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THE NOONER for August 29, 2013
Good morning! I'm off to Palm Springs today, and end the day in San Francisco. After work in San Francisco tomorrow, I'm off to the Nooner's Cancun office.
PARITY: In the last couple of weeks, I've had the opportunity to talk to several freshmen members of the State Assembly. It's remarkable how many Assemblymembers plan to stay in the "lower" house for the 12 years allowed under Proposition 28 rather than move on to the State Senate. They also seem a lot more relaxed than freshmen classes in recent legislatures, as they didn't have to start fundraising for a senate bid the day they arrived.
The State Senate has always been considered the "upper" house, with longer term limits and bigger staffs to serve bigger districts. However, Proposition 28 seems to have yielded a benefit beyond just the stability and time to develop expertise that were tenets of the campaign. The Assembly and Senate now seem to be at more of a level of parity, equal conduits to accomplishing policy goals of those elected to either house.
We likely have entered an era in which candidates pick a house and stay put unless their are compelling reasons to move. One such reason may be moving to the senate because of an overlapping congressional district, but those vacancies are few and far between. Most new members, though, seem content on strategically using the 12 years in one house, enjoy a little less fundraising pressure, and in the Assembly, enjoy the smaller districts members have to service.
BEAR HUG: SD18 candidate and former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg has been everywhere around the Capitol the last couple of days, working the sidewalks like no other. And, with rumors that Kevin de Leon still doesn't have the votes to take over as Pro Tem, speculation is increasing that the Pro Tem gavel may be saved for Hertzberg. That's a big break in precedent though, and I find it hard to believe.
OPEN: Yesterday, the Secretary of State released downloadable data files for the Cal-ACCESS campaign finance and lobbying database. In a statement, Secretary of State Bowen said "The Secretary of State website is always evolving to ensure that everyone, from the occasional user to the information technology expert, can obtain public information in the way most useful to them." The release of data was campaigned for over the last several months by a coalition led by Phillip Ung at Common Cause. MapLight is the first to use the data.
Now I just need some time to rewrite ElectionTrack!
VINYL: Jerry Brown's Tough-Love Miracle [Tim Dickinson @ Rolling Stone] - "California's 75-year-old governor rescued the Golden State from financial ruin - and is reshaping a national progressive agenda
CD17: Honda holds solid lead over Khanna [Josh Richman @ MercNews] - "The poll, conducted Aug. 2-4 among 806 likely voters in the 17th Congressional District, found 49 percent support Honda, 15 percent support Khanna and 36 percent remain undecided. The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, and has a 3.5-point margin of error."
BAD AIM: Lawmaker Leading Call for Arming Teachers Accidentally Shot a Teacher [Neetzan Zimmerman @ Gawker] - "A Republican state senator from Arkansas who is leading a legislative committee on the subject of giving guns to school teachers accidentally shot a teacher [with a rubber bullet] during an "active shooter" drill earlier this year, the local paper of record has uncovered."
AWESOME: Time-lapse video of Rim Fire.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Steinberg's Prison Plan Asks For 3 More Years To Reduce Population
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
California would get three more years to reduce its prison population to court-mandated levels while counties would get $200 million a year to expand drug treatment and mental health care for criminal offenders under a proposal Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg unveiled today that calls for settling a long-standing lawsuit against the state over its crowded prisons.
Democratic Senators Propose Alternative To Jerry Brown's Prison Plan
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
State Senate Democrats are proposing an alternative to Gov. Jerry Brown's plan for meeting a court order on prison overcrowding.
California Prison Crowding Plan Neglects Rehabilitation: Lawmaker
Sharon Bernstein @ reuters.com
Â A plan by California Governor Jerry Brown to ease prison crowding by leasing space in county jails and private lockups came under fire Wednesday from lawmakers who advocate spending more for rehabilitation and mental health services.
San Bernardino: City Eligible For Bankrupcty
IMRAN GHORI @ pe.com
A federal judge declared San Bernardino eligible for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, Aug. 28, more than a year after the city filed for Chapter 9 protection and described itself as insolvent and unable to pay many of its bills.
State Senate Democrats propose alternative to Brown's prison plan
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Senate leaders propose more spending on rehabilitation, drug and mental health treatment as a means to reduce prison crowding.
Noncitizens As Jurors? It's Not A Discrimination Issue
George Skelton @ latimes.com
Assemblyman says the bill is a reform to include noncitizens in the process. But what is the next reform: letting noncitizens vote?
Prison rift deepens among California Democrats
Laurel Rosenhall @ sacbee.com
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg has rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to spend $315 million on more prison beds and is instead urging him to settle the lawsuit brought by inmate advocates who have convinced the courts that California's prisons are inhumanely overcrowded.
California prisons: Senate Democrats reject Brown's plan to lease more cells
SACRAMENTO -- In a direct slap to Gov. Jerry Brown, his fellow Democrats in the state Senate on Wednesday rejected his plan for dealing with California's prison crisis, throwing the state's response to a federal court order into chaos.
Under Pressure, Bowen Puts California Raw Finance Data Online
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
After months of pressure from open government advocates, the California Secretary of State's office has made a mountain of campaign finance data available online.
On Prisons, Governor Still Dancing To A Disco Beat
Steven Greenhut @ utsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown was far less defiant Tuesday when â surrounded by Assembly Speaker John PÃ©rez, Republican leaders and law-enforcement officials â he announced a new plan to deal with mandates by the federal courts to reduce overcrowding in the stateâs prison system.
The Buzz: Debra Bowen relents, posts raw campaign finance data online
After months of pressure from open government advocates, the California secretary of state's office has made a mountain of campaign finance data available online.
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
It's a weighty time of year for the California Legislature. The deadline for bills to make it out of fiscal committees looms tomorrow; the window for sending bills to the governor's desk is rapidly narrowing; and policymakers are now contemplating two different plans -- one backed by Gov. Jerry Brown and Assembly leadership, the other by Senate Democrats -- for resolving California's prison overcrowding crisis.
Sacramento Judge Tentatively Says State Can Auction Air Quality Credits In California
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
Californias cap-and-trade carbon auctions are within the authority of the state Air Resources Board under a 7-year-old law aimed at addressing global warming, a Sacramento judge has tentatively ruled.
Santa Clara County, union reach tentative deal
John Woolfolk @ mercurynews.com
Tentative agreement with Santa Clara County's largest union whose members include 911 dispatchers and health care workers is being voted on over next couple days and may avert threatened strike.
Obama administration to allow recreational marijuana laws to stand
David G. Savage @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration announced Thursday a limited pullback on federal enforcement of marijuana, saying it will not interfere with new state laws that permit recreational use of marijuana.
After last car crosses, crews roll into action
Michael Cabanatuan @ sfgate.com
The Bay Bridge was shut down as scheduled Wednesday night, ending a nearly 77-year run for the venerable eastern span, promising as many as five days of regional gridlock and clearing the way for crews to create a path to its gleaming, new $6.4 billion replacement.
Two More UC Campuses Exonerated Of Fostering Anti-semitic Climates
Larry Gordon @ latimes.com
U.S. clears UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz. They were accused of allowing anti-Israel protests that made Jewish students fearful.
Rim Fire Pushes Deeper Into Yosemite, Threatens Bay Area Water Source
Paul Rogers @ mercurynews.com
"It is an emergency," Kelly said. "We are taking it seriously. We are very concerned."