Prop 49 removed from fall ballot

Aug 12, 2014

The California Supreme Court ruled to block Proposition 49 from appearing on the November ballot.


John Myers reports for KQED: “While the main ruling offers no real reason for the decision, a lengthy concurring opinion written by Justice Goodwin Liu offers a resounding rebuttal to legislators who wanted voters to weigh in on the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.


““Our [state] constitution,” wrote Liu, “makes no provision for advisory questions, because such polling of the electorate by the Legislature is in tension with the basic purpose of representative as opposed to direct democracy.”


Lawmakers voted to give themselves more time for water bond negotiations, as Democratic leaders proposed a new $7 billion plan.


Jeremy B. White reports in the Sacramento Bee: Forged through months of negotiations, the new proposal is larger than the $6 billion figure emphasized by Gov. Jerry Brown but contains less money for surface storage than the $3 billion sum Republicans have trumpeted. It contains provisions likely to displease environmentalists.”


“Legislation passed Monday bought lawmakers more time, while lashing themselves to a schedule requiring a decision this week. They now have until Wednesday to agree on a new water bond if they want to ensure the proposal is detailed in a forthcoming voter guide. Printing an additional, supplemental voter guide could cost taxpayers millions.”


Sen. Mark Leno’s kill-switch bill heads to the governor’s desk.


Melody Gutierrez reports for the San Francisco Chronicle: “Leno said requiring cell phone users to opt-out of using the anti-theft technology would result in significantly more devices having the kill switch activated, which would decrease thefts.”


“The amended version of the bill would prohibit local governments from enacting their own requirements on cell phone manufactures, similar to the one San Francisco Supervisor Landon Breed proposed earlier this year. Breed proposed local legislation requiring kill switches on phones sold in the city after the California Senate initially rejected a statewide mandate. The Senate reconsidered Leno’s bill and narrowly passed it after the senator promised to extend the effective date by six months to July 1, 2015.”


California fiscal outlook continues to improve, the state controller reports.


David Siders notes in the Sacramento Bee: ““Even though July is usually a weak revenue collection month, the new fiscal year is off to a strong start,” state Controller John Chiang said in a prepared statement. “While the State plans to borrow operating funds through revenue anticipation notes, the $2.8 billion needed solely for smoothing out the timing of revenues is at the lowest level since the 2006-07 fiscal year. If we can continue to reduce short- and long-term debts, we can continue to improve our fiscal condition.””


California’s political ethics watchdog fined an American Indian tribe $9,000 for violations that included fundraisers held for embattled state Sen. Ron Calderon.


Patrick McGreevy reports in the Los Angeles Times: “"A review of Yocha Dehe’s campaign contribution records over the past several years uncovered four administrative errors in its reporting process," said Greg Larsen, a spokesman for the tribe in a statement. "Yocha Dehe takes very seriously its responsibility to report all contributions in a timely and accurate manner and amended its reports as soon as the errors were discovered.It will pay the fine determined by the FPPC."


“The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation reported that its lobbyist at the time was the firm Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates. In February, the firm headed by lobbyist Kevin Sloat paid a record $133,500 fine to the FPPC for providing expensive wine, cigars and liquor to 38 politicians, including Calderon, at fundraisers held in Sloat’s Sacramento home.”


CalPERS Vice President Priya Mathur was also, once again, fined by the FPPC.


Marc Lifsher reports in the Los Angeles Times: “This is not Mathur's first run-in with the ethics panel. The commission has taken enforcement actions against Mathur three other times in the last nine years, fining her a total of $13,000.”


“The FPPC's repeated disciplining of Mathur comes at a time that she is seeking a fourth term as a representative of employees of public agencies on the CalPERS board.”


Mayor Ed Lee’s unique answer to SF’s housing crisis will doll out city loans to keep units affordable, allow tenants to remain.


John Corte reports in the San Francisco Chronicle: “The program is designed to give nonprofits the extra boost of funding needed to compete for a building on the open market while making it financially feasible to keep rents low. It will target buildings whose residents, because of their low incomes, would likely have to leave San Francisco if they were forced to move.”


“"This is really a reflection of the need to stabilize neighborhoods," said Lee, who, along with other city officials, has been scrambling to address a housing crunch he has described as a "genuine crisis."”


The world lost one its most talented and iconic entertainers yesterday. Robin Williams died in his Marin County home.


A San Francisco transplant, Robin Williams never strayed far from the city.


Peter Hartlaub, Leah Garchik and David Lewis write in the San Francisco Chronicle: “It was not unusual to see him around town, which he considered "a very large asylum."


“"I can walk down the streets of San Francisco," he said in 2007, "and here I'm normal.””


“But Williams' career was anything but normal, as he skyrocketed from stand-up comedy in small San Francisco clubs to become a network TV superstar on "Mork & Mindy" in 1978, before putting together an impressive film resume that spanned decades.”

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