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:
- Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare – Healthcare and education reform were key themes of Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address Thursday in which he called for the Legislature to convene a special session to work out issues involving the state’s compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act.”Our health benefit exchange, called Covered California, will begin next year providing insurance to nearly one million Californians,” Brown said. “Over the rest of this decade, California will steadily reduce the number of uninsured.”But he said it will be “incredibly complex” to implement a broader expansion of Medi-Cal called for by the federal law.”Working out the right relationship with the counties will test our ingenuity and will not be achieved overnight,” Brown told legislators packed into the Assembly chamber. “Given the costs involved, great prudence should guide every step of the way.”
- Joe Baca will seek rematch in Congress race – Former Rep. Joe Baca will seek a return to Congress in 2014.Baca lost his seat in the House of Representatives to then-state Sen. Gloria Negrete-McLeod in the November election. He said in a telephone interview Thursday that former constituents have asked him to seek a rematch.”Many people within the district have encouraged me to run again,” Baca said, adding that many people have told him they are upset by the flood of pro-McLeod and anti-Baca advertisements from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Super PAC.”Many people feel that Bloomberg from New York should not dictate who runs in this area,” Baca said.Bloomberg’s Super PAC, called Independence USA, spent millions supporting McLeod and opposing Baca. Independence USA’s intervention came relatively late in the race and Baca said the Super PAC’s activities blindsided his campaign and distorted his legislative record.Super PACs are groups that are allowed to spend unlimited amounts on federal campaigns as long as th…
- Brown lays out conservative vision for California – In a State of the State address befitting a Republican, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday laid out a largely conservative vision for California, calling for fiscal restraint, streamlined regulations and local control of schools. At one point he even asked the Legislature to stop passing so many bills.”I like to hear it,” Orange County Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine, said afterwards. “He is welcome to our playbook and we are pledged to support him if he is working from our playbook,” he said.
- Brown Spells Out Next Goals For California – Cheering a California rebound, Gov. Jerry Brown says voter-approved tax increases have put the state on sound financial footing but warns lawmakers that they must be tight-fisted with the government purse strings.The Democratic governor delivered his third State of the State address Thursday since reclaiming the governor’s office. He did so just months after voters approved his Proposition 30, which raised sales and income taxes temporarily.His speech was filled with the rhetorical gems and historical references that are hallmarks of his addresses, but it did not break new ground.The main topics Brown addressed — reform of K-12 education funding, the need for the higher education systems to hold down costs, promotion of high-speed rail and water tunnels under the delta — have been addressed previously, including in his budget proposal.
- Gov. Jerry Brown delivers a State of the State speech like no other – It was a political speech like no other, delivered by perhaps the one politician who could pull it off.California’s 74-year-old third-term governor filled his State of the State address Thursday with rhetorical flourishes, poetic allusions, biblical stories, historical references — a tapestry of ideas weaved into a political document meant to set the tone for the Capitol in 2013.”It was Jerry Brown in his essence in that he offered perspective, a vantage point you don’t see from very many governors, if any,” said Bill Whalen, who wrote speeches for former Gov. Pete Wilson. “I dare say it might be the most quirky speech ever delivered.”
- Gov. Jerry Brown declares ‘California did the impossible,’ – Seeking to reclaim the state’s identity as an innovator and engine of growth, Gov. Jerry Brown declared in a sweeping State of the State address that “California did the impossible” in emerging from financial crisis poised to lead again.Brown outlined a vision for the state Thursday in remarks that were equal parts history lesson, lecture and rhetorical flourish. It includes major investment in water and rail systems, more robust trade and an education structure free of regulations that crush creativity.Invoking California’s “spectacular history of bold pioneers meeting every failure with even greater success,” he asked a joint session of the Legislature to overhaul the way schools are funded, build a controversial bullet train and aggressively expand healthcare to millions of needy residents.