Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

January 11, 2013
Gov. Jerry Brown seeks rollback of employer tax credit

Brown administration officials released a new set of rules Friday restricting how employers claim tax credits for hiring workers in distressed areas.

The proposal saves an estimated $60 million through June 2014 and $310 million in the first five years, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Under the state's enterprise zone program, employers can receive tax credits for hiring employees who live or work in areas with high unemployment. The credits are as large as $37,440 over five years per employee.

Brown took dead aim at the program in his 2011 budget proposal, asking lawmakers to eliminate enterprise zones the same way they ultimately did redevelopment agencies. Lawmakers resisted that call, and Brown is now seeking to curb what he considers the worst abuses. The state gave out $732 million in credits through the program in 2010.

January 11, 2013
UC official: Brown's budget likely enough to avert tuition hike

Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan appears to provide sufficient funding to avoid tuition increases at the University of California next year, a UC administrator said this afternoon.

"When you add everything up, I think our initial reaction is that we can manage without a tuition increase for '13-14," Daniel Dooley, senior vice president of external relations at the UC, told The Bee. "We're pretty excited about what he's proposed."

Brown promised while campaigning last year for Proposition 30, his initiative to raise taxes, that its passage would avert tuition increases at public universities this school year. The prospect remained, however, of tuition rising in the fall.

Brown's budget proposal includes an additional $250 million for the University of California system. That amount is less than the UC requested, and the Democratic governor said he would lobby regents to hold tuition steady.

Dooley said, "We think we can get there."

January 11, 2013
CA Assembly approves new staff promotional opportunities

Responding to changes in California's legislative term limits, the Assembly has approved a handful of new job classifications to create higher-paying promotional opportunities in an era when staff turnover is expected to be less frequent.

Calling it a staff retention plan, Assembly administrator Jon Waldie said the Rules Committee has authorized two new positions and basically two step increases for existing classifications, with expanded duties.

Voter passage of an initiative allowing lawmakers to serve 12 years in one legislative house, rather than six, means that aides can find themselves at the same job within a lawmaker's office for many years, with no vacancy to be promoted into, Waldie said.

"Your ability to rapidly move up in this organization is going to be stifled," Waldie said.

January 11, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: California's budget larger than it appears

Dan says Gov. Jerry Brown isn't giving the whole picture when he touts the fiscal restraint of this year's budget.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

January 11, 2013
AM Alert: Finance director to parse California budget numbers

VIDEO: Dan Walters says the California budget is larger than it appears.

On the heels of Gov. Jerry Brown's latest budget release, Finance Director Ana J. Matosantos will be breaking down the numbers at a luncheon forum sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce.

The Bee's Kevin Yamamura, who will be at said luncheon, reported in this post that Brown's proposal includes an additional $2.7 billion in spending on K-12 and community colleges, an education boost promised in the successful campaign for Proposition 30, as well as slight increases in spending on Medi-Cal and higher education.

State workers also stand to get more money, although the total size of the workforce seems likely to remain the same. Jon Ortiz has details in today's Bee in a story that also looks ahead to future contract talks.

The budget got a generally positive review from both sides of the aisle, with Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento lauding Brown for increasing education funding but keeping overall spending under control.

Meanwhile, freshman member of Congress Ami Bera will be holding his first constituent event, a noon "Congress on your Corner" meet and greet at the Citrus Heights Community Center. Bera won his seat in the newly drawn 7th Congressional District from Republican Rep. Dan Lungren, whom the Democrat unsuccessfully tried to unseat in 2010.

Happy early birthday to Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, who will be 52 53 on Saturday. (Capitol Alert regrets the error.)


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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