* Updates

CA Senate OKs bill creating retirement plan for private sector employees -- The California state Senate today approved a bill 23-13 to create a statewide retirement program for private workers who do not contribute to a different retirement savings plan. Hannah Madans SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

California Senate rejects 'fracking' legislation -- The California Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have required energy firms to notify property owners before using hydraulic fracturing to tap oil deposits on or near their land. Michael J. Mishak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Cities lose in court battle over redevelopment funds -- A Sacramento County Superior Court judge Wednesday afternoon refused to side with a group of California cities in their battle with the state over hundreds of millions of property tax dollars that used to flow to local redevelopment agencies. Jessica Garrison in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Commissioner set to unveil plan to cut lawmaker pay 5 percent -- It's official: The proposal is in writing and set for a vote -- a 5 percent pay cut for Gov. Jerry Brown, all California legislators and state constitutional officers from controller to treasurer to Board of Equalization member. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

Lawmakers to amend specialty license plate bills -- California lawmakers trying to establish new specialty license plates this year said Wednesday they are moving quickly to amend their bills and enact safeguards to ensure the money is spent as promised after an Associated Press investigation raised questions about oversight of the program. HANNAH DREIER Associated Press -- 5/30/12

Myers: Tricky politics in Assembly speaker's middle class scholarships -- It was a rare moment of bipartisanship Wednesday afternoon in the California Assembly -- an agreement to create $1 billion in new scholarships for college students from middle-class families. Trouble is... there's no such deal on how to pay for it. And therein lies the strange politics ahead, especially in an election year. John Myers News10 Capitol Connection -- 5/30/12

Bill prohibiting regulation of Internet-based phones passes CA Senate -- A bill that prohibits the regulation of Voice over Internet Protocol by the Public Utilities Commission passed 30-6 in the state Senate today. Senate Bill 1161, by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, bans state departments from regulating VoIP unless required to by federal law. Hannah Madans SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

Facebook's stock price dives, and California could take hit -- Facebook's stock has nosedived since the social media giant debuted on Wall Street earlier this month, and that's bad news for California's budget. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

California Senate passes disclosure bill for public companies -- The California state Senate passed a bill Wednesday to require public companies to release the names of their five most highly compensated retirees. Hannah Madans SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

Voters back tobacco tax but split on term-limits change -- A proposed $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes remains highly popular among California voters, but they are split over whether to change the state’s 22-year-old term limits law, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. The two measures will appear on Tuesday's statewide primary ballot. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Senators reject fee on their campaigns to improve state website -- State lawmakers balked Wednesday at levying a fee against their own campaigns and lobbyists to upgrade the state’s fragile and aging database for campaign finance reporting. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

'Middle-class scholarship' passes Assembly; funding unclear -- Legislation to provide nearly a billion dollars in middle-class college and university scholarships passed the Assembly on Wednesday, but lawmakers have not yet taken up a companion bill to provide funding. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/30/12

Judge says state will slowly regain control of prison healthcare -- A federal judge has shot down the state's request to take back control of inmate healthcare within 30 days. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Senate OK's measure aimed at increasing flu vaccination rates -- Legislation to require nurses, doctors and other hospital staff who decline to get a flu shot to wear a mask while working passed 23-9 in the California Senate today. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

Measure to expand unpaid family leave rights clears Assembly -- Assembly Bill 2039 passed largely along party lines, with opposition from Republicans who said it would place an additional burden on businesses that are struggling to survive hard economic times. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

English learners lawsuit could affect California school districts -- State officials are neglecting their legal obligation to ensure English learners are receiving an adequate and equal education, says a lawsuit filed Wednesday by advocates that include the ACLU of Southern California. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Kehoe drops copper-based boat paint bill -- State Sen. Christine Kehoe has shelved her hard-fought legislation aimed at forcing boat owners to stop using copper-based paints believed to be a troubling source of pollution in the San Diego Bay and congested marinas all along California’s coast. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 5/30/12

California Assembly District 50 Race: Torie Osborn Mailer Rips Into Rival Betsy Butler's Commitment to Education -- There's only a week until Election Day, and the contentious California Assembly District 50 race has ramped up several notches, with candidate Torie Osborn sending out a mailer that questions rival and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler's commitment to education. Butler's supporters are now aggressively coming to her defense. Patrick Range McDonald LA Weekly -- 5/30/12

San Diego’s new left -- How the local progressive movement lost its footing and how it plans to get it back. Kelly Davis San Diego City Beat -- 5/30/12

Coliseum porn star congratulated by Snoop Dogg, mom after story -- One of the stars of a pornographic movie shot partly at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum said he received a congratulatory call from rapper Snoop Dogg, who saw a story about the experience in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times. Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

State lawmakers advance medical release for county jail inmates -- The state Senate on Wednesday approved a request by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to allow jails to release terminally ill and medically incapacitated inmates before their sentences are complete. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

California bill creating online library of free textbooks advances -- The bills, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, would create an online library of open-source course materials for use at California's public colleges and universities. Students could purchase a hard copy of the texts for about $20. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Federal disaster aid proposal could help more California cities -- When a fierce wind storm ripped through Pasadena, knocking out power and toppling hundreds of trees late last year, the city applied for federal disaster aid to help cover $14.5 million in clean-up costs. Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Assembly passes bill to offer state-issued replica license plates -- Taking a page from the past, the Assembly approved legislation Wednesday that would allow motorists to obtain state-issued license plates that replicate those from the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

Dumanis subpoenas law professor in Núñez case -- The office of San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has issued a subpoena demanding a trove of interview notes and recordings compiled by a law professor that may help shed some light on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s surprise decision to shorten the prison sentence handed down to the son of a political ally. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 5/30/12

Barbara Ortega campaign boosted by big-money donor -- herself -- Barbara Ortega is putting her money where her mouth is in her race for a Sacramento County Assembly seat. The Sacramento Republican has contributed $95,000 in loans to her own campaign, state records show. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

Fox: Despite LA Assessor’s Problems, an Assessor Should be Elected -- Cries that assessors should be appointed rather than elected have surfaced in Los Angeles because county assessor, John Noguez, is in trouble. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/30/12

McCourt management of Dodgers under grand jury investigation -- A federal grand jury is investigating possible criminal financial misconduct of the Dodgers and related entities during the ownership of Frank and Jamie McCourt, a person familiar with the matter told The Times. Bill Shaikin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Internet punishes Romney for believing in 'Amercia' -- The Internet just became Mitt Romney's worst enemy. Salvador Rodriguez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Counties miss deadline to send ballots to overseas, military voters -- Elections officials throughout California missed a deadline to send 8,250 ballots to overseas and military voters for next week’s presidential primary, prompting a lawsuit and swift settlement over the weekend between the state officials and the U.S. Department of Justice. Stephanie Snyder California Watch -- 5/30/12

California voters still support Jerry Brown's call for tax hikes -- But skepticism about how lawmakers would use the money could derail the governor's plan, and winning over independents is key, poll finds. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Plan to plug state budget with foreclosure settlement sparks concerns -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to use more than $400 million from a national foreclosure settlement to help balance the state budget would put struggling homeowners at risk of criminal scams, California housing officials say. AARON GLANTZ Bay Citizen -- 5/30/12

Cities seek to freeze state’s ‘claw-back’ of millions -- Twelve California cities, including Stanton and Huntington Beach, will be in Sacramento County Superior Court today asking for a temporary restraining order to keep the state from spending their former redevelopment dollars. BRIAN JOSEPH in the Orange County Register Jessica Garrison in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Caltrans open to outside experts reviewing new Bay Bridge -- The director of the California Department of Transportation said Tuesday he would consult with independent experts from outside his agency about testing and construction concerns involving the foundation of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Charles Piller in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/30/12

California Senate passes framework for sports betting -- The California state Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would legalize sports betting in California if federal law is also amended. Hannah Madans SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

State voters of two minds about legalizing online poker, poll finds -- A new poll shows that voters are of mixed minds about an idea being considered to generate income for the cash-strapped state: legalization of online poker and other forms Internet gambling. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Assembly passes controversial 'cap-and-trade' auction measure -- The Assembly passed hotly contested legislation Tuesday to regulate and restrict how money generated by California's new "cap-and-trade" program of marketing carbon emissions can be spent. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

Bill to force companies to share retirees' benefits falters in CA Senate -- A union-backed bill to require public companies to disclose in their annual statement the names of the five most highly compensated retirees fell one vote short in the state Senate Tuesday, but will be reconsidered by week's end. Hannah Madans SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/30/12

California Senate passes compromise on disabled access suits -- A measure to discourage "drive-by" lawsuits over disabled access at California building and businesses is halfway home. The state Senate voted 36-0 today for SB 1186, which now goes to the Assembly. Foon Rhee in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/30/12

Richard Riordan launches effort to court Latinos for GOP -- Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan’s political moderation and penchant for reaching across party lines hasn’t always sat well with many of his fellow California Republicans. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Judges Criticize Court Bureaucracy in Blistering Report -- In a blistering indictment of the state's judicial administration, a long-awaited report released Friday night concluded that the Administrative Office of the Courts is over-staffed, dysfunctional and less than forthcoming about sensitive issues. Cheryl Miller The Recorder John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 5/30/12

Governor orders audit of specialty plate program -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday ordered an audit of California's specialty license plate program after a review by The Associated Press found there was little oversight of the $250 million raised in the 20 years since the Legislature authorized it. HANNAH DREIER Associated Press -- 5/30/12

Report: Nuclear plant operators haven't reassessed quake risk -- PG&E and Southern California Edison, operators of California's two nuclear power reactors, haven't done a comprehensive risk assessment of their plants' vulnerabilities to earthquakes for nearly two decades, according to a Government Accountability Office report released yesterday. Daniel J. Goldstein California Watch -- 5/30/12

Conservative groups target farm bill -- Conservative groups have made it official — they hate the Senate farm bill and will push Tea Party fiscal hawks in Congress to defeat it. Erik Wasson The Hill -- 5/30/12

Herdt: Nothing tricky about 12 being less than 14 -- One of the rites of campaign season in California is the sounding of alarms to tell voters that one or more of the ballot initiatives they are about to decide isn't what it appears to be. Often, those alarms are real. This year, however, opponents of Proposition 28 have pulled the lever at the sight of an imagined fire. They are attempting to set off a false alarm. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 5/30/12

Morain: Tobacco cash wafts widely, is hard to track -- Like grifters operating games of three-card monte, slick political consultants and lawyers can move money in ways that we mere mortal voters never will spot. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/30/12

Ad Watch: Flier hits Barbara Ortega for 17-year-old arrest -- The ad is correct that Ortega was involved in an August 1995 incident near 11th and K streets in Sacramento that led to police charging her with the three misdemeanors. One charge later was dismissed, however, and the two others were reduced in court. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/30/12

Redrawn political districts affecting mail campaigns -- Assemblyman Jeff Miller has sent almost all of his legislative mail to the Riverside County portion of his 71st Assembly District. He is a candidate for the 31st Senate District this year. JIM MILLER in the Riverside Press -- 5/30/12

Jackson campaign fires vendor over fake caller ID mix-up -- The campaign of 19th Senate District candidate Hannah-Beth Jackson has fired the vendor it used to make political calls to voters after learning the call center's number showed up on recipients' caller IDs as coming from the National Weather Service's Oxnard office. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 5/30/12

Conservative actor Chris Mitchum eyes seat in Congress -- Chris Mitchum, son of actor Robert Mitchum, is challenging Rep. Lois Capps, a Democrat, and Abel Maldonado, the former Republican lieutenant governor, in a Central Coast district that's been redrawn to include more GOP voters. Steve Chawkins and Nicholas Riccardi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Gov. Brown Hearts Fletcher -- The governor praises the independent mayoral candidate, but doesn't make the endorsement jump. Liam Dillon Voiceofsandiego.org -- 5/30/12

Children taken from mom in pot raid inflame Butte County ballot debate -- One of California's more vociferous battles over marijuana was already simmering in the upper Central Valley when an audiotape of a howling, hysterical mother went viral. Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/30/12

Will ‘birther’ Taitz be GOP Senate nominee? -- California Republicans face long odds in defeating Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco, but they could find themselves with the nation’s best-known longshot nominee. Not that party leaders would welcome that. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 5/30/12


Tim Cook talks about secrecy and Apple products -- Under Steve Jobs, Apple was notoriously famous for being secretive about new products, but Tuesday night, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the company would "double down" on that secrecy. Benny Evangelista in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/30/12

Matier & Ross: Oakland arena construction bonds may cost Warriors -- Returning to San Francisco is not going to come cheap for the Warriors - East Bay officials say the team could still be on the hook for upwards of $70 million to their old landlords at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/30/12

No proof TV station discriminated, court says -- A staff cutback at San Francisco's KPIX-TV in 2008 hit older on-camera employees the hardest but did not amount to age discrimination against two veteran reporters who challenged their layoffs, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/30/12

Verizon to cut 180 jobs in Folsom, Rancho Cordova -- Verizon Wireless is trimming its Sacramento area workforce by around 180 jobs as part of a nationwide reorganization of its customer service operations. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/30/12

Lopez: Bring farmworkers' plight into the sunlight -- Growers worried about a possible labor shortage need to sharpen their political tools and spur Washington to take action. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Job seekers learn to tweak their resumes to dazzle a computer -- "Computers have a very specific way that they look at resumes," said Jon Ciampi, founder of Preptel Corp. in Danville, Calif. For a subscription of $25 a month, Ciampi's 2-year-old company will help a candidate reconfigure a resume so a computer can better spot the qualifications that make that candidate a good match for the job. Jane M. Von Bergen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Facebook shares hit new low -- Facebook just keeps on sliding. The stock fell again Tuesday, dropping under $30 per share and closing at an all-time low, $28.84, a 24 percent drop from its initial public offering price of $38 on May 18. Hayley Tsukayama in the Washington Post -- 5/30/12


L.A. Unified sex harassment settlement could unravel -- Terms of the agreement involving an employee's complaint against former Supt. Ramon C. Cortines and its premature disclosure emerge as problems. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

Fensterwald: Teacher dismissal bill moves on -- It will be easier and quicker to fire teachers in the most egregious misconduct cases, under a bill that the Senate passed Tuesday 33-4. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 5/30/12

PPIC adds new analytical resources to debate over ‘weighted formula’ -- Researchers from the Public Policy Institute of California on Monday added new resources for schools – as well as for taxpayers – for evaluating Gov. Jerry Brown’s sweeping plan for restructuring how public schools are funded. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 5/30/12

   Health Care

Pelosi predicts court will uphold health care reform -- House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that she expects the U.S. Supreme Court next month to uphold President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/30/12

From Healthy Families to Medi-Cal: Kids’ Health Care Access in Jeopardy -- Low-income children in rural California are in danger of losing their doctors and health care plans under Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal, state lawmakers, doctors and health advocates say. Lisa Aliferis KQED State of Health -- 5/30/12

Dentist shortage leading to more emergencies -- The lack of dentists and specialists in rural Californian counties is leading to high rates of tooth decay and preventable dental emergencies, especially among low-income residents. Callie Shanafelt HealthyCal.org -- 5/30/12


Advocates continue battle against flame-retardant chemicals -- After years of failed attempts to regulate flame-retardant chemicals linked to mounting evidence of harm, state legislators and consumer advocates are gearing up to take another look at the risks and benefits. Christina Jewett California Watch -- 5/30/12

A Little Lake Reveals Clues About Past Megadroughts -- Scientists stumbled on Fallen Leaf Lake and the ancient trees under its surface. Molly Samuel KQED Climate Watch -- 5/30/12


Wife's text urged Mirkarimi to stop investigation -- Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's wife pleaded with him to use his "power" to try to stop a domestic violence police investigation of him in the early hours of the case, to which he replied in part: "I cannot," according to text messages between the couple reviewed by The Chronicle. John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/30/12

California resisting order to hand over lethal injection drug -- California prison officials are trying to keep possession of a scarce lethal injection drug, contesting a federal court order making it illegal to use “foreign manufactured” sodium thiopental. Ryan Gabrielson California Watch -- 5/30/12

Battleship Iowa gets new mission in Hollywood -- The 887-foot-long World War II -era ship is moving this week from the San Francisco Bay to its new digs at the Port of Los Angeles, potentially becoming a coveted film location as well as a star tourist attraction. Richard Verrier in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/30/12

   POTUS 44

Obama's negative feedback loop -- A lot of politicians can go negative without losing too much altitude, but President Barack Obama doesn’t seem to be that guy. GLENN THRUSH Politico -- 5/30/12


Romney clinches nomination, attacks Obama on Solyndra, but Trump steals the spotlight -- Mitt Romney and his allies opened a multi-pronged attack Tuesday on President Obama’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars, as Romney won the Texas primary and clinched the Republican presidential nomination. Nia-Malika Henderson and Philip Rucker in the Washington Post -- 5/30/12

Nancy Pelosi goes on attack against Romney -- Rep. Nancy Pelosi Tuesday hit back at Mitt Romney's recent efforts to revive memories of the Solyndra bankruptcy, saying that President Obama's support of the failed Fremont solar firm showed a willingness to take risks to create jobs that wasn't "equivalent" to the GOP presidential candidate's work at Bain Capital. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/30/12

Trump overshadows Romney with Obama 'birther' comments -- Real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump’s repeated attacks Tuesday on President Obama’s birthplace eclipsed Mitt Romney’s criticism of the administration’s handling of the economy. Justin Sink The Hill -- 5/30/12

Mitt Romney’s nomination marks milestone for Mormon faith -- America quietly observed a major milestone in its history Tuesday when Mitt Romney became the first Mormon presidential nominee of a major political party. Sandhya Somashekhar and Jason Horowitz in the Washington Post -- 5/30/12