Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 5, 2011
Ted Gaines' ballot effort to repeal fire fee falls short

By Kevin Yamamura

An effort to repeal a new fire charge on rural homeowners has fallen short, according to Sen. Ted Gaines, who was gathering signatures for a referendum.

Gaines had to collect 504,760 signatures by Thursday to place a measure on the ballot that would ask voters to block the new fee. Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers enacted Assembly Bill X1 29 in June to raise an estimated $50 million from rural residents in an effort to balance the state budget.

The state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection approved a $90 charge in August and offered significant reductions for those who already live in a fire district.

The board-approved fee would raise a fraction of the $50 million sought by state leaders. Brown asked the Legislature last month for a higher fee of $175 plus acreage charges, but lawmakers in both parties rejected the revised plan.

Gaines said his signature-gathering drive was grassroots and lacked the financial heft generally needed to qualify ballot initiatives. "We're not going to have the signatures to put this on the ballot but we'll continue to fight with an effort to repeal this in the Legislature."

October 5, 2011
California gay-rights group won't seek repeal of Prop. 8 in 2012

A leading California gay rights group said today that it won't seek to qualify a ballot initiative to repeal the state's same-sex marriage ban in 2012.

Equality California had previously said it would try to reverse Proposition 8 during next year's presidential election, saying high turnout among young voters could boost its chances of success.

But the group said today it has decided not to pursue what would "inevitably be a very expensive and difficult campaign" to overturn the 2008 voter-approved initiative.

With the ultimate fate of Proposition 8 still tied up in the courts, EQCA announced that instead of launching an initiative qualification drive it will back an outreach campaign to "overcome the psychological, cultural and emotional triggers" that lead to discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

October 5, 2011
AM Alert: Your handy checklist of pending bills

Gov. Jerry Brown, closing in on his Sunday night signing deadline for bills passed in this year's legislative session, still has a number of noteworthy measures on his desk.

Here's a list compiled by Bee Capitol Bureau Chief Dan Smith that you can use to keep score:


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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