Brown Blocks Dems' Budget Shot

June 16, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, The Governor · 12 Comments 

In a move that set the Capitol ablaze with chatter and -- depending on your company -- either praise or scorn, Governor Jerry Brown today vetoed the budget sent to him less than 24 hours ago by his fellow Democrats.

"California is facing a fiscal crisis, and very strong medicine must be taken," said Brown from behind his desk in a video posted on YouTube.

So now what?
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One for the Record Books

June 15, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, The Governor · 1 Comment 

It took less than six hours for both houses of the Legislature to ratify all of the components of a new state budget and send them to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.

As Capitol denizens know, that's virtual light speed.

But that's the kind of unusual day that it was, from the ultimate in pro forma debates to the closest thing to fisticuffs anyone's seen in a long time, to the question mark surrounding the $116.5 billion budget's fate either with the chief executive or the courts.
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Democrats Craft Budget Sans GOP

June 14, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget · 2 Comments 

File Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli

We may never know for sure where the point of no return was passed in bipartisan budget talks this year, but it now seems clear that those talks are all but over and that Democrats have a majority vote plan in place to send to Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday.

No election in 2011, no immediate extension of hotly debated taxes, and -- in the wake of last fall's Proposition 25 -- no need for Republican legislators to be consulted.
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Brown's Budget "Fuzzy Zone"

June 13, 2011 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Budget, CA Politics · Comments Off 

KQED/John Myers

Governor Jerry Brown lamented this morning that it's not altogether clear where things stand in the Legislature on his still stuck budget proposal.

"There's a fuzzy zone here that's not yet been transcended," said Brown.

And yet, a case could be made that the governor might have inadvertently added some fuzz to things in his press Q&A when it comes to his own bottom line.
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Podcast: Esoteric and Significant

June 10, 2011 · Filed Under Podcasts · Comments Off 

That's one way to describe the process of redistricting, which is all the buzz this weekend in California political circles.

On this week's Capital Notes Podcast, we take a look at the draft maps released on Friday morning by the state's new citizens commission. Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I try to assess some of the winners and losers, and what impact the independently drawn maps have on the 2012 elections and the state budget process.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Round 1 of Political Mapping Complete

June 10, 2011 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, Political Parties and Independents · Comments Off 

California's much anticipated transition to new and independently drawn political boundaries has cleared a big hurdle, with the citizens commission created by voters in 2008 releasing draft legislative and congressional maps.

And now, some irony. Perhaps the single biggest desire of the voters was to change the political culture of the state... and yet, political ramifications were the one thing the 14 citizen commissioners expressly did not consider.
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Orphans, Fingers, and Curls. Oh My.

June 7, 2011 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections · 9 Comments 

KQED/John Myers

For those who haven't been closely following the months long deliberations of California's first independently drawn political maps, and who will only tune in when the draft maps are released this Friday, prepare to be disappointed. Maybe only a little bit. Maybe a lot.

That's because, try as they might, the 14 men and women picked to oversee the redistricting process can't please everyone.
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Take It to the Limit... and Beyond?

June 6, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Government · Comments Off 

The television ad features a portly man at a restaurant table, being brought plate after plate of heaping portions, as the announcer mockingly says, "Tell him it's time the people took control of gluttonous government spending."

The commercial aired in the fall of 1979 as part of the ultimately successful campaign for Proposition 4, a constitutional amendment to limit government spending.

If there's one thing that Californians really want when it comes to ending the state’s seemingly endless cycle of fiscal chaos, it's a strict cap on government spending.

Except when they don't.
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Podcast: Framing the Debate

June 3, 2011 · Filed Under Podcasts · Comments Off 

As the calendar ticks toward the first of the formal state budget deadlines, expect a lot more attempts by everyone to frame the issues... and solutions... in ways to their liking.

This week's Capital Notes Podcast examines some of those efforts, and how a few recent events may help Governor Jerry Brown's quest to frame the debate.

Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I take a look at some of the week's events in a technically challenged podcast -- edited for brevity by the radio guy due to (as you'll hear) a faulty microphone.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Let Us Vote, Watch Us Say 'No'

June 1, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, Elections, Taxes · 2 Comments 

Getty/Eric Tahyer

Public opinion polling isn't always predictive of an electoral outcome. And no one is probably hoping that's true more at this point than Governor Jerry Brown.

A brand new statewide poll offers virtually no change from previous surveys this year... and for Brown, that may not be a good thing. Voters agree with his idea for an election to help close the state budget gap but they still seem poised to reject the plan that he's been pushing since taking office almost five months ago.
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