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THE NOONER for March 30, 2015
LEGISLATORS GONE WILD: It's Spring Break, meaning legislators are stripping off their suits and donning their bikinis and speedos. Well, touring Cuba, marching in Cesar Chavez parades, or binge-watching House of Cards may be more likely. Staffers are not complaining about the break (from their bosses)--particularly in a non-election year--and are enjoying today's mid-80s with shorts and Hawaiian shirts and long lunches. Tomorrow is the Chavez holiday.
And, the rest is needed before the April frenzy. The Legislature reconvenes on Aprll 6, and then policy committees have 20 working days before the May 1 deadline for policy committees to report out fiscal bills, and then an additional two weeks for non-fiscal bills.
PARKING OR PLAYING? Seven lawmakers have committees for 2018 lieutenant governor's race [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "With Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom termed out in 2018, seven current and former state legislators, including Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), have opened committees to raise money for possible campaigns for lieutenant governor."
JUGGERNAUT: Kamala Harris, California's Attorney General, Leaps to Forefront of Senate Race [Adam Nagourney @ LAT] - "[N]ow, at age 50 and after winning a second term, Ms. Harris has suddenly established herself as the dominant candidate in the race to replace Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat who announced in January that she would retire next year. With a speed and efficiency that startled many in her party, Ms. Harris has appeared, at least for now, to dispatch what most people had expected would be a sprawling generational battle with powerful ethnic overtones, given that Latinos now make up nearly 40 percent of California’s population."
It's looking more likely that Kamala Harris will be the only viable Democrat in the race. While a few House members would love to be on the ballot for the seat, each day that goes by sees Harris picking up additional endorsements and bags of cash. Thus, a House member has to consider the likelihood of giving up their lapel pin and job hunting. With the likelihood that Dianne Feinstein will retire in 2018, ambitious members are shifting their sights to that race, with plenty of time to organize. And, if they jump on board the Harris bandwagon, they might just gain an edge.
DOUBLE-X FACTOR: Gender inequities persist on California Capitol payroll [Laurel Rosenhall @ SacBee] - "With lawmakers highlighting wage inequity in California workplaces, The Sacramento Bee analyzed the Legislature’s own payroll to see whether men and women are paid equally by the institution that sets policy for the rest of the state. The findings show that wage gaps for the roughly 2,100 employees of the Legislature are smaller than in society at large, but still persist:"
NO VACANCY: California's death row, with no executions in sight, runs out of room [Paige St. John @ LAT] - "San Quentin's death row can accommodate 715 inmates. Last week, prison officials said, 708 inmates were in those cells. Twenty-three others were scattered across the state for court hearings or held in long-term medical facilities or at prisons in other states."
ALIEN EXCLUSION ACT: Some Immigrants Having Trouble Obtaining AB 60 Licenses [Katie Orr @ CPR] - For AB 60 applications the Department of Motor Vehicles accepts passports from an approved list of countries. Mexico, China and Germany are on it. But Vietnam and Ethiopia are not."
SD37 (The OC): How state Senate seat was won by John Moorlach [Martin Wisckol and Keegan Kyle @ LAT] - "John Moorlach and Don Wagner each held their home turf in the March 17 special election for state Senate, yet Moorlach won by 6 percentage points thanks to a greater depth of support in his strongholds, a Register analysis shows."
LOST IN THE MAIL: Voter turnout disparity was key in razor-thin O.C. supervisor race [Team @ LAT]- "The outcome, the analysis found, turned on the high number of Santa Ana voters who failed to return the absentee ballots that had been mailed to them."
HIGH HOPES: Carly Fiorina says 'higher than 90 percent' chance she'll run for GOP presidential nomination [Josh Hicks @ WaPo] - "Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," the 2010 California gubernatorial candidate said she is "higher than 90 percent" likely to enter the race, with an announcement coming in late April or early May."
HOW IS THIS STILL A THING? WrestleMania 31 -- fun, wild, popular, bigger than real life at Levi's packed stadium [Bruce Newman @ MercNews]
#GHOSTSOFCAKEDAYSPAST to Kiyomi Burchill (yesterday) and John Laird (yesterday).
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
CalPERS Urged To Avoid Obamacare 'Cadillac Tax'
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
Employer and employee groups are urging CalPERS to âundertake all effortsâ to avoid the "Cadillac Tax," a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans imposed in 2018 by President Obamaâs health care law, a CalPERS staff report said this month.
Charles Munger Jr. Stands Ready To Protect Democracy
George Skelton @ latimes.com
Charles Munger Jr. isn't waiting around idly for the U.S. Supreme Court to act on congressional redistricting. He's hoping for the best but planning for bad news.
How Banquet For Ex-PUC Head Peevey Went Sour For UC Berkeley
Jaxon Van Derbeken @ sfchronicle.com
A tribute dinner for the embattled former president of the state Public Utilities Commission may have seemed a good way to help bolster funding for UC Berkeleyâs public policy school, but the event turned into a nightmare that ended only when the school rejected the proceeds, e-mails released by the university show.
Probe Of Back-Channel Dealing Continues At California PUC
David Siders @ sacbee.com
Michael Peevey's announcement last fall that he would not seek reappointment to the California Public Utilities Commission appeared to offer closure to years of controversy surrounding his tenure.
Longtime Supervisor Aaron Peskin seeking his old seat on board
Emily Green @ sfgate.com
Aaron Peskin, a savvy and bombastic politician who served eight years on the Board of Supervisors, including three as president, will announce Monday that he will run for his old seat in the November election.
PUC Scandal Stretches To UC Berkeley
Marc Lifsher @ latimes.com
A scandal at the Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco has reached across the bay to UC Berkeley.
As results trickle in, Nigerian presidential election too close to call
s bitterly contested presidential election went down to the wire Monday as the national election commission began announcing results. With almost a quarter of the ballots counted, the election was on a knife edge, with about 2.3 million votes apiece for President Goodluck Jonathan...
Carly Fiorina Says 'Higher Than 90 Percent' Chance She'll Run For GOP Presidential Nomination
Josh Hicks @ washingtonpost.com
Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, said her chances of running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 are "very high."
Bracketology: New GOP Presidential Rankings
In honor of March Madness and the Final Four, here are the highly-curated current candidate brackets, a mere 337 days before the tournament starts with the crucial not-really-all-that-crucial Iowa caucuses.
Rising Healthcare Costs Are Pressuring Patients
Coping with ever-increasing medical bills is frustrating — and getting more so.
Top California Elected Officials On Their Private Email Use
AP @ sacbee.com
The Associated Press surveyed the top eight statewide elected officials and the four legislative leaders to ask whether they ever use private email accounts for official business, whether such records are retained and whether such communications should be considered public record.
California Agriculture Industry Could Lose $1 Billion In | The Press Democrat
GUY KOVNER @ pressdemocrat.com
The North Coast is still doing better than rest of state in regard to water storage, but the drought is still considered severe.
Superbug Outbreaks: Scope Maker Pentax Draws Scrutiny From Lawmaker
A federal lawmaker is seeking information from Pentax Medical, a manufacturer of medical scopes that have been linked to recent outbreaks of superbug infections.
Missouri Candidate Picks Up Where She Left Off After Rivalâ
Catherine Hanaway eased back into the race for governor a month after Tom Schweich, a candidate for the Republican nomination, committed suicide. Some close to Schweich blame his death, at least in part, on a brutal campaign against him.
Navajo Nation Sees Tax On Junk Food As Way To Combat Health Problems
Nigel Duara @ latimes.com
The Navajo Nation hopes taxing junk food will lower obesity rates, but some fear the measure will hurt low-income residents.
New Tests To Tell Juniors If They're College-Ready
John Fensterwald @ edsource.org
With the transition to the Common Core, California education officials pushed to replace the EAP test with the new Smarter Balanced tests to provide a common set of college readiness measurements that all member states of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium could use. The other states agreed with this approach.
Supreme Court Ruling Puts State Regulatory Boards In Crosshairs
Michael Hiltzik @ latimes.com
Want to get paid for shampooing someone's hair? In California, you may need to have at least nine months of experience and pass a licensing test overseen by the state barbering and cosmetology board, whose members include salon professionals.
Robin Williams Tunnel gets closer to reality
Sam Whiting @ sfgate.com
The âRobin Williams Tunnelâ took a major step closer to reality when it cleared the transportation committee of the State Assembly on a 16-0 vote last week.
Prescription Candy: A Quick Fix For Aging?
Matt Perry @ healthycal.org
In America, drug addiction is despised as a social scourge, a destructive force for families and communities alike. Yet when it comes to treating older adults, drugs are hailed as quick salvation â prescription candy â the answer to complex chronic diseases and behavioral âproblemsâ affiliated with dementia.
California's Death Row, With No Executions In Sight, Runs Out Of Room
With no executions in nearly a decade and newly condemned men arriving each month, the nation's largest death row has run out of room.
Andrew Sullivan: 'I couldn't imagine blogging the next election'
Dylan Byers @ politico.com
Andrew Sullivan gave up blogging because it was "killing" him, he said on Sunday. But the prospect of covering a Clinton vs. Bush presidential campaign played some part, too.
Deal: 35% off sportfishing package at Alaska's Waterfall Resort
Alaska's Waterfall Resort is putting its sportfishing trips on sale this summer. On selected dates, visitors save 35% on two-night stays at the cannery-turned-fishing lodge near Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island.