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THE NOONER for July 22, 2015

It's noon. It's time for a break. Here's what people are reading on today:

New Initiative Adds Twist To Tax-reform Debate | The Grizzly Bear Project
Anthony York @
The 47- page proposal, backed by a group of child-poverty advocates and filed by a big-time Democratic political law firm, is the latest entrant into the tax reform discussion that is beginning to heat up, or at least warm up, inside the Capitol.

Jerry Brown In Demand, Squinting On Rooftop In Rome | The Sacramento Bee
David Siders @
California governor asks cameraman if he can dim a light in intense heat

Key Education Bills Still In Play As Legislators Take Summer Break | Edsource
Legislators who headed out of town on Friday for a month have already decided the fate of many key bills. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a much debated child vaccination law that eliminates the personal belief exemption to school-required vaccinations. All of the bills to rewrite the teacher evaluation law have been defeated or appear, at least for now, delayed until next year. Efforts to rescind last year’s limit on school districts’ reserves have foundered.

Could California Decide Republican Presidential Nominee? :: Fox&hounds
Given the large field of Republican presidential candidates, no clear frontrunner and the real possibility that delegates will be dispersed among many candidates during the primary season, it is conceivable that California Republican voters in the June primary could provide the needed delegates for one of the candidates to secure the nomination.

California State University Extends 2 Percent Raise To Top Executives | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
Governing board approves salary increase for 23 campus presidents, seven system administrators

Labor and Employers Join in Opposition to a Health Care Tax
The so-called Cadillac tax, to be imposed starting in 2018 on plans costing over a certain amount, is prompting companies and unions to come together to call for its repeal.

Think Like Gandhi, Jerry Brown Urges Leaders At Vatican Climate Conference
Jerry Brown on Wednesday urged the world’s mayors to emulate Mahatma Gandhi and the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ as they fight to halt climate change and win over skeptics.

California Reckons With Honoring Complicated Past | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
Debate over removing Confederate names poses question: How far is too far?

First Draft: Rand Paul Takes a Match to the Tax Code. And a Wood Chipper. And a Chainsaw.
Senator Rand Paul, in an attempt to reignite his presidential campaign, released a video in which he set the United States tax code on fire to show how serious he is about overhauling it.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Releases Report On Guidelines For Marijuana Legalization
A panel chaired by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes to guide the debate on the legalization of marijuana in California with an emphasis on limiting children’s access to cannabis, reducing illegal activity and tightly regulating the drug's growth and sales. 

University Of California Announces $15 Minimum Wage | The Sacramento Bee
UC will raise minimum wage over next three years for all employees

Iran Lawmakers to Wait 80 Days Before Voting on Nuclear Deal
The legislators decided to have a panel study the nuclear deal with world powers, effectively withholding their judgment until after the American Congress votes.

Did Employment Commission Just Make A Law Protecting Lgbt Workers Unnecessary?
As a Los Angeles Times editorial recently noted, gay rights activists are seeking to maintain the momentum from last month's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. A key objective of any new legislation in Congress would be a federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Curtis Park Lawns Spark Debate During Drought | The Sacramento Bee
Ed Fletcher @
Curtis Park resident criticizes neighbors on Nextdoor

UC To Raise Its Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour, Janet Napolitano Says
The minimum wage for several thousand workers on University of California campuses will be raised to $15 an hour over the next three years, UC President Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday.

City proposing new housing development fee to expand transit
A proposed transportation sustainability fee announced Tuesday would apply to new market rate condominium and apartment projects and would add $14 million to the $24 million a year already collected from other types developments. The new money would be spent on expanding the Muni fleet with new buses and rail cars, improving reliability on the busiest routes, retrofitting existing trains, investing in the electrification of Caltrain, and making streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. The proposed fee, introduced at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting by Scott Wiener, was crafted by the mayor’s office, the city Planning Department and the Municipal Transportation Agency, after years of study. “As our city grows, we must ensure that our transportation network grows along with it,” the mayor said in a statement from Rome, where he is meeting with the pope on climate change. The proposed fee underscores what has become a hot-button issue around the city: complaints that the proliferation of high-end residential towers in neighborhoods such as Dogpatch, SoMa and Rincon Hill has not been accompanied by adequate improvements in open space and transit, not to mention sufficient levels of affordable housing. While the idea of a transit impact fee is not new in San Francisco — the city’s current Transit Impact Development Fee applies to commercial developments and PDR (production, design and repair) facilities and produces that $24 million a year in revenue — the big difference is that the new fee adds builders of market rate apartments and condos. Making market rate housing developers part of the fee structure increases the amount collected 40 percent, from $720 million to $1.2 billion over 30 years. The fee was set by determining the how much development impacts transit in terms of cost, roughly $31 per square foot, then balancing it with the results of a fiscal feasibility study that looked at what level a fee would discourage development. “We don’t suffer from a low cost of producing housing, and $7.74 (a square foot) is not a negligible fee.” said Tim Colen, executive director of the Housing Action Coalition, which represents developers. Efforts to raise money for Muni, including the $500 million transportation bond passed by voters last November, have focused on maintaining the existing system, but the new fee aims to help Muni catch up, and keep pace, with the city’s booming commercial and residential growth, which has already sped past regional projections. Ed Reiskin, the MTA’s transportation director, said the new fee is an acknowledgment of the effects that residential development has on the city’s transportation system and of the need to bolster it to avoid being overwhelmed by growth. The city will add 190,000 jobs and 100,000 homes by 2040, according to the Association of Bay Area Governments — without improving public transit, traffic in the city could increase by 40 percent.

UC Merced Leaders Make Case For Growth
Saying their crowded campus needs to expand, UC Merced leaders Tuesday presented plans to construct new classrooms, dorms and labs over the next five to seven years — and to enroll nearly 4,000 more students.

Lift The Ceiling On Campaign Donations
A remarkable thing just happened in the chaotic race for the Republican presidential nomination, and it wasn't the rise of Donald Trump. It was the impressive numbers reported for the first stage of the GOP's "money primary": the competition to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars a White...