* Updates Since Early This Morning

Mad-cow disease found in Central Valley dairy cow -- In a move that could raise new questions about food safety and result in economic setbacks to California's multi-billion-dollar agricultural industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday confirmed that a case of mad cow disease has been found in a dairy cow in the Central Valley. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/24/12

San Jose City Council blocks bonus payments to retirees -- The San Jose City Council voted Tuesday to continue blocking bonus payments to retirees from a pension system they said is billions of dollars short of funds needed to cover benefits promised to the workforce. John Woolfolk in the Contra Costa Times -- 4/24/12

Kehoe’s narrowed abortion bill advances -- In a strategic move to ensure passage, San Diego Sen. Christine Kehoe Tuesday dramatically scaled back the reach of her controversial measure to redefine who is authorized to provide a certain kind of first-semester abortion. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 4/24/12

World Peace suspended -- World Peace will miss the Lakers' regular-season finale and their first six playoff games for elbowing the Oklahoma City guard during Sunday's game. Mike Bresnahan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

California hunting bill to ban dogs draws hundreds -- Hundreds of animal lovers and hunters packed the Capitol on Tuesday to testify about a bill seeking to ban the use of dogs to hunt bears and bobcats in California, legislation that arose after a top state fish and game official drew heat for killing a mountain lion during a legal hound-hunting trip in Idaho. JUDY LIN Associated Press -- 4/24/12

Judge says state controller has no power to block Legislature's pay -- A Sacramento Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled that the state controller has no authority to judge whether the state budget is balanced or block lawmakers' pay as he did last June. Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert John Myers Capitol Connection -- 4/24/12

Commission headed by Geena Davis gets last-minute funding from Assembly -- The California's Commission on the Status of Women is getting a second act with a last-minute funding pledge from the state Assembly. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press -- 4/24/12

California sports-betting bill advanced by Senate panel -- Gamblers may one day be able to legally bet on Lakers and Dodgers games in California under a measure that moved forward Tuesday in the Legislature. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/24/12

California new-car sales soar in first quarter -- New-vehicle registrations statewide rose nearly 18 percent in this year's first quarter compared with the year-ago period, according to a report released today by the Sacramento-based California New Car Dealers Association. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/24/12

Mojave Cross deal reached -- A cross memorializing veterans can return to a rock in a remote part of the Mojave Desert under an agreement between the National Park Service and the American Civil Liberties Union that was approved Monday by a federal court. DUG BEGLEY in the Riverside Press -- 4/24/12

Occupy masses at Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco -- Several hundred Occupy protesters massed in front of the downtown San Francisco headquarters of Wells Fargo Bank on Tuesday with the intention of disrupting a shareholders meeting there. Vivian Ho, Jill Tucker, Carolyn Jones, Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/12

Senate panel rejects bill seeking warnings on reusable bags -- While saying they agree with the need for greater public awareness about the importance of regularly washing reusable cloth grocery bags, members of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee rejected a bill Monday that would have required warnings about potential food contamination on the bags. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 4/24/12

Bay Area can retain its technology crown, but challenges imperil its leadership -- An array of solutions will be required if the Bay Area is to retain its crown as the hub of the nation's innovation economy, political and business leaders said at the annual CEO Summit on Tuesday. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/24/12

Analyst says some state worker contracts 'modestly' increase costs -- The Legislative Analyst's Office figures that four union contracts that Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to extend for one year will "maintain or modestly increase the state's costs for employee compensation." Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/24/12

Fox: Steinberg’s Initiative Proposal and Prop 13 -- At his Sacramento Press Club appearance last week, Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, denied that his proposal to change the initiative process would nullify Proposition 13. However, the Steinberg proposal allows for a majority vote by the legislature to put taxes on the ballot, which undermines the Prop 13 philosophy. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/24/12

Jerry Brown glad death penalty measure on November ballot -- Gov. Jerry Brown, who has personal reservations about the death penalty but enforced it as state attorney general, said this morning that he is glad a measure to abolish the death penalty will be on the November ballot, though he declined to say how he will vote. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/24/12

USC demographers see much slower California population growth -- California's population will grow much more slowly than current official projections as immigration and birth rates decline and the state's residents will grow markedly older, according to a massive new study by University of Southern California demographers released today. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert Rebecca Trounson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

Surfing Madonna loses round in Capitol -- The Surfing Madonna apparently won’t be catching a wave at Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas. Citing its religious nature, an Assembly Committee Tuesday rejected legislation that would have permitted the stained-glass mosaic to be installed at the oceanfront park. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 4/24/12

Obama honors Burbank's Rebecca Mieliwocki as teacher of the year -- President Obama recognized Burbank teacher Rebecca Mieliwocki as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year during a ceremony Tuesday at the White House. Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Lawmakers pushing to tie California minimum wage to consumer price index -- Gasoline was selling for $3.33 a gallon, Jerry Brown was attorney general, and California was bracing for a budget crisis when the state's hourly minimum wage rose to $8 in early 2008. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/24/12

California death penalty ban qualifies for Nov. ballot -- If it passes, the 725 California inmates now on Death Row will have their sentences converted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. It would also make life without parole the harshest penalty prosecutors can seek. PAUL ELIAS Associated Press Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times MICHAEL GARDNER UT San Diego -- 4/24/12

CA nuclear plant developing plan to go back online -- The operator of the idled San Onofre nuclear plant said Monday it is closing in on figuring out why hundreds of steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water have eroded at an alarming rate. ALICIA CHANG Associated Press Pat Brennan in the Orange County Register Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

California prison overhaul would save $1.5B a year -- California prison officials released a wide-ranging reorganization plan Monday that calls for halting a $4 billion prison-construction program and bringing back all inmates held out of state. Don Thompson Associated Press Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/24/12

Walters: California finally has a plan to cut prison costs -- The two dominant political issues of Jerry Brown's first governorship were taxes and crime, and as a more-or-less liberal Democrat with soaring ambitions, he struggled mightily to avoid fallout from both. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/24/12

Fees and Anger Rise in California Water War -- There are accusations of conspiracies, illegal secret meetings and double-dealing. Embarrassing documents and e-mails have been posted on an official Web site emblazoned with the words “Fact vs. Fiction.” ADAM NAGOURNEY and FELICITY BARINGER in the New York Times$ -- 4/24/12

SEC sues two figures in CalPERS bribery scandal -- The U.S. government sued the two key figures in the CalPERS bribery scandal Monday, targeting the pension fund's former chief executive and a businessman who earned millions in finder's fees from CalPERS investment deals. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

San Diego fireworks bill advances -- A Senate committee Monday unanimously agreed that organizers of annual fireworks shows should not have to prepare extensive environmental reviews as a condition of their permit. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 4/24/12

State's presidential primaries have history of irrelevance -- When Rick Santorum folded his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this month, he also doomed the California presidential primary to irrelevance – for the ninth election and 36th year in a row. Lance Williams California Watch -- 4/24/12

San Francisco Mayor Lee would testify to remove Mirkarimi -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said Monday the city is in "uncharted territory" as he tries to remove suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office on official misconduct charges. John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/12

Battle over Sheriff Mirkarimi's job could drag on for months -- The battle over disgraced lawman Ross Mirkarimi's future as San Francisco's sheriff entered a new arena Monday when the city's Ethics Commission began a historic hearing on whether his now-infamous dispute with his wife should cost him his job. Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times -- 4/24/12


California Fed-Ed jobless benefits to end mid-May -- As of this week, California no longer qualifies for the federal program that provides up to 20 weeks of jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed in high-unemployment states. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/12

Apple's squeeze hits phone companies, competitors -- Apple is set to report another record quarterly profit on Tuesday, continuing the relentless string of results that's made it the world's most valuable company. PETER SVENSSON Associated Press -- 4/24/12

Despite Concerns, BART Recommends Canadian Firm to Build New Fleet -- Critics say a competitor would have created more jobs in the U.S. ZUSHA ELINSON Bay Citizen Denis Cuff in the Contra Costa Times -- 4/24/12

Inland Empire legislators oppose bulk sales of foreclosures -- Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, and several other inland legislators are asking the Federal Housing Finance Agency to stay out of Southern California while testing a pilot program in which foreclosures would be sold in bulk to institutional investors. Andrew Edwards in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 4/24/12


Local governance urged for UC campuses -- The proposal would let each university set tuition and approve construction projects while allowing the regents to control policy matters such as admission standards, funding and top appointments. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

Your name here -- Now that California school buses will be running for at least another year, why not let districts use them to make a little cash on the side – the side of the buses, that is. State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff has introduced a bill to do just that. SB 1295 would allow school districts to sell advertising space on the outside of school buses and keep the revenues. Kathryn Baron TopEd -- 4/24/12

LAUSD to keep transitional kindergarten in wake of threatened budget cuts -- Supporters of early childhood education are praising a decision by Los Angeles Unified School District to keep a special kindergarten program for four-year-olds – even after Governor Brown had threatened to cut off the funding. L.A. Unified runs transitional kindergarten classes in about a quarter of its elementary schools, for children who will turn five in the fall. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez KPCC LA -- 4/24/12

Continuation schools close in some rural districts -- As school districts across California struggle with budget cuts, some districts are cutting back on small schools known as continuation schools that have been a mainstay of high school instruction for more than half a century. Leslie Layton EdSource -- 4/24/12

CA’s melting pot role requires home notices sent in scores of languages -- To accommodate one of the world’s greatest demographic melting pots, school districts throughout California struggle each week to translate thousands of home notices into scores of different languages. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 4/24/12

   Health Care

Heart bypass deaths fall as care, reporting improve -- Patient deaths after heart bypass surgeries at California hospitals plummeted 34 percent between 2003 and 2009, newly released statistics show - a drop that may reflect the power of publicly reporting medical results as well as improvements in cardiac care. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/12

Lazarus: California's working poor would lose a lot if health reform law dies -- If the healthcare reform law is thrown out by theU.S. Supreme Court — as many fear could happen based on the comments of conservative justices — more than 700,000 low-income Californians could lose a once-in-a-lifetime chance to obtain affordable health insurance. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12


Chicago aquarium offers to take salmon-eating sea lion -- As the tally of sea lion deaths at the Bonneville Dam in Washington state grows to four, happier news comes from Chicago, where the Shedd Aquarium has pledged to take the next sea lion caught eating salmon. Susanne Rust California Watch -- 4/24/12

Discovery of Indian artifacts complicates Genesis solar project -- After human remains were unearthed near the $1-billion Genesis project 200 miles east of L.A., the Colorado River Indian Tribes are demanding that the Obama administration slow down on solar plants in the Mojave Desert. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12


Oakland chief promises protest reforms -- Stung by criticism over his officers' actions during Occupy Oakland protests and other demonstrations, Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday he was ordering "major reforms" in how police deal with large crowds. Henry K. Lee in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/24/12


Tide Turns on Border Crossing -- Net migration from Mexico has plummeted to zero thanks to changing demographic and economic conditions on both sides of the border, a new study says, even as political battles over illegal immigration heat up and the issue heads to the U.S. Supreme Court. MIRIAM JORDAN in the Wall Street Journal$ JULIA PRESTON in the New York Times$ Paloma Esquivel and Hector Becerra in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

Attorneys allege ICE makes little distinction between deporting high and low-risk immigrants -- L.A. County faces one of the biggest immigration court backlogs in the country — and most of those waiting are facing deportation. Despite new guidelines, attorneys say that immigrants who are a low priority in the system are still getting deported. Ruxandra Guidi KPCC LA -- 4/24/12


MALDEF goes to court to force release of documents related to death of Ruben Salazar -- More than 40 years after the fact, questions remain about the death of Ruben Salazar, the journalist who was killed when a tear gas canister fired by an L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy struck him in the head. Alex Cohen KPCC LA -- 4/24/12

100 blocks in Oakland to see fewer police -- The move comes weeks after residents in the Oakland hills criticized Quan's crime plan, known as the 100-block plan, saying it had resulted in a decrease in officers in their wealthier neighborhoods, which were seeing an uptick in burglaries. Matthai Kuruvila in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/12

Saigu, on April 29th, is a landmark date for many of LA’s Korean-Americans -- Ask most people to recall an image of the 1992 riots, and they will bring up the endless video loop of LAPD officers beating Rodney King or the smoke that lingered above the city for days. They will also bring up the sound and images of gunfire from Korean shop owners as they defended their Koreatown stores from looters. Ruxandra Guidi KPCC LA -- 4/24/12

Saunders: John Edwards, campaign reformer -- The smart thinking among savvy election lawyers and political insiders is that federal prosecutors will have a hard time proving that John Edwards broke campaign finance laws when he ran for president in 2008. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/24/12

New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun -- Woolrich, a 182-year-old clothing company, describes its new chino pants as an elegant and sturdy fashion statement, with a clean profile and fabric that provides comfort and flexibility. And they are great for hiding a handgun. MATT RICHTEL in the New York Times$ -- 4/24/12

Doctors say teens go to hospitals after drinking hand sanitizer -- Doctors are warning parents about a dangerous new trend after six teenagers drank hand sanitizer and ended up in San Fernando Valley emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning. Anna Gorman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

   POTUS 44

Obama suffers more negative press than GOP, Pew study shows -- Which presidential candidate has gotten the most negative coverage in the press during this year’s primary? According to content analysis by the Pew Research Center, it’s President Obama. Morgan Little in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12


Rubio appeals to Latinos on Romney's behalf -- The Florida senator's appearance with the Republican candidate is a reminder of the challenges facing the campaign after the combative primary, in which Romney moved to the right on immigration. Maeve Reston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/24/12

Freshmen seek earmark type despite ban -- Hypocrisy alert: House Republican freshmen are begging their leaders to bring back a certain type of earmark so that they can help companies back home in an election year. JAKE SHERMAN and JONATHAN ALLEN Politico -- 4/24/12