Marina Del Rey – Mother’s Beach at dawn
Good Thursday morning!
The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.
President Barack Obama will be in California air space, with Air Force One scheduled to touch down at LAX at 6:20 p.m. Obama is hitting the Golden State’s ATM with a fundraiser with actor George Clooney. Obama is scheduled to leave LAX at 10:15 a.m. Friday.
On to today’s California headlines:
State workers’ pay is back on the budget chopping block.
Officials representing Gov. Jerry Brown met with state employee union leaders last week and delivered the news: A budget revision he’ll release Monday includes a new proposal to cut payroll costs in the upcoming fiscal year.
The decision to take a bite out of state workers’ pay comes amid a deepening California budget deficit that Brown pegged in January at $9.2 billion through 2012-13 but now is thought to be considerably more.
The sources, who declined to talk on the record because the administration asked all involved to keep the budget discussions secret, said Brown’s representatives didn’t outline specific cuts. They said the governor wants to cut payroll costs by at least 5 percent, and asked union leaders to come up with ways to make the reductions.
Brown has the authority to lay off workers, but any other reductions – a pay cut or furloughs, for example – require bargaining or legislation.
Voters are of two minds on the governor’s proposal to hike sales taxes, which is on the November ballot:
While 54 percent of likely voters said they’d vote for the quarter-cent increase, 52 percent of registered voters said they were against it, our colleague Brian Joseph told us.
Which means it can really go either way. Brown has said there will be automatic cuts to schools if the temporary increase fails.
Still not sure what you’ll do at the ballot booth? Consider where the state’s money comes from, and where it goes, which may help you decide (or confuse you further).
An alarming number of California high school graduates are deciding not to attend the state’s once-vaunted public universities, researchers have found.
From 2007 to 2010, the percentage of graduates attending University of California or California State University campuses fell by 20 percent, according to figures released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California. The trend developed amid deepening budget problems that dramatically lifted university tuitions and forced schools to turn away qualified students.
“UC and CSU are increasingly unable to accommodate the demand by students,” said Hans Johnson, the report’s author.
Fewer than 18 percent of California high school graduates ended up at a Cal State or UC campus in 2010, down from 22 percent in 2007. And 55 percent of the most highly prepared students enroll there, down from 67 percent.
The figures underscore a recent migration by students who once would have attended California’s public universities, which once were higher-education models admired by other states and countries. Private and public universities in California and throughout the country have seen a significant uptick in the number of California applicants since UC and Cal State tuition started ballooning in the past few years.
About one in 10 who reject admissions offers from the state universities choose not to go to college at all, Johnson found. California’s economic woes are likely to deepen if students continue to pursue college degrees elsewhere or not at all, he said.
The Yes on Proposition 29 tobacco tax campaign unveiled new advertisements yesterday, highlighting the issue of money. The Yes side points the finger at tobacco companies for funding the No campaign to the tune of $40-million. The Yes side says their campaign is about health, but it’s also about money, as well. For voters, the focus should be on policy — what the measure does and how it works.
Money is a concern for both sides of the debate. If Proposition 29 passes, initially nearly $800-million dollars shifts over to supporters of the initiative to control and even to benefit from. While the money goes into research it also goes to researchers and institutions, which support the project.
Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UC San Francisco, who has written in favor of Prop 29 on this site, was quoted in the Daily Californian, “It’ll have a direct impact on UC Berkeley and UCSF because there will be a lot of money put into research, and some part of that will be done at the University of California and at UCSF.”
Given that both sides have an interest and/or a concern for money changing hands, voters ought to concentrate on the public policy questions involved with the measure.
Enjoy your morning and Dan Walters Daily video: Jerry Brown’s budget revision won’t be pretty