* Updates Since Early This Morning

Univ. of Calif. considers 6 percent tuition hike -- University of California students could face significantly higher tuition if the state doesn't increase funding and voters don't approve the governor's tax initiative. Associated Press -- 5/8/12

State's lawyers call MTC's building purchase improper; opinion fuels regionalism reform -- The same week legislative lawyers declared improper the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's use of bridge tolls to purchase of an eight-story San Francisco building, state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier introduced a bill to put the agency underneath a new, directly-elected regional board. Lisa Vorderbrueggen in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/8/12

Cyclists to ride from Oakland to Sacramento on Saturday to protest school spending levels -- On Saturday morning, more than 150 cyclists -- students, teachers, principals, parents and retirees -- pedal to Sacramento in what's become an annual ritual to raise money and awareness about the low level of public school funding in California compared to other states. Katy Murphy in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/8/12

Jerry Brown says tax petitions will be submitted this week -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he expects to hand in signatures to county election officials this week to qualify his tax measure for the November ballot. Anthony York LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/8/12

Cal State committee OKs new president pay policy -- A California State University trustee committee has approved a move to ask campus foundations to pay for raises of up to 10 percent for incoming campus presidents. CHRISTINA HOAG Associated Press -- 5/8/12

Doctors promote proposed California tobacco tax in new ad -- The campaign to raise tobacco taxes by a dollar a pack is unveiling its first statewide television ad today with a slate full of doctors endorsing Proposition 29. Steven Harmon in the San Jose Mercury Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/8/12

Over 1,300 tubes damaged at ailing Cal reactors -- The utility that runs the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California says over 1,300 damaged tubes in its ailing steam generators will be taken out of service. MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press -- 5/8/12

California may ban gay teen 'conversion' therapy -- A first-of-its-kind ban on a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight could face a key vote Tuesday by a group of California lawmakers. HANNAH DREIER AP -- 5/8/12

Boy Scouts policy barring gay members sparks Assembly fire -- A proposed resolution to commend the Boy Scouts of America on its 102nd anniversary died today in an Assembly committee because the measure did not urge the group to accept gays and lesbians. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/8/12

Democratic senators push back against plan to close state parks -- With less than two months to go before about a quarter of the state's parks are set to be shuttered because of budget cuts, a pair of Senate Democrats today unveiled a plan to keep most of them open. Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert John Myers KXTV -- 5/8/12

Feds may seek fines against Wells Fargo in mortgage bias probe -- Federal authorities have advised Wells Fargo & Co. that they may seek damages and fines for alleged discrimination in mortgage lending. E. Scott Reckard in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

Lazarus: BofA provides example of mortgage-modification foot-dragging -- Banks have been slow to lower borrowers' interest rates or forgive a portion of the money owed. A Bank of America customer's two-year struggle is just one example. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

Report: California's public schools face crushing stress levels -- California's public schools may be facing unprecedented levels of pressure as they try to teach an increasing number of children in poverty with fewer employees and a continual threat of cutbacks, a report by the Mountain View-based research group EdSource found. Katy Murphy in the Oakland Tribune -- 5/8/12

7 Bay Area high schools ranked among magazine's top 100 -- In its annual ranking of what it calls the nation's best high schools, U.S. News and World Report has listed seven Bay Area schools among the top 100. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/8/12

San Diego County schools make national list -- San Diego County high schools were well-represented on the list of America’s best high schools, released Tuesday by US News & World Report Magazine. Maureen Magee UT San Diego -- 5/8/12

More SuperPac-tivity in CD31 -- Newly posted Federal Election Commission reports show more than $21,400 in spending in support of State Sen. Bob Dutton, who is vying to represent California's 31st Congressional District. Ben Goad in the Riverside Press -- 5/8/12

Glendale issues layoff notices after redevelopment cuts -- The city of Glendale has begun issuing layoff notices to the first of more than two dozen employees expected to be cut from the city's payroll due to the loss of redevelopment revenue. Brittany Levine in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

Businessman Austin Beutner drops bid for L.A. mayor -- Businessman Austin Beutner announced today that he has decided to withdraw from the mayor's race of 2013 because of the demands it placed on his family life. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 5/8/12

Jerry Brown defends 'a few moments of privacy' -- Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning that the public has a "legitimate interest" in knowing his whereabouts, but he still won't say where he vacationed while out of state over the weekend. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/8/12

Dreary April tax collections raise budget worries, controller says -- California Controller John Chiang has joined a chorus of voices expressing concern over a sharp dip in tax revenue last month. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

Senate Republicans Block Bill on Student Loan Rates -- Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked consideration of a Democratic bill to prevent the doubling of some student loan interest rates, leaving the legislation in limbo less than two months before rates on subsidized federal loans are set to shoot upward. JONATHAN WEISMAN in the New York Times$ Alan Fram Associated Press -- 5/8/12

Cal State students to protest rising tuition, presidents' pay -- The California State University Board of Trustees will consider another controversial plan to boost presidential pay during a meeting Tuesday in Long Beach, where faculty plan to protest stalled contract negotiations and students rising tuition. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

California Lawmaker Pushes New Municipal Bankruptcy Limit -- The author of California’s four-month- old municipal bankruptcy restrictions is recommending revisions to broaden the powers of an outside mediator and loosen deadlines on negotiations with creditors and labor groups. James Nash Bloomberg -- 5/8/12

Occupy group to protest foreclosures at Bank of America -- Occupy Fights Foreclosure activists plan to “fraudulently foreclose” on a Bank of America branch in Pasadena on Tuesday afternoon, highlighting the case of a Los Angeles woman and her disabled daughter who lost their home. Kim Christensen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

Fox: Munger Campaign Poll Highlights Some Tax Choices—But Not All -- The campaign to raise income taxes for schools headed by civil rights attorney Molly Munger released a memo on a campaign poll that argues voters would embrace her plan if they knew all the facts. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/8/12

Fleischman: Vote No on Prop. 28 – Don’t Let Politicians Forget Who Put them in Office -- Proposition 28 represents the latest effort by politicians and their special interest supporters to try to fool California voters into gutting California’s voter-approved term limits law. Jon Fleischman Fox & Hounds -- 5/8/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

State, advocates disagree on future of prison healthcare -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is sharply at odds with inmate advocates and a federal receiver over the future of the prison medical system, a new court filing showed Monday. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ Julie Small KPCC LA -- 5/8/12

Molly Munger says she and Jerry Brown could work together on tax measures -- The high-pressure game of signature gathering outside stores has turned into a mad dash to election offices across California as tax proponents submit their petitions for the November ballot. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/8/12

Tobacco companies add $15 million to fight cigarette tax -- Tobacco companies are stepping up their efforts to defeat Proposition 29, the June ballot measure that would hike cigarette taxes by $1 per pack. Michael J. Mishak in the Los Angeles Times$ Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/8/12

Walters: California needs huge investment to create jobs -- California is struggling to emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression and has more than 2 million unemployed workers, plus countless others who have given up seeking work out of frustration and/or have fled to other states. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/8/12

Mary Bono Mack juggles new roles, on and off the Hill -- In Washington, the longtime Republican lawmaker from California is an increasingly prominent player on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, while also trying to be a voice for two constituencies — moderates and women — that she believes don’t always receive the requisite attention within the House Republican Conference. Ben Pershing in the Washington Post -- 5/8/12

Take Five With Rep. Mary Bono Mack -- Tuesday is here again, which means HOH brings you another exclusive look at a Member of Congress through five fun questions. Alex Muller Roll Call -- 5/8/12

As super PAC money flows, an effort to divert cash to charity -- With the American political system deluged with super-sized donations, a few innovative proposals are trying to harness small donors and, in one case, divert campaign cash to charity. Will Evans California Watch -- 5/8/12

Fletcher gets off panel facing tax hike -- San Diego Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher voluntarily removed himself from a committee Monday just before its hearing on a controversial proposal to raise $1 billion for college scholarships by increasing taxes on some out-of-state corporations. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 5/8/12


Oracle gets partial victory in Google suit -- A jury Monday gave both sides reason to hope in a federal trial that pits two of the country's biggest tech titans in a public battle over copyright uses that could ultimately impact what consumers pay for Android smart phones and other devices. Casey Newton in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/8/12

   Taxes - Fees

Contra Costa water fee defeated -- The per-parcel fee would have generated $14 million a year toward the cost of meeting increasingly stringent federal and state water quality regulations, such as making sure trash and pollutants don't get flushed to rivers, lakes and the Bay. Lisa Vorderbrueggen in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/8/12

Villaraigosa seeks another boost in parking ticket fines -- L.A. mayor's budget calls for a $10 increase to an array of parking fines. The city would collect about $40 million a year more than during Villaraigosa's first year in office, much of it from street-sweeping violations that leave many residents fuming. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12


Fensterwald: Schools under heavy stress -- A new report out today examines internal and external stresses from budget cuts and economic contractions on the states’ 30 largest school districts. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 5/8/12

Under pressure, Cal State University board to consider presidential pay freeze -- The Cal State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday will consider freezing presidential salaries in a second attempt to curb public outcry over recent pay hikes. Kelly Puente in the Long Beach Press -- 5/8/12

Chancellor Yudof defends UC's accessibility to poor -- Speaking before an audience of Fresno business and education leaders, University of California President Mark Yudof made the case that the state's most prestigious public university system is still accessible to low-income students, and could become more affordable to the middle-class, despite year-over-year tuition hikes. Heather Somerville in the Fresno Bee -- 5/8/12

District May Scrap Plans to Build School on Fault Line -- A Los Gatos school district's decision to halt construction of a new elementary school over state geologists' safety concerns has inflamed a local mountain community and highlighted the difficulty of building schools in seismically vulnerable areas. COREY G. JOHNSON Bay Citizen -- 5/8/12

UCLA football players signal support for more protections -- More than 70 players with the UCLA Bruins football team have signed a petition supporting a Padilla measure that would require universities that don’t renew a student’s athletic scholarship to provide equivalent financial assistance so the student can stay in school and get a degree. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

San Francisco teachers set for strike vote amid budget woes -- San Francisco teachers are set for a strike vote this week over the district's demands to cut $30 million from teachers' salaries and benefits over the next two years. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/8/12

Fresno Unified challenges father's claims in special education case -- Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson said he never told a special education student's parent that he would have the district pay his legal fees if he fired his attorney. Joanna Lin California Watch -- 5/8/12

Chukchansi tribe gives Fresno State $1 million to preserve language -- The gift will fund research to document and preserve the tribe's language and culture. The tribe has only a handful of fluent Chukchansi speakers remaining. Marc Benjamin in the Fresno Bee -- 5/8/12

High achievers look for SBE waivers from Open Enrollment designation -- Eleven high-performing schools have petitioned the California State Board of Education to be excused from the state’s list of ‘low achieving’ schools for the purposes of the Open Enrollment Act. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 5/8/12

Azusa educator leaves four-decade legacy -- Things are going to look and feel quite a bit different at Azusa Unified School District offices after July 1. That’s the day Superintendent Cynthia Cervantes McGuire will retire, ending a career in the district that began 37 years ago when she was hired as a teacher. Marc Maloney SI&A Cabinet Report -- 5/8/12

   Health Care

Court dismisses vets' suit on mental health care -- Claims of systematic delays and neglect in mental health care for the nation's military veterans are beyond the power of courts to address, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Monday in ordering dismissal of a 5-year-old suit by veterans groups. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/8/12

Report: Valley health improves little in a decade -- The health of Valley residents has improved very little over the past 10 years and by some measures has gotten worse, according to a report released Monday by Fresno State researchers. BoNhia Lee in the Fresno Bee -- 5/8/12

Sacramento's threadbare medical network for poor getting thinner -- Getting primary medical care when you're poor or uninsured is challenging everywhere. In some places in California, people can at least tap into extensive county services and flourishing networks of federally financed community clinics. But not in Sacramento County. Grace Rubenstein in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/8/12

Patient's fear of being 'difficult' may hurt care -- Hugo Campos doesn't view himself as a difficult patient. But he senses his doctors' exasperation with him because of his insistence he be given all the medical information they have about him. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/8/12


State spars with EPA on air quality standards -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not protecting public health and has violated federal law by failing to review air quality standards, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Lung Association, the state air board and a consortium of states. Bernice Yeung California Watch -- 5/8/12

PUC commissioner opposes Sacramento natural gas storage -- Citing potential catastrophic impacts, a California Public Utilities commissioner is urging that a local company be blocked from storing natural gas 3,800 feet beneath Sacramento's Avondale Glen Elder neighborhood. Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/8/12

Siskiyou County officials want to ban wolves -- Fear of the big bad wolf has taken hold of a few politicians in Siskiyou County, who have introduced an ordinance to ban the predators. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a proposed law Tuesday that would "prohibit the presents of wolves in Siskiyou County." Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/8/12


UC Berkeley running out of patience for "Occupy the Farm" -- Protesters illegally occupying land in Albany owned and used by the UC Berkeley for research are running out of time to leave the area voluntarily, school officials said Monday. Paul T. Rosynsky in the Oakland Tribune -- 5/8/12


Santa Ana cracks down on medical marijuana dispensaries -- Mike Kelly opens his medical marijuana dispensary each morning not truly knowing if it will be his last day of business. Kelly, owner of Aloha Community Collective in Santa Ana, provides medical marijuana to patients presenting doctors’ recommendations for conditions ranging from insomnia to cancer. Helen Afrasiabi HealthyCal.org -- 5/8/12

Tribute paid to sacrifice in the line of duty -- Hundreds of law enforcement officers, along with grieving relatives, honored fallen comrades Monday at the California Peace Officers' Memorial. Micaela Massimino in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/8/12

   POTUS 44

Obama campaign parses his same-sex marriage stance -- The White House and President Obama's campaign advisers insisted Monday that there was no difference between Obama's position on same-sex marriage and Vice President Joe Biden's, despite Obama's refusal to endorse legal marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/8/12


House Bill Shields Defense From Cuts -- House Republicans, seeking to prevent defense-spending cuts at the end of the year, advanced a plan that would instead reduce spending on health-care programs, food aid and other major domestic initiatives of the Obama administration. JANET HOOK and DAMIAN PALETTA in the Wall Street Journal$ DAVID ROGERS Politico -- 5/8/12

Romney stands silent as Obama is accused of treason -- Mitt Romney drew criticism Monday after he failed to challenge a questioner who suggested at a campaign event that President Obama should be tried for treason. Kim Geiger and Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/8/12

Big labor falls in line with Obama reelection campaign -- Organized labor’s rumblings about sitting out President Barack Obama’s reelection have turned out to be an empty threat. JOSEPH WILLIAMS Politico -- 5/8/12