Gov. Brown's 2012-13 budget blueprint counts on too much incoming revenue from such sources as capital gains, says the Legislative Analyst, who also notes that the state's finances are still out of whack by several billion dollars. The precise size of the deficit won't be known until the money is collected after the April 15 tax deadline.
From the Bee's Kevin Yamamura: "But the latest report is noteworthy because updated data has not changed its position that Brown is too optimistic in his budget."
"Brown, using a rosier forecast, projected the deficit at only $9.2 billion through June 2013. He has proposed a $92.5 billion general fund budget for next year, including a hike in income taxes for wealthy earners and a half-cent sales tax increase on purchases."
Federal investigators have seized more computers in the complex case of Democratic financial agent Kinde Durkee, who handled accounts for scores of campaigns. Durkee, who faces a March 16 court date, is accused of mishandling her clients money. Her arrest has shaken the state's Democratic political establishment.
From the LAT's Pat McGreevy: "The seizures were cited as a reason for seeking another month's delay in a preliminary hearing in the case. A hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday in federal court has now been set for March 16."
"The investigation has continued, and since the last continuance in this case, the government has seized a significant number of computers which need to be processed," said a court filing by Assistant U.S. Atty. John K. Vincent. The filing does not identify whose computers were confiscated. "The government needs additional time to review, analyze, and synthesize materials that it has obtained during the course of this investigation," the filing said."
"Durkee was arrested in September and accused of mail fraud. Prosecutors allege she misspent $677,000 from the campaign account of Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) for personal expenses, including a trip to Disneyland."
Herbet L. Carter was ousted from his post as chairman of the California State University's board of trustees, following a flap over executive pay and other issues. The U-T's Michael Gardner tells the tale.
"A divided state Senate did not take up Carter’s nomination for a second four-year term despite pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown and a last-minute appeal by the California Chamber of Commerce."
"Carter needed two-thirds of the Senate to confirm his appointment before a Wednesday deadline. The Senate is not scheduled to be in session again until Thursday."
"Two Republicans were still needed even if all 25 Democrats had voted for his appointment."
From the Bee's Peter Hecht: "Deis said the city of 292,000 residents has $450 million in unfunded mandates for retiree health care costs, the result of "a Ponzi scheme" of a deal that locked the city into providing long-term coverage for employees even with minimal service time. He said Stockton for years ran up huge civic deficits, wrongly betting on rising property tax revenue in the belief the housing boom and "hyper growth would continue into the future."
And now we leave state politics and go to our "Have I Got A Deal for You" file, where we find the tale of Sacramento and its basketball team, the Kings, who likely have reached an agreement on a new downtown arena that presumably will keep the NBA team in Sacramento, at least for awhile. This sounds the like the worst decision since Hunter Thompson went to that job interview instead of buying Honda stock, but we could be wrong. The city is putting up $250 million in parking revenue, and the team is putting up $75 million. What could possibly go wrong?
"George Maloof, the family member who pushed the hardest to move to Anaheim last year, said he believes the deal with Sacramento will allow the team to sustain itself financially for years inSacramento, a small-market city. "We're going to have a new building, we'll be able to attract players. It will be much easier."
"My family is making a major commitment. I think it is a fair deal. We gave a lot. Everybody had to give. Sometimes you have to take chances and we think this is worth taking."