Mixed bag

Oct 2, 2012

Gov. Brown's decision to allow driver's licenses to be issued to young immigrants who qualify for the federal government's work-permit program drew a mixed response from immigrant activists. That's because the DMV already issues licenses to qualfied applicants. But Brown's action on other immigrant-related legislation drew a quick response indeed.


From Mariecar Mendoza in the LA Daily News: "Rather than celebrate, Resendez and others were frustrated by Brown's decision Sunday to veto two bills activists say could have made more impact for the immigrant community."


"One was Assembly Bill 889, known as the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. It was designed to ensure working undocumented immigrants such as housekeepers, child-care providers and caregivers are not excluded from basic labor protections such as overtime pay, and meal and rest breaks."

"The other was Assembly Bill 1081, dubbed the Trust Act, that could have protected illegal immigrants from deportation if they committed minor infractions. "He had an opportunity to create real change in the immigrant community by signing other bills that would have protected our parents," Resendez said.


The governor, wading through hundreds of bills, used his veto and signing authority to make the case for Proposition 30, his tax initaitive on the November ballot that would boost income and sales taxes to raise money for schools and crucial public services.


From the LAT's Michael J. Mishak and Anthony York: "In veto after veto, Brown cast himself as the stern parent, upbraiding a spendthrift child."


"It was part of a broad effort to bolster the chances of his November ballot initiative, Proposition 30, which seeks billions of dollars in new taxes to help balance the budget. By demonstrating he was willing to say no to lawmakers, Brown could show that this tax increase wouldn't end up squandered on legislative pet projects."


"The vetoes angered some of Brown's Democratic allies. But by the time the dust settled Monday, he had given his key liberal supporters just enough so they could declare some victory."


Meanwhile, at least some of the people who dug into their wallets to keep the state park system afloat want their money back.


From Katharine Mieszkowski in the Bay Citizen: "Donors in the South Bay, angry over state mismanagement of park funds, are demanding the return of hundreds of thousands of dollars they gave to keep Northern California’s largest state park operating."


"The Coe Park Preservation Fund, based in Scotts Valley, donated $279,000 earlier this year to prevent the closure of rugged, 87,000-acre Henry W. Coe State Park, located about 30 miles south of San Jose. "


“We’re going to ask for the return of the $279,000 back to the Coe Park Preservation Fund,” said Dan McCranie, treasurer of the group’s board. If the money is returned, the group plans to offer refunds to its donors."


The Berman-Sherman shootout in L.A. is heating up, again,  as the two veteran Democratic congressmen battle for the same, newly drawn 30th Congressional District.


From Rick Orlov in the LA Daily News: "With the election nearing, Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman escalated their attacks on one another Monday, with accusations of profiting from past campaigns and attempting to distract voters."


"The Berman campaign is launching attacks against Sherman in mailers, television, radio and Internet advertising, with assertions that Sherman "engaged in a scheme of personal enrichment, exploiting campaign financing loopholes" by loaning his campaigns money and then charging interest for its use..."


"Skelton said Berman was trying to avoid the allegations made against him for travel and payments to his brother, Michael, for campaign work, among other complaints."


And finally, some good news: Forecosures and defaults are on the decline as the housing market appears to be gathering strength.


From the Chronicle's Carolyn Said: "Foreclosures and default notices in California and the Bay Area have subsided back to their 2007 levels. Foreclosures are still running about double historical averages, but are a far cry from the sky-high levels during the worst of the housing crisis in 2008."


"The worst is absolutely past us," said Christopher Thornberg, principal with Beacon Economics, an economics consulting firm. "There is no doubt about it - foreclosures are down, delinquencies are down. It's clear we are in the healing process. The only question is the pace of recovery."


"In 2008, a quarter of a million California homes were repossessed by lenders, according to data from ForeclosureRadar.com, a Discovery Bay real estate service. This year, the state is on track for about 107,600 homes to go into foreclosure - a decline of 56 percent - assuming the rate established from January through August is maintained. From 1980 to 2011, California's annual average number of foreclosures was 55,054, according to San Diego's DataQuick."

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