It's July 1, and you know what that means? It means we've all
got budget hangovers from fiscal New Yaer's Eve. And
another state budget deadline has come and gone with
no spending plan in place.
With the news cycle now in summer reruns, we turn to
Shane Goldmacher. "California begins a new budget year
Thursday without a spending plan in
place and with no agreement imminent between state
legislators and Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger on how to close a $19.1-billion deficit.
State employees and others who depend on government
money were bracing
Wednesday for the possible fallout. Thousands of state
workers took to
the Capitol steps, protesting spending cuts and the
governor's threat to
slash their pay. Community colleges and vendors that
do business with
the state are on edge, their payments in jeopardy because
of the budget
And California's top finance officials warned of further
the state's already woeful credit ratings on Wall Street."
But hey, at least the two Democratic leaders have agreed
to a rough sketch of a vague outline of some general
principals that they can mostly agree on. Thank god
Yes, John Perez and Darrell Steinberg say they have
agreed on a budget outline amongst themselves, and met with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday
"Their united front emerged just hours before a closed-door
meeting with the Republican governor and GOP leaders
of both houses on the eve of the new fiscal year that
begins Thursday. The state constitution requires a
budget to be in place by July 1 – a deadline that is rarely met.
"In an interview Wednesday, Pérez said jobs were central to his
thinking on the budget,
and are the justification for trying to limit the most
severe budget cuts.
"The Democrats’ plan includes proposals to create a new tax on oil
production and roll back about $2 billion in tax breaks for corporations
set to go into
effect in the new fiscal year, which begins Thursday.
"The proposal will call for what are euphemistically
called “one-time solutions” in Capitol parlance - proposals that will
likely include billions in new
borrowing. But will not specifically mention the plan
put forward by Pérez to borrow billions of revenues from the fees
pay on recyclable bottles. That proposal remains on
the table but is being tweaked to ensure it passes
"Democrats will continue to repeat the mantra started
by Pérez that the budget should be viewed through the lens
of job creation and job retention.
"The Democratic outline also states the state should
not make the budget problem worse in future years.
The state’s legislative analyst has said
Pérez’s budget plan would create a $16 billion hole in the 2011-12
Juan Vargas is clinging to a 12-vote lead over Assemblywoman Mary Salas, but there are still 12,500 disputed ballots in Riverside County that have not been counted -- and may not ever be counted.Erica Felci reports it
is unknown how many of those ballots, if any, are within
"The Riverside County Democratic Party will ask a
judge today to stop
the county registrar from certifying the June 8 election results and
demand the 12,500-plus late-arriving ballots get counted.
"The political party's
central committee filed legal action Wednesday on behalf
of three Moreno
Valley voters and 12,560 other “does” whose ballots arrived late.
"They contend that the
voters compiled with the election code by mailing their
ballots on time
and therefore should be counted.
"The contested ballots, representing ZIP codes
countywide, were sitting at a Moreno Valley post office
but did not get
delivered before the polls closed for the June 8 election.
John howard has the altest chapter in a decades-long fight over plastic pipe.
"For at least three decades, labor and business interests
have been engaged in a seesaw battle over the use of
plastic pipe in residential construction. Builders
favor the inexpensive, light-weight plastic material for its ease of
but foes – including construction unions and environmentalists
– believe at least one version of the plastic pipe leaches
chemicals and poses a health threat.
"The latest round follows a decision this month by
state Building Standards Commission, which reversed
itself on a 2009 decision involving a popular type of plastic pipe
called PEX, for “cross-linked polyethylene,” a seamless, flexible pipe
that comes in rolls and
can be cut to fit. PEX has a different composition
than other, well-known plastic pipes, such as PVC or CPVC."
And Malcolm Maclachlan gives us the latest machinations in the Internet poker fight.
"Working with some southern California card clubs,
Morongo Band tried to float an online poker proposal
a year ago. That effort went nowhere, partially because
several of the existing California casino tribes thought
the way the proposed bill was drafted could invalidate
their gaming compacts with the state. Morongo’s proposal would have
given an exclusive contract to
the consortium it created.
"Speaking to reporters outside this week’s hearing, a spokesman
for the Morongo effort was careful
to point out that the tribe opposed provisions of Wright’s bill, but not
the idea itself."
And since we're talking about vices, California welfare
recipients withdrew $12,000 from ATM machines in strip clubs across the state.Jack Dolan reports, "California welfare
recipients have been able to get taxpayer cash —
meant to feed and clothe their children — from ATMs at strip clubs
across the state, including some well-known gentlemen's cabarets in Los
More than $12,000 from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
program was dispensed between the start of 2007 and the end of 2009 at
clubs, including Sam's Hofbrau, Star Strip and Seventh
to officials at the state Department of Social Services."
And finally, from our Keep Hope Alive files, 8 percent of Russians think their team will win the
World Cup, even though they're not in the tournament.
"Russian pride was shattered when its team was denied
a place at the
world's most-watched sporting event, currently underway in South
when they were defeated by Slovenia in the qualifying stage.
Those same respondents also think Steve Poizner will
win the GOP gubernatorial primary...