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THE NOONER for June 19, 2014
Good morning...early morning flight from SANdy Eggo to SMurF, which cut significantly into my Nooner time. So, this will be a super quicky today, as I have a meeting to get to in Sac-town. That said, I got to watch the Padres win last night, which is a rarity.
In follow-up to my list of possible Supreme Court nominees, astute readers pointed out that Darrell Steinberg should be on the short list.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Pete Aguilar!
THE WIRE: Of course, the day after I ask "What Will Sonoma Do?," the county reported, and put Betty Yee in the lead over John A. Pérez now leads by 68 votes according to SOS. This is as wild of a state election as I have ever seen.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Controller 2014: Betty Yee narrows gap, John Perez holds 117 vote lead
With more ballots counted on Wednesday, Board of Equalization member Betty Yee narrowed the gap with fellow Democrat John A. Perez. The former Speaker of the Assembly holds a 117-vote lead with as many as 100,000 ballots left to count.
Water vs. Schools On California's Fall Ballot?
John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
The safe money, so to speak, in California politics for years has been that voters are usually happy to approve long-term government borrowing. In some ways, it has seemed like free money. But in the post-recession era, where debt has become a political hot potato and the incumbent governor has made debt reduction his mantra, a statewide bond measure is a bit more of a dicey proposition.
Brown's Tunnel Plan Looms Over Effort To Pass Water Bonds
As lawmakers struggle to craft a water bond proposal for voters, there's a huge reservoir of wonderful, non-controversial project ideas. But practically everyone is suffering from tunnel vision. Literally.
What California state workers earn: State lawyers
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
California’s state attorneys have been pressing for pay parity with their local-government counterparts for years. Salary data compiled by the state and the attorneys’ union for years have shown a gulf so wide that Attorney General (and now Gov.) Jerry Brown said in 2007 that he was worried the state’s ability to enforce the law was in jeopardy.
Anti-delta Tunnel Groups Gear Up To Oppose Water Bonds
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
California lawmakers haven't finished maneuvering to get a new water bond on the ballot in November, but opponents have already begun mobilizing.
Afghan Presidential Candidate Says Fraud Clouds The Vote Count
Afghanistan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday called for the counting of ballots in the runoff election to be halted due to what he termed “organized fraud.”
All eyes turn to Sonoma County in cliffhanger state race
More than two weeks after the June 3 primary election, Assemblyman John PÃ©rez of Los Angeles leads fellow Democrat Betty Yee, a Board of Equalization member from San Francisco, by just 932 votes for the second spot in the fall election. The top-two contest for controller is shaping up to be one of the closest statewide races in California history, tighter even than the November 2002 race for the same office, when Democrat Steve Westly beat Republican Tom McClintock by 16,811 votes. California had about 1 million uncounted ballots the day after the election, but by Wednesday afternoon, the secretary of state's website showed the total had dropped to about 121,000. Two days after the election, we provided the secretary of state with the number of uncounted ballots. In another tight contest, Republican Hugh Bussell of Livermore has a 413-vote margin over Democratic state Sen. Ellen Corbett of San Leandro for second place in the 15th Congressional District, with the top finisher to face the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Eric Swalwell of Dublin, in November.
A Bump At The Pump? Senators Propose A 12-cent Hike In Federal Gas Tax.
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California Caregivers Sue Their Employer For Wage Violations | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
Professional caregivers filed a class action lawsuit in California Wednesday on behalf of hundreds of workers throughout the state. They say their employer, Kindred Healthcare and its affiliates, shorted them on wages, overtime, and breaks.
S.F. archbishop joins March for Marriage crowd in D.C.
San Francisco's Roman Catholic archbishop joined several hundred people outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday morning in preparation for the March for Marriage, the second annual demonstration in support of heterosexual-only marriage. Signs such as "Every child deserves a mom and dad," in both English and Spanish, filled the Capitol lawn. The event has drawn attention in the Bay Area, where several politicians, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, joined gay and lesbian rights groups in urging Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to reconsider his star speaking role at the march.
CalPERS Has Interim Agreement In San Bernardino Bankruptcy Case
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
CalPERS and bankrupt San Bernardino have reached an “interim agreement” that could head off a major legal battle over bankruptcy debts and the ironclad status of public pensions, the city reported.
Covered California Questions Health Insurance Initiative | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
If approved by voters the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act would give California’s insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive health insurance premium increases. While this idea likely sounds good to consumers, there are concerns that such authority could destabilize Covered California.
Lawmakers OK last-minute solar deal in budget
DON THOMPSON Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
The last thing lawmakers did as they passed California's $108 billion general fund budget this week was take up a mysterious tax break for the solar industry.
Setback Put Kevin De León On The Path To Senate Leadership
Kevin de León thought his political career might be over.
Tax lawyer gets 1 year for failing to file
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
A San Francisco tax lawyer was sentenced to a year in prison Wednesday because he failed to file his income tax returns.
Michelle Obama: Immigration Is President’s Top Legislative Priority
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Controller 2014: Betty Yee retakes lead with final results from Sonoma County
Board of Equalization member Betty Yee has reclaimed second place in the race for state controller with an updated tally from Sonoma County.
Advocacy Group: Thousands In Sacramento Face The Risk Of Crude Oil Train Spills
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
More than 135,000 Sacramentans live within a half-mile of rail tracks and could find themselves in harm’s way should a crude oil train derailment cause a spill, according to a report published Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council in California. The group’s maps show 25,000 residents in Davis within a half-mile of train tracks.
Judge upholds Utah's Arizona-like immigration law, but with limits
A federal judge issued a split ruling Wednesday on Utah's controversial immigration law passed in 2011.
California Lawmakers Consider Expanding Teacher Tenure Despite Court Ruling
Sharon Bernstein @ reuters.com
A union-backed bill in the California legislature to expand tenure protections for public school teachers to other employees stalled on Wednesday amid concern about a court ruling last week that said the practice is unconstitutional and hurts students.
Wage Theft A Real Problem, But Solving It Isn't Easy
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The Capitol is accustomed â even inured â to political battles between unions and employers over laws governing labor-management relations. Assembly Bill 2416 is, in that sense, just another in a decades-long series of such skirmishes.
Calif. Supreme Court Justice Marvin R. Baxter To Retire Next Year
Christopher Cadelago @ blogs.sacbee.com
California Supreme Court Justice Marvin R. Baxter announced Wednesday that he will retire when his term ends in January, providing Gov. Jerry Brown another opportunity to reshape the state's high court.