Mission San Fernando
Good Monday morning!
The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.
Gov. Jerry Brown joins law enforcement officials from throughout the state at Capitol Mall to remember fallen peace officers, including eight who died in 2011.
This is the 36th year for the annual memorial ceremony. In a statement released before last year’s memorial, Brown called it “a somber reminder of the bravery and valor of the men and women behind the badge who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe.”
On to today’s California headlines:
Arnold Schwarzenegger has mostly stayed out of the political ring in California since packing his boxes and moving out of the state Capitol 16 months ago.
But he decided to throw a punch over the weekend at his fellow California Republicans — and the GOP faithful jabbed back. In truth, both sides doth protest too much… and have done so already. Multiple times, in fact.
Everything Schwarzenegger said in his weekend op-ed column in the Los Angeles Times had a familiar ring to it. Even his anecdote about falling in love with the Republican party in the late 1960s, via a Richard Nixon speech, was a throwback to the rousing open of his August 2004 prime time speech to the Republican National Convention.
Last November, San Jose gave the Oakland A’s an option to buy downtown land for a new ballpark. But the deal wasn’t intended simply to boost the stadium plan; it also aimed to protect the land from the state, which was seeking to nab the assets of city redevelopment agencies in order to plug its budget holes.
Now it appears the move may have come too late.
Other cities around the Bay Area made similar maneuvers to keep threatened projects alive, and they all may find those redevelopment-related deals in the state’s cross hairs as officials argue over the effective date of the law passed last year that ultimately killed the agencies.
Oakland city officials could be on the hook, although they insist they aren’t worried by their decision in March to sign a $3.5 million redevelopment-funded contract for planning work and an environmental impact review on a new coliseum project.
And in Santa Clara, officials say they are confident their contracts for the $1.2 billion 49ers stadium project that recently broke ground — and depended initially on up to $40 million in redevelopment agency funding — made it under an allowable time frame.
But state officials charged with implementing the law that shifted redevelopment agency property tax revenue from city projects to schools and other government programs say the law is clear: Any asset transferred last year from the redevelopment agencies to other government entities after Jan. 1, 2011,
about the time Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to kill the agencies became known, through June 28, 2011, must be returned. And any contracts that redevelopment agencies signed with outside parties after June 28, the date Brown signed the law, also aren’t viable.
For the third time since Californians embraced some of the strictest term limits in the nation 22 years ago, opponents are imploring voters to loosen them.
This time, a carefully crafted initiative on the June ballot — one of only two statewide measures — has fans of the term-limits law worried.
At first glance, the measure appears strict: It would reduce the overall amount of time a lawmaker can serve in Sacramento from 14 years to 12. And its greatest political selling point is it wouldn’t benefit any current politicians, unlike two previous initiatives that voters rejected.
“This design carries with it less appearance of self-dealing and self-interest,” said Lew Uhler, a leading proponent of the 1990 term-limits initiative. “It will be more difficult to defeat.”
By shaving two years off the existing lifetime limit, Proposition 28 proponents were able to list it on the ballot as “Limits on Legislators’ Terms” — an alluring title, given the public’s continuing support for limits.
It certainly sounded good to Gilroy Republican Edwin Natividad. “I’m for it because I’m for term limits,” said Natividad, a 49-year-old postal carrier.
But the measure also allows lawmakers to spend all 12 years in one legislative house, doubling the amount of time Assembly members could serve there. They’re now limited to three two-year terms; senators are restricted to two four-year terms.
Chief Executive Magazine’s annual survey of the Best & Worst states for business puts California in a familiar spot: #50. California was named the worst place to do business while Texas retained its position as the best.
The survey was conducted with 650 CEOs from across the country who were asked to evaluate states on a number of issues such as regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure.
The magazine’s editor–in-chief, J.P. Donlon said, “CEOs tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state.”
Enjoy your morning and here is Dan Walters Daily Video: California’s school system is languishing