Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 18, 2012
Ex-Governor Deukmejian still has wry sense of humor

RP CONVENTION DEUKMEJIAN.JPGDuring his eight years as California's 35th governor (1983-91), George Deukmejian was known publicly for his tough stances on crime and the state budget and privately for his wry, self-deprecating sense of humor.

The latter quality comes through in a recent question-and-answer interview with the Long Beach Press-Telegram, his hometown newspaper.

Press-Telegram columnist Tim Grobaty conducted the interview and pointed out that a new courthouse in the city will be named for Deukmejian, who also was a state legislator and state attorney general before winning the governorship.

"What a wonderful, amazing honor," Deukmejian replied. "I came to Long Beach in 1958 and I didn't know anyone except my wife, and now to have a courthouse named for me is really a thrilling honor. Nothing I ever expected. Now the challenge is to stay alive until it opens."

PHOTO CREDIT: George Deukmejian in 2002. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench.

September 18, 2012
Brown signs overhaul of California workers' compensation

Gov. Jerry Brown signed an overhaul of California's workers' compensation system Tuesday in San Diego, hailing it as a win-win for employers and employees alike.

The legislation, Senate Bill 863, was hammered out in months of private negotiations between employer and labor union representatives. It was formally carried by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, and passed the Legislature in the final hours of the 2012 session despite late-blooming opposition from lawyers who represent injured workers and some medical care and rehabilitation groups.

The legislation promises a 30 percent increase in cash benefits for permanently injured workers and enough procedural changes and eligibility tightening to more than pay for them, thus freezing or reducing employers' workers' compensation insurance costs.

September 18, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown's veto eases growing traffic fine burden

VIDEO: Dan says Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of a bill takes a little bit of a bite out of traffic fines.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

September 18, 2012
AM Alert: Governor scheduled to sign workers comp bill

The day starts with another - make that two more - bill signing ceremonies for Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, who will be in the south state trumpeting SB 863. The bill makes major changes to California's workers compensation system by eliminating areas that are subject to a lot of litigation, cutting costs for employers and increasing benefits to permanently injured workers. It was negotiated among labor union leaders and some of the state's major employers, who are expected to be on hand for the signing ceremonies.

The first one is at a San Diego printing company at 9:30 a.m. Then the group heads to Burbank for a 2 p.m. signing at the Disney studios, a company that played a role in negotiating the bill.

CALLING AN AD AN AD? Political bloggers, tweeters and comment-posters may want to tune in to the Fair Political Practices Commission today. It's taking comment on a new proposal aimed at informing the public when campaign funds are used to pay for blog posts and social media use. The idea has drawn ire from bloggers on both ends of the political spectrum.

FISHIN' FOR TUITION California State University trustees are meeting today in Long Beach to take on some fiscal what-ifs. What if the governor's tax initiative passes? What if it fails, and the state cuts CSU by $250 million? If voters approve Proposition 30 in November, CSU is planning to refund students the 9 percent tuition increase they are paying this semester. If it fails, a contingency plan trustees are considering today calls for increasing tuition by 5 percent in January.

Cal State trustees are also considering several new fees unrelated to the outcome of Proposition 30: $372 per unit for "super seniors" who keep taking classes even though they have enough units to graduate; $100 per unit for repeating classes; and $200 per unit for taking an extra-large course load of 17 units or more. The university estimates it could generate $35 million a year with those combined fees.

DEATH PENALTY: Under the dome, the joint Public Safety Committee will hold a 10 a.m. hearing on Proposition 34, which calls for repealing the death penalty in California and replacing it with life without parole. Opponents of the measure are holding a campaign kick-off event later in the afternoon, with Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, former NFL player and crime victim advocate Kermit Alexander and San Mateo County DA Steve Wagstaffe.


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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