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THE NOONER for May 30, 2014
Good morning from Los Angeles, where I have a morning talk before climbing aboard that blue and orange bird back to Sacramento. It's the final stretch, and independent expenditure committees are pulling out all the stops. We'll take a look at the updated totals after a few news items and our ballot update.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Shawnda Westly, Brian Cooley (Saturday), Cortez Quinn (Saturday), Dan Smith (Saturday), Hilary Crosby (Sunday), and Shannan Velayas Martinez (Sunday)!
State Senate OKs Measure Allowing Voter Initiatives To Be Withdrawn
The state Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would allow proponents of initiatives to withhold them from the ballot if the Legislature agrees to a compromise effort to address the issue.
California Legislative Leaders Appoint Budget Conferees
Jim Miller @ blogs.sacbee.com
Leaders of the Assembly and Senate on Thursday appointed eight lawmakers to serve on the Legislature's budget-writing panel.
Prop. B height-limits battle an echo of past S.F. fights
San Franciscans have been fighting a "wall" - or the illusion of one - along the city's waterfront on-and-off since Russian Hill residents revolted 54 years ago over a plan to build Fontana East and Fontana West, the twin, boxy residential towers that overlook Aquatic Park. The land includes two lonely sites south of AT&T Park where the port hopes to build entire new neighborhoods - the industrial Pier 70 area next to the Dogpatch neighborhood and the San Francisco Giants' main parking lot, which the team leases from the port. B's backers, including the local chapter of the Sierra Club and limited-growth activists from the city's progressive left, contend the measure simply adds a layer of protection - voter approval - if developers want an exception to existing building heights. Opponents, including the Chamber of Commerce, construction trade unions, and the Building Owners and Managers Association that represents commercial property owners, say the measure will reduce complex development plans to punchy - and inaccurate - campaign slogans or force developers to strike backroom deals with Prop. "Why do these unelected individuals get to give the green light?" said Patrick Valentino, a real estate attorney who is the spokesman for the "no" side. Lost will be the carefully crafted trade-offs negotiated between city officials and developers, with some citizen input, that may result in a few tall buildings in exchange for new parks, millions in tax revenue and affordable housing fees, and hundreds of rental units within reach of the working and middle class, opponents say. B could diminish funding for transit, affordable housing and $1.6 billion in needed repairs to port facilities, including the seawall that holds back the bay. Building on victoryThat development was soundly defeated in a low-turnout election in November by the group of activists now behind Prop. Agnos and others in the group pounded the Golden State Warriors' plan to build an arena on Piers 30-32 and a condo tower and hotel on a parking lot across the street as an opening to more waterfront high-rise development. Lee, who two years ago described the arena as "my legacy project," has refused to take a position on Prop.
Governor Signs Bill Allowing Sacramento Metro Fire To Provide Tax Refunds
Cathy Locke @ sacbee.com
The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District will be allowed to return to property owners $1.3 million in mistakenly collected taxes under an Assembly bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Legislature splits on medical marijuana bills
FENIT NIRAPPIL Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
The state Assembly has rejected a medical marijuana regulation bill, while competing legislation preferred by local governments and law enforcement sailed unanimously through the Senate.
California Senate Backs Expanding Preschool For Low-income Families
The California Senate voted Thursday to expand publicly funded preschool programs to tens of thousands of 4-year-olds from low-income families, despite Republican lawmakers' concerns that the change would strain the state budget.
California Senate approves changes to initiative process
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
A bill to change California's initiative process passed the state Senate Thursday with some bipartisan support, setting up the possibility that lawmakers could have a greater role in shaping the measures that citizens send to the ballot.
California Senate Votes To Raise Minimum Wage To $13 An Hour In 2017
The state Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would gradually raise the minimum wage in California from the current $8 an hour to $13 in 2017, despite warnings from the California Chamber of Commerce that the bill is a “job killer.”
Donnelly Doesn't Buy Theory His Presence On Nov. Ballot Could Help Dems
Learn about the candidates in the June 3 primary and where they stand on issues.
House Republicans Dine On Junk Food - Politics Blog
As the House Appropriations Committee voted on party lines Thursday to allow school districts to waive nutrition requirements in school lunches, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office sent out...
Bert A. Betts, Treasurer During Pat Brown Era, Dies At 90
Daniel Rothberg @ blogs.sacbee.com
Former California state Treasurer Bert A. Betts, a Democrat who was elected to the post in 1958 and served two terms while Pat Brown was governor, died in Sacramento on Wednesday. He was 90.
Poll: Bay Area residents support preschool funding
The survey by the Bay Area Council found that 69 percent of the 1,000 locals polled online supported increasing local and state funding for both child care and pre-kindergarten programs. A bill initially aimed at offering transitional kindergarten to all children fizzled in the Legislature this month over the $2.5 billion cost and was scaled back to include only low-income children for more palatable $1.3 billion price tag. The poll, which had an error rate of plus or minus 3 percentage points, also included questions regarding the economy, transportation, energy and health care, with the results released over several days this week.
California Bill Regulating Medical Marijuana Fails In Assembly
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
Once again rejecting a measure to broadly regulate medicinal pot, the California Assembly on Thursday stalled a bill that would create a state-level entity to oversee and license California's medical marijuana industry.
Q&A: How do U.S. veterans get health care?
Â‚The Department of Veterans Affairs, which oversees pensions, education, health care and other benefits for veterans and their families, faces allegations about treatment delays and falsified records at its hospitals around the country.
California Bill On Genetically Modified Food Labels Fails In Senate
A bill that would have required labeling on food that contains genetically modified organisms fell short of the votes needed to stay alive in the state Senate on Thursday.
State Orders Sacramento Valley Water Users To Halt Diversions
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
Water rights holders drawing from the Feather River, a tributary of the Sacramento River, are among those affected by a rare conservation measure ordered Thursday in response to California’s worsening drought.
Strange Bedfellows In Silicon Valley House Race: Dem Honda, Goper Singh Getting Help From Same Dem Labor Pac - Politics Blog
A Washington-based Democratic labor political action committee that backs incumbent 7-term Democrat Rep. Mike Honda has adopted a stunning two-pronged strategy in a contentious Silicon Valley House...
Attacks Lobbed In Crowded Race To Succeed Rep. Henry Waxman
Lieu met with Calderon and an undercover FBI agent posing as someone who sought changes to Lieu's proposed legislation that would affect a hospital in Long Beach. Lieu dropped the legislation but has said it was only because its provisions were wrapped into a more comprehensive workers comp reform bill.
Obama 'hasn't Given Up' On Unemployment Extension | Potus Operandi
Asked what the unemployed should think, Carney said they don’t have many friends in House Republican leadership. He said it’s a “shame” that the GOP hasn’t acted to extend the benefits. He also noted that Republicans supported an unemployment benefits extension under President George W. Bush when conditions were better than they are today.
Bill To Raise California Minimum Wage Advances In State Legislature | Reuters
SACRAMENTO Calif. Thu May 29, 2014 8:00pm EDT