Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for December 23, 2014


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EASY-PEASY: Leondra Kruger approved as new California Supreme Court justice [Bob Egelko @ SFChron] - "Kruger, 38, won a 3-0 vote from the Commission on Judicial Appointments, consisting of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris and the state’s senior presiding appeals court justice, Joan Dempsey Klein. She takes office in January."

NKOTB: Freshman lawmaker from Inland Empire gets crash course on Congress [Lisa Mascaro @ LAT]:

The newly elected member of Congress arrived in the nation's capital after a red-eye flight from LAX in a government-assigned cheap seat next to the bathroom.

Sleep-deprived, Norma J. Torres busied herself during the taxi ride downtown by answering emails and texts on her phone, oblivious to the iconic Washington monuments whizzing past the window.

Minutes later, the Inland Empire politician — a Democrat elected to represent Southern California's 35th District — arrived at the Capitol Hill Hotel with dozens of other excited, angst-filled lawmakers-to-be for a Washington rite of passage: new member orientation for the House of Representatives.

LEFT AT THE ALTAR: Darius Anderson Sues Sacramento Kings Owners Over Ownership Share [Ben van de Meer @ BizJourn] - "Businessman and lobbyist Darius Anderson has filed a complaint against two of the owners of the Sacramento Kings, alleging he was deceived and left out of the ownership when the team traded hands in spring 2013. "

MY HOMETOWN: Balancing the checkbook is tough in Placentia - "Come July 1, the city of Placentia is expected to have a budget balance of $48. One-time revenues and favorable property taxes are expected to keep the financially-troubled city in the black this fiscal year. But if the city doesn't adjust its current financial course, soaring pension and health care costs could widen deficit spending to $2.9 million in 2015-16, $4 million in 2016-17 and $4.9 million in 2017-18, city officials said."


#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for Christiana Dominguez, Wendy Mitchell, and Alex Pader!



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  • Join Emerge California's 2015 East Bay Reception on Saturday, January 10 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at The Den at the Fox Theatre located at 1912 Telegraph Ave in Downtown Oakland. To join the Host Committee, please contact Nazneen Rydhan-Foster at or visit the event page here.
  • ASSEMBLYMEMBER SEBASTIAN RIDLEY-THOMAS (D-Culver City) discusses becoming chair of the powerful Elections and Redistricting committee in this exclusive interview:
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  • California State Association of Counties (CSAC) is seeking two legislative advocates. Great opportunity to work in a challenging, professional environment on behalf of California counties. Salary DOQ; excellent benefits. Interviews expected week of 1/26/15. More details available here. Send cover letter/resume to DeAnn Baker at
  • Natomas Home to Lease: 10 minutes to Capitol and Airport; 2br/2ba/2car, single-level on quiet street.  Vaulted ceilings, large closets/storage, fireplace, covered patio, refrigerator, washer/dryer. Close to freeways, shopping, restaurants, entertainment. $1295/mo.+ deposit includes gardener. No pets or smoking. Contact Bob Wenger: or 916-359-1169.



New law could affect criminal sentences in marijuana cases
Bob Egelko @
In a sharp reversal of federal drug policy, Congress has prohibited the Justice Department from interfering with laws in California and other states that allow the medical use of marijuana.

Project To Make Searchable Database Of California Legislative Hearings | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
The Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy, a California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, think tank headed by former Republican lawmaker Sam Blakeslee, has received $1.2 million for its Digital Democracy project from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

A Year Of Firsts And Scandals In Sacramento
From San Diego's first Assembly speaker to a spate of scandals that knocked the capitol off its rails, it's been quite a year in Sacramento.

New California Senate Chaplain Chosen | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
Gorman will take over from Rabbi Mona Alfi, who served in the position since 2008. Gorman will offer prayers to start floor sessions and be available to lawmakers and staff seeking spiritual guidance.

PUC Leader Critical Of San Bruno Officials, Email Shows
Two years after a deadly gas explosion in the Bay Area city of San Bruno, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey described the city's mayor as "emotional" and the city manager as "nuts," according to emails newly released by the San Francisco utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

California Plastic Bag Ban May Soon Qualify For Ballot | Kpbs
Erik Anderson @
Opponents of California's statewide ban on single-use plastic bags are close to getting their repeal initiative on the 2016 ballot.

Poll Finds Most Optimism About Quality Jobs Since Before Recession
In another positive sign for the labor market, Americans this month showed the most optimism about the availability of quality jobs than at any time since the start of the Great Recession, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.

Feds Reject Nevada Plan To Refill Lake Above Tahoe | The Sacramento Bee
The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Freshman Lawmaker From Inland Empire Gets Crash Course On Congress
Lisa Mascaro @
The newly elected member of Congress arrived in the nation's capital after a red-eye flight from LAX in a government-assigned cheap seat next to the bathroom.

California Prison Population Drops Slightly
Katie Orr @
The number of inmates housed in California’s 35 state prisons has ticked down slightly compared to last year. There are currently about 116,000 inmates in prison, down from nearly 119,000 last year.

Can Santa Ana Trust David Cavazos' Budget Forecasts?
Logging in from multiple locations may be the cause.

Yes Means Yes Law Going Into Effect -
In 2015 any California college or university that receives state financial aid must begin using a "yes means yes" approach toward sexual assault. That means both parties must give ongoing, affirmative consent during any sexual activity.

Balboa Fun Zone yielding to educational space
For generations, the scruffy but lovable Balboa Fun Zone was a whirl of lights and bumper cars and waterfront amusement rides.

A Thirsty Town Debates Need For New Source Of Water | Science | Kqed Public Media For Northern Ca
CCSD estimates the cost of the project at $9.13 million, and expects that to rise, with expenses related to change orders and to environmental mitigations required by permitting agencies.

Smartphone App Nestdrop Halts Pot Deliveries As L.A. Court Date Nears
Soumya Karlamangla @
With a court date set for Tuesday, the smartphone app Nestdrop has stopped helping medical marijuana dispensaries deliver products as it prepares to tee off its legal battle with the city of Los Angeles.

GOP Moves To Bring A Bogus New Math To The Federal Budget
Doug Elmendorf has been viewed as a marked man in Washington ever since the last election, when Republicans won a majority in both houses of Congress for 2015. Now confirmation comes via Bloomberg that he won't be reappointed to his job as director of the Congressional Budget Office in January.

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Protections For Central Valley Salmon | The California Report | Kqed News
A federal appeals court in San Francisco has upheld measures imposed by federal agencies to protect salmon and steelhead that migrate through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Community Groups, Workers Urge El Super Boycott Amid Health Complaints
Community organizers and El Super workers -- already pushing for labor concessions from the Paramount-based grocery store chain -- are calling for a boycott of the company amid allegations of health code violations.

National Briefing | Northwest: Idaho: State Must Pay in Same-Sex Case
s ban on same-sex marriage.

Ukrainian Lawmakers Vote To End Nation's Nonaligned Status
The Ukrainian parliament voted Tuesday to end the nation’s nonaligned status in the face of Russian aggression, angering Moscow and potentially opening the way to NATO membership in years to come.