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THE NOONER for August 23, 2013
LIGHTER LOAD: Freshman Sacramento lawmakers introducing fewer bills [Anthony York @ LAT]
SAN BERDON'T: Recall petitions must be accepted, judge says [Imran Ghori @ PE] - "The ruling by Superior Court Judge David Cohn clears the way for potential recall elections against City Attorney Jim Penman and council members Chas Kelley, Wendy McCammack and John Valdivia on the Nov. 5 ballot."
LEAN IN: CA State Assembly: 10 Highest Paid Staff All Men [John Hrabe] - "The legislature’s pay inequity at the top comes one day after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg urged the Capitol to 'talk about gender, talk about the biases we all hold,' according to the LA Times."
GOLDEN: California Raised A Bunch Of Taxes This Year. Its Economy Hasn't Collapsed. [Jim Tankersley @ WaPo] - "Six months ago I wrote that California was diving into an interesting political and economic experiment: Could it keep adding jobs even after slapping its wealthiest residents with the highest state income tax rate in the nation? Most of the economists I talked to in the state predicted the tax hikes wouldn't matter much. A lot of conservatives wrote me to predict the opposite."
That's it...final day of staff retreat in a very smoky Tahoe. Have a great weekend!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Legislators To Spend Money To Avoid Prisoner Release
John Myers @ news10.net
With the clock ticking on both this year's legislative session and a federal court deadline, lawmakers are poised to consider a budget amendment as soon as next week to finance the transfer of thousands of inmates out of state prisons.
San Francisco files suit to keep CCSF open
Herrera accused the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of pursuing a personal agenda against City College, whose students and faculty opposed state efforts to downsize colleges across California during the budget crisis. In addition to what he called the commission's retaliation against the college, the city attorney also accused it of multiple conflicts of interest and having an "improper evaluation process" for community colleges it accredits, in California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Herrera filed a separate legal action - not a lawsuit - against the state Board of Governors, which oversees California's 112 community colleges, alleging the state board has improperly relinquished its authority over the colleges to the accrediting commission, which he called a "wholly unaccountable private entity." The Department of Education said the commission had too few teachers on teams that visit and evaluate colleges; uses unclear language in evaluating colleges and has no clear policy on conflicts of interest and gave the appearance of a conflict when it let the husband of commission President Barbara Beno serve on the team that visited City College last year. The legal action against the Board of Governors, which demands that the state-appointed board take a more active role in the accreditation process, requires that California's community college Chancellor Brice Harris respond within 45 days.
Key Education Bills Await Action As Session Deadline Looms
Whatever education bills the Legislature passes in the next four weeks will pale in importance compared to its monumental achievement of 2013, the Local Control Funding Formula, Gov. Jerry Brownâs sweeping school finance and accountability plan that legislators enacted as part of the state budget in June.
CalPERS Audits Will Revoke Coverage For Ineligible Dependents
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
After giving insurance subscribers a chance to step up on their own, CalPERS has launched a series of audits intended to clear out tens of thousands of people receiving government health coverage who don't qualify for benefits.
Could Online Disclosure Rule Out Sutter Brown?
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
The state's Fair Political Practices Commission on Thursday put off until next month a proposal to make it easier to identify bloggers and social media users who get paid by campaigns for their posts.
Limit Urged For Cancer-Causing Chromium In California Drinking Water
Bettina Boxall @ latimes.com
California health officials suggest limiting hexavalent chromium to 10 parts per billion, which environmentalists call too lax.
Federal Budget To Fight Wildfires Is Depleted
For the second straight year, the federal government has run through its budget for fighting wildfires amid a grueling, deadly season and will be forced to move $600Â million from other funds, some of which help prevent fires.
Hello, Bakersfield! SF Catholics Planning Political, Spiritual Push On Immigration Reform
Joe Garofoli @ blog.sfgate.com
With news that many of the nationâs Catholic leaders are targeting Sept. 8 as the Sunday they will talk about immigration reform to their congregations, count San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone as all-in on supporting that â and more.
Backers Of Arena Vote Want Disputed Sacramento Petitions
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
A conceptual rendering of the proposed downtown arena shows it at Fifth and L streets between the two Macy's stores.
Jerry Brown Eyes Putting State Guards In Private Prison
This post has been corrected and updated. See the notes below for details.
Non-citizens Could Be Jurors Under Calif. Bill - Daily Democrat Online
If signed into law, the legislation would make immigrants who are legal permanent residents eligible for jury duty.
Colin Powell slams N.C. voting law
Tal Kopan @ politico.com
The former Secretary of State says the law "turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs."
Senator Barbara Boxer Urges Uninsured To Sign Up For Health Plans
Susan Abram @ dailynews.com
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer made a rare appearance to the San Fernando Valley Thursday to make a pitch for the Affordable Care Act and encourage millions of eligible Californians to si gn up for health insurance beginning on Oct. 1.
California Raised A Bunch Of Taxes This Year. Its Economy Hasn't Collapsed.
Jim Tankersley @ washingtonpost.com
Six months ago I wrote that California was diving into an interesting political and economic experiment: Could it keep adding jobs even after slapping its wealthiest residents with the highest state income tax rate in the nation? Most of the economists I talked to in the state predicted the tax hikes wouldnât matter much. A lot of conservatives wrote me to predict the opposite.
DWP Deal Is A Mixed Win For Eric Garcetti In His 1st Duel With Labor
Mayor Eric Garcetti gets a DWP deal, but he can't obtain a key goal on healthcare costs. His relationship with the council frays.
Big Reform of CEQA Bogs Down
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Substantially overhauling the 40-year-old California Environmental Quality Act may still happen, but with just two weeks remaining in the legislative session, it probably won't happen this year.
California legislators urge speedy inquiry into prison sterilizations
Legislators today fast-tracked an audit into why doctors under contract with the state sterilized nearly 150 female prison inmates from 2006 to 2010 without the required authorizations.
Obama proposes new system for rating colleges
Julie Pace @ mercurynews.com
Calling higher education an 'economic imperative,' President Barack Obama is pushing for an ambitious new government rating system for colleges that would judge schools on affordability and performance and ultimately determine how federal financial aid is distributed.
Obama administration escalates fight with Texas over voting
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration escalated its fight with Texas Republicans Thursday over voting rights for minorities, as it urged judges to block a strict new voter-identification law that administration lawyers argue is discriminatory.
Survey: Californians Would Pay More For Infrastructure
Fifty-eight percent said public schools, including elementary schools and community colleges, should be a top priority, while 47 percent also listed streets and road. Water quality was ranked as a top priority by 44 percent and public transportation was seen as important by 40 percent of respondents.
Immigration Advocates Outnumber Anti-immigration Groups, But Does It Matter?
Lauren Fox @ usnews.com
While anti-immigration groups struggle to wrangle together enough supporters to rally at town halls, pro-immigration reform organizations have been busy walking 285 miles from Sacramento to Bakersfield, Calif., practicing civil disobedience outside of ICE detention facilities in Arizona and gathering in droves in GOP congressional leader's districts.
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Following a launch party Thursday, photographer Charr Crail's "The Legacy Project" is up and running, with a collection of photo illustrations of such notables as Gov. Jerry Brown, former first lady Maria Shriver and former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.
New College Rankings Put Stanford And Berkeley In The Top Three -- In The World
Katy Murphy Oakland Tribune @ insidebayarea.com
The Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University put Stanford University at No. 2 and UC Berkeley at No. 3, bumping the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to a close fourth.