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THE NOONER for August 19, 2015
GREEN GOV: After Years Of Detente, It's Now Jerry Brown Vs. Big Oil [Anthony York] - "In his January inaugural address, Brown set out ambitious environmental goals for California, including a new benchmark to increase the electricity the state receives from renewable sources. Brown also said he wants the state to cut petroleum use in vehicles by 50% by the year 2030."
SIN AGUA: Drought costs California agriculture $1.84B and 10,100 jobs in 2015 [UCDavis] - "The drought is tightening its grip on California agriculture, squeezing about 30 percent more workers and cropland out of production than in 2014, according to the latest drought impact report by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. In 2015, the state's agricultural economy will lose about $1.84 billion and 10,100 seasonal jobs because of the drought, the report estimated, with the Central Valley hardest hit."
DOLLARS AND SENSE: Senate GOP leader: No Republican support for transportation taxes [Allen Young @ SacBizJourn] - "Senate minority leader Bob Huff said on Monday there was no support among Senate Republicans for raising taxes to fund highway and road repairs. "
GUT AND AMEND: New push to end school district reserve cap [Jim Miller @ SacBee] - "A bipartisan group of lawmakers launched a new push Tuesday to relax a cap on school district budget reserves that critics blame for increasing districts' borrowing costs and hampering efforts to prepare for the next economic downturn."
SPLIT ROLL: Senate minority leader Bob Huff said on Monday there was no support among Senate Republicans for raising taxes to fund highway and road repairs. [Allen Young @ SacBizJourn] - "Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal Wednesday that would change Proposition 13 to raise taxes on commercial property owners. Here's the catch: the bill requires two-thirds legislative support, meaning a handful of Republicans would need to back it. The chance of GOP legislators approving a tax increase is "very remote," said Sen. Bob Huff, the Republican Senate leader from Glendora."
TRUMP: I'll basically pick and choose whichever parts of the Constitution I iike. [Politico] Seriously, how can a constitutional amendment be unconstitutional? I sort of learned that the first year in law school. Guess they don't teach that at Wharton.
TONGUE IN CHEEK: Top Two a Victory for Uncle Bob [Joe Mathews @ Fox and Hounds]
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Carol Liu's leg director Robert Oakes!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Latest Sign Villaraigosa Plans To Run For Governor: Central Valley 'listening Tour'
Antonio Villaraigosa has kept out of the news in the six months since he opted to skip the race for U.S. Senate.
Attorney General Kamala Harris Is Right About Chuck Reed's Latest Pension Initiative
Daniel Borensein @ contracostatimes.com
Last week, Harris released the initiative summary that would appear on the ballot if backers collect sufficient signatures. She began by saying it "eliminates the constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree health care benefits for current public employees."
California Lawmakers Make Political Plea For New Assisted Death Bill
Alexei Koseff @ sacbee.com
After falling short in the Assembly earlier this year, proponents of assisted death in California introduced a new legalization bill Tuesday, making pointed political and personal pleas for lawmakers to pass the proposal this month during the extraordinary legislative session on health care.
After Years Of Detente, It's Now Jerry Brown Vs. Big Oil
Anthony York @ grizzlybearproject.com
In his January inaugural address, Brown set out ambitious environmental goals for California, including a new benchmark to increase the electricity the state receives from renewable sources. Brown also said he wants the state to cut petroleum use in vehicles by 50% by the year 2030.
First Draft: Today in Politics: Republicans Look to Turn Conversation to Education
President Obama remains on vacation, hoping things stay as unexciting as possible. while several Republican presidential candidates are heading to New Hampshire to talk education.
Report: California Cap-and-trade Bills Seek Billions More Than Available | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
Bob Huff Says Senate Republicans Won't Vote For Transportation Tax Hikes
Allen Young @ bizjournals.com
Senate minority leader Bob Huff said on Monday there was no support among Senate Republicans for raising taxes to fund highway and road repairs.
California Lawmakers Revive Measures On Assisted Suicide, Smoking Age
Patrick McGreevy and Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown was specific about his goals when he called two special legislative sessions. Lawmakers, he said, should bring him new plans for financing public healthcare and road repairs, problems that have festered for years.
Grossmont-Cuyamaca In East County Is Benefiting From A Continuing Economic Recovery That Has Bolstered Education Budgets
Christine Huard @ sandiegouniontribune.com
At about $227 million, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District is managing its biggest budget ever. Itâs using an anticipated $20 million boost to its general fund to provide students with more assessments, counseling and educational opportunities.
Murder Case Involving CHP Officers Continues Tough Year For Department
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Joe Farrow sounded tired on Monday. Another scandal. Another phone call. Another reporter. This time the CHP commissioner was taking questions about a Stanislaus County probe that alleges Walter W. Wells committed first-degree murder while he was with the department and charges that officers Scott J. McFarlane and Eduardo Quintanar Jr. were conspirators and accessories.
Orwellian 'voter Empowerment Act' Would Impoverish State Workers
To the editor: When politicians are eager to deny healthcare to women, children, the poor and the disabled, deny access to voting to whole segments of the population and deny living wages and time off to be ill, it comes as no surprise that a proposal designed to impoverish state employees and...
School Cap Once Again On Agenda
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
On Tuesday, local school officials and a bipartisan group of legislators announced a bill, Senate Bill 799, to modify the cap, raising it from 6 percent of spending for most districts to 17 percent.
Scott Walker Has A Healthcare Plan, If You Want Almost No Insurance At All
When I first heard that a new repeal-and-replace-Obamacare plan was coming from Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin currently posing as a candidate for president, I set a challenge for myself.
California Drought Impact Pegged At $2.7 Billion | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler and Phillip Reese @ sacbee.com
Farm jobs reduced by 10,100, UC Davis study says
The New Health Care: Walker and Rubio Health Proposals Are Less Concerned About Poor
Both Republican presidential candidates would replace Obamacare by giving individuals tax credits they could use to shop for plans.
Sanders Tells 4,000 At UNR His 'Revolution'; Has Momentum
SCOTT SONNER @ sacbee.com
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders told an enthusiastic crowd at the University of Nevada Tuesday night his call for political revolution is gaining momentum, but he'll need their help to overcome his opponents' huge fundraising advantages.
Why The Absence Of Oversight On California's Clean Energy Job Fund?
Editorial @ latimes.com
When voters endorsed Proposition 39 in 2012, they did so with the best of intentions. The measure closed a corporate tax loophole that had deprived the general fund of desperately needed cash — an estimated $1 billion a year — and had encouraged multistate companies to locate jobs outside of California.
Private Drones Are Putting Firefighters In 'immediate Danger,' California Fire Official Says
Top state fire officials told lawmakers Tuesday that private drones are posing a serious danger to air crews and other emergency workers battling wildfires, with more than a dozen incursions reported just this summer.
Dwindling UC Admissions For Californians Feeds Overparenting And College Panic
The other issue is dwindling UC admissions for Californians in particular. Homegrown kids are less and less welcome in the UC system it seems, and the rate of California students admitted to the University of California dropped to a staggering low this year. UC's admission rate for California resident freshmen applicants fell 2.9 percentage points to 60 percent systemwide.
How A County Clerk Is Refusing To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses And Defying The Supreme Court
A Kentucky county clerk has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a Supreme Court ruling in June that made same-sex marriage a constitutional right in all 50 states. A federal judge has ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to comply with the nation's highest court, but...
Senator Patricia Bates Co-Authors Bill to Ban Drones from Fire Zones
Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) has announced that she has co-authored bipartisan legislation by Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado), Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Assembly Member Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) to make it a serious state crime to fly a drone over a wildfire. Recent incidents have endangered the lives of firefighters and highlighted the need for the state to act.
Cities fighting donation boxes suffer legal loss
LOS ANGELES âÂÂ When they first started popping up around town, the colorful metal collection bins for donated shoes and clothing didnâÂÂt cause much of a stir in Stanton. With the bins have come blight and other problems, local officials say, not to mention a rash of complaints about overflowing drop boxes that often attract jettisoned mattresses, broken furniture and piles of garbage. In an April decision with far-reaching ramifications, federal appellate judges in a Michigan lawsuit deemed the bins a form of constitutionally protected speech. Many have been placed with property ownersâÂÂ permission, but others have shown up seemingly out of nowhere, plunked down under cover of darkness at shopping centers and on public sidewalks, even in disabled-parking spaces. Businesses and nonprofits that own the bins say they keep untold tons of discarded shoes and clothing out of landfills and, in some cases, proceeds from the sale of donated goods go toward humanitarian efforts around the globe. For Stanton and other cities that banned the boxes, the decision in the Michigan case is a bitter legal pill, served up by Planet Aid, a controversial Massachusetts nonprofit with 20,000 donation bins across the country, including about 1,500 in Southern California. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit Planet Aid filed last year against the city of St. Johns, Mich., contending its ban on boxes violated the charityâÂÂs First and Fourth Amendment rights to free speech and equal protection. Among other things, Planet Aid alleged discrimination because its two boxes were removed while organizations with buildings, including Goodwill, continued accepting donations. A federal district court sided with Planet Aid and ordered a temporary halt on enforcing the ban. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision, applying the most rigorous form of judicial review, âÂÂstrict scrutiny,âÂÂ which presumes a law to be invalid. Much is at stake for the organization, which says it gets property ownersâÂÂ permission before placing its bright yellow boxes, and that it maintains them well and responds quickly to complaints. In Alhambra alone, court records state, Planet Aid had collected 589,000 pounds of clothing as of September 2013, when the ban took effect. [...] for years it has come under fire from the philanthropy watchdog Charity Watch, which contends that Planet AidâÂÂs recycling costs âÂÂ $25 million in 2013 âÂÂ should be counted as fundraising expenses. Founded in 1997, Planet Aid has been linked by numerous media outlets in the United States and abroad to a Danish fugitive, Mogens Amdi Petersen, 76, who is wanted in Denmark on tax-evasion and embezzlement charges. Danish prosecutors accused him more than a decade ago of embezzling millions of dollars from the Tvind organization, also known as the Tvind Teachers Group, established in the early 1970s as an alternative school system for troubled youths in Denmark. Multiple news outlets have published reports linking Tvind to Planet Aid, which denies significant ties. John Higginbotham, CoronaâÂÂs assistant city attorney, called the ruling âÂÂa poorly reasoned decision,âÂÂ but predicted that Planet Aid will try to parlay it to roll back other bans. Daniel Dalton, Planet AidâÂÂs attorney, said the nonprofit is seeking only fair treatment and reasonable regulation.