Archive for July 6th, 2012

InlandPolitics: June unemployment numbers good for Romney, bad for Obama

Friday, July 6, 2012 – 12:01 p.m.

Four months until the Presidential election and another monthly jobs report containing more bad news on Friday.

The U.S. economy only generated 80,000 jobs in June. The expectation was for 100,000.

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VVDailyPress: Assessor: Property values are stabilizing

July 05, 2012 4:08 PM
From Staff Reports

SAN BERNARDINO • Victor Valley property values saw smaller declines in the past year while property values in San Bernardino County saw increases for the first time in three years, according to the 2011-12 property assessment roll signed this week by Assessor Dennis Draeger.

Property values in San Bernardino County jumped by 0.8 percent as compared to 2010-11, the assessor reported. The county’s 818,092 parcels on the roll are valued at $162.7 billion.

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Government & Politics »

Written by
Michael Gardner
6:35 p.m., July 5, 2012
Updated 6:51 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and the leader of the state Senate on Thursday said they will resist any legislative maneuvering to override voter-approved pension reforms in San Diego and San Jose.

“It’s not part of my pension plan and I strongly oppose it,” Brown said in a statement.

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Published: Friday, Jul. 6, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 4A

The Legislature voted Thursday to take an $11 billion water bond off the November ballot, delaying a statewide vote on the issue until 2014.

The bond measure, which was crafted by the Legislature in 2009, was expected to face long odds on the ballot this year. Critics – and even some legislators who voted for the bond – say it is too large and contains too many appropriations not directly related to water infrastructure development and conservation.

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OCRegister: Assembly OKs $7.9 billion for high-speed rail

July 5th, 2012, 6:43 pm
Posted by BRIAN JOSEPH, Sacramento Correspondent

The state Assembly approved $7.9 billion for the California High Speed Rail, then gaveled out for summer recess Thursday, leaving the state Senate to search for votes for the controversial infrastructure project.

The money includes $4.7 billion in Proposition 1A bond funds approved by California voters in 2008 and $3.2 billion in federal matching dollars.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Jul. 6, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Gov. Jerry Brown wants California voters to raise sales and income taxes to close a massive state budget deficit, but polls indicate that his chances are perhaps 50-50.

Brown also wants to begin building a statewide bullet train system. But the ballot measure that authorized $9.95 billion in bonds to finance the state’s bullet train share barely passed, and two statewide polls say that most voters now want to derail the project.

Most tellingly, a new statewide Field Poll also tells us that if the Legislature authorizes the first stage of bullet train construction, it would adversely affect Brown’s already iffy chances of gaining approval of new taxes.

That should worry him and fellow Democrats in the Legislature. If they forge ahead on both fronts they could lose both because even if legislators approve bullet train funds, it faces many financial and legal hurdles.

The poll didn’t deter the Assembly from approving initial funding for the bullet train Thursday, but the outcome was never in doubt in that house, whose members tend to march in lockstep with their leaders.

The Senate, which is due to vote today, is another matter.

Even before the poll was released, Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg were having difficulty getting 21 Democratic senators to commit.

They felt compelled to load up the legislation with a couple of billion extra dollars in local transportation spending – such as a very controversial subway in San Francisco – in an obvious effort to sway fence-sitting senators. Steinberg released a chart showing exactly how the extra spending would affect individual senators’ districts.

Dan Richard, a Brown adviser who chairs the High-Speed Rail Authority, even changed the project’s moniker to “an integrated rail modernization program” to fold in the local spending, calling it “a smarter way to get there.”

Nevertheless, Senate passage is still uncertain – perhaps more so, because of the Field Poll’s findings that Brown’s taxes are already shaky and that 31 percent of likely voters would be less willing to support them if the bullet train rolls ahead, including 21 percent of current tax supporters.

Even were the Senate to vote for the bullet train, it still faces many barriers, including whether it could achieve the 160-minute running time between San Francisco and Los Angeles that the ballot measure requires, or achieve environmental clearances in time to meet a federal construction deadline.

Bullet train opponents, especially those in the path of the initial 130-mile San Joaquin Valley segment, are ready to pursue lawsuits challenging the project on environmental impact grounds. Brown has toyed publicly with the notion of exempting it from such challenges but backed away for now due to opposition from environmental groups.

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