Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

State Finance Director Ana Matosantos is expected to say today just how much in cuts will be triggered by California' failure to meet its optimistic budget projections.

Her announcement on the state's revenue forecast, in a briefing for credentialed news media, will be held at noon in Room 126 at the Capitol.

Any cuts will go into effect on January 1.

Gov. Jerry Brown does have some good news today from a new PPIC poll, which says 60 percent of likely voters like his plan to raise taxes to support schools and other state programs.

Brown has already opened a campaign committee and begun fundraising for the measure, which he hopes to qualify for the November 2012 ballot.

In case you're wondering, here's how the institute worded the question:

"Governor Brown has proposed a plan to help close the state's budget deficit over the next five years. The plan, which would be put before voters in November, would raise $7 billion annually through a temporary four-year half cent sales tax increase and a temporary five year income tax increase on those earning more than $250,000. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?"

Likely voters also favored aspects of Brown's public pension proposal, including increasing employee contributions.

In other pension news, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research is releasing a series of reports this week on public pensions. Written by Stanford professor Joe Nation with help from California Common Sense researcher Evan Storms, today's report covers CalPERS, CalSTRS and the University of California Retirement Plan. Find it here.

On Wednesday, they'll report on the financial health of 63 local, or independent public pension systems. San Jose's two public pension systems will be the focus of Thursday's report.

California Common Sense will post interactive data visualizations illustrating the findings on its website.

Free college textbooks? Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg today will propose legislation that would set up an online library of textbooks used in common lower-division courses. He'll hold a press conference at 11 a.m. in Room 4203 at the Capitol. Watch live here.

CHILD CARE - Child care advocates will release the 2011 California Child Care Portfolio at a 10:30 a.m. press conference in Room 317. Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, chair of the Assembly's budget subcommittee on health and human services, will be among those present for the eighth annual release of the report, which looks statewide and county-by-county at child care supply, demand and costs.

2012 PENSION NEWS - Our companion blog, The State Worker, is gearing up for a year of pension-related news. Jon Ortiz is offering e-mail alerts on the topic and other subjects of interest to state employees. You can sign up here.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST - This week, Capitol Alert is featuring video clips from Gov. Jerry Brown's earlier days. Today's segment features former Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown discussing his son's "attitude toward human beings."

PLANNING AHEAD - Jerry Brown on Thursday will hold "The Governor's Conference on Extreme Climate Risks and California's Future" in San Francisco. The event, to be held at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, will include Nobel Prize winner Rajendra Pachauri. We're also hearing that another former governor might stop by.


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