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THE NOONER for March 14, 2014
Good morning. Today will be a quickie Nooner, as I'm hosting 175 people at a conference in Oakland on student equity in community colleges. This is my first venture out of the house since the toe incident, other than for the ER and doctor's appointments. Love, gimpy.
GOV: Reportedly, the breakup between Tim Donnelly and Jennifer Kerns occurred early this week in front of La Bou on 11th Street, witnessed by many like those good days in the high school quad.
AD60 (Corona): Somehow, Democrats fumbled on finding a challenger for first-term Assemblymember Eric Linder (R). While the seat is most likely beyond the party's reach in 2014 with an ATC Partisan Index of 52.1 for the mid-term, it is the third most competitive Assembly seat held by Republicans. Since Democrats will have plenty of resources, why aren't they at least spreading the defensive field for Republicans? Further, this will be a toss-up in 2016, and the party would have benefited from a training game for local activists in 2014.
EASY AS A-B-C: The Secretary of State yesterday released the results of the randomized alphabet for the June 3, 2014 election, which affects congressional, state, and local races. For the home gamers, you use the letters successively. Thus, if two candidates have last names that start with the letter "R," you move to the second letter in their last name and see where that one falls in the order, and on down.
SEASON OF GIVING (REPORTS): The Bee has a database of gifts to lawmakers.
Told you it would be a quickie. I'll be tackling more projects on AroundTheCapitol.com this weekend. Thanks for your patience, and have a great weekend!
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Max Espinoza, Jordan Gurnett, and Brian Mineghino.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Bowen And Pew Foundation At Odds On California's Non-voters
Jim Miller @ blogs.sacbee.com
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen made it clear this week that she has some problems with a major non-profit effort to improve elections and increase the number of people registered to vote.
Bay Area Dems Wade In With California Drought Bill - Politics Blog
Not entirely happy with the drought bill proposed by Senate colleagues Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, House Democrats introduced their own plan Thursday that the North Bay's Jared Huffman said...
Ro Khanna Using Obama Campaign Tech For House Race
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
The former Obama administration official is bringing one of the president's most successful Silicon Valley-style campaign strategies home in what could be the first House campaign in the country using "big data" to target exactly whose doors are worth knocking on.
Key Senators Reach Deal To Extend Unemployment Benefits
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
The proposal for a five-month continuation of unemployment benefits probably faces a filibuster in the Senate.
Dan Walters Daily: Election year raises create conundrum for legislators
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
The possibility of pay raises in an election year is tricky political ground for a Legislature that is still unpopular with many voters, Dan says.
The Buzz: Bowen and Pew foundation at odds on California's non-voters
the numbers @ sacbee.com
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and David J. Becker, the director of election initiatives for The Pew Charitable Trusts, shared a panel this week during a state Senate hearing on improving voter participation.
State Assembly 74: As rail consultant, Keith Curry proposed tax hikes
Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry, who is campaigning on an anti-tax platform, proposed two tax hikes as a consultant to the state's high-speed rail agency.
Congresswoman Wants More Scrutiny Of College Accrediting Agencies
Carla Rivera @ latimes.com
A California lawmaker Thursday questioned whether the federal government is providing enough scrutiny of higher education accrediting agencies, citing the controversial decision by a private panel to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco.
$4-a-gallon Gas Lands In California
Mark Glover @ sacbee.com
In this photo taken Friday March 7, 2014, Eric Henry gases up his car in Sacramento, Calif. Starting 2015 California motorists will be hit in the pocketbook by the state's greenhouse gas reduction law AB32. Signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, AB32 will force fuel distributors into the same cap-and-trade marketplace as utilities and major manufacturers. The oil industry says it will lead to price increase of at least 12 cents a gallon immediately, while state regulators say any price spikes could vary widely, from barely noticeable to double-digits. Henry said he isn't in favor of a big spike in gas prices but agreed that higher prices are probably needed to force people to make changes in their consumption.
Asian-american Backlash: Measure Restoring Affirmative Action On Life Support
Katy Murphy and Jessica Calefati @ insidebayarea.com
A planned referendum sailed through the state Senate in January without fanfare on a party-line vote, but three Asian-American Democrats who initially backed the measure are now calling for it to be "tabled" before the state Assembly has a chance to vote on it -- a highly unusual move. And it seems unlikely to get the two-thirds majority in the Assembly without the support of the five Asian-Americans in the lower house.
State Assemblyman Mike Gatto Uses Wiki To Draft Laws
Legalization for S.F. in-law units gets past 1st hurdle
The legislation, sponsored by Supervisor David Chiu, would ease a number of planning and building code restrictions to allow owners of secondary units built before Jan. 1, 2013, to apply for the permits needed to legalize the existing construction. The units "serve as a vital source of affordable housing in the city," with studies showing that many of the people living in those units are low-income families, seniors and immigrants, the supervisor told the commissioners. For the past 10 months, Chiu and his staff have been talking about the legalization plan in meetings with property owners, tenant groups and neighborhood organizations about the city's housing affordability crunch, in which rising rents and a tight housing market have forced many low-income residents out of the city. [...] since the city has historically done a poor job of policing illegal units, legislation without the teeth to force property owners to make health and safety improvements to their units could leave tenants at risk, said Planning Commissioner Michael Antonini, who was the lone dissenter in the 6-1 vote to approve Chiu's plan. Aside from what could be thousands of dollars in permit fees and construction costs to legalize the units, listing those in-law apartments could increase property taxes and force owners to declare any rental income to the IRS.
CalPERS, Bankrupt San Bernardino Report Progress In Funding Talks
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
CalPERS and the bankrupt city of San Bernardino, headed for a possible legal showdown over pension contributions, said this week they’ve made headway in mediation talks.
Mcdonald's Faces Employee Lawsuits In California, 2 Other States
Tiffany Hsu @ latimes.com
McDonald’s is facing several lawsuits filed this week by fast food workers who accuse the burger giant of systematically stealing their wages and committing other labor violations.
Court Approves California Delta Smelt Protections
SCOTT SMITH @ sacbee.com
FRESNO, Calif. -- A federal appeals court on Thursday largely upheld a 2008 plan that called for restrictions on water deliveries from California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect a tiny, threatened fish.
Positive Review For Hospital In Jahi Mcmath Case - Sfgate
A state review of Children's Hospital Oakland found it followed government standards in its treatment of patients including Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who was declared brain-dead in December after undergoing a tonsillectomy and other surgical procedures for her sleep apnea. The review by the California Department of Public Health, which stepped in after the case generated controversy, looked at a sampling of 29 recent patients at the hospital. The state review is the first to examine Jahi's care after a relatively routine surgery yielded a terrible outcome. In a prepared statement, Dolan said the report was akin to an investigation, after a motor vehicle death, where they inspect the vehicle, its maintenance records and tread depth of its tires, and whether the driver was licensed. The state report took issue only with how hospital staff fills out patient records, with state investigators finding missing medical information on some patient forms.
California Health Insurance Enrollments Surpass 923k
Christopher Cadelago @ blogs.sacbee.com
The number of Californians enrolling in coverage through the state's new health insurance marketplace reached 923,832 through Sunday, officials said.
More than 3 million Californians have signed up for health care coverage
Tracy Seipel @ mercurynews.com
With less than three weeks left before open enrollment ends under the new federal health care law, more than three million Californians have signed up for health coverage since Oct.
Court Rejects Chuck Reed's Challenge To Pension-measure Language
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
A superior court judge dealt San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's pension overhaul campaign another setback on Thursday, rebuffing Reed's request to have the ballot initiative's title and summary rewritten.
Salvador Sanchez Ceren Wins El Salvador's Presidential Election
Tracy Wilkinson @ latimes.com
MEXICO CITY – Salvadoran electoral authorities on Thursday declared leftist Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren the winner of a bitterly contested presidential election, but the political right refused to accept the loss.
Brightening budget makes lawmaker raises a possibility
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
With rising revenue elevating California above years of gaping budget gaps, a panel that sets elected officials' salaries seemed receptive Thursday to boosting salaries for member of the Legislature.