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THE NOONER for May 9, 2014
FINALLY..It is Friday! We made it through another crazy week, and you've been working to get out of here, enjoy it!.
Sorry about the Nooner errors this week. I'm working to diagnose the functional error between my brain and fingers that likes to occur between 5 and 6am. Anyway, of course we may see a special election between Susan Bonilla and Joan Buchanan for SD07 early next year, should Mark Desaulnier win CD11 (George Miller's seat) this year, as expected. [And, thank you to the paid Nooner subscribers who correct these errors before the 8,000+ masses see tham]
This weekend is Whole Earth Festival at UC Davis, which is Picnic Day with Mary Jane subsituted for alcohol. Tha Dirt Feeling playing tonight from 7:30-8:30 on the Cedar Stage and all the cool cats will be there.
Speaking of Davis and relevant to The Nooner, California fared well in the first attempt to run data on higher education value, in a system proposed by President Obama and the US Depertment of Education. Time magazine ran the numbers, and look who fell in the top ten on a balanced approach:
#1: UC Riverside
That is awesome and truly reflects the system that was built by a lot of leaders, including Governor Jerry Brown's father, Pat Brown. Pat Brown was the Governor who signed the Donahue Act, also known as the "Master Plan for Higher Education," and his son, Jerry Brown, has a chance to restore it.
I try not to write about issues on which I lobby. And, I don't lobby on UC and CSU funding, and community colleges are under Proposition 98. So, I can say, "Folks, we got a problem here."
I abhor what has happened to the University of California. I meet with students all the time that now decide which careers to choose based on paying of their debt rather than how they best can contribute to the economy or society. And, students are now entertaining offers from out-of-state universities and are unlikely to come back.
As I wrote on March 18, I think international and out-of-state students should be on top of in-state residents by around 5,000 students (same share as 2000-01), rather than eroding the spots for in-state students. The May Revision to the budget next week is likely to have $2 billion in new revenues for next year, and that's an easy $50 million fix. And, with the extra dough, the Legislature can buy down tuition. When I graduated from UC Davis law school in 2000, it cost $11,000 in required fees. It is now over $50,000. That needs to be fixed and the cost is "budget dust."
We should reduce the cost of attending our universities, and count on those who attend and then make big money to pay it back in our already very progressive income tax system. For now, we are closing off public service opportunities (like district attorney, public defender, public health, and nonprofit jobs) for low income students. Being an assistant district attorney should not be an opportunity to gain a bullet point on a slate mailer, only available to someone of means who can pay off huge loans.
UC likes to talk a lot about the Blue and Gold plan, which is working well on attracting socio-economic diversity at the undergraduate level. I applaud the University for that, but the Legislature needs to wake up what has happened to the professional schools. They have been privatized, and a lot of current and former legislators never could have attended graduate school under the current structure.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (a great Democrat leader and a great Republican leader) were in the same law school class at my beloved UC Davis's Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall School of Law. Their fees were the same as undergraduates, and now would be five times the cost. That is just not right, and we can fix it.
The fix is easy and affordable in this year's budget. My friends in the Legislature (including the Speaker and Pro Tem who benefited from it), JUST DO IT. Use some of the new non-98 revenue to buy down professional fees.
Nobody is providing advocacy on this issue, but you, my readers, can fix it.
CA25 (Santa Clarita): The LAT jumps on the Lee Rogers bandwagon in the race to succeed Buck McKeon. Rogers has a tough roe to hoe, and the NRCC is happy the McKeon decided to retire in a non-presidential year.
#CAKEDAY: Light the candles (or M-80s as appropriate) for Tim Donnelly, Alex Burolla (Saturday), Chandra Sharma (Saturday),
The June 2014 NOONER Contest is now open!
Once again, The NOONER is providing an opportunity for you to prove your chops as a forecaster of California elections or, like I do with March Madness, show how little most of us really know.
Your personalized NOONER contest link is:
Once again, it is designed so you can either be anonymous or have your name in lights. Last year, we had about 500 participants and I will once again only show the top 25 scores, but you'll be able to see your score and rank. You will be able to make your picks and change your answers (via same link) through Sunday, June 1 at 5pm PDT.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Lawmakers To Vote Next Week On Rainy Day Fund Deal
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
The Legislature is expected to vote next week on a rainy-day fund agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders, the governor's office announced Thursday, hours after details of the agreement first emerged from the Capitol.
Sb 1021: The Slippery Slope Of Property Classification For Tax Purposes :: Fox&hounds
Beware the slippery slope leading to confusing tax policy if Senate Bill 1021 becomes law. As previously discussed on this site, SB 1021 would allow a form of property taxation for schools based on square footage of a parcel or the classification of property. To many, this measure is the first step in a campaign to create a split roll property tax in California in which business property would be taxed differently than residential property.
California State Tax Revenues Running $2.2 Billion Above Estimates
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
Tax revenues are running $2.2 billion above assumptions in the 2013-14 state budget, setting the stage for final negotiations on a 2014-15 budget in the next month.
Former State Board Of Education President Confirmed As U.S. Undersecretary Of Education
Sharon Noguchi @ mercurynews.com
Mitchell will oversee higher education and replace Martha Kanter, former chancellor of Foothill-De Anza Community College District who has served as education undersecretary for four years.
Judges seem skeptical over latest challenge to health care law
Michael Doyle @ sacbee.com
The seemingly endless legal war over health care found an esoteric new front Thursday, as appellate judges considered where certain bills should originate.
South Africa's Anc Poised To Return To Power; Ballot Questions Arise
South Africa's ruling African National Congress was headed for victory Thursday in parliamentary elections and President Jacob Zuma is likely to remain in office despite voter disenchantment over corruption and high unemployment.
Senate Approves 'kill Switches' For Cellphones Sold In California
The state Senate on Thursday passed a measure that would require cellphones sold in California to be equipped with "kill switches" that can render them inoperable if stolen.
California Assembly Passes Bill To Update Birth Certificates To Reflect Same-sex Parents
Dan Walters Daily: California enters new era of 'politics of plenty'
With tax revenue exceeding expectations, the Legislature's budget battles will center on what to do with all the extra money, Dan says.
Meet the Next Todd Akin: California GOP Lawmaker Tim Donnelly
Huffington Post dubs Tim Donnelly the next Todd Akin.
Estimated Cost Of Key Bullet Train Segment Rises $1 Billion
The estimated cost of building a key Central Valley segment of the California bullet train has increased by nearly $1 billion from the original estimate, based on figures in an environmental impact statement approved by the rail agency Wednesday.
Issa condemns Donnelly comments on Islamic law
JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa is condemning comments by California GOP gubernatorial hopeful Tim Donnelly in which he has tried to tie his Indian-American rival to fundamentalist Islamic law.
Lawsuit roils waters over access to Martins Beach
Lawyers for a billionaire landowner who closed a popular surfing beach told a San Mateo County judge on Thursday that the Silicon Valley titan did not violate public access laws and in fact had every right to block beachgoers from trespassing on his property. The Surfrider Foundation has accused venture capitalist Vinod Khosla of flouting the California Coastal Act when he blocked the only road into Martins Beach, a sandy, 53-acre haven along the coastal cliffs about 6 miles south of Half Moon Bay. The lawsuit, filed in March 2013, accused the then-unidentified owner of the limited liability company of painting over a billboard welcoming people to the beach, putting up a locked gate in front of Martins Beach Road and hiring armed guards to keep people out - all technically property development that changed coastal usage and required permits from the California Coastal Commission. The public is still technically allowed to use Martins Beach, but the closed gate means the only way people can get there is from the ocean, which the surfing group claims is a violation of public access provisions in the coastal act. Locals were outraged, and officials, including Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, ordered the gate reopened on grounds that the owner had not obtained a permit to block access. Seeking explanation"We want to ask Mr. Khosla what his intentions were when he bought the beach - why he conducted himself in a way that he felt he could close down the beach," said Joe Cotchett, the lead attorney for the surfing group, who also denied he had any desire to embarrass the defendant.
Issa slams GOP governor candidate
GOP candidate absurdly accuses fellow candidate of backing Sharia Law.
Lawmakers Consider Declaring Facilities Settlement Paid :: Si&a Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource For Superintendents And The Cabinet
Tom Chorneau @ cabinetreport.com
Considered one of the state’s most bitter legal contests over education adequacy, the Williams case was filed in 2000 on behalf of more than 1 million inner city students attending schools where upkeep of facilities was in question along with distribution of textbooks and assignment of qualified teachers.
AM Alert: Kamala Harris pitches anti-truancy bills to educators
Parents and teachers gathered in Los Angeles this week for the California State PTA's annual convention, where attendees have discussed education policy, advocacy and heard from guests such as state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Trial begins in suit that's roiling waters over Martins Beach access
Lawyers for a billionaire landowner who closed a popular surfing beach told a San Mateo County judge on Thursday that the Silicon Valley titan did not violate public access laws and in fact had every right to block beachgoers from trespassing on his property. The Surfrider Foundation has accused venture capitalist Vinod Khosla of flouting the California Coastal Act when he blocked the only road into Martins Beach, a sandy, 53-acre haven along the coastal cliffs about 6 miles south of Half Moon Bay. The lawsuit, filed in March 2013, accused the then-unidentified owner of the limited liability company of painting over a billboard welcoming people to the beach, putting up a locked gate in front of Martins Beach Road and hiring armed guards to keep people out - all technically property development that changed coastal usage and required permits from the California Coastal Commission. The public is still technically allowed to use Martins Beach, but the closed gate means the only way people can get there is from the ocean, which the surfing group claims is a violation of public access provisions in the coastal act. Locals were outraged, and officials, including Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, ordered the gate reopened on grounds that the owner had not obtained a permit to block access. Seeking explanation"We want to ask Mr. Khosla what his intentions were when he bought the beach - why he conducted himself in a way that he felt he could close down the beach," said Joe Cotchett, the lead attorney for the surfing group, who also said he had no desire to embarrass the defendant.
State Bill Could Change Transparency In California's Open Meetings Law | Represent! | 89.3 Kpcc
Alice Walton @ scpr.org
Join Alex Cohen and A Martínez for a conversational and witty look at the issues people are buzzing about.
Governor, lawmakers strike bipartisan deal to create rainy day reserve, pay down state debts
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Governor, lawmakers strike bipartisan deal to create rainy day reserve, pay down state debts.
State Board Denies San Jose Unified Exception To 2-year Teacher Tenure Law | Edsource Today
The State Board of Education on Thursday denied the San Jose Unified School District and its teachers union their request for the authority to require some probationary teachers in the district to work an additional third year before becoming eligible for tenure.
Lawmakers, Brown compromise on rainy day fund
FENIT NIRAPPIL Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have agreed to replace the rainy day fund measure on the November ballot with a bipartisan plan that would set aside revenue equal to 10 percent of California's general fund.
Rainy-day Fund Not Best Option, But Perhaps Only One
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Pa. gov won't appeal voter ID ruling
HAROLD POLLACK @ politico.com
The state's law was never enforced before a judge declared it unconstitutional in January.
Underwater Homes: Minorities Still Suffering From Housing Collapse
Pete Carey @ insidebayarea.com
The report, by UC Berkeley's Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, points out that these communities and others with large minority populations have substantial percentages of homes still underwater, or worth less than their mortgages. Initially targeted by subprime lenders and then hit with the steepest home price declines, the communities are still struggling from the housing crash.