A thumbs up from Wall Street

Jul 3, 2015

Wall Street gave California its highest credit rating in years, and while we don't really trust those rating agencies as much as we used to, we'll take good news any way we can get it.


From the LAT's Chris Megerian: "The Wall Street ratings agency Standard & Poor's gave a vote of confidence to California's finances on Thursday, upgrading its credit rating to its highest level in 14 years."

"The state's new budget, which took effect Wednesday, "marks another step forward in the state's journey toward improved fiscal sustainability," said the agency's report."

"The upgrade, from A+ to AA-, was welcomed by state officials."


Speaking of the budget, it's looking good and the revnue is flowing in nicely, thank you very much.


The Bee's Jim Miller tells the tale: "The 2014-15 fiscal year came to an end this week, and it will be a long time before officials finish closing the books. Early signs, though, are that revenue for the just-completed fiscal year will exceed estimates in the newly minted state budget by hundreds of millions of dollars."


"New numbers from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, reflecting the latest data from the Franchise Tax Board, show that the state took in $541 million more in income tax and corporate tax revenue than reflected in the budget approved two weeks ago."


The anti-vaccination folks aren't giving up the fight that they just lost in the Legislature and governor's office. Now, they're going Hollywood. sort of, with the help of former state senator, Tim Donnelly, who is pushing for a referendum.


From the Sacramento Bee's Chris Cadelago: "Jim Carrey, he of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “Dumb and Dumber,” looks to have been inspired by the movie “Trace Amounts” when he denounced California’s tough new vaccine law..."


"Carrey maintains he’s not anti-vaccine; but like others, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who screened the documentary in Sacramento, he questions their safety. Vaccine makers say they have removed the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, a chief point of concern, out of all but some flu vaccines."

"Though he’s being roundly ridiculed for his persistent criticism, it’s won Carrey praise from some of the people looking to overturn the law. Republican Tim Donnelly expressed his gratitude toward the actor before turning to more pressing matters."

The historic governor's mansion, which hasn't had an occupant in 48 years, is being renovated and may become the home of Gov. Brown and his wife. And by the way, Lincoln Steffens used to live there long ago.


From Capitol Weekly's John Howard: "Gov. Jerry Brown, 77, increasingly interested in history, family and tradition, isn’t saying whether he and his wife, Anne, intend to live there during his fourth and final term in office, which ends in January 2019."


"But the gleaming white, 30-room home – a State Historical Park – has been shuttered and work is under way on improvements and repairs. The mansion is about four blocks from the  loft where the governor currently lives."


"The home “has been in need of repair to comply with fire and safety codes,” Brown spokesman Evan Westrup wrote Thursday in an email. “For that reason, repairs were initiated – and continue – to ensure the mansion is suitable for many uses, including as a possible residence for Governor Brown and future Governors and their families.”


Gavin Newsom -- remember him? -- is our lieutenant governor and he's running for governor in 2018. It's still early days, but he's already collecting a lot of campaign dough.


From the Chronicle's Carla Marinucci: "Gearing up for possible challenges from wealthy Democratic opponents three years before the 2018 gubernatorial race, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom raised $2.7 million in the first five months of the year — and now has about $5.5 million cash on hand, his campaign said Thursday."


"Dan Newman, a strategist for Newsom’s campaign, said the former San Francisco mayor’s campaign fund has “surpassed all goals” on “two essential elements” — getting both “broad grassroots support” from smaller donors and and backing from powerful institutional players."

Newsom, who officially opened his gubernatorial committee on Februrary 15, has raised $2,722,532 since then, and now has $5,526,995.54 cash on hand, the campaign said.


It's Friday, so it's time to answer that burning question, "Who had the worst week?" One good candidate is Leland Yee, the former state senator who got snared in an FBI undercover probe. Yee, facing multiple corruption counts, pleaded guilty to a single charge of racketeering, which means he faces a maximum 20-year prison term. He didn't really seem that unhappy though.


Lee Romney from the LAT was there in court: "He shook hands and chatted genially. Then, after taking an oath before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer, the San Francisco Democrat admitted to racketeering, concluding an unruly case, involving public corruption, promises of gun-running and more, that shook Sacramento."


“Today’s news turns the page on one of the darker chapters of the Senate’s history,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said in a statement.



Ed's Note: We repeated The Roundup this morning. We inadvertently sent an older version earlier.




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