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THE NOONER for August 14, 2014

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There was never ever any real doubt, was there?

Like a teenager with her homework assignment, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown finished their work on a water bond at the 11th Hour, and then celebrated with nighttime high-fives in the governor’s office. OK, so teenagers don't usually end with high-fives in the governor's office. But you get the idea.Stay with me here...

As with that teenager, there were fits and starts, and a fair share of complaining and melodrama along the way. But the work got done. 

Jeremy White reports, “An extraordinary drought that has strained California’s water supply spurred a concerted push for a new water bond. Lawmakers moved to replace an $11.1 billion previously slated for the ballot, convinced that voters would reject it.

Instead, voters will see a $7.5 billion measure that contains significantly less money for Delta restoration. The final sum represents a compromise both from Republicans, who called for $3 billion for surface storage projects, and from Brown, who sought an overall total closer to $6 billion.

In a pivotal concession, Democrats and the governor agreed to boost the amount of money for surface storage projects to $2.7 billion. Republicans had opposed a pact between Brown and Democrats containing $2.5 billion for new dams and reservoirs.

George Skelton gives the credit to the governor.

“Credit mainly Gov. Jerry Brown, who had the right recipe: smaller portions, light on delta ingredients.

“This latest bond — to be called Proposition 1 — will replace the former stinker, which was saturated with fatback to attract legislative votes as sleep-deprived lawmakers and then-Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger bargained all night.”

Now it’s up to the voters to decide. The Chron’s Melody Gutierrez reports, “The smaller water bond will appear on the November statewide ballot as Proposition 1. Included in the deal is $2.7 billion for water storage projects, $900 million for groundwater cleanup and monitoring, $725 million for water recycling and $1.5 billion for watershed restoration programs.

The water bond is seen as critical to improving California's water delivery system and combatting the effects of the current drought and those that follow.

"This bond has a great deal of good for everyone and harms no one," said Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis. 

In addition to asking voters to approve $7.12 billion in new bond debt, the deal struck Wednesday redirects $425 million in existing unspent bond funds to bring the total spending plan to $7.5 billion. The new water bond replaces the $11 billion one from 2009, which was twice pulled from the ballot due to low voter approval ratings.”

KQED’s Scott Detrow had the Tweet of the Day on the post-game festivities.


Let’s make a deal In his spare time, the governor renegotiated the Viejas compact.David Siders has the details.

“In a compact signed by the governor the previous day, the Brown administration and officials with the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians said the tribe can no longer afford terms of a 2004 compact, which required Viejas to contribute a flat fee of $17.4 million to the general fund each year.

The Department of Finance estimated that the state will receive reduced revenue of about $3 million to $5 million annually under the new deal, which requires the tribe to contribute a percentage of earnings.

The original compact was one of five major agreements Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed with tribes in 2004.”

Electionpalooza? A lawsuit filed in Fullerton could have implications about the future of municipal election.

 “A former Fullerton City Council candidate is suing the city, alleging its at-large system of electing council members violates the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.

The law is designed to make it easier for ethnic minorities to elect their preferred candidates by encouraging district elections to replace at-large elections.”

In short, it means a lot of cities could soon be carved up into voting districts. That means a lot of new mapmakers will have a lot of new work.

Sounds like the Mitchell/Rexroad full employment act.


Elsewhere Around the Capitol

Kevin first? Michelle Rhee step down as head of education group.

Measuring the curtains?Garcetti talks film credit in Sacramento

Isn’t that special?McKenna ins contest LAUSD race





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  • Assistant Press Secretary (California)
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  • San Diego County Water Authority. Accepting proposals for Legislative Advocacy and Consulting Services Sacramento, CA. Request RFP from Jennifer Graffam at Proposal submittal deadline: 5:00 p.m. on 8/28/2014. Questions deadline: 5:00 p.m. on 8/11/2014. See RFP for further details.

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  • Capitol Weekly Top 100 Party
    Tuesday, August 19, 5:30 PM  – 8:30 PM
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Jerry Brown Renegotiates Tribal Gambling Pact
David Siders @
Anthony Pico, of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, puts his hand on the back of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as he watches the governor sign the first of five re-negotiated gaming compacts with Indian tribes in California during a compact signing ceremony in Sacramento on Monday, June 21, 2004.

Bill Gives Northrop Massive Tax Break
SACRAMENTO — The state Senate has rushed to the governor a massive tax break designed to boost Northrop Grumman Corp. 's chances of landing a government contract to build next-generation stealth bombers for the Air Force.

Water Bond Beats Towing Icebergs :: Fox&hounds
However, making the ballot is only half the battle. Anyone who lived through the referendum fight over the peripheral canal in 1982, which scuttled a legislative act dealing with the state water project, knows that the details of the bond can be used effectively in a political campaign to veto a legislative action.

Slimmed-down California water bond heading to voters
SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers voted Wednesday night to swap out an unpopular $11 billion water bond with one they hope voters will find more palatable: a scaled-back $7 billion version that earned widespread bipartisan support. In addition to asking voters to approve $7.12 billion in new bond debt, the deal struck Wednesday redirects $425 million in existing unspent bond funds to bring the total spending plan to $7.5 billion. Lawmakers voted Monday to direct the secretary of state's office to delay printing voter guides listing ballot measures in order to give themselves two more days to reach a deal. Republicans and Central Valley Democrats made surface storage a top priority, saying $3 billion was needed in order to finance two reservoirs by building dams on the Upper San Joaquin River at Temperance Flat and near the town of Maxwell in Colusa County. Some environmental groups raised concerns that bond money would fund the contentious Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta tunnel proposal known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

Gov. Jerry Brown Helps Whip Up A Palatable Water Bond
Five years after producing a pork-bloated water bond proposal that failed the smell test, the Legislature has offered up a new serving that's lean and digestible.

Amid crippling drought, California lawmakers pass $7.5 billion water plan; now heads to voters
Associated Press @
Amid crippling drought, California lawmakers pass $7.5 billion water plan; now heads to voters.

Quan's re-election campaign cleans up e-mail lists
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's re-election campaign, under fire for sending political e-mails this week to city employees on their municipal accounts, began removing those e-mail accounts from their distribution lists on Wednesday, a campaign spokesman said. The action followed The Chronicle's report Wednesday that Quan's campaign was sending political e-mails to city employees at their official city accounts - a practice that ethics experts called improper. Michael Colbruno, a spokesman for Quan's campaign, said campaign staffers consulted with the city attorney's office, which informed them that while it is not illegal to send political e-mails to city staffers at their official accounts, it's better not to. "The e-mail addresses for the Policy Roundtables announcement were obtained from Jean Quan's personal press list, which has been developed over two decades without the use of public funds, as well as publicly accessible voter registration files, which is common practice for campaigns," Colbruno wrote in an e-mail. Yet, some city workers who received the e-mails - reached again by The Chronicle on Wednesday - said they did not recall listing their municipal e-mail addresses on voter registration applications or receiving any previous e-mails from Quan's campaign.

Vote looming, California GOP lawmakers contemplate new $7.5 billion offer for water bond
Jeremy B. White @
As California lawmakers sped toward a vote on a new water bond on Wednesday, Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown extended a new $7.5 billion offer in hopes of securing necessary Republican votes.

Water Bond Grows, But Does It Have The Votes?
Late night negotiations Tuesday added hundreds of millions of dollars to Gov. Jerry Brown's latest water bond proposal, but it remained unclear Wednesday morning whether the new offer would earn sufficient Republican support to pass the Legislature.

West Sacramento Imposes New Water Restrictions
Darrell Smith @
West Sacramento is restricting outdoor watering in response to the state’s historic drought.

Garcetti Sees Progress On Film Tax Credit Negotiations
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to support an expansion of California's film tax credit, a high-profile effort to keep production jobs in the state.

California lawmakers reach deal on water bond
Jeremy B. White @
Removing the final obstacle to placing a new water bond before California voters on Nov. 4, Senate Republicans announced Wednesday afternoon they had struck a deal with Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats to approve a $7.5 billion borrowing measure.

Senate GOP Leader Bob Huff: Securing Water Storage Funding Is A Huge Victory for California
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) issued the following statement tonight following the vote by the Legislature to put an alternative water bond measure on the November 2014 ballot:

Legislature to vote on revamped water bond after Democrats, Republicans agree on compromise
Associated Press @
Legislature to vote on revamped water bond after Democrats, Republicans agree on compromise.

Sacramento County Ditches Lawn Mowers For Goats -
Living in an urban setting you wouldn’t expect to see a herd of goats grazing a couple lots over. But, as summer progresses, municipalities like Sacramento County are ditching lawn mowers and hiring goat herders to clear county-owned basins with overgrown brush.

Court Budget Cuts Blamed For Drop In Cases Filed
California court filings dropped 9 percent statewide last year -- and they're down almost 25 percent from five years ago, according to new data released by the state courts system.

State Water Bond Money Grows In Last-minute Tussle
Jessica Calefati @
The last minute changes worked out during an all-night negotiating session include $200 million more for dams, reservoirs and other water storage projects — a key adjustment needed to win support from Republican and Central Valley lawmakers.

Drought Fuels Backlash Against Proposed Downtown Water-slide Event
A permit application to set up a 1,000-foot water slide in downtown next month is facing opposition from thousands of people who say the event would be irresponsible, and certainly unseemly, given California's severe drought.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa plans suit to delay Hawaii Senate primary vote
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa plans to file a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Hawaii Office of Elections to push back a scheduled make-up vote later this week that will decide the Democratic primary election between her and appointed incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Dan Walters Daily: Will Yee and Calderon get Senate goodbye?
Alexei Koseff @
Dan asks whether the state Senate will bid farewell to suspended Sens. Leland Yee and Ron Calderon.