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THE NOONER for April 8, 2015




CA24 (Santa Barbara): Lois Capps is announcing today that she is retiring after 17 years in Congress. Her daughter Laura Capps, who served as a Clinton speechwriter and is marred to Democric consultant Bill Burton, is expected to seek to carry on the family legacy. Lois succeeded her husband, Walter Capps, who died only 9 months after assuming office. The GOP is expected to contest the race, with Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian the most likely candidate.

MO MONEY,  MO PROBLEMS: Too much of a good thing? Higher revenue could bring new headache for California budget [Chris Megarian @ LAT] - "In a worst-case scenario outlined by legislative analysts on Tuesday, a budget gap could result if higher-than-expected revenue collides with California's formula for funding public schools and community colleges...The legislative analysts presented a variety of potential income scenarios in their report, ranging from $3.85 billion to $8.1 billion more revenue than the governor has estimated through June 2016." [report]

SD07 (Tri-Valley): SD7: FPPC Nixes Glazer's Complaint Vs. Union PAC [Josh Richman @ BANG] - Steve "Glazer – Orinda’s mayor, and a Democrat – faces Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, in the May 19 special election for the 7th State Senate District seat. He complained last Wednesday to the California Fair Political Practices Commission that Working Families Opposing Glazer for Senate had issued a mailer that didn’t disclose the big money – $185,000 from the State Council of Service Employees and $75,000 from the California School Employees Association – behind the PAC."

SIN AGUA: Santa Barbara Rekindles Desalination Debate [Paul Rogers @ MercNews] - "Now, 23 years after it closed, with the state entering the fourth year of its worst drought on record, Santa Barbara is preparing to reopen the [desalination] plant, rekindling a debate that is spreading to communities up and down the coast: Is the state's water shortage now so dire that Californians should embrace desalination -- with its high economic costs and environmental risks -- as a critical element of a pricier water future?"

GULP: Some water-guzzling Orange County cities may see cutbacks hit 35% [Aaron Owloski @ OCR] - In February, urban water consumption increased 2.3 percent in the South Coast region compared with February 2013. The region includes Orange Cou"nty and has 56 percent of California’s residential water customers."

Sacramento region faces new round of hefty water cuts [Philip Reese and Dale Kasler @ SacBee] Residents in Granite Bay, Carmichael, part of Elk Grove, Folsom, Fair Oaks and several other Sacramento-area suburbs would be required to cut water use by 35 percent compared with 2013, or potentially face stiff penalties, under the framework laid out by the State Water Resources Control Board. Some other area cities that already use less water per capita – including Sacramento, Roseville, Davis and Woodland – would be required to cut water use by 25 percent compared with 2013."

Democratic lawmakers unveil bills to protect, insure unauthorized immigrants [Christopher Cadelago @ Sacbee] - Senate Bill 4 by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would extend Medi-Cal to unauthorized families based on their income. It also could open Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, to undocumented immigrants, though they would not qualify for subsidies. A more ambitious and costly version of the bill was shelved last year to give supporters time to identify a funding source"

Bruce Pomer concedes Sacramento City Council race to Eric Guerra [Ryan Lillis @ SacBee]

Martinez school board member in hot water over air-conditioning comment [Jill Tucker @ SFChron]:

There’s a huge hullabaloo coming out of the Martinez school district, where a school board member recently said a school educating predominantly low-income and Hispanic students doesn’t need air-conditioning as much as a school with mostly white and wealthier students.

Because, said school board member Denise Elskin, the kids at the white school, John Swett, likely have A/C at home, while the poorer students at Las Juntas probably don’t and therefore are used to the heat. She suggested planting some big trees at the poor school instead.

KEEP THE CHANGE: Passengers leave thousands in loose change at L.A., S.F. airports [Joseph Serna @ LAT] - "Passengers at LAX lost $41,506.64 after passing through security screening checkpoints between Oct. 1, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014, TSA officials said. San Francisco International Airport’s haul landed second on California’s list at $34,889.63. The two airports – California’s busiest – far eclipsed the rest of the state’s aviation hubs."

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: What do American Pie's lyrics mean? [James Morgan @ BBC]

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Rene Aguilera and Emanuel Petrascu.




  • Harbage Consulting, a health policy consulting firm with expertise in public programs and delivery system reform, is seeking a Communiations Coordinator for its Sacramento office. [more info]
  • Join Capitol Network for its Spring Luncheon featuring Debbie Manning, the first female California State Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms. April 23 at 11:30am at Cal Chamber 1215 K Street, Su

California lawmakers propose expanding benefits to undocumented immigrants
California lawmakers propose expanding benefits to undocumented immigrants SACRAMENTO — California legislative leaders took a bold step Tuesday toward protecting immigrants living in the country without documentation by backing legislation to offer Medi-Cal and other public services to a population they said they want to help move out of the shadows. The leaders of the California Senate and Assembly joined lawmakers and advocates in announcing a the “Immigrants Shape California” legislative package at a press conference in Sacramento. Immigrants, regardless of residency status, would also be able to obtain coverage from the California Health Benefit Exchange at the rates available to others in the state. Lara said 30 percent of undocumented immigrants can afford to pay into the state’s health insurance exchange without subsidies. SB674, by de Leon and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, would require law enforcement agencies across the state to comply with the federal Victim of Crime Visa, called a U-Visa, which grants temporary residency to victims of certain crimes and those who have been helpful to a criminal investigation. “It seems certain law enforcement agencies throughout the state of California are taking into their own hands the subjectiveness of whether one belongs in this country or not, irrespective of the crime committed or perpetuated against the victim themselves or they themselves have become a witness in a crime,” de Leon said. De Leon said the bill package unveiled Tuesday adds to laws California has already passed that makes the state a leader on immigrant rights. “These bills will ensure that immigrants are not forced to live as second class citizens, and the immigrants’ rights community is dedicated to working alongside California’s legislators to see these measures successfully passed,” said Angie Junck, supervising attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.

Regulating Water Use By Pot Farms | East Bay Express
Sascha Bos @
The California Assembly plans to hold an unprecedented hearing on April 15 to examine a proposal to regulate a controversial, billion-dollar state crop: marijuana.

California Democrats unveil immigration bills, jab Congress on inaction
Flanked by immigration advocates and lawmakers from both houses, California legislative leaders unveiled Tuesday a slate of new proposals to aid those in the country illegally, including offering state-subsidized healthcare and increasing legal protections against deportation.

Billionaire Activist Tom Steyer Testifies For Sweeping Climate Bill
Melanie Mason and Chris Megerian @
A far-ranging climate change measure cleared its first legislative hurdle Tuesday, as billionaire environmental benefactor Tom Steyer appeared at the Capitol to trumpet the bill's economic benefits.

SD7: FPPC Nixes Glazer's Complaint Vs. Union PAC
Josh Richman @
The state’s political watchdog agency has rejected state Senate candidate Steve Glazer’s complaint about the union-bankrolled PAC that’s opposing him.

Labor Unions Give 32 Legislators 100% Ratings | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

Confusion Over Drought Rules On Lawns For New Homes | Science | Kqed Public Media For Northern Ca
While strides have been made inside, the landscaping requirements in the governor’s executive order are aimed at outdoor watering, which amounts to 44 percent of total urban water use.

Assembly Utility Committee Chair Goes On Controversial Junket
The leader of a powerful state Assembly committee that oversees utilities and telecommunications last week traveled to Singapore for an Easter break "study trip" sponsored by a nonprofit foundation that's financed by business, labor and environmental groups.

Assisted Death Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Committee
Alexei Koseff @
The controversial bill that would give terminally ill Californians access to lethal drugs passed its latest legislative hurdle Tuesday. On a party-line vote of 4-2, Democrats advanced SB 128 from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Pelosi, Mayor Lee Stress Value Of Education, Doubt GOP Motives - Sfgate
Flanked by dozens of students and instructors, as well as Mayor

It's Time To Restrict Groundwater Use
Sascha Bos @
During the past week, Governor Jerry Brown has defended his decision to exempt agriculture from his executive order mandating that consumers slash water consumption by 25 percent this year. Brown has argued that many California farmers are already facing water cutbacks because of the historic drought. And when questioned by ABC's Martha Raddatz about the fact that agriculture uses 80 percent of California's available water, while generating only about 2 percent of the state's economic output, the governor replied: "Yeah, you bet it's true. But by the way, they're not watering their lawn or taking longer showers. They're providing most of the fruits and vegetables of America."

College For Baristas: Starbucks Workers Can Get Free Four-year Degree
Starbucks employees can now earn a bachelor's degree for free in an expansion of the company's two-year tuition-free online education program through Arizona State University .

Democratic Lawmakers Unveil Bills To Protect, Insure Unauthorized Immigrants | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

Ed Lee says itâ
Mayor Ed Lee rescinded the ban on city employees traveling to Indiana on Tuesday, five days after that state’s controversial “religious freedom” law was amended to alleviate fears that it would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians. “While not perfect, the changes made to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act represent a step in the right direction,” Lee said in a statement. The original bill in Indiana prohibited state and local laws that “substantially burden” individuals and businesses from following their religious beliefs. The law generated a wave of backlash and criticism from businesses, including San Francisco’s Salesforce, plus Walmart, NASCAR and the NCAA. After it was passed, Lee barred city employees from traveling to Indiana because he said the city “will not subsidize” that kind of intolerance against gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people. The amended legislation says the state doesn’t allow businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation sued the city in August after the Board of Supervisors passed legislation blocking its plan to build a large pharmacy in the Castro and requiring it to seek a special permit, known as a conditional use permit, for the project. The organization countered with a lawsuit against the city and Supervisor Scott Wiener, who sponsored the legislation, claiming they had violated its constitutionally protected free speech, due process and equal protection rights.

Martinez School Board Member In Hot Water Over Air-conditioning Comments - Extra Credit
There's a huge hullabaloo coming out of the Martinez school district, where a school board member recently said a school educating predominantly low-income and Hispanic students doesn't need air-co...

Cal State Faculty Survey Describes Low Pay, Hardship
Some California State University faculty say their salary is so low that they must work two jobs, can’t afford to buy a home and at times depend on food stamps and other government assistance to get by.

Areas That Conserved Most, Least Amid Drought
The State Water Resources Control Board has released draft water reduction targets for communities across California to meet Gov. Jerry Brown's mandate for a 25 percent drop in urban water use.

PUC To Vote On Record $1.6-billion Fine For PG&E In San Bruno Blast
Marc Lifsher @
California utility regulators are poised to hit Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a record-high, $1.6-billion penalty for negligence leading to the deadly natural gas explosion in San Bruno.

18,000 Californians use extended Obamacare sign-up to avoid tax penalty
escape the health law's tax penalties.

Drought worsening, but water conservation tailing off
Drought worsening, but water conservation tailing off California’s drought-driven water conservation efforts are going the wrong way, according to new state data showing that residents and businesses cut their water use less in February than anytime since last spring. The state’s 400 biggest urban water agencies reduced consumption by a mere 2.8 percent in February when compared to the same month in 2013, according to figures released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board. The reduction is well short of Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for 20 percent voluntary cuts, beginning in early 2014, and the least savings that Californians have recorded since the state began tracking water use in June. The latest water report comes less than a week after the governor called for the state to move from voluntary cuts to mandatory cuts for the first time in history.

California Sets Water Use Targets Amid Record Low Savings
Fenit Nirappil @
California cities face mandatory targets to slash water use as much as 35 percent while regulators warn voluntary conservation hasn't been enough in the face of a devastating drought.

Am Alert: California Vaccine Bill Gets First Test | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

PUC to vote on record $1.6-billion fine for PG&E in San Bruno blast
California utility regulators are poised to hit Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a record-high, $1.6-billion penalty for negligence leading to the deadly natural gas explosion in San Bruno.