Around The Capitol

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Get the Nooner in your e-mail box

THE NOONER for April 18, 2013

jump to headlines


Your noontime lovin' follows today's supporters and this video from the Assembly Surf Caucus.



Los Angeles County is more than a $25 billion budget and 101,000 employees serving 10 million residents. It's the place where the longest-serving employee just celebrated her 61st year on the job, an underwater robot helps patrol the nation's busiest port complex, and traffic jams are a cause for celebration when a 340-ton boulder comes to town.

Get an inside look at the nation's largest municipal government in the Los Angeles County Annual Report:

reserve this space | subscribe to the ad-free version for $29.99/year



  • Join Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Councilman Steve Hansen, Supervisor Phil Serna, the Rev. Faith Whitmore and Dr. Claire Pomeroy as they are honored as recipients of Four Freedoms Awards at the Sacramento Stonewall Democrats' 9th Annual Gala, Wednesday, May 15 at the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center, Sacramento. Purchase tickets @


Good morning from San Francisco, where the annual 5:11 am commemoration of the 1906 earthquake was moved from Lotta Fountain to Union Square this morning because of a suspicious package. It turned out to be, well, a suitcase left by someone who apparently no longer wanted it. No, I wasn't here for this or in attendance, but heard it through the Sir Francis Drake's 1928 windows.

As I walked to BART at 6:15 to head to a meeting in Millbrae, I noticed the remarkable number of lunchbox-toting construction workers--some finishing an overnight shift while others arriving for daytime work. In many parts of San Francisco, there is building going on like crazy. Further, housing demand is extraordinary, not just here, but across the bay as well, with bids of $75,000-$100,000 over the asking price common in many neighborhoods. This has further pushed up salary demands, and the Bay is likely a disproportionate source of the surging state revenues:


  • LAO (April 17): Month-to-Date Collections and Refunds: $8.954 billion. (67.3% of budgeted projection for the month, although the $4.8 billion "extra" collected in earlier months means state revenue projections have been met for the year)
  • Controller (April 16): $5.86 billion  

From the Legislative Analyst's Office:

April 17 Was Another Huge Tax Collection Day for California. Today's $2.9 billion of Franchise Tax Board (FTB) collections of California personal income taxes (PIT) significantly exceeded the $2.6 billion total reported yesterday. With month-to-date PIT collections, net of refunds, now approaching the $9 billion mark, California has surpassed the $8.5 billion total for the month that was necessary to remain on track with the administration's most recent revenue estimates. It is difficult to predict what will occur between now and April 30, but, based on recent years' results, collection of another $2 billion or more in PIT revenue during the rest of the month seems quite possible.

Assuming that PIT revenues continue on the current track for the rest of April, next month's updated revenue forecasts from the administration and our office will have to make difficult judgments--based on limited data--about how much of the 2012-13 revenue gain results from previously unanticipated growth in taxable income and how much results from taxable income "accelerated" from future years to 2012 in order to benefit from lower federal tax rates then in effect.

And, of course, I don't overlook that the robust economy in the Bay Area is leaving lots of people, and neighborhoods behind. Nevertheless, while the high tech sector is driving the boom, the construction folks arriving on BART this morning come from all over the Bay Area

Let's try that again on the Blumenfield seat. Some speculate the special will be August 27 (as September 2 is the day after Labor Day) with a November 5 runoff.

AD45 (West San Fernando Valley):

  • Damian Carroll (D), field director for councilmember Paul Krekorian
  • Jeff Ebenstein (D), deputy for councilmember Paul Koretz
  • Fred Gaines (D), councilmember, Calabasas
  • Andra Hoffman (D), director of governmental relations, Glendale City College
  • Susan Shelley (R), businesswoman and author

AD04 (Napa/Yolo/Dixon): Napa Planning Commissioner Matt Pope will be announcing on May 4. The speculation is that Dan Wolk will be jumping in soon, particularly since he skipped Cap-to-Cap in favor of the California Democratic Convention.

CD31: Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar blasts Baca for supporting Rep. Miller [Greg Cappis @ Redland Daily Facts]

A news release, distributed by [Pete] Aguilar's campaign manager on Tuesday, quoted Aguilar as saying, "Joe Baca must think Inland Empire voters have short memories. That's the only thing that would explain the fact he has decided to run against Congressman Gary Miller, the candidate he endorsed in the last election."

But Baca said Wednesday that he never endorsed the Republican congressman. He said he supported Miller in the general election over a different Republican, Bob Dutton, the former leader of the GOP in the state Senate.

"If I had endorsed in a partisan race, I would have been kicked out of the Central Democratic Committee," Baca said, adding that he endorsed Aguilar in the primary.

And you thought Baca-McLeod was fun!

TOP 100: Attorney General Kamala Harris is named by Time Magazine as among the world's 100 most influential people. What about the muy guapo Gavin Newsom

LA-LA LAND: Speaker John Perez and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis jump behind John Choi in the runoff over Garcetti aide Mitch O'Farrell. [Rafu Shimpo] This is the Hollywood-Los Feliz-Koreatown district currently represented by Garcetti. Not to be confused with Carcetti (oh, and this one for anyone who has ever had to dial for dollars).

POLL POSITION: PPIC is out with its statewide survey today, which focuses on K-12 education and the poll provides support for concepts behind the governor's new school funding formula, which is likely to be the biggest budget fight down the stretch.

  • Jerry Brown job approval: 46% approve, 31% disapprove (-5% from January)
  • Legislature job approval: 31% approve, 53% disapprove (-10% from January)  


California Senator Proposes $2-a-pack Increase In Cigarette Tax
Torey Van Oot @
A California state lawmaker is proposing a new $2-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes to pay for health-care programs.

Lawmakers Demand PUC Leadership Change
Wyatt Buchanan @
Lawmakers grilled the executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday, saying they see no progress on safety issues since the deadly San Bruno blast, and called for a change in leadership at the agency.

Jerry Brown Starts Push To Revamp California's Environmental Law
Evan Halper @
Jerry Brown is restrained in his expectations to revise CEQA, however, acknowledging that the appetite for such change is bigger outside Sacramento than it is inside.

Ca Legislature Kills Bill To Shield Identities Of Armed Teachers
Melody Gutierrez @
A bill pushed by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly to train and shield armed "school marshals" failed to make it out of the Assembly Education Committee today after a 5-1 vote.

Senate Rejects Feinstein’s Assault-weapons Ban
By Josh Richman Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 at 3:12 pm in Dianne Feinstein, gun control, U.S. Senate.

California lawmaker proposes $2-a-pack tax increase for cigarettes
A California state lawmaker is proposing a new $2-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes to pay for health care programs.

Lawmakers Demand PUC Leadership Change - Sfgate
Lawmakers grilled the executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday, saying they see no progress on safety issues since the deadly San Bruno blast, and called for a change in leadership at the agency. The strong words came at a legislative hearing to discuss a report based on interviews of top executives and other staff at the commission that was highly critical of the leadership of Executive Director Paul Clanon and the commissioners on safety issues. Clanon said there had been some significant progress in making safety the commission's top priority since the September 2010 gas pipeline explosion in the Crestmoor neighborhood that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Clanon said he commissioned the report by a business consulting firm to learn about remaining "barriers" in the agency to making safety the top priority. Another member of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3 on Resources and Transportation, Assemblyman Richard Gordon, D-Menlo Park, who was president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors at the time of the blast, said he thinks Clanon and other top leaders at the commission are unable to improve safety. Clanon acknowledged that the report is "not flattering," but he defended the commission's efforts so far, including the naming of a new director of the Consumer Protection and Safety Division and the hiring of additional regulators at the agency.

Assembly GOP members break no-tax pledge
A multi-billion-dollar tax extension quickly working its way through the California Legislature has Republican legislators embracing every side of the issue: yes, no and maybe so.

Gays, Lesbians Omitted From Immigration Bill, Pressure On Dianne Feinstein
Carolyn Lochhead @
Latino and business groups applauded a sweeping immigration overhaul proposed Monday by eight Democratic and Republican senators, but its omission of binational same-sex couples alarmed activists who fear those couples could be used as a bargaining chip to woo GOP votes for legislation later this year.

Senate committee taking up business-filing backlog bill
Jon Ortiz @
An Assembly bill channeling extra money to Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office to work down a backlog of business filings will be heard this morning by a key Senate committee that will likely pass the measure, but with less money.

Payday Lenders Win Again In The State Legislature -- No New Industry Curbs On Horizon
Local @
Although short-term loans with triple-digit annual interest rates have been deemed predatory and barred in 17 other states, legislative attempts to regulate payday lending in California, once again, have not made it very far.

Bill To Bar Apartment Smoking Goes Down In Flames At Capitol
Jim Sanders @
Legislation to bar millions of Californians from smoking inside their own homes was rejected today by an Assembly committee.

The Caucus: Obama Decries Senateâ
In a Rose Garden statement, President Obama decried a Senate vote defeating gun control legislation, saying a minority of senators “blocked common-sense gun reforms even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery.”    

Bill Restricting 'Willful Defiance'; For Suspending Students Moves Ahead
Susan Frey @
With new data showing that more than half of all suspensions and a quarter of expulsions in California schools are for “willful defiance” of school authorities, the Assembly Education Committee voted 6-0 on Wednesday to move forward a bill that would restrict the use of the vague category by school administrators.

CalPERS approves huge pension reform
For all of the political maneuvering over public pensions, you could argue the biggest reform hit on Wednesday, several blocks away from the Capitol dome.

State Senate Leader Said Revamp Of Environmental Law Is On Track
Patrick McGreevy @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says his bill to streamline the California Environmental Quality Act is moving forward.

The Caucus: Misconceptions Could Lead to Health Law â
s public information effort about the health care law.

Gun-control Overhaul Is Defeated In Senate
President Obama’s ambitious effort to overhaul the nation’s gun laws in response to December’s school massacre in Connecticut suffered a resounding defeat Wednesday, when every major proposal he championed fell apart on the Senate floor.

Education in California: PPIC poll says most favor governor's school funding proposal
Theresa Harrington @
A majority of those polled agreed that the neediest students should get additional money and that districts need more spending flexibility.

Controversial Animal Cruelty Bill Killed Before Assembly Hearing
Melody Gutierrez @
A controversial animal cruelty bill was killed today, just hours before it was scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.

Key State Senate Committee Backs Mattress Recycling Bill
Marc Lifsher @
A California Senate panel backs a mattress recycling bill aimed at keeping about 2 million used mattresses a year from being dumped on streets or into landfills.

Feinstein Vows To Keep Fighting For Ban On Assault Weapons
Curtis Tate @
A ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines fell well short of the votes needed to pass the Senate Wednesday, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., vowed to continue her long fight for such legislation.