Updating . .   

Stockton bankruptcy ruling could deal blow to CalPERS, public pensions -- A federal bankruptcy judge dealt a serious blow to California's public employee pension systems by ruling Wednesday that payments for future worker retirements can be reduced when a city declares bankruptcy -- just like its other debts. Chris Megerian, Melody Peterson in the Los Angeles Times$ Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Chorus mounts for Senate to release nepotism investigation -- The chorus of voices calling on the California Senate to release an investigation it commissioned into complaints of nepotism grew Wednesday, with two Republicans and two Democrats joining Democratic Sen. Mark DeSaulnier in saying the findings should be made public. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Capitol has a big role in ads for Central Valley seat -- Tumbleweeds, bill votes and legislative scandals get prominent roles in TV ads airing in a competitive state Senate race in the Central Valley. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

PG&E loses bid to strip San Bruno reference from indictment -- A federal judge has rejected Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s effort to strip any mention of the deadly San Bruno gas explosion from the criminal indictment against the company, saying the blast was clearly a justifiable element of the government’s case. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Chris Christie not stumping for Neel Kashkari during L.A. visit -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the start of a three-day, multistate fundraising swing for the Republican Governors Assn. But unlike in the other states Christie plans to visit, the potential 2016 presidential candidate is not holding a single public event with the GOP candidate for governor here, Neel Kashkari. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Sacramento County taxpayers on the hook for elections office mistakes -- A pair of blunders by the Sacramento County elections office that omitted information from the sample ballot booklet sent to thousands of registered voters is costing taxpayers more than $68,000 and has the potential to affect voting in the November election. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

State government’s anti-secrecy law under scrutiny -- A California law intended to block secret decisions in the state bureaucracy actually prevents officials from talking to each other on crucial matters, according to their testimony before a state investigative panel. Dorothy Mills-Gregg Capitol Weekly -- 10/1/14

Wait ’til 2016, Nancy Pelosi says -- Five weeks out from the midterm elections, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco came close to conceding the obvious Wednesday — that Democrats will not retake the House. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Gift limits vetoed by Gov. Brown would have affected him little -- In vetoing a bill restricting gifts to elected officials, Gov. Jerry Brown was acting on a measure that would have affected his own practice of accepting perks, but not by much. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Brown Vetoes Adult Day Health Bill; Future of Program Unknown -- On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to codify Community Based Adult Services as a Medi-Cal benefit and continue offering it as a benefit into the future. The CBAS program, serving some of the oldest, most frail Californians on Medi-Cal, is the result of a 2011 settlement of a lawsuit challenging the state the last time the state tried to cut the program. KQED -- 10/1/14

Referendum sought on plastic bag ban -- The ink was barely dry on the governor’s signature to ban plastic bags when foes of his decision filed paperwork with the state attorney general’s office for a referendum in 2016 to overturn the new law. Samantha Gallegos Capitol Weekly -- 10/1/14

Fox: The Plastic Bag Referendum and the Connection to the Sec. of State Race -- If the referendum filed to overturn SB 270, the plastic bag ban law signed by Governor Brown yesterday makes the ballot, arguments against the ban will deal with lost manufacturing jobs and charging consumers 10-cents for paper bags that go into the grocers’ pocket. Those arguments should be highlighted during the signature drive and later in the campaign if the referendum qualifies. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 10/1/14

Bell Gardens mayor's wife shot him to stop him from beating son, sources say -- Levette Crespo shot her husband, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, to stop him from beating their 19-year-old son, law enforcement sources told The Times on Wednesday. Richard Winton, Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Lawyer warns of pension cuts in bankruptcy case -- An attorney for the bankrupt California city of Stockton says city employees could be forced to take a 60 percent pension reduction if a federal judge rejects the city's reorganization plan. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 10/1/14

Catholic group challenges California abortion coverage -- A national clash over religious objections to health care coverage has arrived in California with an administrative challenge assailing mandatory inclusion of abortions. Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Student 'intimidated' into reciting Pledge of Allegiance gets apology -- Compelling an atheist high school student to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance against his will was a mistake rooted in ignorance of his 1st Amendment protections, a misperception that apparently existed throughout the Oak Park Unified School District, the superintendent said. Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Graphic images on big city contractor’s personal website -- The head of the Family Service Agency of San Francisco is on the hot seat for steering staffers to some very graphic pictures and controversial postings on his personal website — including photos comparing a vagina to women’s lips and a post about demonic nuns. Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Ads in Peters-DeMaio race stretch the facts -- Latest television ads from congressional campaign committees include flawed information. Mark Walker UT San Diego$ -- 10/1/14

Quinn: The Non-Election Election -- What if they called an election and nobody came? That seems to be the story this November. Turnout for the June primary, just 25 percent of registered voters, was the lowest in history. The November turnout will probably not surpass 45 percent, also an historic low. Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 10/1/14

SoCal housing markets among most overvalued, but at least we're not Austin -- Southern California's housing markets are among the most overvalued in the nation, according to a new report. But the closest thing in this country to a housing bubble is actually in Texas. Tim Logan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Nearly all Bay Bridge tower rods sitting in water -- Nearly every one of the 423 steel rods that anchor the tower of the new Bay Bridge eastern span to its base has been sitting in potentially corrosive water, Caltrans officials said Tuesday — one the most serious construction defects found yet on the $6.4 billion project. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo fatally shot at home; wife in custody -- Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo died Tuesday after his wife, Levette, shot him several times during a domestic dispute, Sheriff's Department officials told The Times. Ryan Parker, Richard Winton, Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Father of Isla Vista gunman praises laws signed Tuesday -- The father of the young man who killed six UC Santa Barbara students in May said that two bills signed by the governor Tuesday might have prevented the tragedy if they had been law. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Brown vetoes effort to give unions greater say on labor-dispute boards -- Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have given public employee unions a greater say over who serves on the influential panels that issue decisions on labor-management disputes in L.A. city and county government. David Zahniser, Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Brown vetoes seafood labeling bill -- Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have criminalized the selling of mislabeled seafood, handing another loss to lawmakers who pursued several high-profile efforts this year to give Californians more information about what they eat and drink. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Gov. Brown signs limo safety bill after bridge tragedy -- In the wake of a limousine fire on the San Mateo Bridge that trapped and killed a bride and four other women, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he had signed legislation requiring fire extinguishers on board and inspections by the California Highway Patrol. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Brown Signs Package of Assisted-Living Reform Bills -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Monday a bill imposing a 100-fold increase in the top fine for violations of state regulations at assisted-living homes for the elderly. The top fine will now be $15,000, for violations causing death or serious injury, up from $150. Deborah Schoch KQED -- 10/1/14

Governor OKs temporary gun seizures from people judged to be a danger -- Four months after a disturbed man killed six UC Santa Barbara students and wounded 13 others, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation allowing the temporary seizure of guns from people determined by the courts to be a threat to themselves or others. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Jerry Brown signs 'Revenge Porn 2.0 Act' -- One year after signing California’s ban on so-called “revenge porn,” Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation expanding on the bill to include “selfies,” his office announced Tuesday. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Governor signs bill requiring annual child abuse reporting training -- Spurred by more than two years of this newspaper's reports on school employees failing to properly report child abuse, Assembly Bill 1432 will change state law from "strongly encouraging" training to making it mandatory within the first six weeks of each year for certificated and classified workers. Matthias Gafni in the Contra Costa Times$ -- 10/1/14

Gov. Brown vetoes a package of ethics bills -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday vetoed key bills proposed by legislative leaders in response to a series of scandals at the Capitol, saying the measures would further complicate gift and campaign rules without sufficient benefit to the public. Patrick McGreevy, Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ Judy Lin Associated Press -- 10/1/14

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs privacy, anti-spying bills -- California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed several bills that address concerns about spying and privacy, including new restrictions on the paparazzi, tighter laws against “revenge porn,’’ and a prohibition on the state from helping federal intelligence agencies collect phone records without warrants. Patrick McGreevy, Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Jerry Brown vetoes childhood sex-abuse lawsuit bill -- For the second year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Tuesday to give victims more time to seek civil damages against third parties in childhood sex abuse cases – typically private or public employers of the alleged perpetrators. Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Governor signs one hospital workplace safety bill, vetoes another -- California nurses won one and lost one of their more high-profile legislative battles with hospitals this year. Kathy Robertson Sacramento Business Journal -- 10/1/14

Brown signs 'Audrie’s law’ from Saratoga teen assault case -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed “Audrie’s Law,” a bill that increases penalties and decreases privacy protections for teens convicted of sex acts on someone who is passed out from drugs or alcohol or incapable of giving consent due to a disability. Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Gov. Brown vetoes Sweetwater-inspired reform bill -- Gov. Brown on Tuesday vetoed an anti-corruption bill inspired by revelations of a "pay-to-play" culture among contractors and South Bay public officials at Southwestern College, the Sweetwater Union High School District and the San Ysidro School District. Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ -- 10/1/14

Governor splits on bills aiming to reduce truancy -- Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a split decision on a package of bills designed to help reduce California's dropout rate. The governor announced Tuesday that he signed two bills sought by Attorney General Kamala Harris while vetoing two others. Don Thompson Associated Press Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Gov. Brown signs phase-out of single-use plastic bags in stores -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday fulfilled a promise by signing a measure that will phase out single-use plastic bags from checkout stands at California supermarkets, convenience stores, liquor stores and pharmacies. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ Fenit Nirappil Associated Press -- 10/1/14

Bill allows families to seek gun restraining order -- California would become the first state to allow family members to petition judges to take away relatives' guns if they are deemed to be dangerous under a bill facing a Tuesday deadline for action by the governor. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 10/1/14

Brown vetoes hospital merger bill -- Facing a deadline, Gov. Brown struck down legislation to grant state Attorney General Kamala Harris more authority over nonprofit hospital mergers. Samantha Gallegos Capitol Weekly -- 10/1/14

Governor's bill signing spree: The list compiled by KPCC -- 10/1/14

Walters: Californians with gold fever strike a legal lode -- California explosively emerged as a place of importance – and quickly became a state – for one reason only: the 1848 discovery of gold in the American River. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Herdt: Problems with our propositions -- A joint committee of the Legislature this week held a hearing to air the pros and cons of Proposition 46, the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot that would, among other things, raise a 39-year-old cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and also require random drug testing of doctors. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star$ -- 10/1/14

Prop. 46 Was Inspired By Tragedy, Pits Doctors Against Lawyers -- Troy and Alana Pack had spent the day at their neighborhood Halloween party in Danville. Ten-year-old Troy went as a baseball player, and seven-year-old Alana was a good witch. In the afternoon, they changed out of their costumes and set out for a walk with their mother down Camino Tassajara. Destination: 31 Flavors. April Dembosky KQED -- 10/1/14

Santa Ana backs off threat to release investigation into mayor -- Santa Ana city officials on Tuesday backed off on their threat to release details of a city investigation into a real estate deal between the city’s longtime mayor and a local business owner who had obtained an exclusive city contract. Paloma Esquivel, Adolfo Flores in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Deal to get financial records from DWP trusts goes to utility board -- Los Angeles lawmakers are pressing ahead with a plan that could end the legal battles over two controversial trusts affiliated with the Department of Water and Power. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Lopez: Death-with-dignity movement springs back to life in California -- Seventeen years ago, Oregon became the first of five states to offer what became known as death with dignity. Now a renewed effort is underway to add California to the list. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Tanaka's low-profile campaign has L.A. County sheriff's race in limbo -- After squeaking into the runoff election for Los Angeles County sheriff, Paul Tanaka posted a message on his website. Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Dickerson, force in North State politics, dies -- Dick Dickerson, the former Redding mayor, whose political career stops included stints on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and the California Legislature, is being remembered today as a central figure in North State veteran advocacy efforts and for his no-nonsense approach to his duties. Redding Searchlight -- 10/1/14

AD15: Big IE money spent to support Thurmond -- 15th Assembly District candidate Elizabeth Echols is complaining that political committees “funded by oil and tobacco interests” are spending generously on independent-expenditure mailers in support of her opponent, Tony Thurmond. And that’s true, although many other interests are behind the spending as well. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 10/1/14

From California’s Central Valley to possibly ‘Madam ambassador’ -- Lifelong high achiever Maria Echaveste, a farmworker’s kid shaped by California’s San Joaquin Valley, has now been tapped for her biggest job yet, as U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Michael Doyle McClatchy DC -- 10/1/14

Taxes, Fees, Rates   

IRS extends deadline for farmers forced to sell livestock due to drought -- Farmers and ranchers forced to sell livestock due to the drought have an extended period of time to replace their livestock and defer tax on any gains from the sales, the Internal Revenue Service announced. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Pensions   

Historic decision looms in Stockton bankruptcy; can CalPERS pensions be reduced? -- Stockton’s bankruptcy is headed to a historic ruling Wednesday, when a judge is expected to decide whether the city can reduce its payments to CalPERS and scale back the pension benefits that have been promised to city retirees and active employees. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Database shows $3.5 billion in industry ties to doctors, hospitals -- Pulling the curtain back on long-hidden industry relationships, the federal government revealed that U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals had $3.5 billion worth of financial ties with drug and medical-device makers in the last five months of 2013. Chad Terhune, Noam N. Levey and Sandra Poindexter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

San Francisco development boom swallows up historic family businesses -- While much of the change is logical and inevitable — 160 housing units is a more efficient use for scarce urban land than a two-story art-supply store — city preservationists and some elected officials are looking at ways to slow down the disappearance of so many quintessentially San Franciscan institutions amid an unprecedented real estate boom. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

San Francisco court clerks authorize strike as negotiations stumble over pay -- San Francisco Superior Court clerks have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike during contract negotiations, saying court officials have $16 million in their reserve fund but refuse to offer them a raise. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Skid row groups are divided over future of homeless district -- A deep divide over the future of skid row and of the thousands of homeless people living in the 50-block district's streets and shelters emerged during a community forum in downtown Los Angeles on Monday night. Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Orange County Supervisors vote to increase flights, passengers at John Wayne Airport -- Orange County supervisors Tuesday approved increasing the number of passengers allowed at John Wayne Airport by 9.2 percent within six years and permitting 10 more flights a day. The changes will start in 2021, when the county will permit the additional 10 daily departures, on average. Kellie Mejdrich in the Orange County Register$ -- 10/1/14

Chumash casino expansion to include 12-story hotel tower -- The Chumash tribe will begin construction in coming weeks of a $100-million expansion of its Las Vegas-style casino that will bring a 12-story hotel tower and rooftop pool to the hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. Amanda Covarrubias in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

L.A. councilman calls for hearings on effort to spread airport traffic -- Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin on Tuesday called for hearings to explore whether officials have complied with a 2006 court settlement to facilitate the growth of all the city's commercial airports, not just busy Los Angeles International. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

More than 500 employees sought for new Sacramento call center -- Sacramento, which shed a number of its call center jobs during the recession, is getting some of them back. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Settlement reached to redevelop critical K Street block in Sacramento -- A long-delayed $52 million housing and retail project K Street in downtown Sacramento awaits final City Council approval. Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/1/14

Education

UC president will examine enrollment levels of non-California students -- As she marks her first anniversary as UC system president, Janet Napolitano on Tuesday said she wants to tackle the controversial issue of whether some of the nine undergraduate UC campuses are enrolling too many students from other states and countries. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ Lisa Leff Associated Press -- 10/1/14

School board starts weighing Supt. Deasy's evaluation -- The Board of Education began deliberations Tuesday on the evaluation of Supt. John Deasy, who has come under fire for his handling of a $1.3-billion effort to provide iPads to all students and for what critics call an autocratic, ineffective leadership style. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Fremont teacher slapped boy over test, family alleges in suit -- The family of a 9-year-old boy allegedly slapped by a Fremont schoolteacher during a math test filed a lawsuit against the teacher and the district Tuesday. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Actors tout Tuck for schools superintendent -- Marshall Tuck, the Los Angeles school-reform advocate who’s running neck and neck with incumbent Tom Torlakson for superintendent of public instruction, has added a little star power to his campaign. Josh Richman in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Tuck, Torlakson debate union power, lawsuit -- The two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction disagreed on the condition of K-12 education in California, the influence of teachers unions and which of them is best qualified for the job at a forum Saturday in Burlingame, the last scheduled joint appearance before the Nov. 4 election. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 10/1/14

Study Finds California Schools Fail American Indian Students -- The new study by a center at Cal State San Marcos found that less than a quarter of American Indian and Native Alaskan students meet University of California and California State University entrance requirements. KPBS -- 10/1/14

Drought  

October begins water year with prospect of tighter restrictions -- As the state ends the fourth-driest water year on record with no guarantee of significant rain and snowfall this winter, Californians face the prospect of stricter rationing and meager irrigation deliveries for agriculture. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

Environment

California senators ask DOT to expand crude by rail notifications -- The U.S. Department of Transportation should expand its requirement for railroads to notify first responders of large shipments of Bakken crude oil to include other hazardous materials, California’s U.S. senators wrote Monday. Curtis Tate McClatchy DC -- 10/1/14

Health

Alameda County’s pioneering drug disposal law upheld in federal court -- A federal appeals court rejected a challenge Tuesday by the pharmaceutical industry to an Alameda County ordinance, the first in the nation to require drug manufacturers to pay disposal costs for consumers’ unused medications. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Mayor says he’s OK with time it took ambulance to reach wife -- One week after critics called for her resignation over ambulance response times, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White is defending her agency again, this time over whether it got an ambulance quickly enough to a car crash involving Mayor Ed Lee's wife on Monday afternoon. Marisa Lagos and John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Covered California marks 1st year with millions more insured -- Surveys show that the federal health care law has made a serious dent in the uninsured population, with the uninsured rate cut in half in California. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Also . . .

'Overkill’ alleged in Alameda fatal shooting by sheriff’s deputy -- The mother of an alleged robber shot dead by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy during a botched holdup in Alameda filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday. Henry K. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

California artists to get pieces of old Bay Bridge to work with -- At least 300 tons of the old Bay Bridge will live on in California public art projects that could include anything from light poles or street benches to large sculptures. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/1/14

Beltway

California lawmakers criticize Pentagon's purchase of Russian rockets -- A bipartisan group of U.S. House members from California has jumped into a high-stakes battle over the Pentagon’s use of Russian-made rocket engines to launch satellites. Melody Petersen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/1/14

GOP casts Clinton as third term for Obama -- Seizing on Obama’s low approval ratings, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and outside GOP spending groups are casting the president’s former secretary of State as being in lockstep with his agenda. Amie Parnes The Hill -- 10/1/14