"State legislators are trying for a third time to pass a version of the California DREAM Act
, which would open limited college financial aid to some of the estimated 25,000 undocumented students who graduate each year from California high schools,"
"Two identical bills are under scrutiny in committees in the Senate and Assembly, sponsored by Sen. Gil Cedillo
, D-Los Angeles, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez
, also a Democrat from Los Angeles.
"The latest version of the California Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would make undocumented students eligible for scholarships and grants offered by California's community colleges, state universities and campuses in the University of California system. It does not include the competitive Cal Grants.
"Supporters say this version would largely exclude state funds. It would allow institutions to offer financial aid from funds they directly control that are fed through sources such as grants, tuition and private donations.
"Opponents contend that all funding is public if a public institution is handling it. They predict Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is likely to veto this proposal for that reason, as he has vetoed other less restrictive versions twice before."
Meanwhile, Beverly Hills officials are pushing SB 1325 (Kuehl), which would allow them to use automatic cameras to detect speeders
The LAT's Steve Hymon writes: "Kuehl's bill would create a pilot program allowing a marked mobile unit to set up only in school or residential neighborhoods where the speed limit is 25 mph or less. Signs would be posted to warn drivers that cameras were present, Hines said, and officers would oversee the cameras and inspect the photos before mailing them to vehicle owners with citations attached.
"'This is not a technology searching for a problem to solve,' said Richard Retting
, a senior traffic engineer for the Arlington, Va.-based Insurance Institute. 'It frees up police to do what technology can't do. Drivers respond dramatically to the threat of enforcement. . . . Police chiefs recognize it's a force multiplier.'"
"All Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee wanted was a vote on ACR 119
, which touched on the China/Tibet/Summer Olympics controversy. The nonbinding measure would have put legislators on record as backing the Dalai Lama 'in condemning the recent actions taken by the People's Republic of China against Tibet as 'cultural genocide' and 'the rule of terror,' '" writes the Bee's Steve Wiegand.
"Blakeslee, a San Luis Obispo Republican, feels deeply about the issue, having spent time in the late 1990s getting to know Tibetan refugees in India. So he introduced his resolution March 25, hoping to get it to the floor before the Olympic torch was carried through the streets of San Francisco last Wednesday.
"But the Assembly Rules Committee refused to assign the resolution to a committee or allow it to be considered by the full Assembly, after Democratic leaders decided state lawmakers shouldn't mess in international affairs.
"This is apparently a somewhat flexible policy, seeing as how the Assembly in the past few years has considered resolutions dealing with religious freedom in Vietnam, the Armenian genocide and the release of political prisoners by the Ethiopian government
"The Rules Committee, by the way, is chaired by Assemblyman Ted Lieu
, D-Torrance. That's the same Ted Lieu who authored AJR 41.
"AJR 41, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Assembly 10 days ago, asks the federal government to extend endangered species status to polar bears and 10 kinds of penguins."
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has jetted up and down California in recent weeks trumpeting his stimulus plan for the state's ailing economy
," reports the AP's Aaron Davis.
"He has promised to create at least 12,500 new jobs by releasing nearly $750 million from public works bonds voters approved in 2006 for transportation, housing and flood-control projects.
"'People need jobs,' Schwarzenegger said at a news conference last month announcing one of the largest chunks of new spending, nearly $400 million for public transit projects. "We are going to create those jobs and pump this money as quickly as possible back into the economy."
"An Associated Press review finds the projects are expected to create fewer than half the number of direct jobs that Schwarzenegger has promised.
"Evidence also is elusive that hundreds of millions of dollars of the spending will go to create jobs for the 114,500 construction workers and 58,000 financial-sector employees who lost theirs over the past two years because of California's residential real estate bust. Those are the very workers Schwarzenegger has targeted for help."
"The number of psychiatric beds in public hospitals has fallen dramatically across California and the nation
- with the Golden State now dedicating just 17 beds for mentally ill patients for every 100,000 residents, according to a newly released report," rereportsusan Abram in the Daily News.
While the ratio in California mirrors the national average, it represents a sharp drop over the past five decades - from 340 beds per 100,000 people nationwide in 1955, according to the report by the national nonprofit Treatment Advocacy Center.
"'The results of this report are dire and the failure to provide care for the most seriously mentally ill individuals is disgraceful,' said Dr. E. Fuller Torrey
, president of the Arlington, Va.-based center that advocates for treatment of the mentally ill.
"Fueling the issue, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an overdue state budget last summer that included slashing $55 million for housing the homeless mentally ill."
Dan Walters looks at the current professional services fight in the Legislature, which pits interior designers who want state certification against those who don't
"An organization of interior designers has chosen California as one of many battlegrounds in its decades-long campaign to achieve state- licensed professional status, but is running into fierce opposition from interior designers who would not meet the proposed licensing standards and thus, they say, be denied some business, and from architects who see an incursion into their design business.
"The American Association of Interior Designers (AAID) is promoting professionalization bills in a flock of states this year, including Senate Bill 1213, carried by Sen. Leland Yee
, D-San Francisco."
And this just in. Tom McClintock will not be voting for himself for Congress
. That's bebecausee doesn't live in the district he's hoping to represent, reports the Bee's Shane Goldmacher.
"McClintock is registered to vote in Thousand Oaks, where he grew up and where his mother still lives, though his wife and children live with him full time in Elk Grove
As Doug Ose
and McClintock square off in a heated Republican primary to replace Rep. John Doolittle, political experts are split on whether the residency issue matters for voters.
"The basic idea behind residence laws is you want to have people invested in the community," said Mary-Beth Moylan, an elections law professor at McGeorge School of Law. "I think that is particularly important the more local the body is."
Under federal law, both McClintock and Ose are eligible for the 4th Congressional District seat, despite the fact that neither has made his home there. Congressional candidates must only reside in the state in which they are running, be at least 25 years old and have been a U.S. citizen for seven years."
And it looks like it's Delegate Maviglio. Steve Maviglio, the deputy chief of staff to speaker Fabian NuÃ±ez, was elected as a Hillary Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Covention in Denver, along with his "slatemate," Democratic strategist Karen Skelton.
Now, Maviglio will be able to enjoy a junket to party on someone else's dime, just like his boss...
And, it's official! Independent Expenditure Committee season is here! The latest is a hit from some friends of Russ Bogh against John Benoit
, in what is becoming one of the nastiest primaries of this campaign season.
The ad features claims that Benoit "was also suing California, claiming he was too disabled to work."
From there, it flows effortlessly into a mantra in Benoit's words, raising the specter that he is a "Gray Davis Republican."
Have more local campaign commercials that we should know about? Be sure to send them to us