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THE NOONER for April 21, 2015
UH-OH: Brown calls tiered water ruling 'a straitjacket' for conservation efforts [Christopher Cadelago and Dale Kasler @ SacBee]:
"An appellate court Monday struck down a Southern California city’s method of charging water users based on a tiered-rate system, potentially dealing a heavy blow to municipalities across a parched state laboring to curtail water consumption."
San Juan Capistrano tried to implement a tiered system five years ago, charging heavy users significantly more. The Capistrano Taxpayers Association sued, saying it violated Proposition 218, a 1996 statewide initiative stating that a city can’t impose fees for services that exceed the actual cost."
The ruling itself doesn't directly affect the tiered rates proposed by the State Water Control Board, but rather curtails a tool for implementation that many believe will be necessary to acccomplish the tiered targets within water agencies. The case has been going on since 2012 and is not directly related with the statewide attempts at conservation.
Of course, Proposition 218 relates to taxes, including such things as utility rates. But, then there fines, to wit: Under pressure, Beverly Hills may fine water wasters $1,000 [Matt Hamilton @ LAT]
Thus, if the court decision holds (it could still be appealed to the California Supreme Court), a high water user couldn't be put into a higher rate per 100 cubic feet without voter approval of the tiers. However, a city could still say that you can only water your lawn on Sundays, and set a fine for violators--without voter approval. The only constraint would be proportionality/reasonableness of the fine for public policy purposes.
U.S. SENATE: Loretta Sanchez makes her case for U.S. Senate, but Santa Ana congresswoman stops short of declaring candidacy [Martin Wisckol @ OCR]:
"We've gotten a good reception up and down the state," Sanchez told the Democratic Foundation of Orange County, a group of lawyers and business people who pay $1,000 annual dues for membership. Asked at the Hilton Irvine luncheon if she would run for Senate, she pointed out the fundraising envelopes on the tables.
"You can contribute today and if you contribute, it will get us a little closer to that point," she said.
Sanchez's fundraising efforts go to her House committee. However, as the contribution limits are the same, she basically can transfer all of that to a Senate bid. So, while it looks as if Kamala Harris's March 31 report of $2.5 million is the only fundraising for the Senate seat thus far, a member of the House who has a warchest actually has cash on hand as well. By the way, Xavier Becerra, another House member looking at a possible bid--has $1.3 million on hand.
SD07 (Tri-Valley): The Most Popular Politician In East Bay Senate Race Is ... Jerry Brown? [John Myers @ KQED] - "[I]n these closing weeks, the guy who seems to be the real political prize is the one who’s tried hard to stay away from this Democrat vs. Democrat wrestling match: Gov. Jerry Brown."
MONEY, THAT'S WHAT I WANT: "Net of refunds, the state collected about $900 million of personal income tax (PIT) today. Net PIT collections today by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) were 53% above totals from the comparable day last April. There are eight FTB PIT collection days remaining in April 2015. Yet, the net amount of PIT collected by FTB already has surpassed the amount collected during the entire month of April 2014. Collections of the PIT, the state's largest General Fund revenue source, appear to be surging." [LAO]
IF YOU LIKE IT, YOU BETTER PUT A STAMP ON IT: Bob Hertzberg's SB 163, which would move to statewide vote-by-mail elections is up today in Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments.
HIGHER GROUND: Earthquake fault heightens California tsunami threat, experts say [Rong-Gong Li II @ LAT] - "[R]esearch in recent years shows that the fault is extremely dangerous, capable of producing an earthquake as large as magnitude 8 as well as severe tsunamis that until now experts didn't believe were possible from a Southern California quake."
LAW AND DISORDER: Prosecutors seek to admit new evidence against former Sen. Calderon [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT]
SMOKIN! I'm told that the $1 million set aside by WeedMaps.com has not yet been designated for a specific measure, and more are on the way. A third measure was filed yesterday with the attorney general. The WeedMaps money is filed under a committee that states it is to be used for "state or local" legalization efforts.
Speaking of initiatives, Proposed initiative would keep transgender people out of some bathrooms [Hailey Branson Potts @ LAT] - "Called the Personal Privacy Protection Act, it would require people to "use facilities in accordance with their biological sex" in government-owned buildings, including public schools and universities."
CONGRATS: Nooner congratulations go to the Los Angeles Times's Diana Marcum on winning a Pulitzer for her series on the impact of the California drought on its people.
DEPT OF CLARIFICATIONS: Daniel Parra is unrelated to the "Parra camp," although it's unclear whether voters will know that.
#CAKEDAY: Happy Birthday to Sydney Eggert, Justin Knighten, Nadia Davis Lockyer, Bob Schelen!
Finally, some days, we all need a hug.
As UC Tuition Increases, So Does University Administration | The Grizzly Bear Project
Anthony York @ grizzlybearproject.com
Rising university tuition costs have been a hot topic in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers have tangled with UC executives over budgets, spending and state investment levels in higher education.
Prop. 47 Backers Put A New Face On Victims Of Crime
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
Flush from their successful campaign in support of Proposition 47, the ballot initiative that made drug possession and other nonviolent crimes no longer a felony in California, a coalition of community activists and private foundations is now pushing to change policing and sentencing laws throughout the state.
The Most Popular Politician In East Bay Senate Race Is ... Jerry Brown?
John Myers @ ww2.kqed.org
And those are just the biggies. But in these closing weeks, the guy who seems to be the real political prize is the one whoâs tried hard to stay away from this Democrat vs. Democrat wrestling match: Gov. Jerry Brown.
Loretta Sanchez Makes Her Case For U.S. Senate, But Santa Ana Congresswoman Stops Short Of Declaring Candidacy
Martin Wisckol @ ocregister.com
Sounding like sheâs on the verge of declaring her candidacy for U.S. Senate, Rep. Loretta Sanchez encouraged donors in Orange County to pony up Monday and explained why she would be a better choice than Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Gonzalez Taken Off Committee
Chris Nichols @ utsandiego.com
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has removed fellow San Diego Democrat Lorena Gonzalez from the Assembly Public Safety Committee in a move thatâs raised questions about whether thereâs a rift between two of the stateâs most prominent lawmakers.
In Blow To Water Conservation, Court Rejects San Juan Capistrano's Tiered Rates
In a ruling with major implications for California's water conservation campaign, a state appeals court on Monday ruled that a tiered water rate structure used by the city of San Juan Capistrano to encourage conservation was unconstitutional.
Marijuana Legalization Measure Filed In Sacramento
Josh Richman @ ibabuzz.com
A group that couldnât get enough signatures to put a marijuana legalization measure on 2014âs ballot has launched its effort to try again for 2016.
Bill Would Require Water Submeters On New Apartments - Capradio.org
California lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the installation of water meters in each unit of newly constructed apartments.
William Shatner: Solve California Drought With Seattle Pipeline
Actor William Shatner is hoping to save California from further drought by proposing an enterprise of his own — importing water from the Seattle area, where rain is plentiful.
Grants Would Support Truancy Intervention
Kimberly Beltran @ cabinetreport.com
Funding for the so-called Early Intervention Attendance grants would come from money the state is saving through its prisoner reduction program, and also a one-time allocation from Proposition 98 funds â the share of annual revenue constitutionally-guaranteed to schools.
Deal On Human-trafficking Bill Sets Up Vote On Loretta Lynch As Attorney General
Senators announced a bipartisan agreement Tuesday that will break a logjam over an anti-trafficking bill and pave the way for a vote on Loretta Lynch , President Obama 's long-stalled nominee for attorney general.
Report: Small L.A. County Cities Seize Large Amounts In Civil Forfeitures
Victoria Kim @ latimes.com
A handful of small Los Angeles County cities seize large amounts of cash and cars using a controversial federal law that allows them to confiscate property even when owners aren’t charged with a crime, according to a report published by an advocacy group that promotes decriminalization of drugs.
Activists decry plan to cut habitat aid from water-tunnel project
Environmental groups Monday blasted a proposal by the state to jettison the habitat restoration portion of the massive delta water-tunnel project as an ill-conceived âÂÂbait and switchâÂÂ that will only make CaliforniaâÂÂs water woes worse. The environmental portion of the plan was designed to minimize the impact of siphoning out water and moving it south, but soaring costs and regulatory issues have forced the state to consider alternatives. The contractors would not pay for environmental restoration and details about who âÂÂ if anyone âÂÂ would fund that work have not been released. âÂÂThey are saying that they will, on a parallel track, pursue restoration,âÂÂ but âÂÂno details have been provided,âÂÂ said Jonas Minton, a water policy adviser for the Planning and Conservation League. Central Valley farming contractors, Southern California water agencies and some Bay Area water suppliers, meanwhile, complain that federal protections for fish have forced reductions in the amount of water they get from the delta. The idea of separating habitat restoration and tunnel construction came about because one of the primary tenets of the plan over the past eight years âÂÂ 50-year water guarantees to the contractors paying for the project âÂÂ appears to be falling apart. Prop. 1 promised new storage facilities, conservation, recycled water, desalination and general drought preparedness, but prohibited spending any funds on the âÂÂdesign, construction, mitigation, operation, or maintenance of delta conveyance facilities.âÂÂ The twin-tunnels plan is palatable to some environmentalists because it includes habitat restoration, she said, and farming contractors support it only because the long-term contracts would protect supplies against new federal pumping limits and endangered species lawsuits.
Vote, And Win $25,000: It's A Losing Idea
Editorial @ latimes.com
Frustrated by the appallingly low turnout in local elections, the nonprofit Southwest Voter Registration Education Project is planning a cash lottery â or voteria â to get voters to the polls for the Los Angeles Board of Education District 5 race. Anyone who legitimately casts a ballot in the May 19 contest between incumbent Bennett Kayser and challenger Ref Rodriguez will be automatically entered into the drawing. After the election is certified, the group will randomly select one person from the voting pool.
Religion Complicates California Vaccine Debate | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
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.
Ethics officials accuse candidate of using neighborhood council funds
The executive director of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission has found probable cause that a 2011 City Council candidate violated campaign laws.