clean-fuel regulation and air pollution laws in California that were often stricter than national standards. Mr. Petris also wrote laws banning smoking on airplanes, trains and buses, and it was his legislation that required redevelopment agencies to build housing for low-income families.
Jerry Brown Talks Warren Beatty And California's 'many Personalities'
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown followed Warren Beatty onto the red carpet at the California Museum this evening, where Brown inducted the movie star and several other people into the California Hall of Fame.
Reinvigorating 'Career Tech' A Worthy Goal
George Skelton @ latimes.com
Senate President Darrell Steinberg is on the right track with a bill to create partnerships between industry and schools to prepare youths for good-paying jobs.
Senators recall lawmaker's role in Calif. politics
Lawmakers are recalling former legislator Nicholas Petris as a monumental figure in California politics who championed some of the state's most enduring policies during nearly four decades in the Legislature.
California Must Contribute Billions More To Close Teachers' Pension Liability
Julie Small @ scpr.org
When state lawmakers were beating their chests last year about the need to reduce pension liabilities, they didnât actually do anything about the largest one of all: the California State Teachers Retirement System â known as CalSTRS â is facing a projected $70 billion shortfall.
UC Faculty Leaders Blast Bill On Internet Courses
Terence Chea @ contracostatimes.com
University of California faculty leaders have endorsed an open letter that opposes legislation to allow public college students to earn degree credits for online courses from outside education providers, officials said Tuesday.
GOP Bills Would Undo Parts Of Gov. Jerry Brown's Prison Plan
Local @ mercurynews.com
The 13 bills seek to counter the effects of prison realignment in 2011 by improving supervision of parolees and increase penalties for sex offenders and those who illegally possess or sell firearms.
Lausd Board Votes For Term Limits On Its President, Ending Monica Garcia's Tenure In Seat - La Daily News
The school board votes each July who among the seven members will serve as president and vice president, The new rule sets a limit of two consecutive terms, and takes effect with the next election, a move that essentially precludes Garcia from serving another term.
Housing Surge Puts More Sacramento-Area Mortgages Above Water
Hudson Sangree @ sacbee.com
When the housing market fell apart seven years ago, thousands of Sacramento households were made poorer by plunging home prices that left them owing far more than their homes were worth.
New PPIC Poll Says Economic Worries Crowding Out Big Issues In California
Steven Harmon @ contracostatimes.com
The still-stagnant economy is weighing so heavily on Californians' minds that it's crowding out other top issues such as immigration, gun control and climate change -- and is stifling support for major statewide initiatives such as high-speed rail and a Central Valley water project.
Senate Passes Government Funding Measure; House To Vote Thursday
A short-term funding measure to keep the government operating beyond the end of this month cleared the Senate on Wednesday and is awaiting final passage in the House on Thursday to avert a shutdown.