The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.
On to today’s California headlines:
The University of Southern California and the Fair Political Practices Commission are hosting a symposium on campaign finance and disclosure in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision in the Citizens United case. Listed speakers include former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown and legal and government experts, plus Bee columnist Dan Morain and FPPC Chairwoman Ann Ravel. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and will be streamed live at both the FPPC website and the California Channel website. For more information, click here.
Ian Calderon is the latest family hopeful in California’s longest-running legislative dynasty – and fundraising fliers hammer that point home.
“Please Join Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon in supporting Ian Calderon” at a lunch reception in Sacramento’s Tequila Mayahuel restaurant, one flier said. Tickets cost $1,300 to $3,900.
Father and son are pictured together in the flier, smiling, the young college graduate and the lame duck Democratic lawmaker whose presence helps boost campaign coffers.
Few 26-year-old novices wield such clout. Ian Calderon’s race against former Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez will be watched closely as an example of the power of family incumbency, analysts say.
“You have name recognition, you have resources,” Phillip Ung of California Common Cause, which has taken no position on the race, said of Ian’s candidacy and family ties.
For 30 years, a member of the Calderon family has held a legislative seat.
Charles is the second-highest ranking member of the Assembly. His brother Ron is a state senator and another brother, Tom, is a former assemblyman running to return to the lower house. All are Los Angeles County Democrats.
The Calderons are known as moderate Democrats with a pro-business bent. Charles said the reputation can be a mixed blessing – for example, though Ian is very pro-union, some labor groups have been slow to endorse him, he said.
The committee approved SB 1072, authored by Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, at the request of Scott.
It did so despite reservations of public health experts who think too little is known about the disease and the efficacy of stem-cell transplantation to treat it.
That therapy can be effective only if the disease is diagnosed before symptoms develop.
Dr. William Wilcox, a UCLA medical school professor and a member of the advisory board to the state’s newborn screening program, testified that the experience in New York, which has tested 1.3 million newborns, suggests mandatory testing “would not be the best option for our state.”
In the flurry surrounding the end of redevelopment, 60 state Department of Finance officials are scouring local redevelopment budgets to determine whether their claims about existing debts and obligations are legal.
Cities and other local entities that are overseeing the shutdown of redevelopment agencies were required to submit a list of their ongoing financial commitments by April 15. Now, the department has a three-day window to raise objections. Of the budgets it has reviewed so far, the department has challenged almost two dozen, including budgets from the cities of Riverside, Orange and San Leandro.
The department’s review could have serious effects on the state budget and local agencies, including school districts and counties.
Gov. Jerry Brown estimated that $3.6 billion would be distributed to local agencies over two years as a result of dissolving redevelopment agencies, offsetting $1.7 billion in state general fund costs.
Additional property taxes that previously were given to redevelopment agencies could be redirected to local coffers. But if the ongoing financial commitments of the now-defunct redevelopment agencies consume the bulk of the property taxes, then there won’t be any money left to reallocate, at least in the short term.
Enjoy your morning!
Here is Dan Walters and his daily video: California high-speed rail in trouble: