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THE NOONER for December 19, 2013
What California Gov. Jerry Brown Would Bring To The White House [Hunter Schwarz @ BuzzFeed]
Joel Fox writes: "The economy is coming back, Brown is the odds-on favorite to win re-election, and the governor has been crowned a success by the mainstream media. All the pieces are in place. The real test: Is Steve a Glazer still rolling his eyes over the possibility?"
THE OTHER IE: Political change roils Inland Empire [Samantha Gallegos @ CapWeekly] - "Even though most of the rural south in California is considered conservative, shifting populations and a new set of district lines could be putting the once predictable Inland Empire seats in tossup territory. Both state parties are taking note, as the New Year brings new opportunities to gain legislative seats."
CVRA: Lawmaker would require district elections in many more cities [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "Citing complaints about the underrepresentation of minorities on several city councils in California, state Assemblyman Roger Hernández (D-West Covina) said Thursday he will introduce legislation requiring geographical district-based elections in about 20 large municipalities. The measure would require such elections, instead of at-large elections, for all non-charter cities with populations of more than 100,000 persons."
What's interesting is that the proposed legislation would exempt charter cities, although courts (most recently in the Palmdale case) seem to be finding that redistricting is a matter of statewide concern that warrants the preemption of a city's charter.
MY DREAM: The following initiative was cleared for circulation today, which would be wonderful the coverage of California elections. The People's Republic of Davis could have 7 Assemblymembers!
Unfortunately, there don't seem to be pockets deep enough to gather 807,615 valid signatures for the constitutional amendment.
LEGISLATURE EXPANSION. LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Increases size of Legislature almost 100-fold by dividing current Assembly and Senate districts into neighborhood districts such that each Assemblymember represents about 5,000 persons and each Senator represents about 10,000 persons. Provides for neighborhood district representatives to elect working committees the size of the current Assembly and Senate, 80 Assemblymembers and 40 Senators. Gives working committees the legislative power generally, and sole power to amend bills, but requires approval by appropriate vote of the full membership in each house for passage of any non-urgency bill. Reduces legislators’ pay and expenditures. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Decreased state spending on the Legislature of over $130 million annually. Increased county election costs, potentially in the range of tens of millions of dollars initially and significantly lower amounts annually thereafter. (13-0028.)
PENSION POLL: A polling memo from Garin Hart Yang for the California School Employees Association is floating around that shows voters are skeptical of the initiative backed by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed that would allow public agencies to reduce retirement benefits for current employees for years for which they have not yet worked:
Steve Maviglio offers an op-ed on Fox and Hounds.
CD17 (Milpitas): Silicon Valley 2014 House race already ugly: Team Honda compares Ro Khanna to Tea Party, Ted Cruz [Carla Marinucci @ SFChron]
LA-BOS3: Greuel, mulling supervisor bid, talks politics at Cosmo panel in NYC [Seema Mehta @ LAT]
AB 1266 REFERENDUM UPDATE:
#CAKEDAYTHANKS: Thank you to many of you for the greetings yesterday.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Pitch to voters: no BART strikes allowed
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
Fresh from grinding labor negotiations and two strikes, BART board member Joel Keller on Thursday plans to propose a three-county advisory ballot measure supporting state legislation to ban the transit district's 2,500 union workers from walking off the job.
Black Bart Award Nominee: Darrell Steinberg
Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Senate president pro tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez came into their last two years as legislative leaders with a full head of steam behind a supermajority control of the legislature and new revenues because of the success of Prop 30. Managing these new found riches in both party votes and taxpayer gold placed both leaders in a unique and high profile position. They were the center of attention for much of the year in the California political world and both deserve consideration as Black Bart Award nominees for 2013.
State Legislature To Consider Doing Away With Special Elections
Claire Trageser @ kpbs.org
A retired California lawmaker is proposing an alternative to costly special elections: empty state legislature seats would be filled by the governor, not voters.
Column Extra: Read the Sherles v. SEIU Local 1000 sexual harassment lawsuit documents
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
In case you missed it, this week’s State Worker column looks at the sexual harassment lawsuit Franchise Tax Board employee Mechelle Sherles brought against her union, SEIU Local 1000. A judge recently sided with the union, which argued that Sherles was a state employee (on union paid leave to bargain contracts) when a Local 1000 staffer allegedly kissed her and sent her sexually explicit text messages. Her lawsuit alleged that other union officials mistreated her physically and emotionally after she tried to resolve the harassment internally.
Unions Need To Give The Public A Break
George Skelton @ latimes.com
Public sentiment has been turning against public employee unions as pension obligations lead to cuts in government services.
Silicon Valley 2014 House Race Already Ugly: Team Honda Compares Ro Khanna To Tea Party, Ted Cruz - Politics Blog
It's still a year from the 2014 election-- but the Democrat v. Democrat House race in the Silicon Valley CD17 has heated up so fast that it's already gone negative. Bigtime. The campaign of seven-t...
Harassment case raises questions about status of union activists on paid leave
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Mechelle Sherles allegedly suffered an unwanted kiss from Rich Boyd during an SEIU Local 1000 bargaining session at the Holiday Inn in Sacramento three years ago. Boyd, on staff as the local’s bargaining director at the time, allegedly followed that up with sexually explicit text messages to Sherles, a Franchise Tax Board employee on leave at the time to serve on the union bargaining team.
Jerry Brown For President? Fourth Try Would Follow Rocky Early Efforts
Cathleen Decker @ latimes.com
Let’s not romanticize Jerry Brown ’s three tries for the presidency, even as he leaves the door open for a fourth .
Report Faults CA Governor's Office Policy For Chilling Discrimination Claims
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
A policy requiring the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to obtain approval from the governor's office before pursuing discrimination claims against public agencies has compromised the department's independence and chilled investigations, state overseers said in a new report.
Senate Office of Oversight Uncovers Governor
A new report published by the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes has uncovered a secret policy that allows the governor to veto employment discrimination claims against public agencies without explanation or public disclosure.
Warriors star Stephen Curry to campaign for health care coverage at Richmond mall
With the first deadline looming to enroll in a health care plan under the federal Affordable Care Act, Kaiser Permanente has enlisted NBA star Stephen Curry to visit Richmond today to remind people to get covered.
L.A. Tightens Qualifications For Voting In Neighborhood Council Races
Soumy Karlamangla @ latimes.com
The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to tighten the rules for who can vote in neighborhood council elections after complaints that a overly broad definition of community stakeholder had allowed outsiders to manipulate results. Previously, anyone could vote in a neighborhood council race just by displaying a receipt for a latte from around the corner as proof of having a vested interest in a community -- a so-called ¿Starbucks stakeholder.¿
Two Southern Cal Cities Chagrined About Highly Paid Employees
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
Officials in two Southern California cities were chagrined to be singled out this week as having the state's two highest paid municipal employees last year in an annual compilation by state Controller John Chiang - and are blaming a clerical error and one-time anomaly.
Civil Rights Agency Underfunded, Hurt By Poor Policy, Study Finds
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO — Budget cuts and poor decisions have interfered with the ability of the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing to investigate discrimination complaints in California, a state study concluded Wednesday.
Uninsured Americans Are About as Skeptical of Health Care Law as the Insured, Poll Finds
CBS News poll, underscores the political challenge facing the Obama administration.
Budget deal wins final Senate approval, heads to Obama's desk
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan budget plan won final approval in Congress on Wednesday, with the Senate passing the hard-fought compromise.
Garcetti Directs City Departments To Collect Data For Open Data Initiative - Office Of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
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Obamacare Enrollment By Latinos Hurt By Immigration Law Concerns
Alex Dobuzinskis and Curtis Skinner @ reuters.com
Concerns among Hispanics that signing up for medical insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law may draw the scrutiny of immigration authorities has hurt enrollment, according to advocates of the policy.
Growth in U.S. Health Care Spending Slows
Nationally, spending on health care is growing at the slowest pace ever recorded, at about 4 percent a year. But Americans are paying more out of pocket.
Secret policy allows governor to veto public job bias cases
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
A policy begun in the Schwarzenegger administration allows the governor to block job bias cases against public agencies, raising the potential for abuse, a Senate report says.
Senate passes budget deal
JAMES PINDELL @ politico.com
Nine Republicans supported the legislation, which now goes to the president's desk.
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
Funding for mental health services has long been a cause for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. Last spring, he advocated
Mega Millions: San Jose And State Won't Hit Tax Jackpot Despite Local Winner
It won't even get a dime -- and neither will the state government.