October 2011 archive

Flap’s California Morning Collection: October 31, 2011


California Adventure in Anaheim, California

Happy Halloween!

The California Legislature is not in session.

On to today’s headlines:

Calif. sex offender parolees face Halloween curfew

About 2,000 paroled California sex offenders have no permanent home partly because of a state law that bans them from living near schools or parks. This Halloween, however, many will spend the night together under supervision from authorities who want to make sure they have no contact with children out trick-or-treating.

It’s the first time the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is targeting offenders who live on the streets, under bridges or in nomadic campsites, though it has enforced a curfew on offenders who have permanent addresses for nearly 20 years under what it calls “Operation Boo.” The new emphasis comes in response to the growing number of transient offenders, said department spokesman Luis Patino.

Their ranks have spiked in the five years since 70 percent of voters approved Jessica’s Law.

The law bans offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. As one result, the number of homeless paroled sex offenders grew from 88 in August 2007, before the department began enforcing the law, to about 2,000 now that it has been fully implemented.

Three of the state’s four parole regions are setting up the “transient sex-offender roundup centers,” mostly at parole offices or community centers. They include the regions that cover Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and all of California’s coastal counties.

Offenders have been ordered to report to parole centers from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, where they will be supervised to make sure they have no contact with children out trick-or-treating. The law also required the state to use electronic monitors to track all paroled sex offenders, so parole officers will know if offenders aren’t in the curfew centers on Halloween.

Ballot measure would eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employee unions

Petitions are being circulated for a ballot measure designed to end collective bargaining for California’s public- employee unions.

The End Public Sector Bargaining Act would eliminate collective-bargaining rights for public employees such as teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters. It is similar to a Wisconsin law passed this year.

The measure would apply not only to state employees, but to employees at local government agencies such as counties, cities and school districts.

The measure’s sponsor, a UC Santa Barbara economics lecturer, must gather more than 800,000 signatures by Feb. 3 for the measure to qualify for the the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential ballot.

Jack Pitney, a political-science professor at Claremont McKenna College, called the measure “dead on arrival” because of the state’s left-leaning politics and strong union presence.

“I’d be surprised if he can even get it qualified,” Pitney said. “I doubt he can get enough signatures.”

The measure’s sponsor, Lanny Ebenstein of Santa Barbara, could not be reached for comment.

Ebenstein is a former board member at Santa Barbara Unified School District and an author who has written biographies of free-market economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

Dan Walters: California Legislature drops ball on marijuana

Ironically, however, as the Legislature’s majority Democrats were criticizing the initiative process for usurping the legislative process, they were also providing new evidence that the Capitol’s indolence often forces folks to use the ballot.

For instance, the Legislature refused to enact much-needed legislation to clear up the haphazard local regulation of clinics that dispense marijuana, in response to a previous initiative ballot measure that authorized its medicinal use.

Federal authorities have been cracking down hard on California’s marijuana dispensaries – even threatening their landlords with property seizure – claiming that profiteers were controlling the trade.

It could have been avoided had the Legislature created a Colorado-style system of state regulation. But lawmakers ducked the issue, probably fearing political fallout. Now medical marijuana advocates are proposing to do it via initiative.

If legislators don’t like the flood of initiative ballot measures, they should do their jobs rather than attempt to kneecap the process.

School districts wait to see if state revenue shortfalls trigger more cuts

School officials are on the edge of their seats.

In six weeks, they should know if they have to cut buses, shorten the school year, ask teachers to take furlough days, raid their reserves or cut programs.

That’s when revised revenue projections are expected from the state. If revenues fall short, it could trigger up to $1.75 billion in cuts that would hit K-12 districts in February.

The state was $654 million short of its revenue projections at the beginning of October, but school officials aren’t sure how much their districts will lose and what exactly they will do if the trigger is pulled.

“It’s almost impossible (to know),” said Rhonda Crawford, chief financial officer for Folsom Cordova Unified. “We do the best we can with what we know and what we can anticipate.”

Schools could lose 4 percent of their state revenue for student attendance if the trigger is pulled, as well $248 million in funds for bus transportation. The amount schools would lose depends on how close the state is to its revenue goal.

“The moving target continues to be the biggest challenge,” said Gabe Ross, spokesman for Sacramento City Unified.

Enjoy your morning!


Dilbert October 30, 2011 – Ignorance on Display


Dilbert by Scott Adams

How about digital librarian?

SD-27: Former California Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg to Challenge Senator Tony Strickland?


Former California Assembly Speaker and L.A. Mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg

This is the rumor circulating around Sacramento.

SEEN IN SACRAMENTO: Yesterday’s Leadership California Institute gathered 37 candidates for Assembly at the Citizen Hotel, where they heard from former legislative leaders Jim Brulte, Bob Hertzberg, Curt Pringle, and Willie Brown. Of course, what happens at The Citizen stays in the ol’ do-gooders building.

THE MAIN WHISPER: Okay…one piece…former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg’s passionate (and verbose) performance propped up the rumor that he is heading to Ventura to run in SD27 against Tony Strickland. This would leave Fran Pavley with three choices–stay and run (unlikely), head north to SD19 (she reportedly has a condo in Oxnard), or run in CD26 against Elton Gallegly and four declared Democrats. As the only woman with five men in the race, she’d be very likely to end up in the November run-off.

Bob Hertzberg would be a formidable candidate for California State Senator Tony Strickland. But, this house of cards and how they sort out all depend upon Rep Elton Gallegly, who Strickland hopes retires.

Since I do not think Gallegly is going anywhere with $800K plus in the bank, Tony will face off against a better candidate then Hanna-Beth Jackson.

Here is the breakdown of the SD-27 District.

Stay tuned…..


Dilbert October 26, 2011 – The Underling


Dilbert by Scott Adams

You want the CEO to actually DO something?

Jerry Brown Outlines His Pension Overhaul Plans


California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his 12-plan pension reform this morning and hopes voters approve the reforms in November 2012.

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a 12-point public pension reform plan this morning that would ask voters to increase the age at which future state and local government employees could retire with full benefits and place them in riskier retirement plans than current workers.

Speaking to reporters this morning, Brown said he wants all of his proposals to go before voters on the November 2012 ballot.

“It saves a lot of money,” Brown said. “This program is a very decisive step forward…We’ll have to contend with unfunded liabilities as we move forward.”

The plan would also impact current and future workers by mandating employers and employees equally share the cost of pension contributions. Currently, most employers pick up the majority or all of those costs.

Reaction to Brown’s plan came swiftly.

Convincing the Democratic-controlled Legislature to place his package on the ballot is a substantial hurdle, Brown acknowledged.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Brown’s plan is a “provocative” one on which he would keep an open mind.

“The abuses that a small number of people take advantage of absolutely must be resolved,” Steinberg said in a statement. “But we can’t forget that the vast majority of public sector employees are middle class workers and their average pensions are far from exorbitant….

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez said his members would “carefully consider” the proposal, but did he not embrace its contents. “I believe the governor is working hard to solve California’s long term fiscal challenges, and the Assembly will work with him to bring stability to our pension system in a manner that does right by taxpayers and public servants alike,” he said in a statement.

California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro called the proposals a “small step in the right direction,” in a press statement and criticized Brown for deferring most of the savings for many years, since the provisions with the biggest cost impacts won’t be felt for years, since they apply only to future employees.

“California can’t wait 500 years for a solution,” Del Beccaro said.

Here is the plan:

111027 Twelve Point Pension Reform 10.27.11

California Big Labor has initially voiced opposition to these sets of requirements. If they oppose this plan, this plan will never make it to the ballot in 2012.