California Governor Jerry Brown AP Photo
This morning California Governor Jerry Brown will deliver his State of the State address.
The address, at 9 a.m., will be broadcast live by KABC-TV Channel 7 in Los Angeles and on KPCC-FM (89.3) radio. It can be seen online here. And, on the California Channel (check your television provider).
The California Legislature is in session.
Some important deadlines to remember:
- January 25, 2013: Deadline to send bill ideas to the California Legislative Counsel for drafting.
- February 22, 2013: Deadline to introduce bills.
Each member of the Assembly and State Senate are allowed to introduce up to 40 bills in this two year legislative session.
On to the morning’s California headlines:
- Optimistic State of the State address expected from governor – Gov. Jerry Brown will deliver a State of the State address Thursday morning that lays out an ambitious and optimistic policy agenda for a state he says is on the rebound.After persuading voters to erase much of California’s budget deficit with billions of dollars in new taxes, Brown is free to shift his focus from patching holes in the government’s finances to a longer-term vision.He is expected to expand on his plans for shaking up public universities, shoring up water systems and boosting the state’s international trade.
The governor may also renew his call for changes in the landmark California Environmental Quality Act, which business interests say inhibits growth with onerous requirements.
And he may reiterate his warning to fellow Democrats that the state’s improved finances are not an invitation to spend freely.
- The battle for CEQA – California’s core environmental protection law, a 43-year-old statute frequently denounced by developers and business interests as a tangle of red tape, is on a Capitol hit list once again.But the political dynamic this year is unusual: Those pushing hard for change are Democrats, including Gov. Brown, the Senate and Assembly leaders and a farm-belt lawmaker.At issue is the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, which requires builders and others to detail their projects’ potential impacts over time on the environment and offer ways to fix them – which helps local zoning commissions and city councils weigh the benefits and negatives of the proposals in their decision-making.
- Cal lawmakers propose 72-hour posting of bills before final votes – A bipartisan group of California lawmakers concerned by the past rushing of legislation has proposed asking voters to require all bills to be in print and online for 72 hours before final passage.Sen. Lois Wolk (D- Davis) and Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) have introduced identical bills with the aim of improving transparency in the Legislature.Wolk noted that in the last two-year session, the Legislature considered nearly 5,000 bills. “While most of those proposals were publicly shared and well-vetted, some were not,” Wolk said. “Last-minute changes to bills can leave legislators unsure of what they are voting on, and prevent the public from weighing in on proposals.”
- Ex-Treasury official Neel Kashkari mulling run for California office – Neel Kashkari, a Republican executive who worked for the U.S. Treasury Department at the height of the financial crisis, is reportedly weighing a run for public office in California.Kashkari, 39, announced today that he is stepping down from his job as management director for Pacific Investment Management Co., a Newport Beach investment firm. He expressed an interest in entering public service in California in multiple interviews published today and has launched a website touting his biography and leadership bona fides.
- Court: Putting Prop. 30 on top of ballot was illegal – Anyone who still believes that there isn’t monkey business in politics needs only to look at the most recent election and a significant legal ruling handed down on Friday regarding Proposition 30. While it may seem too little, too late, this ruling does matter.The California State Court of Appeals found that Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature manipulated the ballot process, maneuvering Prop. 30 to land at the top of the ballot, above all of the other ballot measures. Prop. 30 increased taxes $6 billion a year.
- Sacramento GOP consultant files suit against Lance Armstrong – Sacramento-based Republican strategist Rob Stutzman and local chef Jonathan Wheeler have filed a class-action lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and his publishers, alleging that the infamous cyclist deceived readers in a 2001 best seller.The 59-page suit lays out various “misrepresentations” in Armstrong’s “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.” It says Armstrong credited his Tour de France success to training, diet and drive while denying that he ever used banned substances.The suit was filed Tuesday in Sacramento’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleging unfair business practices, fraud, false advertising and deceit. The complaint seeks, among other things, attorney’s fees and refunds for California customers who purchased the book.