* Updates Since Early This Morning

Assembly passes bill to exempt police from property records -- California lawmakers took a major step Thursday toward carving an exception in public records law to enhance the safety of peace officers, judges, probation officers and other law enforcement personnel. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/17/12

Jerry Brown's budget cuts rekindle California's judicial civil war -- California's judicial civil war -- judge against judge over money and power -- has been rekindled by Gov. Jerry Brown's revised state budget. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/17/12

FPPC: California judges must post financial disclosures online -- The California Judges Association has fought for months for an exemption to a 2010 regulation requiring that the statement of economic interest forms filed by certain elected officials, including the governor, legislators and county supervisors, are posted on the Internet. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/17/12

Facebook co-founder says he's grateful to U.S. and has paid taxes -- Denounced as a tax-dodger for renouncing his U.S. citizenship, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin said Thursday he was grateful to the country and will end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes as required under current law. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

Facebook prices IPO shares at $38 apiece, stands to reap more than $18 billion -- After months of anticipation, Facebook on Thursday set the share price for its first public stock offering at $38, as the social-networking giant made final preparations for a record-breaking market debut on Friday. Brandon Bailey and Peter Delevett in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/17/12

Fired whistle-blower Kathy Carroll loses personnel board appeal -- A whistle-blower fired while cooperating with a state probe of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing about 18 months ago has lost her appeal before the State Personnel Board. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/17/12

A loan returns to haunt California's budget -- But there’s another factor that’s weighing on the budget — a $2.1-billion repayment to local governments that the state is required to make this year. It’s another example of how short-term budget fixes, this one made under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, can cause more headaches down the line. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/17/12

New UCSD leader's salary draws fire -- University of California Regents Wednesday confirmed the appointment of new UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and approved a base salary of $411,000 annually. His pay represents a 4.8 percent increase over the salary of the current chancellor, Marye Anne Fox, and is already drawing fire from critics who say UC executive salaries are inflated in an era of tight budgets and tuition hikes. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 5/17/12

Parents of slain students file suit claiming USC lied about safety -- The parents of two University of Southern California Chinese graduate students slain near the campus last month have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university, saying the school misled them when it claimed that it ranks among the safest universities. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

California Supreme Court to decide if illegal immigrant can practice law -- The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider whether the State Bar has the authority to license an undocumented immigrant and allow him to become a practicing lawyer. Howard Mintz in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/17/12

Dark days for California's courts -- These are dark days for California's budget-battered courts. And darkened courtrooms could be one of the next steps the state's judicial leaders may have to take to deal with the latest budget cuts proposed for the nation's largest court system. Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/17/12

Latinos will soon be California's largest ethnic group, Census says -- Latinos will become California's largest ethnic group very soon, a new Census Bureau report indicates. The bureau issued its first post-2000 census estimates of population growth, birth rates, age cohorts, and racial and ethnic characteristics. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/17/12

Brown state worker pay proposal would cut $230 million in wages from local econony -- Despite a push to diversify its economy, the Sacramento region still depends heavily on government wages. Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/17/12

California Senate takes side in L.A. County water feud -- A Southern California water feud spilled onto the floor of the state Senate on Thursday over a bill that transfers between two feuding agencies the authority to store groundwater in southeast Los Angeles County. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/17/12

Ford Foundation to fund new LA Times reporters -- This tweaks the model for how to pay for big-city newspaper journalism. Kevin Roderick LA Observed -- 5/17/12

Same-Sex Marriage May Be Litmus Test in California Races -- Is “same-sex marriage” the kind of issue that could make a difference—positive or negative--in down-ballot, Congressional and legislative races, particularly in light of the new “top-two” primary and more competitive redistricting? Sherry Bebitch Jeffe NBC LA Prop Zero -- 5/17/12

California ranks high for workplace discrimination complaints -- Employees complain more about discrimination in workplaces in Texas, Florida and California than anywhere else in the country, according to a report this week from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

Romney, 'super PAC' reject proposed Rev. Wright ad campaign -- Mitt Romney said Thursday that he rejected the proposal presented to a GOP 'super PAC' that intended to tie President Obama to incendiary comments by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. — a risky approach that former Republican presidential candidate John McCain ruled out when he ran against Obama in 2008. Maeve Reston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

Bay Area home sales see best April in six years -- Sales of single family homes were up 12 percent from the previous April throughout the Bay Area, according to DataQuick. There were double-digit increases in the number of home sales in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties. Alameda County sales were up 6 percent from a year ago. Pete Carey in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/17/12

Fox: The Musical “Call Me Madam” has a Warning for California -- The 1950 Tony award winning Irving Berlin Musical, Call Me Madam can speak to California’s fiscal crisis, tax historian Dave Doerr told an audience at UC Berkeley last month. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/17/12

Crucial District, Clear Choices -- Hannah-Beth Jackson runs an obstacle course. Jason Hodge cruises the ’hood. Mike Stoker waits in the wings. Those are the images the top contenders in the pivotal campaign for the 19th State Senate District are sending voters in Santa Barbara and western Ventura counties three weeks before the June 5 primary election. JERRY ROBERTS SB Independent -- 5/17/12

Senators want to stop Facebook co-founder from dodging taxes -- Two senators on Thursday denounced Facebook Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin as a tax dodger for renouncing his U.S. citizenship ahead of the company's initial public offering and introduced legislation to punish him and others who leave the country to duck big tax bills. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

USS Iowa gets final lease approval for Port of L.A. berth -- Saying it has the potential to transform San Pedro's waterfront, Los Angeles harbor commissioners today approved the final lease agreement to bring the USS Iowa battleship to the port this summer as a permanent, interactive Naval memorial. Donna Littlejohn in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 5/17/12

Facebook IPO fuels Bay Area spending boom -- The company's employees and investors are spending in advance of their big payday, fueling an economy that's already humming thanks to the Bay Area's thriving technology sector. Jessica Guynn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

USPS to move forward with closure of mail processing centers -- Long Beach facility would be one of 140 centers to be consolidated by next February. Hope Yen Associated Press -- 5/17/12



   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Even with Brown's proposed tax, California could face chronic deficits -- Even if voters approve Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal for higher taxes this fall, his ballot initiative would be only a partial solution to the state's chronic budget deficits. JUDY LIN Associated Press -- 5/17/12

California courts fear the pinch from proposed cuts -- San Francisco's courts have cut their staff by 31 percent since 2008. Eleven of the 63 civil courtrooms at 400 McAllister St. have been closed since October, when an emergency infusion of state funds averted a much larger shutdown. People have to wait one to three hours in line to pay their traffic tickets. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/17/12

Steinberg: Democrats seeking alternatives to some budget cuts -- Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg today repeated a pledge to look for budget solutions that would allow lawmakers to preserve some services targeted with steep cuts under Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget plan. Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/17/12

Skelton: A little Brown wizardry needed to fix budget -- The governor's policies have been mostly solid, but he hasn't exercised his full political muscle to get state finances in order. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

To Gov. Jerry Brown's dismay, pension board phases in state hike -- Against Gov. Jerry Brown's wishes, the California Public Employees' Retirement System board voted today to phase in a higher cost to the state over two years rather than bill the state immediately in full. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/17/12

CalPERS ignores Brown, delays pension payment -- The CalPERS board yesterday raised the annual state payment for state worker pensions $213 million to a total of $3.7 billion, rejecting Gov. Brown’s request for a bigger increase to avoid a “loan” costing “$145.9 million over the next 20 years.” Ed Mendel Calpensions.com -- 5/17/12

Legislative analyst: Prison construction not necessary to end federal oversight -- California could end federal court oversight of prison health care without costly new construction. That’s the conclusion of a report out on Wednesday by the state's nonpartisan legislative analyst. Julie Small KPCC LA -- 5/17/12

SEIU California GOP committee spends to oppose Tim Donnelly -- A political committee that Service Employees International Union California created to support moderate Republican candidates for the Legislature reported its first expenditure of the 2012 election Wednesday, dropping more than $15,000 on mail pieces opposing Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly's bid for re-election. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/17/12

California's Prop. 28 would let legislative leaders serve longer stints -- The self-proclaimed "ayatollah" of the Assembly, Speaker Willie Brown, was a prime target in the successful campaign to pass legislative term limits 22 years ago. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/17/12

Sacramento County courts expect 'catastrophic' cuts, layoffs -- The Sacramento County court system looks like it's about to lay off at least 9 percent of its employees – and maybe twice that figure – as a result of the latest state budget revision. Andy Furillo in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/17/12

San Onofre's future hinges on finding cause of abnormal tube wear -- The root of the problem at the nuclear plant is still a mystery. A key issue is whether Edison or ratepayers will have to cover the cost of replacement power. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12


Iowa governor warns California: We are coming to take your jobs -- Every year that California has budget trouble -- basically the last 10 -- another state licks its lips and boasts how it will reap the benefits as businesses and residents flee the Golden State. These poachers are usually more conservative southwestern states like Arizona or longtime California rival Texas. So, um, add Iowa to the list. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

Questions about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg -- But with Facebook poised to hit Wall Street on Friday in one of the biggest initial stock offerings in history, investors have to decide whether Zuckerberg has the chops to lead a more publicly scrutinized company that could be valued at more than $100 billion. Benny Evangelista in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/17/12

Cap-and-Trade and Your Electric Bill -- Forcing utilities to pay for their carbon emissions, as California plans to do, will mean more costly megawatts. Six months before formal compliance with the state’s new cap & trade system begins, regulators are still sorting out what to do about that. Craig Miller KQED Climate Watch -- 5/17/12

Slew of new L.A. tech accelerators boosting start-up prospects -- The boot camps for early-stage companies — hundreds of which have surfaced in the Los Angeles area recently — will transform the region into a technology hub, program founders hope. Andrea Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

   Taxes - Fees

Richmond soda tax to fight obesity makes ballot -- Richmond voters will decide this fall whether to impose what could be the nation's first municipal tax on soda and other sugary beverages - a penny-per-ounce surcharge intended to fight childhood obesity. Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/17/12


Students protest as UC regents say tuition could rise again -- University of California regents warned Wednesday of more potential tuition increases, while student protesters again disrupted a meeting of the university's governing board. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

Much anticipated fed guide on restraint of disabled gets panned -- New guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools has already drawn criticism from one leading advocacy group as being “too weak.” Marc Maloney SI&A Cabinet Report -- 5/17/12

Fensterwald: Full-scale assault on tenure, dismissal laws -- A nonprofit founded by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur has filed a sweeping, high-stakes lawsuit challenging state teacher protection laws. A victory would overturn a tenure, dismissal, and layoff system that critics blame for the hiring and retention of ineffective teachers. A loss in court could produce bad case law, impeding more targeted efforts to achieve some of the same goals. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 5/17/12


D.A. says Assessor Noguez should resign amid scandal -- Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley on Wednesday called for the resignation of Assessor John Noguez, whose office has been the target of a corruption probe. Ruben Vives and Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12

Lawmakers grill executives over loan program -- A controversial federal loan program that brought billions of dollars to solar energy projects in Riverside and San Bernardino counties has again come under fire from GOP lawmakers who say they have new evidence showing that the funding decisions were wrongfully intertwined with politics. BEN GOAD in the Riverside Press -- 5/17/12


Saunders: O brave new world that has such Romneys in it -- When presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's eldest son, Tagg Romney, 42, and his wife, Jen, 39, posted a birth announcement for healthy, happy twin boys on their Facebook page, they demonstrated how mainstream in-vitro fertilization births have become. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/17/12

House Burglaries Baffle Staff, Police -- Puzzling break-ins over the last month at the offices of at least three House members and several committees have U.S. Capitol Police gumshoes working to find a pattern and the culprits, with missing items ranging from cash and expensive computer equipment to autographed baseballs and alcohol. Julia Edwards National Journal -- 5/16/12

McManus: Americans Elect meets reality -- What happens if you start a political party and nobody comes? Six months ago, a newfangled third party burst onto the scene, full of hope and promise. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/17/12