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THE NOONER for January 21, 2014
SPEAKER ATKINS: The word is that Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) has enough pledges to be the next Speaker of the Assembly. The recent push by the Bay Area Council and others may have accelerated the lock down of votes, and Atkins is helped by a crop of Southern California freshmen that are willing to yield to a one-session Speaker before a longer term Speaker is chosen in 2016.
The formal transition is still not expected until after the June primary, which current Speaker John Pérez is on the ballot for State Controller.
GOV: Don't call Neel Kashkari a candidate for governor -- yet [Josh Richman @ MercNews]
. . . but, with a speech at a luncheon sponsored by the Sacramento Business Review, today may be the day . . . and, he has some explaining to do about his non-voting record.
THE "MIRAGE": Silicon Valley and the GOP: Republicans nurturing false hopes [Shawn Steel in MercNews] - "There's no question that California Republicans need to expand our coalition. But, as long as Republicans remain focused on the Silicon Valley mirage, we put off the hard work of build trusting with women, Latinos and Asian-Americans."
FINE PRINT: Brown Suspends Environmental Law in Drought Declaration [Chris Clarke @ KCET] - "The state's foremost environmental law no longer protects wildlife or the environment from the effects of the state's response to the drought, after an emergency drought declaration was signed by Governor Brown at a press event in San Francisco Friday morning."
LA SUPE: Former Santa Monica councilmember Bobby Shriver has jumped into the race for supervisor district 3. After eyeing a run, Wendy Greuel backed out, leaving the field as former State Senator Sheila Kuehl, West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran and former Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich. [Seema Mehta @ LAT]
ALOHA, MR. HAND: 18 California Legislators at Maui Conferences Identified [John Hrabe]
HIGH COURT: Supreme Court to hear 1st Amendment challenge to labor unions [David G. Savage @ LAT] - "But the National Right to Work Foundation, an anti-union advocacy group, sued Gov. Pat Quinn and the SEIU, accusing the state and union of conspiring to relabel private care providers as state employees so they could collect more union fees . . . They are also challenging whether workers who don't want to participate in the union should be forced to pay dues, a longtime union practice known as "fair share" fees. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of several mothers who take care of their disabled adult children at home and resent the idea of paying about $50 a month in union dues."
HEADING NORTH: Mariel Garza is leaving the Los Angeles News Group to become deputy editorial page editor for the SacBee. [Kevin Roderick @ LA Observed]
And, for Ms. Garza, we have: 20 Things Nobody Tells You About Moving Out Of Southern California [Michael Peckerar @ RantLifestyle]
DEKLEINED: Why The Washington Post passed on Ezra Klein [Dylan Byers and Hadas Gold @ Politico] - "'It sounds like Ezra wanted WaPo to launch a non-WaPo venture, and maybe they didn't think that'd be so valuable. But if they lose him it's a big problem,' Joe Weisenthal, executive editor of Business Insider, said after the initial reports of Klein's forthcoming departure. 'POLITICO took away their bread and butter of covering politics, but thanks to him they had policy. If they lose that too, they’re just a bunch of angry old columnists that people laugh at.'"
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Veterans Lack "California Rule" Pension Protection
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
President Obama signed a budget bill that cut cost-of-living adjustments in military veteran pensions last month, a few days after a judge overturned a voter-approved attempt to cut cost-of-living adjustments in San Jose city worker pensions.
Redevelopment Wind-down A Litigation Battlefield With Potential Budget Hit To State
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
The unwinding of California’s former anti-blight program has become a grinding courtroom fight involving more than 100 active lawsuits, with the state in recent weeks suffering legal setbacks that ultimately could cost it billions.
Private Prison Operator Is On List Of Maxed-out Brown Contributors
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Labor unions, Hollywood's glitterati, California philanthropists and a private company profiting from Gov. Jerry Brown 's fight over prison crowding are among 72 top donors who have maxed out on contributions to Brown's reelection campaign even before he officially runs.
The Buzz: Health care coverage covered on YouTube
Chris Cadelago and David Siders @ sacbee.com
Covered California’s “Tell a friend, get covered” campaign to draw attention to the Affordable Care Act got a boost last week when a host of celebrities and athletes participated in an hourslong YouTube promotion.
Neel Kashkari's Voting Record Spotty Since 1998 - Sfgate
Union Drive For Home Care Aides' Overtime Pay Could Backfire In Calif.
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
New federal rules will make caregivers eligible for overtime, but Jerry Brown's spending plan seeks to cap their hours to limit costs, angering advocates for the disabled and elderly.
California Drought: Tips For Conserving Water
Paul Rogers @ mercurynews.com
Remember not flushing the toilet? Putting a bucket in the shower? It's time to dust off those tips, as California finds itself in a brutally dry spell. On Friday, following the lowest rainfall year in the state's 153-year history, and with the Sierra snow pack at 17 percent of normal, Gov. Jerry Brown called a drought emergency and asked California residents to cut their water use by 20 percent.
Kamala Harris Wins New Badges Of Respect From Police
Joe Garofoli @ sfgate.com
But as Harris gears up to run for re-election this year, several organizations and individuals that endorsed her Republican opponent last time around are lining up behind the Democratic incumbent.
Farmers Fear Expressway Planned For Grant Line Road Could Squeeze Them Out Of Business
Brad Branan @ sacbee.com
Ron Alvarado, president of Cordova Hills LLC, looks at a portion of the property that Sacramento County supervisors have approved for development east of Grant Line Road.
Mariel Garza To Leave As La News Group Opinion Editor - La Observed
Mariel Garza has been the opinion editor of the Los Angeles News Group since the editorial pages of the LANG papers were put under one central editor in 2012. Before that, she was the opinion honcho at the Daily News — and before that an editorial writer there and a reporter at City Hall. She disclosed on Facebook that she is moving north to join Dan Morain's opinion staff at the Sacramento Bee.
Democrats Must Decide How Far To Bend On Immigration Reform
Russell Berman @ thehill.com
Congressional Democrats and advocates for immigration reform will have to decide how much to bend as they await proposals from House Republicans that are likely to fall far short of what they have demanded.
Los Angeles sheriff’s departure shows need for revising office
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Were one to identify California’s 10 most powerful political offices, the list would, of course, begin with the governor. The two top leaders of the Legislature would follow, along with the attorney general.
First Woman To Lead Central African Republic Faces Daunting Task
Robyn Dixon @ latimes.com
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Lawmakers in the Central African Republic on Monday elected the country's first female leader, Catherine Samba-Panza, as interim president to take on the daunting job of halting sectarian killings, stabilizing a paralyzed country and ushering in elections.
Thousands Of Sacramentans Take To The Streets To Celebrate Mlk Day
Stephen Magagnini @ sacbee.com
Spectators line the street in front of the state Capitol as a marching band passes by during Sacramento's annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.
New Virus Linked To Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
Geoffrey Mohan @ latimes.com
A rapidly mutating virus has leaped from plants to bees, jeopardizing a $14 billion industry, scientists warn.
Goal of online tobacco sales ban: more state tax revenue
John Hrabe @ calwatchdog.com
The real battle over AB 1500, Asm. Roger Dickinson's online tobacco sales ban, is over the $24 million in expected tax revenue.
Gov., Senate leader spar over redevelopment
Democratic leaders continue to push for a redevelopment replacement.
The Great Northern Hope? - Sfgate
Editorial: Schwarzenegger, pitchman-politician, just trying to make a buck
the Editorial Board @ sacbee.com
Arnold Schwarzenegger is just trying to make a buck, or $3 million.
Ken Kesey's Furthur bus on the road to restoration
Michael Taylor @ sfgate.com
It was one of the glorious symbols of the laid-back, acid-laced '60s in Northern California. Now, half a century later, Ken Kesey's psychedelic bus, with its quixotic name "Furthur," has been rescued from an Oregon swamp and is on its way to restoration, minus the LSD that fueled its passengers so long ago.