In yet another twist in the budget saga, Democrats in the Legislature want to use an unexpected surge of revenue to roll back social service cuts -- despite the opposition of Gov. Brown.
From the Bee's Kevin Yamamura: "Under a proposal moving Wednesday through the Assembly Budget
Subcommittee on Education, the state would continue borrowing from state
special funds in order to reverse the $440 million child care cut. Assembly Democrats
also want to combine $300 million in other special fund borrowing with about
$250 million in unspecified savings to provide more money for community colleges and
Brown instead wanted to eliminate $750 million in loans
from special funds due for repayment in future years.
"We took the hard votes in March, we understand this
is a very austere time for the state financially," said Assemblywoman Susan
Bonilla, D-Concord. "I want to make it crystal clear that we're not out
here just trying to spend more or do more. What we're saying is, there's an
opportunity because of the increased revenues to repay debt. Where should we
repay it? To special funds? It's not that that's bad, but we're simply making a
value statement that it's going to be more effective repaying it into the
education of our children."
The communications war over Assembly Speaker John Perez's move to abolish the city of Vernon and fold it into the jurisdiction of L.A. County includes a spat over the speaker's lack of a degree from UC Berkeley. Capitol Weekly's Malcolm Maclachlan has the story.
"Two decades ago, Assembly Speaker John Pérez dropped out
of the University of California at Berkeley without receiving a bachelor’s
degree, an issue that has been reported over the years. Much later, as he
became prominent, he failed to correct those who identified him as a graduate –
something that he acknowledged in a statement last Friday.
"The old story became news again as Pérez pushes hotly contested legislation to
abolish the scandal-plagued industrial town of Vernon – a city in Pérez’s
district – and fold it into the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County."
"An array of labor and business interests have mounted a major effort to block
Pérez’s bill, and the flap over his educational background offers one example
of how the nature of Capitol communications battles can become personal and
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on California's overcrowded prisons exemplifies the dilemma of the state's correctional system -- if you want to lock up large numbers of people, you have to pay for it.
From the LA Times' George Skelton: "So here's another idea that isn't exactly
original: Round up all the illegal immigrant prisoners and dump them off at the
nearest federal courthouse. Or at least the immigration office."
"It's the federal government's responsibility to
guard our borders and keep out illegal immigrants. The feds should take the
sneaks off our hands and deport them."
"According to the governor's budget, 11.2% of
inmates in the state prison system are illegal immigrants, about 18,300."
"I asked Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los
Angeles) about possibly handing off these convicts to U.S. immigration
"People's knee-jerk reaction is to say,
'Deport the undocumented perpetrators,'" Pérez told me. "And I
understand that. It's my reaction as well. Deport them to their country of
origin. The problem is there's no guarantee that they'd continue to serve their
A deal has been reached on the state universities' disclosure of some $2 billion managed by the schools' foundations. The Chronicle's Nanette Asimov tells the tale.
"State university officials, who have fought to keep
secret the financial details of how campus foundations manage nearly $2
billion, have withdrawn their opposition to public disclosure under a
compromise with public records advocates and state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San
"The agreement, meant to protect the identity of most
donors, means the public is a step closer to being able to scrutinize
foundations like the one at California State University Stanislaus that hired
former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to speak at a fundraiser last year but wouldn't
say how much it was paying her until a judge ordered the contract made public."
"CSU and University of California officials say they will
no longer oppose SB8, introduced by Yee, which would require campus foundations
and other "auxiliary enterprises" such as campus bookstores to
operate under the California Public Records Act."
California is considering making an end run around the Electoral College, the latest in a series of attempts to gain clout for the state in presidential elections.
From Capitol Weekly's Genevieve Jerome: "Remember back in 2000 when George W. Bush was elected
president, even though rival Al Gore won the popular vote?"
"If so, you’re not the only one: A number of Democrats – and some Republicans –
want California to award its Electoral College votes in a presidential election
to the candidate who wins the popular vote. The idea is to avoid elections in
which the popular-vote winner loses the race because the rival candidate has
more electoral votes. That, in turn, might give California, the nation’s most
populous state, more clout in picking a president."
"A bill to do exactly that faces the state Senate. Last week, the Assembly in a
43-18 vote passed AB 459 by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-South San Francisco,
which enables California to join in a compact with a number of other states and
the District of Columbia to authorize the vote shift."
"For the compact to work, it needs a total of 270 electoral votes by all of the
states. Thus far, states with a total of 77 electoral votes have decided
to join the compact. Many states are waiting to see what California, with a
trove of 55 electoral votes, is waiting to do."