Rival forces are coming together on tax initiatives for the November ballot, but each side will continue its signature-gathering. As the old saying goes, trust everybody but count the silverware.
From the Contra Costa Times' Steve Harmon: "Even after agreeing to an eleventh-hour merging of forces on a newly revised tax initiative, Gov. Jerry Brown and proponents of the "millionaire's tax" are pressing ahead with their own signature-gathering campaigns -- just in case."
"Backers of the tax-the-rich measure said Thursday they will collect signatures for their measure until they see that Brown's team has begun to gather signatures in earnest for the newly revised tax initiative."
"We haven't withdrawn ours yet, and the pace of signature gathering is actually picking up," said Rick Jacobs, president of the Courage Campaign, a grass-roots organization that backed the millionaire's tax, which would have boosted rates on those making $1 million or more a year."
Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Molly Munger slipped another $1.5 million into her own tax initiative to help schools and kids.
From Torey Van Oot in the Bee: "Munger has now contributed $3.4 million of her own money to her measure, which would raise an estimated $10 billion for schools and early childhood development programs by increasing personal income rates on a sliding scale for Californians making more than $7,316."
"Brown's supporters have sought to persuade Munger to drop her effort, arguing that the presence of multiple tax measures on the November ballot increases the chances that voters will reject them all."
From Howard Mintz in the Mercury News: "The judges' financial disclosure forms are already available publicly at local courthouses, but groups such as the California Judges Association argue that angry litigants should not have easy access online to a judge's personal information."
"The association, the lead group representing the state's more than 1,700 judges, urged the FPPC to exclude the judiciary from the online requirement."
"The FPPC is instead reviewing whether there are ways to remove sensitive information from a judge's disclosure forms to avoid security risks."
The California State University system is the workhorse of California higher education, although it's often overshadowed by the more prestigious UC. HealthyCal's Dan Weintraub, a San Diego State University graduate, offers a personal take.
"It certainly delivered for me. I was just the second of eight children in my family to graduate from college. While we were already in the middle class, my parents’ divorce had left my mom and my brothers clinging precariously to that status. I graduated from high school near the top of my class and had decent SAT scores, yet I never considered applying to the University of California, because there was no way my family could have afforded it."
"So it was on to the local school, San Diego State. There, despite the low fees – it cost me less than $500 a year to attend – I had to work three jobs to make ends meet. I lived with two or three other guys in shabby apartments on “Montezuma Mesa” near the campus, spending one semester sleeping in a closet under a staircase to save a few bucks."
"After four and a half years, I got a degree in economics, a minor in journalism and a ton of practical experience in the job of my choosing. Thanks to my work at the college daily, I was able to go directly from San Diego State to a job as a reporter with the Los Angeles Times and a career in newspapers and online journalism."
Speaking of education, it's that time of year -- mid-March -- when teachers get bad news in the mail.
From the Chronicle's Jill Tucker: "More than 20,000 public school teachers in California opened their mailboxes over the last few days to find a pink slip inside as districts met the state's Thursday deadline for dispensing the dreaded news to the educators that they may not have a job in the fall."
"The layoff notices are preliminary, the districts' best guess at the amount of money they will get to educate kids next year after the Legislature concludes its annual budget fight this summer. But a proposed tax measure on the November ballot offers more uncertainty than usual."
"PG&E has had its has share of problems over the past few months, and here's another one: The giant utility has to fork over $29.5 million for its role in a couple of forest fires. The Bee's Denny Walsh has the story."
"The old bugaboo of carelessness combined with high-voltage power transmission lines caused the fires in national forests, this time in El Dorado and Trinity counties."
"Since 2009, PG&E has shelled out at least $16 million to state and federal governments in connection with wildfires."