After two three-day weekends in a row, its time to get back to work. Friday is the bill introduction deadline, and the Legislative Analyst's detailed review of the budget is scheduled to be released Wednesday.
Maybe she can do for the budget what she did for health care...
The AP's Steve Lawrence reports that the governor conceded this weekend that the deficit may be larger than projected last month
"'You can only project,' he said after signing a series of bills that begin to chip away at the state's red ink through a series of cuts and spending delays. 'It could be that those numbers ... are off by $1 billion, and so the (legislative analyst's office) is going to come out with new numbers and with new information, and we are going to look at that.
Even when it comes to cutting the budget, much of it is untouchable
, reports the LAT's Evan Halper.
"The state is about to pump half a billion dollars into teaching children to roll sushi, juggle pins and master new dance forms, even as spending cuts threaten to erode instruction in reading, math and other fundamentals.
"That's because the sum scheduled to be spent on such after-school enrichment next year is off-limits for anything else. State law dictates that cooking classes continue even if some calculus courses could be canceled.
"In good economic times, voters have passed ballot initiatives that devoted billions of dollars to novel social and recreational programs, such as the after-school initiative championed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2002
, before he was governor. It is intended to keep youths off the streets by offering them extracurricular activity -- like cooking, juggling and dance -- as well as tutoring and volunteer opportunities.
"Such measures lock spending into the state Constitution, forcing lawmakers, many of whom endorsed the propositions, to keep funding them despite a lack of cash for some essential services."
Dan Walters runs down speaker candidates
, and after finding shortcomings of seven candidates, reasons: "That leaves Assemblyman Anthony Portantino
, D-La Cañada Flintridge, among the major hopefuls, and he could catch the brass ring. He's a first-termer, which is a plus, has raised and distributed a lot of money, and could receive support from the powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which has soured on Núñez."
Speakership by default. Quite an endorsement.
"Attorney General Jerry Brown is taking the global warming enlightenment skills he honed in the Bay Area across the rest of California today
- a move that even supporters such as San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed
said will meet resistance," reports Steve Geissinger in the Merc News.
"Monday, Brown's aides told MediaNews he will announce he is convening voluntary regional schools for California's more than 500 county supervisors and mayors to advocate tough actions such new transportation impact fees and costly energy-efficiency.
"'These workshops launch the first statewide movement to reduce the negative impact of local planning decisions on global climate,' Brown said in a letter.
"Although attendance is not required, Brown has, however, legally leaned on 23 individual local entities in search of reduced greenhouse gases. In the East Bay, he negotiated an agreement with ConocoPhillips on specific greenhouse gas reduction strategies."
The LAT's Steve Chawkins can reveal one thing about the whistleblower who prompted the nation's largest beef recall
"To protect his identity and frustrate possible retaliation, the undercover investigator behind the biggest beef recall in U.S. history refuses to disclose his name, his marital status, his hometown, his job background or even his age. One of the few personal things he will reveal is his culinary preference: He's a vegan
Meanwhile, in Cuba, Fidel Castro
announced he would not seek reappointment as Cuban president
. But the real question is, will he still meet with Darius Anderson on the regular California politico to Cuba trip?
And our crack detective work award
goes to the Pomona PD. AP reports, "A woman reported missing for several days was found stabbed to death in a minivan by family members who were called by police to pick up the vehicle because it was illegally parked near Pomona Superior Court, authorities said Monday.
"Relatives found the body of Eileen Orta
, 22, on Friday, three days after filing a missing person's report on her, Lt. Ron McDonald said.
"'I know the detectives are working hard on the case, but someone screwed up,' the victim's mother, Tracy Ponce, told KABC-TV."