Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 8, 2011
UC: No tuition increase even if mid-year budget trigger pulled

RP YUDOF PORT.JPGThe University of California will not raise tuition this school year even if state budget triggers are pulled next month and the system loses another $100 million, UC President Mark Yudof said today.

His announcement puts UC in line with CSU and the community colleges, which earlier had waved off potential mid-year tuition increases if state budget triggers are activated.

The state budget adopted in June cut UC by $650 million this year. UC responded over the summer by raising tuition for the fall by about 18 percent over last year.

Brown administration officials will decide next month whether cash receipts through the first part of the fiscal year and revenue forecasts for the first half of 2012 warrant further cuts, including $100 million to each higher education system.

November 8, 2011
Attorney opens committee for Sacramento region Assembly run

chrisparker.jpgAttorney Chris Parker has opened a campaign committee to raise cash to run for a competitive Assembly seat in the Sacramento region.

The committee paperwork filed by the Sacramento Democrat indicates that he is considering a run in the new 8th Assembly District. Democrats have a less than three percentage point registration advantage over Republicans in the district, making the East Sacramento County seat a potential top target in next year's election.

Parker, 36, has been an attorney with the Franchise Tax Board since 2004. He ran unsuccessfully for the Board of Equalization in 2010, losing a bid for an expansive Republican-leaning seat to former GOP Sen. George Runner. It appears Parker, who is currently registered to vote in downtown Sacramento, will have to move to be eligible to run. He was not immediately available to comment on his plans Tuesday morning.

November 8, 2011
Drive to kill new California Senate districts to submit signatures

A Republican-backed referendum campaign to overturn the state's new Senate districts is vowing to submit more than 700,000 signatures Thursday to place the issue before voters next November.

The drive needs 504,760 valid voter signatures and has about 650,000 now, with a last-minute push likely to boost that total to 725,000, perhaps 750,000 said David Gilliard, a political strategist leading the drive.

A sizable cushion of signatures is needed in any referendum drive to account for those disqualified because they are duplicates, or because the voter is not currently registered, or for various other reasons.

"We' re going to have, I think, enough room for our validity rate to be where it needs to be," Gilliard said. "So we're very happy."

The GOP-led campaign targets Senate maps that critics say are likely to give Democrats the two additional Senate seats needed for the party to gain a two-thirds majority, the margin needed to raise taxes or fees.

November 8, 2011
AM Alert: It's Election Day

It's not the big 2012 showdown, but today nonetheless is Election Day. In Ohio, voters are deciding whether to repeal a law limiting collective bargaining rights. In Mississippi and Kentucky they are electing (or re-electing) governors.

In San Francisco, voters will decide whether to make interim Mayor Ed Lee their first elected Chinese-American mayor. They'll use ranked-choice voting - an instant runoff system - to choose among 16 candidates. Democratic Sen. Leland Yee, the subject of some unflattering robocalls, plans to spend the day courting votes from his Leland Yee for Mayor trolley.

Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena, is running for City Council in Los Angeles, seeking the seat vacated by Janice Hahn's election to Congress. Could be a runoff in January if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN: Education experts will gather at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento today for a sold-out summit to discuss the new kindergarten approach coming California's way.

Organizers say the transitional kindergarten year, added under legislation signed in 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger changing the kindergarten entry age, will be the first new grade in California schools since 1891, when kindergarten was added.

Among the participants: Schools chief Tom Torlakson, Democratic Sen. Joe Simitian and the designer of Proposition 98, John Mockler.

Preschool California has more information here.

PRO-TAX PROTESTS: Refund California, a union-backed group seeking tax increases on businesses and the wealthy, is organizing protests that begin on college campuses today, including Fresno State and Sacramento State, and move to UC Davis and UC Berkeley on Wednesday. The group wants to put the money toward jobs and higher education.


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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