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THE NOONER for November 26, 2014
THANK YOU: As the new Legislature comes in Monday, we say goodbye to many people who have given their time to make our state more Golden. Let's thank them for their service, although I'm certain we will see some of them back.
CHOPPED: What really motivated cuts to California’s Senate? [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - "Erasing the Senate floor analysis office may save a few dollars, but the real cost will be much less transparency about what the Legislature is doing for – or to – the public in hundreds of bills each year."
DOUBLE GOBBLE! Working Thanksgiving? Proposed California bill would offer double wages [Jeremy B. White @ SacBee] - "As more and more retailers and restaurants remain open on what have historically been off days, said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, workers deserve to earn extra. She plans to unveil a bill that would require additional pay, a policy she settled on in lieu of seeking to bar stores outright from opening on the holidays."
DOLLARS AND SENSE: More Taxes and Tuition Buy Time for the Pension Bubble [Ed Ring @ FlashReport] - "The solution to the University of California’s money crunch is to suspend cost-of-living increases, increase payroll withholding for pension benefits, and lower pension benefit formulas. Only then will the people who teach California’s youth truly be making common cause with their students."
From our friends in the Taiwanese animation studio, "Obama announces immigration reform, America forgets to watch."
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Ray Bishop, Dustin Call, Pete Conaty, Sean Doherty, Stacie Frerichs, Matt Martinez, Jason Murphy, and Bart Reed!
#CAKEDAYSAHEAD: Over the long weekend, we have birthday greetings for John Hanna (Thursday), Sandre Swanson (Friday), Torey Van Oot (Friday), Barry Brokaw (Saturday), Cally Wong (Saturday), and Brandon Kleine (Sunday).
May you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Legislators want to outlaw pedestrian tolls on Golden Gate Bridge
Michael Cabanatuan @ sfgate.com
Two members of the state Assembly want a stroll or a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to remain free, and they intend to back that up with a law. On a grassy bluff at Crissy Field, with the bridge in the background, Assemblymen Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, said they would introduce a bill on Monday that would preclude the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District from charging a toll for people who walk or pedal across the bridge. [...] a law would undoubtedly calm the uproar from bicyclists and pedestrians following an Oct. 24 vote by the districtâÂÂs board to study whether or not it would make sense to charge a toll to those who use the bridgeâÂÂs sidewalks âÂÂ which are among the worldâÂÂs most popular tourist attractions. The district is considering the tolls as part of a 45-point plan to eliminate a projected $32.9 million budget shortfall over the next five fiscal years. At a time when the state is working to get more people to walk and bike, he said, it makes no sense to charge people to do the environmentally correct thing. Levine, citing the Golden Gate BridgeâÂÂs world renown, said charging a sidewalk toll would send the wrong message about the Bay AreaâÂÂs commitment to combatting climate change. Johnny Szeto, 63, of San Francisco, stopped after riding across the bridge and said he hopes the toll plan dies âÂÂ either from the legislation or a decision by the bridge district board âÂÂ not so much because of the money but because of the message it sends to both locals and visitors.
Am Alert: Legislative Election Concludes With Upset Victories | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @ sacbee.com
That caps a disappointing legislative election for California Democrats, who lost their two-thirds supermajorities in both houses. When a series of special elections finishes next year, Democrats will likely be one vote short of a supermajority in the state Senate and two shy in the Assembly.
S.F. district, union agree to pay raise for teachers, assistants
J.K. Dineen @ sfgate.com
After 11 months of negotiations, the San Francisco Unified School District and the United Educators of San Francisco have agreed on a tentative contract that would give teachers and teaching assistants a 12 percent raise over three years. The raises are among the largest recently agreed to for any urban school district in California, according to Superintendent Richard Carranza. âÂÂTo ensure our students get the education they need to be successful, we must invest in the people who are charged with teaching and supporting them in the classroom,âÂÂ Carranza said. The contract will give educators âÂÂa fighting chance to stay, live and work in San Francisco,âÂÂ said Dennis Kelly, who heads up the teachers union. The tentative agreement also provides additional compensation for teaching assistants, known as paraprofessionals, most of whom work directly with students with special needs. In addition to the salary increases, the agreement includes a significant increase in elementary teacher preparation time that includes time for teachers to collaborate and develop personalized instruction for every student. Prep time for elementary school teachers within the workday will jump from 60 minutes per week to 150 minutes per week. Kelly said the union set out with three goals: a double-digit salary increase, extra raises for the paraprofessionals, and more preparation time for elementary school teachers. Sandra Fewer, president of the Board of Education, said she was relieved that (the tentative agreement) was done before the end of the year so that our employees can have a nice holiday.
Boxer Urges Justice Dept. Probe Of Ferguson Pd
By Josh Richman Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 1:12 pm in Barbara Boxer, Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Zoe Lofgren.
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra Lost Focus, And Reelection
With so much focus on who's raising the most money, who's got the big-name endorsements and who's got labor or business or whatever special interests' backing, it's easy to overlook the simple fact that elections are decided by individual voters. Money, political connections and even incumbency won't matter if voters don't recognize or choose a candidate's name when they cast their ballots.
S.F. supervisors give cityâ
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to give the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission a right of first refusal on providing power to new developments in the city, which is in the midst of a building boom. The legislation is designed to expand the retail customer base for the cash-strapped public utility, which sells much of its power at a steep discount to government customers. Currently, the utilities commission has to vie with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for new customers. A 2012 SFPUC memo said PG&E was disputing the cityâÂÂs right to provide power to port properties, including tenants in the Ferry Building, and to Muni bus shelters. In other action, the board took a step toward equal pay for women, unanimously approving legislation to require certain city contractors to report how much they pay individual employees. âÂÂThis is very groundbreaking,âÂÂ said Avalos, who called for the board to explore expanding the reporting requirement to the dozens of businesses that get tax breaks from the city. The reports would include information about workersâÂÂ sex and race; other details of the reporting requirements would be hashed out by an Equal Pay Advisory Board created by the legislation. Supervisor David Campos, who authored the legislation, said expanding the scope to cover companies receiving city tax breaks would make âÂÂa great deal of sense.âÂÂ
Working Thanksgiving? Proposed California Bill Would Offer Double Wages | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
Californians working through the holidays could get heftier paychecks under legislation that would mandate double pay for Thanksgiving and Christmas shifts.
High court to hear S.F. appeal of ruling in police-shooting suit
Bob Egelko @ sfgate.com
The central issue is how the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires government agencies to make reasonable accommodations for the disabled, applies to police conduct toward a mentally ill person who may be violent. âÂÂPolice officers deserve clarity concerning their obligations under federal law, and public safety demands it,âÂÂ City Attorney Dennis Herrera, whose office represents the officers, said Tuesday. Ben Nisenbaum, a lawyer for Sheehan, said the law must draw distinctions between a mentally ill person who poses a threat to the public âÂÂ like âÂÂa person running down the street with a knifeâÂÂ âÂÂ and someone confronted by officers while alone in her room, with backup police on their way. According to the appeals court, Sheehan, then 56, suffered from schizophrenia and had threatened her social worker with a knife before he summoned police to her room in a Mission District group home in August 2008. [...] the appeals court, in an opinion by Judge Raymond Fisher, said a reasonable jury âÂÂcould find that Sheehan was in a confined area and not a threat to others,âÂÂ and that the officers had known that a deadly confrontation was likely when they entered with guns drawn. In its appeal to the Supreme Court, San Francisco argued that the federal disability law does not require police to consider the mental health needs of âÂÂarmed and violent suspects who are disabled.âÂÂ When mental illness causes âÂÂunpredictable, violent behavior as it did in this case,âÂÂ said Deputy City Attorney Peter Keith, âÂÂofficers must make split-second decisions that protect the public and themselves.âÂÂ
L.A. Council Wants Residents To Lock Up Or Disable Handguns
Los Angeles lawmakers voted Tuesday to start drafting a city ordinance that would require residents to lock up their handguns or disable them with a trigger lock when they aren¿t being used.
Democratic bigwigs fail to sway garbage deal in Daly City
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Rep. Jackie Speier, Chronicle columnist and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, and state Democratic Party Chairman John Burton all pitched calls to Daly CityâÂÂs mayor in an effort to swing a contract in favor of garbage giant Recology. The calls started as the Daly City Council was deciding whether to drop longtime garbage hauler Allied Waste Services in favor of Recology. Recology officials said the calls from some of the biggest Democratic names in Bay Area politics werenâÂÂt a case of the company flexing its political muscle. âÂÂOur thought was we could reach out to find people who had worked with us in the past to help let (the council) know who we are,âÂÂ said Eric Potashner, RecologyâÂÂs strategic affairs director. Burton said he had called in his capacity as a longtime customer of RecologyâÂÂs Sunset Scavengers, and not as a high-ranking Democratic Party official. Despite RecologyâÂÂs promise to save the city $3 million over the 15-year life of the contract and to provide almost twice as much recycling âÂÂ and despite the recommendation of City Manager Pat Martel to switch to Recology âÂÂ the council voted 4-1 last week to stick with Allied Waste. [...] during an exchange with a Recology executive at a City Hall hearing last week, Torres made it clear that he had concerns about a string of litigation and whistle-blower complaints that have dogged Recology in recent years. San Francisco Airport Director John MartinâÂÂs decision to suspend pickup privileges of two drivers involved with last weekâÂÂs taxi demonstration that blocked airport traffic isnâÂÂt improving the cabbiesâÂÂ mood as a holiday truce takes effect. The cabbies are annoyed that lightly regulated ride-share competitors including Lyft, Sidecar and Uber have been given the green light to pick up airport fares, with no consequences for all the years they were doing so without official permission. The first and likely most important hire that Oakland Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf will make is the successor to interim City Administrator Henry Gardner, who was brought out of retirement when Fred Blackwell abruptly pulled up stakes to lead the San Francisco Foundation. [...] when Alameda City Manager (and former Oakland City Attorney) John Russo popped up at SchaafâÂÂs victory celebration, speculation immediately flared up that Russo was a contender. [...] Schaaf appears to be headed in another direction, after the City Council approved a plan last week to hire a headhunter for a national search. Democratic political consultant James Carville, summing up the midterm election results at a Ready for Hillary super PAC retreat in New York.
Carly Fiorina Actively Explores 2016 Presidential Run But Faces GOP Critics
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Same-sex marriage bans in Mississippi, Arkansas overturned
Arkansas and Mississippi became the latest two states Tuesday to have their same-sex marriage bans overturned by federal judges, but there are no rushes to the altar as both orders are on hold so the states can consider appeals.
Obama Threatens to Veto $440 Billion Tax Deal
The president, saying that an emerging agreement to extend a number of existing tax cuts favored corporations over the middle class, delivered a setback to negotiations that have already been divisive.
Epa Expected To Propose Stricter Ozone Limits
After years of inaction, the Obama administration is expected to propose tougher limits on smog Wednesday, according to people with knowledge of the rule-making effort. The new rule would be a major victory for public health groups, but it is sure to further stoke the partisan clashes between the president and Republicans poised to take control of Congress .
Judge To Elections Officials: Reveal Sources Of Campaign Spending
In a decision that could force disclosure of some of the secret money flooding into elections, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that groups that run election-related ads must reveal their donors.
Watchdog Calls For Tighter Regulation On California Foster Care Prescriber Relationships With Drug Companies
The outcry came from a leading consumer advocacy group as lawmakers stepped up their efforts to rein in reckless prescribing and the California Medical Board vowed to widen its investigation in response to this newspaper's ongoing series "Drugging Our Kids." On Sunday, the newspaper reported that prescribers in the foster care system received more than twice as much as the typical California doctor in payments from big drug companies for meals, gifts, travel, speaking and industry-sponsored research. The newspaper also found that last year doctors who prescribed the most to California foster youth, on average, accepted almost four times as much as those who fell in a lower-prescribing group.
National Briefing | Washington: Schumer Criticizes Timing of Affordable Care Act
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Tuesday that it was a political mistake to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010 because voters were looking instead for relief from the recession.
Who Lied? Part Iii: The Problems With Todd Bosnich’s Story | Voice Of San Diego
On May 18, 2014, MaryAnne Pintar, the campaign manager for Rep. Scott Peters, sent the U-T a note.
Political Calculus: What Studies Show About the Effect of Voter ID Laws
t mean many election results will change.
Will Secure Communities work for immigration enforcement?
The federal government's Secure Communities program has been as controversial as it has been counterproductive, so we're glad the Obama administration's new approach to immigration enforcement will mean the program's demise. Yet we also harbor some skepticism about its successor, the Priority...
L.A. Protests Over Ferguson Decision Continue For Second Night
As protesters poured through the streets of Los Angeles for a second night Tuesday, they chanted about change and racial injustice while rallying against a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the August death of an unarmed black man.
Obama Faces Protests in Chicago That Immigration Plan Is Too Meager
Expecting a receptive audience, President Obama instead pared down a speech in Chicago on his immigration overhaul as protesters shouted for even more relief.