The California Legislature is not in session and Governor Jerry Brown is continuing to sign or veto bills passed more than a week ago. The deadline for action on the legislation is October 9.
On to today’s California headlines:
Amid failures, Jerry Brown’s job approval rating rises
While politicians all around him watched their popularity plunge in the weak economy, Gov. Jerry Brown ducked the slide.
Despite California’s high unemployment rate and major legislative failures in his first nine months in office, Brown’s job approval rating ticked up three percentage points since June, to 49 percent, according to a new Field Poll.
“He’s the only guy who seems to have a positive rating in California these days,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said.
Brown’s job approval rating isn’t anywhere near as stratospheric as the 67 percent it was in 1975, in the first year of the governor’s first term. Nor is it as high as Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis or Pete Wilson posted early in their tenures.
But as President Barack Obama and Congress – even four-term Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein – saw their standing among California voters tumble, Brown persevered.
“He’s presiding over a state that most voters think is going in the wrong direction,” DiCamillo said. “Yet he’s still seen as doing a good job.”
The share of California voters who approve of the job Brown is doing is now 17 percentage points higher than those who disapprove, according to the poll. A majority of Democrats, 64 percent, approve of the job Brown is doing, while a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, disapprove.
FlashReport’s Annual Top 20 Bills To Veto
- AB 433 (B. Lowenthal) – Requires the state to issue a new birth certificate to California-born, but now out of state residents that have undergone sex-change surgery. Also allows them to petition the court to have their new gender recognized as such.
- AB 499 (Atkins) – Tramples parental consent by allowing children as young as 12 to receive prescription drugs or injections from public school officials to treat diseases caused by sexual activity without guardian notification.
- SB 651 (Leno) – This bill authorizes 16 and 17-year-olds to enter into same sex domestic partnerships with adults if they obtain a court order granting permission or parental consent. Also allows couples to have a domestic partnership but not the same residence.
- AB 131 (Cedillo) – The other half of the “California Dream Act” allows the use of the taxpayer-funded Cal-Grant program to be used by illegal immigrant students.
- SB 185 (Hernandez) – Defies voter-approved Proposition 209 that removed racial preferences in undergraduate and graduate admissions. This bill allows the University of California and California State University to consider race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, geographic origin, and household income, along with “other relevant factors.”
- AB 22 (Mendoza) – Prohibits employers doing background checks on prospective employees from obtaining a credit report as part of an informed hiring decision.
- AB 1155 (Alejo) – Erodes employers’ protections from covering employee non-work injuries. This bill results in less new jobs due to increased costs to employers and exposure to more lawsuits.
- SB 469 (Vargas) – This is a union-driven, anti-superstore bill. Requires an economic impact report (paid for by the retailer) before local government approves construction of a superstore. Funny, there isn’t a requirement for an economic impact report for government’s choking new regulations.
- SB 508 (Wolk) – This bill would impose a 10-year sunset on all tax credits beginning January 1, 2012. It would also require that any bill authorizing a personal or corporation tax credit to include goals, purposes, and objectives, making it much more difficult to reauthorize the tax credit. Funny that there isn’t a companion bill that would sunset choking regulations to reevaluate that they’re meeting the goals, purposes, and objectives.
California won’t slip back into recession, UCLA study predicts
The national economy is in “far worse” shape than it was just three months ago, but neither the U.S. nor California is expected to slip back into recession, according to UCLA researchers.
The U.S. economy has “stalled,” the job market is “horrible,” and even a “modest shock” could trigger a full-blown recession, according to a quarterly economic forecast released Tuesday by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
But in a nuance that only an economist could appreciate, a recession is unlikely because the forces that normally spur downturns, such as a falloff in home construction, are already so weak that further deterioration won’t do that much additional damage.
A sudden drop in exports or consumer spending could trigger a recession, though it is considered unlikely at the moment, according to the report.
The U.S. growth rate is expected to pick up between 2.5% and 3% by mid-2012 from 0.9% currently, with about 150,000 net jobs being added each month compared with no job growth last month, forecasters said in the report.
But even that would be far too tepid to make a dent in the stubbornly high unemployment rate, which is projected to drop to only 8.6% by the end of 2013 from the current 9.1%.
“You could make a reasonable argument that we never had a recovery and we’re, in fact, in one long slump,” said David Shulman, a UCLA senior economist.
Tougher laws considered for unvaccinated students
Lawmakers say they will consider tougher requirements for schools that have been defying state law by letting students who cannot prove they have had the whooping cough vaccine remain on campus.
Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher of San Diego was one of the co-authors behind the bill requiring all students between grades seven and 12 to get vaccinated against the disease by the start of the 2011-12 school year.
He said he will consider introducing legislation next year that addresses the potential public health risks of allowing unvaccinated students onto school campuses.
“I certainly envisioned a situation where schools would comply with the law,” he said. “If there is still a risk and a threat to the children, we will take a look at it.”
The Legislature gave school districts 30 days beyond the start of the school year to make sure all students were vaccinated or had a formal exemption filed by their parents or guardians. Under the law, students who had neither were not to be allowed on campus.
Some districts that started classes in mid-August began hitting the 30-day mark over the past week. Some are allowing unvaccinated students to attend classes as usual, while others are separating them from the rest of the population in gyms and other areas.
“We don’t need a gym,” Fletcher said. “We need kids to get their vaccination.”
He said unvaccinated students present a serious health risk to the rest of the community because the disease can be fatal, especially to infants and the elderly.
On Monday, between 70 and 80 students at Inderkum High School in Sacramento were sequestered in a gym while vaccination shots were being given in an adjacent gym. School officials said most of them had received the shot but had been unable to provide the paperwork proving it.
Enjoy your morning!