Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

June 10, 2013
Gavin Newsom jokes about tech mogul wedding controversy

20130115_PK_NEWSOM_0248.JPGAt a panel discussion hosted by The Sacramento State University's Hornets Policy and Politics alumni chapter on Monday, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom kept the conversation centered on his latest book - but dropped in a joke about the controversy surrounding Napster-founder Sean Parker's multi-million dollar wedding.

Newsom took some flak last week for attending the Facebook co-founder's Big Sur wedding after news broke that Parker would pay a $2.5 million fine for building a multi-million dollar wedding site on coastal land without the proper permits.

"There's a lot of dust flying in the air around the controversy surrounding Sean Parker's wedding - coming from most people who weren't invited," Newsom quipped.

Newsom's book, "Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government," focuses on the "hyper-connected" digital world that government operates in today - a point he illustrated using the guest list at Parker's wedding.

Newsom noted that Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich - one of the most outspoken critics of Napster - was one of Parker's wedding guests. Though Parker and Ulrich may seem like strange bedfellows, Newsom said their friendship illustrates how far technology has come since Napster's birth in 1999.

"Technology [was] attacking the old model of music," Newsom said. "Meanwhile, as these guys are running around in the corner, a guy called Steve Jobs goes, 'You know what? I've got an idea.'"

Following his appearance, Newsom sidestepped a reporter's question on the wedding's environmental impact.

PHOTO: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has a new book, "Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government" about how social media can change the face of government. Photographed in his office at State Capitol on January 15, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Paul Kitagaki Jr.

June 10, 2013
Jerry Brown, lawmakers reach budget deal

brownbudget.jpgGov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have reached agreement on major elements of the state budget, including a controversial school funding proposal and other issues, sources said.

In a victory for the Democratic governor, sources said the agreement will largely assume the more conservative revenue estimates proposed by Brown. Legislative Democrats had urged about $2 billion more in spending on state services and programs than Brown proposed, after the state's nonpartisan legislative analyst issued a rosier economic forecast than Brown's.

In a compromise on Brown's proposal to overhaul the state education system and to shift more money to poor and English-learning students, all school districts would receive additional base revenue.

In addition, Senate Democrats are poised to get $206 million to improve mental health services, including $142 million in one-time general fund money. They are also expected to receive about $80 million to restore Medi-Cal adult dental benefits.

Assembly Democrats would receive approval for implementation of middle-class college scholarships, a priority of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez.

The college scholarship and mental health programs are expected to take effect next year.

Money was freed up for expanded programs by reducing the amount of money Brown proposed to give schools to pay down debts owed under Proposition 98, California's school-funding guarantee, the sources said. The agreement also assumes nearly $300 million in higher property tax revenue and savings of about $85 million to $90 million in the state expansion of Medi-Cal.

The Bee's Jim Sanders contributed to this report.

Editor's note: This post updated at 2:55 p.m. to include that college scholarship funding and a mental health program expansion would take effect next year under the budget deal.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown unveils his revised budget plan for the fiscal year at a press conference at the Capitol, on May 14, 2013, in Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee/Renée C. Byer

June 10, 2013
How California school districts fare in possible funding deal

Here is a list of how specific California school districts would fare under a school funding compromise circulating in the Capitol.

All Districts by Dan Smith

June 10, 2013
VIDEO: Sen. Ron Calderon returns to Capitol, makes statement

Here is the video from Sen. Ron Calderon's press statement at the Capitol this afternoon.

June 10, 2013
Ron Calderon speaks: "My intention is to do my job"

calderon.jpgIn his first public appearance since the FBI searched two of his offices last week, Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, confirmed on Monday that he has retained counsel but declined to offer any details about the nature of the investigation.

Calderon asked that any inquiries be referred to his attorney, Mark Geragos, saying "I have a lot of my own questions." He said he remains committed to his work in the Legislature.

"My intention at this point is to do my job I was elected to do, attend my hearings, get my bills passed out of committee to the floor and do the work of the state," Calderon said.

The U.S. attorney's office has also been silent about the reason for the searches.

In a hint of the potential scope of the probe, Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, said on Friday that he had received a subpoena and would appear before a grand jury in July.

Aides to De León said they believed the subpoena was linked to the Calderon searches but that De León is not a target of an investigation.

Another Los Angeles-area lawmaker, Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, declined to comment on whether he had received a subpoena when asked by The Bee on Monday morning.

PHOTO:Sen. Ron Calderon, D- Montebello, speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento on Monday. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

June 10, 2013
Legislative leaders circulate 'compromise' on school funding

RP MATH TEACHER AND STUDENT.JPGA deal apparently has been struck among legislative leaders, if not the governor, in the bitter battle over California school financing.

Legislative leaders were circulating documents to school districts today outlining a proposed compromise.

The Assembly and Senate joint budget conference committee has announced that it plans to conclude its business today, which would suggest a deal on the school funding and numerous other controversial issues.

The bottom line in the school funding battle is that all districts would receive additional base revenue under the legislative plan, with per-pupil grants increasing by $537 above the sums proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

"The compromise provides additional funding for an 'economic recovery payment' to ensure that virtually all districts get back to their 2007-08 state funding levels, adjusted for inflation," the documents said.

Matching funding to the 2007-08 level is important for districts because that was their highest funding year, prior to the state's budget crisis.

June 10, 2013
California just average in computer and Internet use

BIZ WRK-CPT-GADGETS SJ.jpgCalifornia, birthplace of the personal computer and home to Silicon Valley's tech giants, is only average when it comes to Internet connectivity - probably because the state has a very large population of low-use ethnic groups, a new Census Bureau report indicates.

The report says that 15.4 percent of Californians over two years old lack a home computer and have no other access to a computer and the Internet, only slightly lower than the 15.9 percent national average. Other states range from a low of 7.5 percent in Utah to a high of 26.8 percent in Mississippi.

Californians did rate relatively high, however, in two other indices - smartphone use and using multiple sources and platforms to access the Internet.

The Census Bureau found that computer access and use rates vary widely with ethnicity, with Asian households having the highest rates of Internet use at 82.7 percent, followed by non-Hispanic whites at 76.2 percent, Hispanics at 58.3 percent and blacks at 56.9 percent. The latter two comprise about 45 percent of California's 38 million residents.

PHOTO: Kim Gibbons, director of strategic marketing at Cisco Systems uses her own personal cell phone and iPad while working on a laptop at Cisco in San Jose on Friday, January 27, 2012. San Jose Mercury News/Patrick Tehan

June 10, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Who'll get what from California state budget?

California lawmakers face a constitutional deadline Saturday for passing a state budget, which is bringing a long-running conflict to the fore, Dan says.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

June 10, 2013
AM Alert: California lawmakers ring in White Suit Day

LSWHITESUITWRIGHT.JPGNo, we aren't bringing you news of state Capitol weddings. California lawmakers are heralding the onset of summer by donning white suits today and rewarding staffers and lobbyists who do likewise. (The federal version involves seersucker.)

To ring in White Suit Day, Sen. Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, are hosting an evening reception at Ella Dining Room and Bar with free beverages for attendees who dress in white (including a "White Linen Cocktail" that Capitol Alert had to look up). Wright's website features photos from last year's event.

VIDEO: The budget debate is pitting two traditional Democratic constituencies against each other, Dan Walters says.

CALDERON WATCH: In non-sartorial news, it has now been more than a week since Sen. Ron Calderon was seen at the Capitol, before an FBI raid on his offices. While speculation continues about the probe, we're wondering when the Montebello Democrat will again show up to work.

AWOL WORKERS: The Senate Public Employment And Retirement Committee is taking up a bill that would make it harder to prematurely fire state workers who disappear from work without a good explanation. The State Worker wrote about the legislation back when it cleared the Assembly, and senators will take a look starting at 2 p.m. in room 2040.

TRANSGENDER ATHLETES: You may remember us writing about a Tom Ammiano bill that would give young transgender students the leeway to choose the bathroom facility and the team that best fits their gender identity. The State Athletic Commission is delving into a similar debate today as it considers whether to license transgender fighters. The meeting convenes at 10 a.m. at the State Building in Los Angeles.

GAVIN'S GOVERNMENT: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has gotten plenty of press -- and some profanity-peppered Stephen Colbert eyebrow arches -- for his new book on civic engagement in the digital era. He'll be discussing the subject today during a noon talk at the CSAC conference center on 11th Street that will also feature Santa Monica Mayor Pam O'Connor, Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen and Channel 10's John Myers.

JOB MOVE: We are told that Elizabeth Ashford, formerly of Gov. Jerry Brown's office, is taking a gig as chief of staff to California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Editor's Note: This post was updated at 7:25 a.m. June 10, 2013 to correct that Kamala Harris is attorney general.

PHOTO CREDIT: Then-Assemblyman Roderick Wright, self-proclaimed head of the "White Suit Caucus," buttons up his jacket in his office on Monday, June 4, 2001. By Lezlie Sterling/The Sacramento Bee.


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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