California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Jerry Brown’s budget: Five things to watch -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal is just around the corner, and it’s the event every lawmaker, lobbyist and chief financial officer in your life will be talking about over the holidays. David Siders and Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/20/14

Options floated for Golden State version of U.S. tax credit to help poor -- A California version of a popular federal tax credit meant to help poor people would cost an estimated $400 million to roughly $1 billion annually, depending on its scope, the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst said in a report this week. Jim Miller in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/20/14

Bridge panel votes to keep rods, bolts in place on eastern span -- A Bay Bridge oversight panel voted Friday to leave more than 2,000 potentially problematic rods and bolts in place on the new eastern span, rejecting a metallurgist’s attack on the $20 million testing program that vouched for their safety as unmerited. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/20/14

Former San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said to eye state Senate run -- The November election results were only finalized a few weeks ago, but already San Francisco’s political class is looking to 2016 — and it is already appearing that the city’s state Senate race could be interesting. Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/20/14

City’s (San Diego) cell-phone sniffer cost $738K -- A grant application for federal stimulus funds submitted by San Diego police in 2009 sought $738,000 to purchase a cellphone surveillance system that can track cell phones even when customers turn off the phone’s GPS. Greg Moran UT San Diego$ -- 12/20/14

California’s egg laws hatch uncertainty -- Who’s guarding the henhouse? Asked in 2008 whether hens and other farm animals deserve more space, California voters replied with a resounding “yes.” Jeremy B. White in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/20/14

High-speed rail agency settles Bakersfield’s lawsuit against route -- The settlement clears one of seven environmental lawsuits facing the California High-Speed Rail Authority over its Fresno-Bakersfield section. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee Ralph Vartabedian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/20/14

Demonstrators march in Hollywood to protest police brutality; 5 arrested -- Five people were arrested Friday night as dozens gathered along Hollywood Boulevard to protest police brutality. Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/20/14

Oakland: Police seek suspects in post-protest looting -- Oakland police are seeking the public's help in locating five people who ransacked a MetroPCS store during a protest in downtown Oakland last month. Karina Ioffee in the Oakland Tribune -- 12/20/14

Standards urged for use of police body cameras -- Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, introduced a bill this week with the goal of creating statewide standards for the use of police body cameras. Chris Nichols UT San Diego$ -- 12/20/14

San Diego Parking groups sit on $17.8 million -- The special districts that manage metered parking in San Diego have $17.8 million in the bank, even though there is no shortage of ideas about how to spend the money. Jeff McDonald UT San Diego$ -- 12/20/14

Bell Gardens mayor dragged wife by hair, autopsy report says -- An autopsy report conducted on Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo provided new details Friday about allegations that he abused his wife who shot him three times in the chest at close range during a confrontation earlier this year. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/20/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Pensions   

Port of Oakland delays: 'Absolute madness’ threatens business -- At root is a system in which steamship lines, terminal operators, subcontractors, import and export companies, trucking companies, drivers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union operate in what might politely be called silos, often with conflicting interests. Andrew S. Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/20/14

California saw ‘striking’ job gains in November -- Recovering from the Great Recession has been slow and uncertain for many Californians, especially in the Central Valley. But a state labor report released Friday provided evidence that the Sacramento region is now adding higher-paying jobs. Hudson Sangree in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/20/14

Next Napa Quake Could Be Bigger, Stronger -- Recent studies of the magnitude 6.0 Napa quake in August suggest that the fault is longer and thus more powerful than previously thought. Lindsey Hoshaw KQED -- 12/20/14

Bill gives job rights to California state workers returning from military -- Hourly-paid state workers on military leave would receive guaranteed work when they return from duty under the terms of an an Assembly bill introduced this week. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/20/14

Sony CEO worried for months about 'The Interview,' emails show -- Kazuo Hirai was worried. For months, the Tokyo-based chief executive of Sony Corp. had been raising questions about his Hollywood studio's plans to go forward with a film depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Amy Kaufman, Ryan Faughnder in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/20/14

Tahoe celebrating snow but bracing for dry times -- But behind the promising start to the season, California’s billion dollar ski industry is trying to fortify itself for a future that may include warmer temperatures and less snow, allowing it to thrive even during dry times like the past three years of drought. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 12/20/14


Napolitano named as UC public policy professor -- University of California President Janet Napolitano has been appointed as a tenured faculty member at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. Associated Press -- 12/20/14

Costs for LAUSD special ed services climb as parents feel the pinch -- Seventeen-year-old Passion Rencher can't speak. Cerebral palsy causes her head to lurch back and her hands to seize up. She presses her fists against her chest and needs help to stretch out her limbs. Annie Gilbertson KPCC -- 12/20/14

California funding formula gives districts leeway in programs for at-risk students -- The plight of at-risk students, like those in foster care or who are low-income or learning English, is getting more attention — and a bigger share of education dollars. Hannah Furfaro in the Fresno Bee -- 12/20/14

Also . . .

Richmond refinery incident draws criticism -- The fire in the sky that emanated from Chevron's Richmond refinery Thursday night not only alarmed residents and elected leaders but cast fresh doubt on the area's medical emergency response capacity in the event of a major accident at the refinery. Robert Rogers in the Oakland Tribune -- 12/20/14

Parents of man killed by deputy file claim against L.A. County -- Attorney Ron Kaye, who is representing the parents, said Oscar Ramirez Jr. was unarmed when he was shot five times by a deputy Oct. 27 in Paramount. Kaye said four of the shots hit Ramirez in the back. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/20/14

POTUS 44    

President Obama relaxed, upbeat during traditional end-of-year news conference -- President Obama shook off the grim resignation that had become a hallmark of his recent appearances during his traditional end-of-year news conference Friday, replacing it with the upbeat, easy confidence that helped propel him into office. Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post$ -- 12/20/14

Barack Obama Holds First Ever All-Women Press Conference -- All eight of the reporters who questioned Obama were women—and nearly all were print reporters—an apparent first for a formal White House news conference, a venue traditionally dominated by male television correspondents. Zeke J Miller TIME -- 12/20/14


The week the GOP primary began -- Bush’s move and the clash over Cuba accelerates the run-up to 2016. Katie Glueck Politico -- 12/20/14