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1.29.2010
Your Tax Dollars At Work — Small, Man-Made Lake in Granite Bay Violates California’s Constitution, Water Board Staff Says

Your Tax Dollars At Work — Small, Man-Made Lake in Granite Bay Violates California’s Constitution, Water Board Staff Says

A hearing of the State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled for Monday, February 1, on the claims of two homeowners in Placer County’s upscale Granite Bay that the leaking of one of the man-made lakes in their subdivision is a misuse of water and violates the state constitution.

The hearing caps an investigation by the state dating back to April 2005 when Tony and Donna Wood and their neighbors, Ted and Cheri Allegra, filed a water right complaint against the Hidden Lake Estates Homeowners Association, documents at the water board’s website show.    Read more »

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1.28.2010
Tax ‘Em If You Got ‘Em: Marijuana Measure Files Signatures

Tax ‘Em If You Got ‘Em: Marijuana Measure Files Signatures

California moved a step closer to legalizing marijuana January 28 as proponents of a measure to regulate and tax the drug submitted approximately 700,000 signatures to place the proposal on the November ballot.

The “Regulate, Control, Tax Cannabis” initiative requires 434,000 valid signatures to be placed before voters.

The initiative says one of its purposes is to “regulate cannabis like we do alcohol: Allow adults to possess and consumer small amounts of cannabis.” However, other parts of the measure appear to allow larger-scale growing.    Read more »

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1.27.2010
Senate Confirmation Hearing Scheduled For Maldonado

Senate Confirmation Hearing Scheduled For Maldonado

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has set a Rules Committee hearing to consider the Governor’s appointment of Abel Maldonado as Lieutenant Governor for Wednesday February 3rd at 1:30pm in room 113 of the State Capitol.

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(Editor’s Note: Only one house need reject Maldonado’s appointment. Legislative manners would suggest that Maldonado’s fellow senators, if only as a courtesy, would vote in favor of his nomination, leaving the task of voting him down to the Assembly.    Read more »

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1.27.2010
Legislative Analyst: Reject Governor’s Personnel Costs Plan

Legislative Analyst: Reject Governor’s Personnel Costs Plan

California state government has roughly 356,000 employees.

One-third work for the University of California or in the State University system.

Total state payroll is $24 billion.

Excluding university employees, some $10 billion in General Fund revenue – about 12 percent of the current year’s budget — is devoted to salaries, health benefits, pension contributions and other personnel costs.    Read more »

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1.26.2010
Look It Up: Independence Is Not a Synonym for Ignorance

Look It Up: Independence Is Not a Synonym for Ignorance

It’s hard to face the harsh reality of rejection.

But now I must learn to shoulder the shame of being too despicable to serve as a member of the Citizens Redistricting Commission. My application was denied. Almost instantly.

I have a conflict-of-interest.

They don’t exactly sugarcoat the news either::

“Your responses to the questions on the application indicate that you either do not satisfy the eligibility requirements for serving as a member of the Citizens Redistricting Commission or you have a disqualifying conflict of interest that prohibits you from serving on the commission.      Read more »

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1.25.2010
Prison Plan Reduces 30,000 Less Inmates Than Estimated

Prison Plan Reduces 30,000 Less Inmates Than Estimated

Instead of reducing prison overcrowding by 43,500 inmates, Schwarzenegger administration policy changes and legislation signed in October to thin the state’s inmate population will only result in a 13,400 decrease in inmates over two years, the Legislative Analyst said in a report issued January 25.

That total is well short of the maximum number of inmates set two weeks ago by a federal three-judge panel which ordered the state to lower its prison population from roughly 168,000 to 128,000.    Read more »

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1.22.2010
Climb Into the Rhino Pit or the Grizzly Enclosure, Go to Jail

Climb Into the Rhino Pit or the Grizzly Enclosure, Go to Jail

Entering an animal enclosure at a zoo without permission would be a misdemeanor under legislation introduced January 21.

The 11-paragraph measure appears is in reaction to an incident at the San Francisco Zoo on September 26 when a 21-year-old homeless man climbed into the grizzly bear enclosure.

Kenneth Herron pled not guilty to two misdemeanors – trespassing and disturbing a wild and dangerous animal.    Read more »

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1.21.2010
Legislature Struggles For Agreement on Package of ‘Reforms’

Legislature Struggles For Agreement on Package of ‘Reforms’

State lawmakers are struggling to find consensus on a package of changes, such as switching to a two-year budget cycle, which they hope will improve the operation of the Legislature and the state as a whole, burnishing their tarnished image in the process.

The laundry list, presented on an internal PowerPoint obtained by California’s Capitol, includes increasing oversight of state agencies and departments, switching to performance-based budgeting to measure program success and requiring initiatives to include new revenue to cover their costs.    Read more »

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1.20.2010
Maldonado’s Leverage on Lieutenant Governor Nomination

Maldonado’s Leverage on Lieutenant Governor Nomination

Adding a major political wrinkle to action on the state’s fiscal mess, the deadline by which the Legislature must act on Sen. Abel Maldonado’s nomination for lieutenant governor is February 22 – the same day lawmakers must act on at least part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal.

Maldonado, a San Luis Obispo Republican, was named by the GOP governor on November 24 to fill the remaining term of Democrat John Garamendi, who was elected to Congress.    Read more »

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