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THE NOONER for June 16, 2014
Happy Monday, and it is a happy one, as the Legislature adopted the state budget and implementing trailer bills last night. Here is the Assembly Floor Report on the package.
Chris Megerian (the tweet king of yesterday's deliberations) and Melanie Mason write:
Flush with optimism from California's resurgent economy, lawmakers approved a $156.4-billion state budget that expands preschool for children from poor families, increases welfare payments and provides critical funding for building the nation's first bullet train. . . . Long-term costs for public employee retirements and overdue maintenance continue to weigh on state finances, and the budget starts tackling the $74-billion shortfall in the teacher pension fund. Under the plan, schools, teachers and the state will contribute more money to the fund in an attempt to close the gap over the next three decades. . . .The budget also deposits $1.6 billion into a reserve fund, a down payment on the state's effort to create a cushion for future economic downturns. Voters will have an opportunity in November to approve a constitutional amendment that would set aside money in the fund every year and help pay off the state's debt and long-term costs."
David Siders and Jeremy B. Wright report:
Among trailer bills lawmakers took up Sunday were items inserted with little public review in recent days, including controversial language capping the amount of money school districts may set aside for economic uncertainties if state-level reserves reach certain levels. The measure, backed by California's influential teachers unions, was opposed by school administrators, and some Democrats who supported the proposal criticized the late hour at which it appeared.
Kevin de Léon is expected to be elected State Senate Pro Tempore today. He will be the first Latino elected to the post.
The issue of signatures not matching is becoming an increasingly important wrinkle as more voters cast ballots by mail. Elections officials are reviewing more than 400,000 signatures of the 2 million early absentee voters in the June 3 election who signed registration 25 years ago. Similarly, few new online registrants realize that the signature on their registration form is actually their DMV signature, which could also be decades old. If non-matches can't be resolved before Election Day, those ballots are invalidated.
Thank you, Paul, for bringing this up. I had to vote absentee this year because I was The Nooner election night headquarters was in Blythe. After I completed my ballot and affixed my signature, I looked at it and knew it could be challenged if there was a close race. It is so rare that we sign our names now (maybe two checks per month), and my bank nearly refused to let me cash a check last summer because my signature didn't match the one that I used creating the account IN HIGH SCHOOL. I last re-registered to vote in Davis 8 years ago, and I have no idea exactly how I signed that form. In the office, when we have to sign our names fifty times on transaction documents, we joke about how varied our signatures are.
In this world of digital signatures and transactions, it shouldn't be up to a bank teller or arguing political consultants and lawyers to decide if my signature matches. I don't have the solution, but get the smart people together to figure something out.
CD52 (San Diego): Poll: DeMaio leads Peters [Mark Walker @ UTSD] - "Carl DeMaio has a 7-point lead over Scott Peters with very few voters undecided in the high-profile congressional battle, according to a U-T San Diego/10News poll."
After the first jump, an update on the Controller's race, and after the second jump, the Top 25 in the Nooner Election Contest!
Somewhat expected, the large update from Los Angeles County propelled John A. Pérez ahead on Friday. The Speaker Emeritus now leads Betty Yee by 342 votes. Here's the history of the Controller vote count and a visualization of the outstanding ballots (updated Thursday).
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Carson Eades, Allan Mansoor, and Chip Wilkins!
The Nooner Election Contest - Top 25 Participants - Preliminary Results
307 Total Possible Points
1. Pam Woudstra - 225 points
Here's my scoresheet. Participants were sent a link to their scoresheets yesterday. Beware of the "rank," as it's just a count, and when there are multiple people with the same score, it keeps incrementing. Below is the actual distribution. Thus, instead of being #62, I'm actually tied for #28.
And, here's the "wisdom of the crowd" list of picks for all contest races.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Legislature Passes $108 Billion Budget
Jessica Calefati @ mercurynews.com
The main budget bill cleared the Assembly 55-24 and passed the Senate 25-11, with only one Republican in the Democratic-controlled Legislature voting in favor of it. Lawmakers worked on Father's Day because they had to meet a constitutional deadline to send a balanced budget to the governor -- or risk not getting paid.
Kashkari Talks Educational Inequality At South L.A. Church
Shifting into general-election mode, GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari on Sunday visited an African American church in South Los Angeles, where he emphasized educational inequality as he sought to sway a traditionally Democratic audience.
Reserve Cap Blemishes Otherwise Good News Budget
Tom Chorneau @ cabinetreport.com
The proposal, a last-minute addition to the 2014-15 spending plan, held special importance to Gov. Jerry Brown â although legislative leaders were clearly uncomfortable defending the plan and members of the Senate budget committee agreed to bring the issue back for further review in January.
Sleepover In Sacramento: California Budget Still In Limbo
Edwin Garcia, Mercury News @ insidebayarea.com
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, meanwhile, remained poised to order a lockdown, which would prevent senators from leaving the Capitol building until the tax legislation passes, no matter how many hours or days that takes.
Quick Take: Wingnuts And The 1%
Thus Neel Kashkari, a corporatist toady if ever there was one, became the GOP challenger for governor without having to embrace or finesse toxic political stands on abortion, gay marriage and immigration, which he freely handed to wing-nut champion Tim Donnelly; compare how Kashkari ran unencumbered by redneck baggage, in contrast to eMeg Whitman, who doomed her 2010 general election chances by absurdly posing as a nativist in the primary.
Toni Atkins On Her First Budget As Speaker: 'I Feel Pretty Good'
Melanie Mason @ latimes.com
"I feel pretty good about tonight," Atkins told reporters Sunday evening after the Assembly had completed a series of budget votes. "We ensured there would be fiscal stability -- that was a key going into this whole budget process. And frankly, we were also able to expand opportunity and to look at some programs that are really important to Californians."
Controller 2014: Perez with official lead, but Yee still projected to take 2nd
Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez begins the week with the official lead in the race for the second spot in the controller's race. But, the results from PerezÂs home county werenÂt good enough to alter projections that show Yee claiming the second spot in the November run-off.
Gov. Brown, Lawmakers Trade Goodies To Reach On-Time Budget
George Skelton @ latimes.com
Old-fashioned horse trading, back scratching and leveraging -- the proven path to successful legislating, especially budgeting.
Lawmakers approve California budget with midnight deadline looming
David Siders and Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
California lawmakers approved a $156.4 billion state budget Sunday, rushing to pass legislation less than six hours before the constitutional deadline.
Lawmakers Approve California Budget Under Looming Deadline
David Siders and Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
by David Siders and Jeremy B. White
Capitol Continues Practice Of Attaching Big Policy Measures To Budget
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Lawmakers to vote on $108 billion spending plan
JUDY LIN Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Lawmakers are facing a Sunday deadline to pass a $108 billion spending plan that will meet Gov. Jerry Brown's demands for a rainy day fund and paying down debt while allocating some of the surplus to programs benefiting lower-income Californians.
San Francisco Leads The Way With $15 Minimum-wage Ballot Measure
San Francisco's 'consensus measure' for the November ballot would raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by July 2018.
Judges Keep Close Watch Over Their Own Pensions | Calpensions
The pension contribution of the judges, who were elected in 2012 but did not take office until 2013 when the reform began, would be lowered from the new-hire rate under the reform, 15 percent of pay, to the rate paid by most judges, 8 percent of pay.
Optimistic On Economy, California Lawmakers OK $156.4-billion Budget
Chris Megerian and Melanie Mason @ latimes.com
Flush with optimism from California's resurgent economy, lawmakers approved a $156.4-billion state budget that expands preschool for children from poor families, increases welfare payments and provides critical funding for building the nation's first bullet train.
Assembly approves $108 billion state budget; Republicans warn that spending is not sustainable
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Assembly approves $108 billion state budget; Republicans warn that spending is not sustainable.
Starbucks Offers Online College Program To Workers
CANDICE CHOI @ sacbee.com
NEW YORK -- Starbucks is rolling out a program that would allow its workers to earn an online college degree at Arizona State University at a steeply discounted rate.
$15 wage too much to swallow, restaurant group says
Heather Knight @ sfgate.com
Get ready to pay $7 for a bottle of beer and $9 for a cup of soup. And don't even think about buying your lunchtime sandwich for less than $10. These are the predictions of restaurant and bar owners who say they'll have no choice but to pass on their increased costs to customers if voters approve a November ballot measure to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Teacher Tenure Ruling Energizes Race For State School Chief :: Si&a Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource For Superintendents And The Cabinet
Tom Chorneau @ cabinetreport.com
But pundits say the Vergara decision has also energized the already bitter race for state superintendent of schools – a contest where simmering hostilities over education reforms, mostly among Democrats, have broken into the mainstream.
An Improved Economy Doesn’t Mean Times Are Easy For Sacramento Area’s New College Grads
Richard Chang @ sacbee.com
College graduates in the class of 2014 are entering a job market with the lowest unemployment rate since most were in high school.
Democrats Name F*$%ing Building after John Burton
California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton will be honored Monday morning, when the state party unveils its new Sacramento headquarters named in his honor. In celebration of whatever comes out of BurtonÂs mouth today, weÂve updated and republished the "The Complete Guide to John BurtonÂs Tirades, Outbursts and Expletives."
California teacher firing bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
Against the backdrop of a sweeping ruling declaring California’s teacher dismissal rules unconstitutional, the Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown legislation speeding the teacher firing process.
Legislature passes $108 billion state budget; GOP criticizes bullet train, school provisions
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Legislature passes $108 billion state budget; GOP criticizes bullet train, school provisions.
Legislature delivers financial rescue for CalSTRS; state, schools, teachers to contribute more
The Legislature has agreed to a financial rescue plan for California’s beleaguered teachers’ pension system, with increased contributions coming from school districts, the state and teachers themselves.