The California Legislature is in session.
An important deadline to remember:
- 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 today’s California headlines:
- California laws banning ‘one-stop’ optician shops withstands challenge – A decadelong legal fight that originated in Sacramento to scuttle California’s prohibition on “one-stop-shops” offering both eye examinations and prescription lenses has finally hit the wall with the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to accept the issue for review. Three entities representing “dispensing opticians” – Lenscrafters Inc., Eye Care Centers of America Inc., and the National Association of Optometrists & Opticians – had asked the high court to consider a federal appellate court’s rejection of their challenge to the laws. The plaintiffs went to Sacramento federal court in 2002 over California’s statutes and regulations that reserve to optometrists and ophthalmologists the ability to offer both eye exams and glasses while denying it to optical companies, many of them national chains. Optometrists and ophthalmologists are classified as health care providers, as opposed to opticians, who fill prescriptions for eyewear. The California Optometric Association, which supported the s…
- In California, thousands of teachers missing needed credentials – Every year in California, public school administrators assign thousands of teachers to classes for which they lack the credentials or legal authorization to teach. Untrained teachers have been assigned to a variety of difficult classes, including those filled with English-language learners and others with special intellectual and physical needs. Or, in Parker’s case, to teach social studies when they’re credentialed for biology. Nearly 1 in 10 teachers or certificated personnel – more than 32,000 school employees – did not have the credentials or authorization for their positions from 2007 through 2011, according to data compiled by the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The problem is greater at low-performing schools, where students are overwhelmingly low-income and Latino. The average rate of improperly assigned teachers at these schools was 16 percent over the same period.
- California Field Poll: Gov. Brown’s approval rating up in poll – Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval rating has surged to its highest level since he was elected and, despite still giving the Legislature low marks, a strong majority of voters view the Democrats’ two-thirds supermajority as a positive, according to a Field Poll released Thursday. The survey also found the highest number of voters who think California is headed in the right direction since the summer of 2007. Brown’s approval rating has jumped to 57 percent among those surveyed, with 31 percent disapproving and 12 percent having no opinion. It’s the first time the poll has found that the governor has had a majority of voters approving of his performance since he took office in 2011. The previous Field Poll conducted last fall found 46 percent of voters approving his performance, and 37 percent disapproving. The uptick for the governor is due largely to his ability to erase the state’s chronic budget deficit that voters had become accustomed to, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Pol
- 572 San Francisco city workers paid more than governor – No fewer than 572 San Francisco city workers and executives made more than Gov. Jerry Brown last year. More than 1,500 city workers made more than state Attorney General Kamala Harris. And that’s without overtime. “That’s pretty staggering,” said Tom Dalzell, head of the California Citizens Compensation Commission, which sets pay for state lawmakers. With a salary of $173,987, Brown makes about as much as a senior police sergeant in San Francisco, once premium pay for the cop’s years of service, special training and the like are included.
- California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’ – For three years, a private citizen named Steve LeBard has led the effort to build a privately funded memorial in Orcutt, California—a tranquil small town located on the Golden State’s gorgeous Central Coast—to honor military veterans. And for the better part of those three years, he has run into a toxic blend of political correctness, anti-Americanism, and bureaucratic senselessness. Today, the memorial, which was to be built with private funds on a small piece of public land, remains unbuilt.