Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 7, 2012
What's in a name? Sixty-four pages and one newly signed law

Question: What takes 64 pages to change just a few words?

Answer: Senate Bill 1395, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown today.

The measure switches the name "Bureau of State Audits" to "California State Auditor's Office," and switches "State Auditor" to "California State Auditor."

Five words altered.

But the bill extends dozens of pages because it identifies every sentence in state codes where the old terms exist.

Existing statutes can cause confusion by using the terms State Auditor and Bureau of State Audits when referring to the duties of a single state office, according to a legislative analysis of SB 1395.

"The proposed change would clarify that there is one single state entity responsible for audits," the analysis said.

The new law requires that all supplies, forms, signs or logos using the old terms for the auditor's office be used up, not replaced.

A legislative analysis says the cost of the change would be "minor and absorbable within existing BSA resources."

State Auditor Elaine Howle sponsored SB 1395.

September 7, 2012
New law bars landlords from requiring rents to be paid online

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation today barring landlords from requiring their tenants to pay rent online.

Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance proposed the measure, Senate Bill 1055, in response to concerns that demanding online payments can hurt tenants who know little or nothing about using computers.

September 7, 2012
Judge lets Schwarzenegger's commutation of Núñez son stand

A judge today refused to overturn former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's commutation of the prison term of one-time Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez' son, Esteban Núñez, who is serving time on a voluntary manslaughter conviction.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd G. Connelly characterized as "repugnant" Schwarzenegger's decision to cut Esteban Núñez' prison term from 16 years to seven. Schwarzenegger issued the commutation as one of the final acts of his administration in January 2011.

But even though Connelly said he believed the commutation was an abuse, he said it was still an authority the governor had under his executive powers.

September 7, 2012
From Capitol to 'Noble Heights' for lobbyist with steep dreams

Wolfe.jpgGenerosity, sacrifice, noble heights -- and lobbyist.

Not many Capitol stories contain those words, perhaps, but they combine to describe how lobbyist David Wolfe, who suffers from cerebral palsy, plans to scale a 10,000-foot Yosemite peak Saturday.

The 29-year-old Sacramentan, who can't walk without crutches, is counting on the generosity and sacrifice of numerous friends, business associates and a local nonprofit group, Noble Heights, that has assisted with similar trips since 2008.

"This will be a dream come true," said Wolfe, who is often spotted at the Capitol in a motorized scooter.

September 7, 2012
FPPC pushes to tighten disclosure for independent expenditures

The Fair Political Practices Commission is asking Gov. Jerry Brown to tighten disclosure rules for independent expenditure committees through a bill that cleared the Legislature with bipartisan support.

The measure, Assembly Bill 481, targets a segment of politics that has grown significantly the past decade - independent political campaigns that support or oppose candidates or ballot measures but are not coordinated by them.

FPPC Chairwoman Ann Ravel touts the bill "a major step to ensure accountability and public disclosure of independent expenditures."

Corporations, unions and other groups can spend unlimited sums on independent expenditure campaigns. An FPPC report in June 2010 found that $127 million had been spent the past decade on such efforts.

September 7, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Villaraigosa's convention sours

VIDEO: Dan says things didn't work out at the Democratic National Convention exactly how Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would have liked.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

September 7, 2012
AM Alert: Paul Ryan hits the California ATM

VIDEO: Dan Walters talks in today's report about Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's run-in with the words "God" and "Jerusalem" at the Democratic National Convention.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is in California collecting campaign cash for the Romney-Ryan ticket, starting out in the south state, according to the Fresno Bee's Jim Boren.

Ryan will be heading north for a breakfast fundraiser Saturday at the Danville home of former 49ers tight end Brent Jones and his wife, Dana. (Click here to view the flier.)


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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