* Updates Since Early This Morning

L.A. official: taxes or bankruptcy -- Citing a $222-million budget shortfall, L.A.'s top budget official raised the specter of insolvency in a sweeping report which calls for new taxes, major pension reform and possibly layoffs. Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

FEC to deny California senior senator's proposal -- A draft opinion that the Federal Election Commission issued Friday indicates that it probably will reject a request from Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's re-election campaign to allow her to replace millions of dollars in contributions embezzled by her treasurer with new donations from the original donors. KEVIN FREKING AP -- 4/6/12

Congressman hopes San Onofre is back in operation by summer -- The congressman whose district includes the shuttered San Onofre power plant said Friday that he hopes to see the plant returned to service before the summer months, when energy demand spikes in California. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) accompanied U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko on a tour of the plant Friday. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

Santa Monica College president wants to delay two-tier tuition plan -- Facing pressure from students and the state's community colleges chancellor, Santa Monica College President Chui L. Tsang on Friday proposed that the school postpone a controversial two-tier education plan. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

Jerry Brown appeals in robo calls, mailer for tax initiative -- Gov. Jerry Brown is turning to robotic telephone calls and mailers in his race to qualify a tax initiative for the November ballot. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert Anthony York and Nicholas Riccardi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

Wildermuth: Fairness Key to Split Roll Tax Fight -- The anti-tax folks are back in their “woe is us” mode, complaining loudly that the state and its minions (i.e., Democrats, labor unions and poor people) are plotting to grab their hard-earned money in a desperate and dangerous ploy to keep the lights on in the Capitol and see that California’s bills get paid. John Wildermuth Fox & Hounds -- 4/6/12

California's New Tool to Stop Tax Evasion -- California tax officials are touting a new tool in their ongoing battle to get residents to pay sales tax on items they purchased online. RYAN JACOBS Bay Citizen -- 4/6/12

Jerry Brown commutes grandmother's murder sentence -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday commuted the prison sentence of a 51-year-old woman convicted of shaking her infant grandson to death 15 years ago, citing "significant doubts" about her guilt. Carol J. Williams in the Los Angeles Times$ David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/6/12

Fox: Presents for the Governor’s Birthday -- Governor Jerry Brown celebrates his 74th birthday tomorrow and like all birthday celebrants he is probably thinking about presents. On the policy front, I suspect there are two presents he would like to have but both would be delayed until November. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/6/12

March jobs numbers: Growth falls short -- The economy added a lower-than-expected 120,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.2 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. JOSH BOAK Politico -- 4/6/12

Caltrans ordered to fix flaws in redwoods survey -- An environmental study by Caltrans that is supposed to clear the way for widening a 1-mile road through a North Coast redwood grove contains flaws - such as failing to notice a large tree 5 yards from the roadside - a federal judge says. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/6/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Seismic Safety Commission could lose funding -- California's Seismic Safety Commission could lose funding this year due to a 2010 ballot initiative that made it harder to impose government fees on businesses and individuals. Will Evans California Watch -- 4/6/12

NRC chief heads to sickly California nuke plant -- The twin reactors at the San Onofre nuclear plant have been sidelined, more than 300 tubes that carry radioactive water will be scrapped because of excessive wear, and investigators are trying to figure out why tubing is rattling inside the lungs of the plant - its massive steam generators. How sickly is San Onofre? MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press -- 4/6/12

State files suit against Orange County over property taxes -- California’s Department of Finance, along with the chancelor of the state’s community colleges, has filed suit against Orange County arguing that its tax grab of $73 million late last year was illegal. Norberto Santana Jr. VoiceofOC.org Andrew Galvin in the Orange County Register Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/6/12

Big Tobacco goes all in against Prop 29 -- If there was any uncertainty whether Big Tobacco -- the nation's leading makers of cigarettes -- would let this June's statewide campaign for a tax hike slip by without an all out war... the question was answered quite definitively late Thursday. John Myers News10/KXTV -- 4/6/12

California's tough gun laws could not prevent East Oakland tragedy -- California's gun laws are the toughest of any state in the nation, but they could not prevent this week's East Oakland shooting that left seven people dead. Steven Harmon in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/6/12

Assemblyman Chris Norby cleared of alleged campaign fund misuse -- The state's ethics watchdog agency on Thursday dismissed allegations against Assemblyman Chris Norby (R-Fullerton) that he misused campaign funds to pay for a motel stay in Orange County for personal benefit. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ BRIAN JOSEPH in the Orange County Register -- 4/6/12

O.C. Assembly front-runner was Democrat before public office -- Troy Edgar has garnered the endorsements of a long list of top Republicans in the county and the state in his bid for state Assembly. But until 2006, Edgar was a Democrat. ROXANA KOPETMAN in the Orange County Register -- 4/6/12

Vernon election blends traditional politics with the surreal -- The tiny city with a history of corruption scandals is holding its first open, competitive council election in years. But some of its 74 registered voters resent the commotion. Sam Allen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

Founder plans to give up Oaksterdam after raid -- Richard Lee, whose bid to legalize marijuana in California brought him international attention, plans to give up ownership of his Oakland-based marijuana businesses after a federal raid this week seized many of their assets, including plants, bank accounts, records and computers. John Hoeffel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

CalBuzz: Press Clips: The Princess DiFi vs. Orly the Taitz Show -- It’s a terrifying but true fact that state Republicans stand a fair chance of waking up on Wednesday, June 6, to find that the candidate carrying their proud banner against Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is widely known whack job Orly Taitz. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 4/6/12

   Economy - Jobs

Appellate court issues temporary stay on San Jose pension reform ballot measure -- San Jose city workers on Thursday won a last-minute legal reprieve that stops the city's June 5 pension reform ballot measure from going to print -- for now. Tracy Seipel in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/6/12

Silicon Valley likes law easing financial rules -- President Obama on Thursday signed a Republican-crafted bill to loosen securities regulations, including several that were established after the dot-com crash of 2000 and the Enron scandal of 2001, and make it easier for companies to raise cash from the public. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/6/12

California is by far the leading state in luring venture capital -- California last year attracted more venture capital than any other state, pulling in almost five times as much money as No. 2-ranked Massachusetts. Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

Football stadium plan bets many fans would leave cars at home -- Anschutz Entertainment's environmental report assumes 27% attending games in downtown L.A. would use public transport on weekdays, and 18% on weekends. David Zahniser and Ari Bloomekatz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

   Taxes - Fees

Transportation: Improvements could hit harder on drivers’ pockets -- Faced with a half-trillion dollars in Southern California transportation needs through 2035, officials Thursday called for higher gas taxes or a shift to a fee drivers would pay based on how far they drive. DUG BEGLEY in the Riverside Press -- 4/6/12


CSU exploring two-tiered course pricing -- All eyes are on Santa Monica College, where a controversial plan to offer a tier of higher-priced courses has been met with pepper-spray-tainted protests and legal questions. Erica Perez California Watch -- 4/6/12

The Tuition Controversy Behind Santa Monica's Pepper Spraying -- Santa Monica College campus is still regrouping from the chaos of Tuesday night when some 100 student protesters tried to force their way into a board of trustees meeting to voice their opposition to tuition increases. JENS ERIK GOULD Time -- 4/6/12

State Regulators Let Vocational Schools Operate without Approvals -- Despite vowing to strengthen protections for Californians attending vocational nursing, technical and trade schools, and other private colleges, the regulators have allowed more than 130 schools to operate for months without state approval, according to state records. JENNIFER GOLLAN Bay Citizen -- 4/6/12

Surprise: Eval law requires student data -- Two briefs filed this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court argue that Los Angeles Unified is violating a state law requiring that student progress, including results of standardized test scores, be included in teacher evaluations. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 4/6/12

School program urges migrant worker children to consider engineering careers -- As California’s political leaders push educators to link high school classes with career options for their students, an Oxnard high school program is succeeding in getting some of the state’s hardest-to-reach students enthused about careers in engineering. Hannah Guzik EdSource -- 4/6/12

Austin: Desert Trails parents won’t let adults’ deceit deny their kids a great school -- The parents of Desert Trails Elementary want what all parents want: a great school for their children. Ben Austin TopEd -- 4/6/12

   Health Care

Aetna proceeds with health insurance hike for small businesses -- Despite criticism from the state insurance commissioner and several statewide consumer groups, Aetna said Thursday it's going ahead with a recent hike in health care premiums for small businesses. Aetna's new increases, which average 8 percent annually and took effect April 1, were deemed "unreasonable" this week by state Department of Insurance Commissioner David Jones. Claudia Buck in the Sacramento Bee JAN NORMAN in the Orange County Register Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12


California at top in climate-change preparedness -- Scarce water supplies and coastal flooding may be part of California's future, but the Golden State is as ready as any state to tackle those and other problems caused by climate change, according to a national study released Thursday. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Jeremy Miller KQED Climate Watch -- 4/6/12

California gets longest commercial salmon fishing season since 2005 -- Four years after a collapse in the salmon population shut down California's salmon fisheries, the prized fish could be ready for a spectacular comeback. Aaron Kinney in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/6/12


Prosecution of UC Davis protesters sparks anger, occupation -- Several dozen UC Davis students planned to camp at the campus's administration building Thursday night to protest the upcoming court date of the "Bankers' Dozen," the 12 students linked to demonstrations in January and February that shuttered an on-campus U.S. Bank branch. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/6/12


All-you-can-fly airline hopes to get off the ground -- A team of brothers plans to launch a Santa Monica-based airline to serve executives and others who are willing to pay a monthly membership fee for unlimited travel up and down the California coast. Hugo Martin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

Happy Meal lawsuit dismissed by California judge -- Children in California will still be able to get toys with their Happy Meals. A San Francisco judge has dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought to stop McDonald's Corp. from using toys to market its meals to children in the Golden State. Associated Press Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12

Good Samaritan returns lost wallet with $10,000 in Laguna -- An unknown good Samaritan turned in a lost wallet containing $10,000 at Main Beach. The wallet belonged to a Newport Beach man who Saturday morning withdrew the money to pay a contractor for renovation work on a new restaurant. CLAUDIA KOERNER in the Orange County Register -- 4/6/12

   POTUS 44

Obama-bashing Marine's ouster is backed by panel -- A Marine Corps board Thursday night recommended that a sergeant who made "contemptuous" comments about President Obama be booted from the service and be given an other than honorable discharge. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12


Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul draws crowd at UC Berkeley -- Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul spoke outside at UC Berkeley on Thursday night, telling a chilly crowd of about 1,000 that they need less government in their lives and more leeway to make their own decisions. Doug Oakley in the Oakland Tribune -- 4/6/12

Mitt Romney starts his tack back toward center in Pennsylvania -- Mitt Romney's shift from Republican primary partisan to general election candidate has begun in earnest. Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/6/12