Tag Archive: California Legislature

Feb 19 2013

The California Flap: February 19, 2013

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Jerry BussJerry Buss R.I.P.

The California Legislature is in session.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

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:

  • Jerry Buss dies at 80; Lakers owner brought ‘Showtime’ success to L.A. – When Jerry Buss bought the Lakers in 1979, he wanted to build a championship team. He also wanted to put on a show. The new owner gave courtside seats to movie stars. He hired pretty women to dance during timeouts. He spent freely on big stars and encouraged a fast-paced, exuberant style of play. As the Lakers sprinted to one NBA title after another, Buss cut an audacious figure in the stands, an aging playboy in bluejeans, often with a younger woman by his side.
  • California inmates renew demands – California prison inmates housed in the state’s highest-security prison have sent an open letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, threatening hunger strikes and work stoppages if the state does not limit the length of time prisoners can be held in isolation cells. The undated letter, signed by four prisoners housed in segregation at Pelican Bay State Prison, contends California prison officials failed to deliver on promises made to end a series of prison hunger strikes that involved as many as 6,500 inmates in 2011. Giving a July 8 deadline, the inmates ask for an end to indefinite holding of prisoners in Security Housing Units, where they are isolated from other inmates, denied privileges and allowed out of the cell 90 minutes a day.
  • N.J. Gov. Christie in La Jolla, Romney sons join the party – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie swooped into town last week for a fundraiser in La Jolla that drew about 50 people, including two of Mitt Romney’s sons, Matt and Craig. The robust governor alienated many Mitt Romney supporters by making nice with President Barack Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and just days before the November election. The La Jolla conclave came between a similar cash grab in Los Angeles on Monday and one in Santa Barbara on Wednesday. Christie was warmly received here with no rancor stemming from his recent coziness with the president, according to Ron Nehring, vice chair of the county GOP.
  • Battle builds over calculating California Public Employee pensions – Debate is brewing across the state over which types of pay can be counted toward a public worker’s pension — fallout from landmark changes that went into effect this year. The overhaul, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, was intended to slash swelling pension costs by raising the retirement age for new workers and increasing employee pension contributions. The sweeping revision, known as the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013, also limits what’s considered pensionable compensation. This is crucial because it’s aimed to curb pension spiking and other issues that have caused governments to bleed money. However, redefining what types of pay can be used to determine pension amounts has led to at least four legal challenges from labor groups mainly in northern California. And the state’s largest public retirement system, which includes nearly all the cities in San Diego County, has stepped in to offer its interpretation of the term.
  • California’s budget windfall could end soon, officials say – The surge of revenue that showed up unexpectedly in state coffers last month may well be offset by a revenue dip in coming months, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration. The surprise money has been the source of much speculation in the Capitol. Unanticipated tax receipts filled state coffers with more than $5 billion beyond initial projections for January — more tax dollars than are allocated to the entire state university system in a year. The revenue bump was historic. But the question for budget experts was whether lawmakers could begin allocating the windfall toward government programs and tax breaks — or whether the money amounted to an accounting anomaly.
  • California Higher-Ed: Regents Deny Critics a Fair Hearing
  • Will higher taxes on the rich derail California’s economic comeback?
  • Crazifornia: Will it be Gov. Brownout? – With long-time environmentalist Gov. Jerry Brown at California’s helm, green-leaning Democrat super-majorities in both houses of the state legislature and entrenched eco-crats ruling the state’s regulatory agencies, the AES plant is certain to remain shuttered no matter what the summer may bring. The carbon crusaders simply cannot afford to allow a high-profile precedent to undercut the centerpiece of their carbon-fighting battle so early in the auction’s history. So, should brownouts and blackouts return to California this summer, remember this: It wasn’t really problems at the San Onofre nuclear power plant that caused them. It was problems in the thinking of California’s leadership.
  • Manuel Rojas, burrito maestro of El Tepeyac has passed away? – Reports on social media are saying that the proprietor of Manny’s Original El Tepeyac in Boyle Heights has died. KFI News tweeted that employees of the burrito stand on Evergreen Avenue confirmed Rojas’ death. The station notes Rojas is credited with creating the Hollenbeck Burrito: it’s made with pork verde, rice, beans and guacamole and topped with chile verde.
  • Bill would require 3-day wait before California state lawmakers act – Jamming major bills through the Legislature at the last minute with little if any time for review has been an ongoing source of frustration for some lawmakers, especially minority Republicans. The practice has been used often on budget bills, forcing lawmakers to vote on spending issues with long-term consequences without having the ability to actually read what’s in them. That would change under legislation being proposed by two lawmakers. ADVERTISEMENT The identical bills by Democratic Sen. Lois Wolk of Davis and Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Modesto would require all legislation to be in print and online 72 hours before it comes to a vote. Both bills would be constitutional amendments and would have to be approved by the voters. To get on the ballot, SCA10 or ACA4 need a two-thirds vote in the Legislature.
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Jan 25 2013

The California Flap: January 25, 2013

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The California Legislature is in session.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

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.
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Jan 08 2013

The California Flap: January 8, 2013

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Mission San Juan Capistrano

The California Legislature is in session.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

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.

By Thursday, California Governor Jerry Brown must submit his proposed budget.

Governor Jerry Brown will deliver his State of the State address on Thursday, January 24 at 9:00 a.m. before a joint legislative session.

On to the morning’s California headlines:

  • Robert Hertzberg endorses Feuer, leaving Trutanich – Hertzberg had previously endorsed Wendy Greuel in the mayoral race.
  • Jim Brulte For Chairman Of The California Republican Party – While he has not made a formal announcement of his candidacy, it has certainly been much talked about that Jim Brulte, the former leader of both Senate and Assembly Republicans, is seeking the Chairmanship of the California Republican Party. This is great news for the party, and for conservatives in California. I am very excited to endorse his candidacy, and will work hard not only to see that he is elected, but look forward to doing what I can to help make sure that under his leadership the CRP is successful.
  • Software update accidentially cancels food stamp cards for 37,000 Californians – About 37,000 Californians who receive food stamps are currently unable to access their benefits after their electronic benefit cards were accidentally cancelled on Sunday.Eighteen counties, including Orange County, administer the state’s food stamp program, known at the state level as CalFresh (and known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) through a computer application called CalWIN (CalWORKS Information Network).This past weekend, the primary designer of the CalWIN system, Hewlett Packard, sought to update some of the software, but in the process accidentally cancelled the benefit cards of tens of thousands recipients, including more than 6,700 in Orange County, said TerryLynn Fisher, spokeswoman for the Orange County Social Services Agency.
  • U.S. Supreme Court to hear Proposition 8 arguments on March 26 – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the legal challenge to Proposition 8 on March 26 and then consider the constitutionality of the federal government’s ban on same-sex marriage benefits the following day.The Supreme Court set the argument schedule Monday in the unfolding legal drama over same-sex marriage rights. The justices would then decide the two cases by the end of the current term in June.The high court agreed to review a federal appeals court’s decision last year invalidating Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the law unconstitutional because it stripped away a previous right for same-sex couples to marry in California, and Proposition 8 backers are asking the Supreme Court to overturn that ruling.
  • Brown fails to produce prison plan, seeks end of court control – Gov. Jerry Brown contends California no longer needs to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons.Federal judges had given the state until midnight Monday to file plans showing how California would meet federal caps on prison populations. Instead, in a motion filed late in the day, the governor’s lawyers asked the judges to lift those caps.”The overcrowding and healthcare conditions cited by this court to support its population reduction order are now a distant memory,” the state’s lawyers contend.

    The governor takes his case on the road Tuesday, with scheduled press conferences in Sacramento and Los Angeles.

  • The Republicans’ Asian Problem – Much has been made, both before and after last November’s election, of the serious problems Republicans have with Latino voters. GOP nominee Mitt Romney received only a pathetic 29 percent of the Latino vote, compared with President Obama’s 71 percent. The good news, I guess, is that Republicans are now publicly pondering what to do about their lack of appeal to this fast-growing minority group.The bad news? As we head into the next election cycle, Latinos are only the third-worst minority group for Republicans. They got nearly shut out with African Americans, of course, but the GOP has even bigger problems than among Latinos with the fastest-growing minority group of all, Asian Americans. According to national exit polls, Obama received 73 percent of the Asian vote, higher than among Latinos. (In the interests of full disclosure, I admit to having a personal interest in this particular subject as the father of a half-Chinese son.)
  • Darrell Steinberg announces CA Senate committee assignments – Agriculture: Galgiani (Chair), Cannella (Vice Chair), Berryhill, Lieu, Rubio, WolkAppropriations: de León (Chair), Walters (Vice Chair), Gaines, Hill, Lara, Padilla, SteinbergBanking and Financial Institutions: Hill (Chair), Berryhill (Vice Chair), Beall, Calderon, Corbett, Roth, Walters

    Budget & Fiscal Review: Leno (Chair), Emmerson (Vice Chair), Anderson, Beall, Berryhill, Block, DeSaulnier, Fuller, Gaines, Hancock, Hill, Jackson, Monning, Price Jr., Roth, Wright

  • Lawmakers return to work, get assignments – Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo: Accountability and Administrative Review; Budget (vice chairman); Budget Subcommitee No. 6 (Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation); Judiciary; Labor and Employment; Utilities and Commerce.Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita: Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Internet Media; Business, Professions and Consumer Protection; Health; Higher Education; Rules (vice chairman).
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Jan 07 2013

The California Flap: January 7, 2013

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California Legislature

The California Assembly will start its session at noon and the California State Senate at 2 PM.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

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.

By Thursday, California Governor Jerry Brown must submit is proposed budget.

On to a few California headlines:

These are my links for January 4th through January 7th:

  • Dan Walters: Parcel tax changes could be big battle in California Legislature – The Legislature’s Democratic leaders want to use their newly minted supermajorities to do things that they could not do before, but are leery of doing things that might alienate voters and jeopardize those supermajorities.They prefer, therefore, an incremental approach to using their two-thirds legislative votes, thus slowly warming voters to the exercise of their new power, rather than shocking them.One likely way they’ll wield their new authority is a constitutional amendment to reduce the voter approval margin for local government and school district parcel taxes from two-thirds to either a simple majority or 55 percent.
  • Getting around California Proposition 13 – One would hope that the Proposition 30 tax increases passed by voters would have sated the California Legislature’s appetite for additional revenue. But proposals are already circulating for potential new tax increases in this new year. Legislators would be better advised to see how much they collect from Prop. 30 before pursuing additional monies from Californians.Proposals are focusing on Prop. 13, the landmark 1978 tax-limitation measure that has undergirded the state’s prosperity since then. Prop. 13 limited property taxes to 1 percent of assessed value plus annual increases of up to 2 percent of the tax bill. When a property changes ownership, the new owner pays 1 percent of the newly assessed value.
  • GOP still relevant to California’s fiscal future – Many political pundits would have us now believe that Republicans are as relevant to California politics as fantasy football is to the NFL. To the contrary, there is an important role for the GOP in Sacramento and throughout the state this next legislative session.California voters, notwithstanding historic reluctance to approve higher taxes, passed Proposition 30 in November. They did so believing the promise that the projected additional revenue would help plug the budget gap and save public education from dramatic cuts.
  • Tom McClintock just said ‘no’ to ‘cliff’ solution – Never one to build bridges, Rep. Tom McClintock has spent the better part of 30 years in office deriding the government that gives him his paycheck.But as he showed last week, his political machine of one has gained compatriots among the shrunken but more conservative band of Republicans representing California in the House. That doesn’t bode well for California as it tries to get back some of the money it sends to Washington, and certainly not for the Sierra district McClintock represents.McClintock wasn’t among the hard-liners who openly challenged House Speaker John Boehner’s leadership when the new Congress convened last week. But he did join several of them for a press event shortly after the November election in Washington, D.C., offering his election analysis and prescription for the Republican Party.
  • Gun-control worries draw 6,000 to Ontario gun show – There are some Americans who believe there are too many firearms in the United States, and there are those like the thousands who attend events like Crossroads of the West Gun Show.”We have a Second Amendment which says `the right to keep and arms shall not be infringed.’ Infringed means you don’t mess with it,” said customer Patrick Hill of Menifee.Crossroads of the West is a frequent event at the Ontario Convention Center. When the show is town, thousands gather to peruse or buy any of myriad firearms such as a vintage Remington shotgun, a Ruger Redhawk revolver, Glock semi-automatic pistol or a modern AR-15-style rifle.

    Saturday’s show, however, was Crossroads’ first in Ontario since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December. The gunman who perpetrated that mass killing shot and killed 20 children and six women at the Newtown, Conn., campus after killing his mother and before ending his rampage by suicide.

  • California gun sales have risen, gun injuries have decreased – California has millions more guns than it did 10 years ago. It also has thousands fewer gun injuries and deaths each year.Those are two simple facts that, depending on whom you ask, have everything or nothing to do with each other.Last month’s horrific Connecticut school shooting has reignited the debate over gun control in California, a state with some of the nation’s strictest gun laws. State legislators will likely take up additional gun law proposals later this year, ranging from further limits on ammunition purchases to requiring regular background checks for gun owners.

Here is Dan Walter’s of the Sacramento Bee about the start of the California Legislative session:

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Jan 04 2013

The California Flap: January 4, 2013

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California LegislatureEnjoy your last few days of respite from the State of California because the Legislature returns on Monday.

The California Assembly will start its session at noon and the California State Senate at 2 PM.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

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 a few California headlines:

In suburbs of L.A., a cottage industry of birth tourism

USA Baby Care’s website makes no attempt to hide why the company’s clients travel to Southern California from China and Taiwan. It’s to give birth to an American baby.

“Congratulations! Arriving in the U.S. means you’ve already given your child a surefire ticket for winning the race,” the site says in Chinese. “We guarantee that each baby can obtain a U.S. passport and related documents.”

That passport is just the beginning of a journey that will lead some of the children back to the United States to take advantage of free public schools and low-interest student loans, as the website notes. The whole family may eventually get in on the act, since parents may be able to piggyback on the child’s citizenship and apply for a green card when the child turns 21.

Dan Walters: There’s no off-season in California politics

This new year has an odd number, and traditionally that has meant it would be free of elections and campaigning.

However, there’s no longer an off-season in California politics. It’s a 365/24/7 business, and 2013 promises to continue that somewhat dubious trend with a full slate of elections for local and legislative offices.

The star attraction, if that’s an accurate description, will be the mayoralty of Los Angeles, our largest – and in some ways most troubled – city.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is ending his roller-coaster reign this year and is apparently angling for an Obama Cabinet position, although he also seems to be doing his best to make himself radioactive.

See you on Monday!

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