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THE NOONER for December 18, 2013
BATTLE ROYALE: Possible 2014 ballot fight over firing teachers, looser tenure rules [John Myers @ News10] - "After two years of bitter legislative fights over whether it's too hard to fire bad teachers in California, the debate could be headed to next November's statewide ballot. Two separate initiatives have been filed to change the existing system for reprimanding or removing teachers, the most recent on Monday."
And, another initiative to limit charter schools was submitted yesterday for title and summary. The proponent is attorney Thomas Williis with Remcho, Johansen & Purcell.
$$$: The Department of Finance released its monthly cash report for November, finding revenues "$121 million above the 2013-14 Budget Act forecast of $5.341 billion" and year-to-date revenues "$627 million above the expected $31.456 billion." Most of the revenues above projections are from pre-payment of insurance taxes.
While November is not a large month for state tax revenues, it is the last full month that Department of Finance budget-writers see before putting the ink on paper for the governor's January budget proposal.
SANDY EGGO: The runoff between David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer in the special election to replace what's his name will be held on February 11, 2013.
MORENO VALLEY: [Victoria] Baca recall organizers say effort was sabotaged [Suzanne Hurt @ PE] - "At least four people posing as recall supporters infiltrated the volunteer effort and turned in dozens of petitions with signatures that appear to be faked, said [former mayor Bill] Batey and other organizers."
ON THE LEFT: CloseTheGapCA.org has added a bunch of resources for candidates to its web site in efforts to recruit and support "talented, progressive women."
CD07 (East Sacto): Birman demands Ose cut ties with Republican group [Bryan M. Gold @ Elk Grove Citizen] - "Birman’s contention is over the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group that develops and promotes centrist policies. A recent National Journal article claimed that the organization's political action committee in September and October received a total of $400,000 from two unions."
NOT CALIFORNIA, BUT AWESOME: Reporter Follows Up on a Hard Story and Finds a Really Happy Ending [Gabrielle Bluestone @ Gawker]
AB 1266 REFERENDUM UPDATE:
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Jerry Brown, Urged To Run For President, Won't Rule Out 2016 Bid
Mark Z. Barabak @ latimes.com
If he weren’t the nation’s oldest governor, a ripe 75, Jerry Brown would automatically be counted among serious Democratic candidates for president in 2016.
Feinstein: Let Supreme Court Decide Whether Nsa Surveillance Unconstitutional - Politics Blog
Sen. Dianne Feinstein -- chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- has been one of the defenders of the NSA surveillance program in Washington, but after hearing a federal court judge...
Early Education Highlighted In Assembly Democrats' Budget Priorities
Lillian Mongeau @ edsource.org
Greatly expanding transitional kindergarten so that it is available to all 4-year-olds is listed among the top fiscal priorities of Assembly Democrats in the coming year.
Jerry Brown Ponders 'those Guys On Horses'
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
When Gov. Jerry Brown arrived in Mountain View for a speaking engagement Monday, he had on his mind two statues on the west pediment of the state Capitol building, architectural elements he said he "noticed for the first time" at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony last week.
Viewpoints: CalSTRS must be the Legislature’s top priority in 2014
David Crane @ sacbee.com
Make no mistake about it: If Gov. Jerry Brown, Speaker John A. Perez and President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg continue to ignore CalSTRS, they will be joining the Political Hall of Shame occupied by past leaders of Detroit and Chicago.
Chuck Reed Takes Pension Reform To Public :: Fox&hounds
Measure B on the June 2012 ballot called for city workers to pay more into their pension plans, gave the City Council the right to suspend cost of living increases in a fiscal emergency and required a city-wide vote before retirement benefits could be increased. It passed with 69 percent of the vote.
California Measure Would Replace Seniority With Performance For Teacher Layoffs
Laurel Rosenhall @ sacbee.com
A ballot measure submitted by a political consultant for education advocate Michelle Rhee seeks to remove seniority as a factor when California school districts lay off teachers, requiring instead that decisions be based on performance and student test scores.
Michelle Rhee's Consultant Introduces California Ballot Measure
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
A ballot measure submitted by a political consultant for education advocate Michelle Rhee seeks to remove seniority as a factor when California school districts lay off teachers, requiring that they instead base decisions on performance ratings. Performance, under the proposal, would be determined in part based on student test scores.
Baucus Still Fretting Over Health Law He Shepherded
Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is also the conflicted architect of the health care law.
DWP Union Chief Refuses To Turn Over Financial Records To Auditor
Jack Dolan @ latimes.com
The head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's largest union refuses to cooperate with a city audit of nonprofit trusts established to improve relations between management and labor.
Possible 2014 Ballot Fight Over Firing Teachers, Looser Tenure Rules
John Myers @ news10.net
After two years of bitter legislative fights over whether it's too hard to fire bad teachers in California, the debate could be headed to next November's statewide ballot.
BART labor talks snag on new glitch
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
Just when it looked like things couldn't get worse at BART, it turns out the district messed up yet another contract already approved by one of its unions.
Rising Housing Market Could Generate Windfall Of Property Taxes
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Californiaâs housing market is rebounding sharply from the worst recession since the Great Depression, with fast-rising sales and prices. However, the overall rate of inflation remains very low by official measurement. And the contrast between those two economic factors is creating some uncertainty in property taxes.
Fewer Than 20% Of Blue Shield Customers Extend Health Coverage
Chad Terhune @ latimes.com
Given the choice, fewer than 20% of Blue Shield of California customers with canceled policies opted for a three-month extension of their current health plans.
Soil Drilling Begins In Fresno In Advance Of High-Speed Rail Construction
Tim Sheehan @ fresnobee.com
Geologists began drilling holes and collecting soil samples Tuesday in downtown Fresno in preparation for the first stages of construction on California's proposed high-speed train project.
$1.1b California Paint Ruling May Prompt New Suits
PAUL ELIAS @ sacbee.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Paint makers could face a surge of lawsuits after a California state court judge ordered three companies to pay $1.1 billion to help government agencies get rid of lead from an estimated 5 million homes in the state.
Budget Deal Clears Senate Hurdle
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
A dozen Republican senators join Democrats to avert a GOP filibuster threat over rare budget deal.
Timm Herdt: Toughest Jobs In State Government » Ventura County Star
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
There are no four- or five-star hotels near Calipatria. In fact, about the best a visitor can do is to book the Brawley Best Western, 10 miles away.
Obamacare And Me, California-style - California Health Report | California Health Report
Herbert A. Sample @ healthycal.org
By Herbert A. Sample
San Jose City Workers Rack Up Costly Trips At Taxpayers' Expense, Audit Finds
Mike Rosenberg @ mercurynews.com
A new city audit has uncovered plenty of public San Jose municipal workers who appeared to charge taxpayers more than they should have while taking trips to conferences, training and other functions. And after five straight years of declines, the city spent more money on travel this past fiscal year than at any point since 2009.