Midnight deadline looms for Gov. Brown to act on bills

Sep 30, 2014

Today is the last day for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign or veto the hundreds of bills sitting on his desk -- but he’s already acted on dozens.


Katie Orr reports for Capitol Public Radio: “Among the slew of bills Brown signed was one that increases fines for care facilities found to be responsible for the death or injury of a client. Another will allow qualified college graduates to refinance their student loans through the state. Yet another prohibits the operators of websites used by students in class from selling any personal information the sites might obtain.”


“But Brown used his veto power as well. He nixed several bills related to redevelopment, a program Brown helped eliminate in 2011. Among them was a bill that would have allowed the creation of Community Revitalization areas. Brown also vetoed two measures that would have expanded workers compensation.”


Owners of pro sports team in California may no longer write-off their league penalties as operating expenses.


Melanie Mason reports for The LA Times: “The bill was inspired by the record $2.5-million fine levied by the National Basketball Assn. on then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, after his recorded comments about African Americans sparked a public uproar.”


“Sterling was also banned from the league for life; his wife later sold the team to Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.”


He hasn’t signed it yet, but we’re all but certain Brown will sign the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.


Fenit Nirappil reports for The Associated Press: “California Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated that he is likely to sign a bill imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags as a way to address litter, primarily in waterways.”


“Senate Bill 270 is one of the last major bills pending Tuesday, the deadline for the governor to sign or veto the hundreds of bills sent to him during the final weeks of the legislative session.”


Distrust in the California Senate’s workplace culture was revealed yesterday during court testimony.


Laurel Rosenhall reports for The Sacramento Bee: “They didn’t trust a colleague. Felt their boss wouldn’t listen. Feared a powerful official would retaliate if they complained.”


“That was the workplace culture described Monday by sergeants-at-arms of the California Senate when they took the witness stand in Sacramento Superior Court.”


“The testimony came on the last day the jury heard evidence in a trial in which two men are charged with robbing the house of Gerardo Lopez, a former Senate peace officer, before he followed them outside and engaged in a gunfight that left three people wounded and one man dead.”


In the fall out of the Kings Fire and other blazes around the state, California has nearly spent all of its emergency budget for battling fires.


Katie Orr reports for Capitol Public Radio: “California had allocated $209 million for emergency firefighting, but it blew through that budget early last week. Now Governor Jerry Brown’s Department of Finance is transferring $70 million from a reserve fund to a disaster response account. In a letter to the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Department of Finance says this is just an initial transfer.”


If Democrats lose control of the U.S. Senate, it could mean a loss for California (i.e. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer) in terms of federal political leverage.


Carolyn Lochhead reports for The SF Chronicle: “After more than two decades in office, California’s veteran Democratic senators have reached the top rungs of the seniority ladder, and with that the leadership of powerful committees — positions they would lose if Republicans win control of Congress’ upper chamber.”


“Boxer, a key backer of the administration’s controversial plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants, would cede the helm of the Environment and Public Works Committee to climate-change denier Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma.”


“Feinstein would lose the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, where she has spearheaded a multiyear fight against the CIA to expose torture practices during the George W. Bush administration — a campaign that Republicans have boycotted.”


The historic state drought has been linked as an outcome of climate change.


Amy Quinton reports for Capitol Public Radio: “Daniel Swain, lead author of the study, called the system that blocked wind patterns “the ridiculously resilient ridge” in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.”


“He says the study found that human-caused greenhouse gases played a role.”


““The risk of seeing an event like the 2013 resilient ridge event has increased due to climate change but that’s a slightly indirect indicator of drought,”says Swain.”


Politicos, be them politicians or lobbyists, at times may seem a bit two-faced... this New Zeland lamb actually is


Mark Di Stefano reports for Buzzfeed: “New Zealand is a country well-known for its love of sheep… now it’s birthing healthy lambs with two heads!”

“The lamb was born four days ago at the Slope Point Backpackers Accomodation in Invercargill and has been named… wait for it… “Two Face”.”

According to the New Zealand Herald, the property owner Justine Parker saw the mother giving birth alone and “the lamb actually fell into the creek” and needed to be saved.”