* Updates Since Early This Morning

Bill would ask state contractors: Are you gay or lesbian? -- For the first time, California would ask its contractors if they are gay under legislation passed Monday by the Assembly. The measure, Assembly Bill 1960, would enable the owners of businesses that contract with the state to identify themselves as gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. It would not require them to do so. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/30/12

Sherman questions Super PAC cable buy for Berman -- A so-called Super PAC has bought nearly $500,000 in cable television advertising to support Howard Berman, who is warring with fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman for a San Fernando Valley congressional district seat. Jean Merl LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/30/12

Dr. Oz urges California state workers to get fit -- California state workers have been furloughed, laid off and targeted for pension reforms. Now, a popular TV personality is urging them to shape up and eat right. JUDY LIN Associated Press -- 4/30/12

Term limits fight is David-vs.-Goliath in campaign fundraising -- Proponents have raised about $2.5 million since the signature-gathering drive began in 2009, while opponents have reported only one contribution, $45,000, from the founder of U.S. Term Limits, Howard Rich, of Philadelphia. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/30/12

Top chefs rally to fight California foie gras ban -- The politics of pate are back. Michael J. Mishak LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/30/12

Metro awards rail contract to Japanese firm despite union protests -- In a break with Los Angeles' organized labor movement, Metro board members Monday awarded a crucial $890-million rail car contract to a giant Japanese firm that unions claim will create fewer jobs than a competitor and might violate federal requirements to use American workers. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

California bullet train plan gets positive response -- Will Kempton, who chairs a "peer review" committee that has been sharply critical of the state's highly controversial bullet train project, sounded a more positive note Monday during testimony to the Assembly Transportation Committee. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/30/12

CSU trustees to consider pay freeze - with a catch -- California State University trustees will consider freezing state-funded pay for new campus presidents next week but with a catch: raises could still come from foundation accounts. Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/30/12

Shareholder sues Google in effort to stop stock split -- Google and its board were sued on Monday by a shareholder who wants to block the company's stock split plan because it entrenches the Web search company's co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, according to court documents. Reuters -- 4/30/12

Public school parents upset about Prop 39 colocation rules -- The goal was to raise money for schools, but few people realized one of its provisions meant that any empty classrooms must be turned over to any charter that asks. Neither parents and the principal nor the school board itself can legally refuse. Alex MacInnis KPCC LA -- 4/30/12

California public pension fund assets rebounded in 2010 -- California's state and local government pension funds saw a 12.4 percent increase in their assets during 2010, according to a new Census Bureau report, markedly higher than the national pension fund increase. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/30/12

California government needs new computer system, report says -- Lawmakers should push forward with the long-troubled overhaul of the state's computer system, the Legislative Analyst's Office recommended in a report Monday. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/30/12

Fox: Taxes in the Bag – Paper and Plastic Bags That Is -- Plaintiffs are appealing Los Angeles County’s requirement of a bag “charge” because they say the charge is a violation of Proposition 26 passed by voters in 2010. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/30/12

Supreme Court rejects bid to shield Sheriff Lee Baca from lawsuit -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to shield Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca from being sued for racial gang violence in the jails he supervises. David Savage in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

Striking Nurses' Replacements Under Scrutiny -- Sutter Health hires firm that provided a nurse who made a fatal error last year. KATHARINE MIESZKOWSKI Bay Citizen -- 4/30/12

Former FPPC exec becomes tribal administrator -- California’s former chief political law and ethics watchdog has gone to work for one of the state’s most prominent gaming tribes, succeeding someone fired in connection with a fraud scandal. Roman Porter, former executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, is now tribal administrator for the United Auburn Indian Community. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 4/30/12

As governor, Romney faced challenge on gay marriage -- When Massachusetts' highest court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, the Republican's response alienated constituencies on both sides. Critics say he took it as an opportunity to pivot right, hoping to raise his national profile with conservatives. Matea Gold and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

California still leads nation in Iraq, Afghan war casualties -- When Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas Johnson’s Black Hawk helicopter went down during bad weather April 19, killing him and three others, he became the 671st service member from California to die in the combined Iraq and Afghanistan wars. G.W. Schulz Center for Investigative Reporting -- 4/30/12

Domestic airfares hit record high in 2011 -- Domestic airfares jumped 8.3% in 2011, reaching the highest level on record and are on pace to continue to rise, according to federal data released Monday. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

Jerry Brown blasts GOP in 'Face the Nation' interview -- Gov. Jerry Brown offered up some advice for other politicians during a Sunday interview on CBS’s "Face the Nation." “You don’t get things done overnight. It does take time,” Brown told host Bob Schieffer. “Things I was talking about 30 years ago ... they’re right at the top of the agenda today." LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/30/12

Hot Lamborghini found in teen's storage container -- celebrity chef's $200,000 Lamborghini sports car, stolen from a San Francisco dealership more than a year ago, has been found in a teenage boy's Richmond storage container, authorities said Monday. Will Kane in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/30/12

Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn defend Bob Woodward -- Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn made strong statements of support for Bob Woodward and his Watergate reporting on Monday, moving to defuse damaging questions raised by a new article and biography that includes musing by Bradlee about whether some details had been embellished. MIKE ALLEN Politico -- 4/30/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

As scandal winds down, aging state Treasurer Bill Lockyer sets sights on controller's job -- He's almost 71. And his wife just resigned from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors after a drug-fueled affair with a meth addict. Her sensational downfall included shocking allegations that he once supplied her with drugs and encouraged her to commit suicide during a recent argument. Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times -- 4/30/12

On 'Face The Nation,' Jerry Brown Tries Managing Expectations -- Asked by Bob Schieffer on the CBS public affairs show "Face the Nation" for any advice he might have for politicians, Brown said, "I've learned you don't get things done overnight. It does take time. DAVID SIDERS in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/30/12

Super PACs gear up for California congressional races -- The redrawing of California's congressional districts has set off intense fundraising competition between Democrats and Republicans, with both parties gearing up super PACs to raise and spend millions of dollars targeted exclusively for races in the state that could be key to control of the House of Representatives. Carla Marinucci, Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/30/12

Walters: California judges' war heading into a new phase -- A professional-quality video clip that popped up on YouTube depicts physical deficiencies in California courtrooms and makes the case for building new courthouses and rehabbing old ones. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/30/12

Skelton: Water bond is circling the drain -- Might as well scratch one measure from the likely crowded November ballot: a pork-filled $11.1-billion water bond that is dying of its own weight. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

CalBuzz: Psst: Jerry Brown is Opposed to the Death Penalty -- Jerry Brown, who convinced his father the governor, in 1960 to temporarily spare the life of Red Light Bandit Caryl Chessman, and who joined a vigil to protest the execution of cop-killer Aaron Mitchell in 1967, said last week it’s a “good thing” that a measure has qualified for the November ballot seeking to outlaw the death penalty. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 4/30/12

Ex-Muni boss tops San Francisco list with half-million payout -- When it comes to city worker payouts, forget the old $100,000 club or even the $250,000 club - the new elite among San Francisco's civic workforce are those who got more than $500,000 in pay last year. Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/30/12

Wildllife Services' deadly force opens Pandora's box of environmental problems -- Like the prow of a ship, the Granite Mountains rise sharply from the creamy-white playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Tom Knudson in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/30/12

Three strikes reform could save $100 million a year -- Voters will have the chance to dramatically remake California’s criminal justice system this fall. A ballot initiative to repeal the death penalty in California has already qualified for the November ballot: Instead of death, the convicted would face life terms without the possibility of parole. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 4/30/12

Elected official pensions: target for reform? -- Stockton has enrolled three mayors and 14 city council members in CalPERS since 1991, despite a provision in the city charter that clearly states no council member shall receive retirement or death benefits, the Stockton Record reported last week. Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 4/30/12

Bloomberg on Boxer’s brisk, brusque behavior -- Last week’s Bloomberg Businessweek offered a somewhat light-hearted look at that most entertaining of animals, the U.S. legislator, in its natural habitat. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 4/30/12

   High-Speed Rail

Bullet train's low operating costs are 'elephant in room,' experts say -- By hitting the reset button, Gov. Jerry Brown bought some time for the embattled California high-speed rail plan. In recent months, the CEO of the controversial project resigned. Brown installed Dan Richard, an official with political and transportation industry connections, as new board chairman. Lance Williams California Watch -- 4/30/12


Key calls for San Francisco mayor: worker pay, business taxes -- About $2.5 billion in taxpayer money is riding on contract negotiations between Mayor Ed Lee and 27 of San Francisco's public employee unions - talks that will affect city efforts to address mounting health care costs, recurring deficits and how businesses are taxed. John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/30/12

Inland Empire industrial market improves -- The Inland Empire's industrial real estate market gathered strength during the first three months of 2012 as vacancies decreased and asking rents increased, according to brokers' data. Andrew Edwards in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 4/30/12

Social media privacy bills advance in Sacramento -- Legislation that would bar employers from requesting job candidates' social media user names and passwords is growing closer to becoming state law. The Social Media Privacy Act, sponsored by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, sailed through the Senate's Education, and Labor and Industrial Relations committees. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/30/12

Unions launching new counterattack against Villaraigosa -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who rose up the ranks in the labor movement to launch his political career, has been at odds with the city's public employee unions most of the seven years he has been mayor. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 4/30/12

San Diego mayoral candidate's switch brings some life to the party -- Nathan Fletcher began his campaign as a Republican, but things began to get more interesting after he re-registered as an independent. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

Computer specialist contends his views cost him his job at JPL -- A computer specialist rankled some of his JPL co-workers by pressing intelligent design and other issues at work. Now a judge must decide if that is why he was laid off. Ashley Powers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

San Francisco Bar pilots run into political turbulence -- Since the days of Mark Twain, the San Francisco Bar Pilots have had it good. Thanks to outsized political clout and highly specialized training, this elite cadre, currently numbering 56 ship captains, has enjoyed monopoly control over the San Francisco Bay since 1850. PAUL ELIAS Associated Press -- 4/30/12


Cal State students planning hunger strike -- Cal State San Bernardino student Natalie Dorado and 12 students from other state university campuses plan to go on a hunger strike Wednesday until university officials discuss freezing tuition, reducing administrators' compensation and other demands. Ryan Hagen in the San Bernardino Sun -- 4/30/12

L.A. student newspaper faces funding crunch -- High school students from around L.A. write for their peers in L.A. Youth, a newspaper that tackles weighty subjects important to teens. But its sources of funding have taken a hit. Rick Rojas in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

Noted biliteracy expert takes over CDE’s new English learner division -- Despite decades struggling to educate the nation's largest population of non-native speaking students, the California Department of Education has only within the last few months benefitted from a new division dedicated to the needs of English learners. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 4/30/12

Staggered Oikos swims upstream toward survival -- The room where the killing began shows no signs of violence. The bloodstains have been carpeted over, and plaster covers the bullet holes. But Oikos University students and employees know that the otherwise barren classroom, its desks lined up neatly under fluorescent lights, is where the shooting started on April 2. If the school survives -- no sure thing -- the room probably will not be used for classes again. Matt Krupnick in the Contra Costa Times -- 4/30/12

Should districts be handed full control over spending? -- To mitigate the impact of substantially cutting spending for K-12 schools, the Legislature agreed to temporarily let school districts decide how to spend money that had been earmarked for dozens of special programs, from adult education to teacher training. Forum at TopEd -- 4/30/12

   Health Care

Mental health treatment newly available at clinics -- While the heated national debate about healthcare reform continues, many health communities in California are quietly making changes to prepare for the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. Mary Flynn HealthyCal.org -- 4/30/12


Protesters call for shutdown of San Onofre nuclear plant -- "Shut down San Onofre!" was the rallying cry of about 200 protesters at San Onofre State Park on Sunday. They listened to a dozen speakers, marched and carried anti-nuclear-power signs to raise awareness of perceived safety issues at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. PAUL BERSEBACH in the Orange County Register -- 4/30/12

California Sifts Gold Claims -- California is proposing to lift a ban on a once-common method of dredging gold from riverbeds, raising objections from some state regulators and prompting lawsuits against the state by anti-mining and pro-mining groups. JUSTIN SCHECK in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 4/30/12

Genetically modified crops' results raise concern -- Biotechnology's promise to feed the world did not anticipate "Trojan corn," "super weeds" and the disappearance of monarch butterflies. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/30/12

Water pipeline dreams revived in the desert -- Eager to diversify its water supplies, the San Diego County Water Authority has resurrected a long-shot plan that could top $2 billion to build a pipeline for importing water directly from Imperial County. At the same time, it’s trying to cement a long-term deal for desalinating seawater in Carlsbad. Mike Lee UT San Diego -- 4/30/12

Plastic pollution in ocean likely underestimated, researchers say -- The cause célèbre of plastic litter in the ocean is the Texas-sized, swirling island of plastic debris thousands of miles off the coast of California in the Pacific Ocean. Susanne Rust California Watch -- 4/30/12


Occupy SF, Oakland plan May Day rallies, pickets -- Commuters who use the Golden Gate Bridge or take ferries from Marin County should brace for possible disruptions of the morning commute Tuesday as part of a daylong schedule of labor-oriented rallies throughout the Bay Area, activists and officials said. Kevin Fagan, Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/30/12

City of Sacramento hits new hurdle on Occupy protesters -- The city of Sacramento has been dealt yet another setback in its attempt to penalize Occupy Sacramento protesters for curfew violations last year at Cesar Chavez Plaza across from City Hall. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/30/12


Schrag: State of Immigrants -- University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers has spent much of the past ten years trying to show his fellow Californians how much their future depends on immigrants and their children. Peter Schrag Cal Progress Report -- 4/30/12

Obama criticized in reversal on child farm-labor regulations -- The Obama administration’s move to scrap a plan that would prevent some children from working in dangerous farm jobs drew sharp rebukes Friday from child-welfare advocates who claim the president caved in to election-year pressure from farmers and Republicans. Sam Hananel in the Washington Post -- 4/30/12

Family in limbo, facing deportation to two countries -- Wearing a somber face and a maroon raincoat, Simei Yang paced in the rain on a recent morning outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office on Capitol Mall. She wondered if this would be her last day in the United States and whether she, her husband and their two children would be deported to two different continents. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/30/12


A Bay Area first: Double carpool lanes coming to Highway 101 -- In a Northern California first, work is under way to install double carpool lanes in both directions on a freeway. The new lanes will be built along a three-mile stretch of Highway 101 between Highway 85 in Mountain View and Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. Gary Richards in the Oakland Tribune -- 4/30/12

Homeowners support Valley lawmaker's bill requiring cities to cover sidewalk repairs -- Joe Greblo straddles an A-shaped hump in the sidewalk in front of his Sylmar home that the city has refused to fix. The 18-inch unrepaired hill is why he's behind a controversial state bill by San Fernando Valley lawmaker Felipe Fuentes that would require Los Angeles - and every cash-strapped city in California - to bear the cost of fixing sidewalk damage. Dana Bartholomew in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 4/30/12

Meteor hunters strike pay dirt -- A different kind of rush hits California's Gold Country after the recent shower of rocks from space, which scientists crave and can fetch $1,000 a gram. Diana Marcum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

Police departments wait for FAA clearance to fly drones -- The federal agency has until May 14 to outline how it will license public safety agencies eager to fly drones. Civil liberties groups voice concerns about privacy rights. Brian Bennett in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

Homeowners may nominate themselves for election to association board -- California law sets rules for election procedures for a homeowners association board of directors. Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12

   POTUS 44

Bill Clinton, Obama team up at fundraiser to hammer Romney -- While neither mentioned him by name during the event at the home of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, the two presidents delivered harsh criticisms of Obama's likely November opponent. Meghashyam Mali The Hill -- 4/30/12


Boehner says Obama 'picking fake fights' with GOP lawmakers -- Boehner said the push for the "Buffett Rule," which would have required millionaires to pay a minimum tax rate, was a "gimmick." He also claimed the president is going after manipulation in the oil markets without "one shred of evidence" that it is responsible for the high gas prices. Brendan Sasso The Hill -- 4/30/12

Romney campaign pledges no 'slow-jamming' the news -- In the conversation following President Obama's appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” particularly the president's participation in the segment “Slow Jam the News,” Mitt Romney's campaign aimed to portray Obama as too cool to lead. Morgan Little in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/30/12