Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians.Equality California board president Clarissa Filgioun • In a press release regarding a bill signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown that blocks “gay cure therapy” for children under the age of 18 — making California the first state in the nation to do so. Big news.
» The Not So Golden State: Back in January of this year, California state officials were anticipating a $9.2 billion budget shortfall for 2012 — an enormous deficit, though considerably less than the $26 billion that faced Governor Jerry Brown when he took over in 2010. Brown announced,while revealing the startling new figure, that he’ll be placing an initiative on the November ballot to raise the sales tax by .25%, and add an income tax surcharge for wealthy Californians. If the initiative fails, expect deeper than anticipated spending cuts to follow.
» Starting Friday, California residents (including the author of this post!) will have to pay sales tax on items purchased on Amazon, Overstock, and Internet retail giants located out-of-state. The new rule comes in the form of budget legislation signed into law Wednesday by Governor
Moonbeam Jerry Brown. The gov’nah called it a “common-sense idea;” Amazon.com called it “unconstitutional.” The measure could pull in $317 million, but that doesn’t make me feel any less grumpy about having to pay an extra two dollars for my Puddle of Mudd album.
» Where’d it come from? Rising wages. The average Californian worker will see a $4,000 uptick in pay over the next two years, resulting in more tax revenue for the fledgling state than was originally projected. If Governor Jerry Brown gets his way, this unexpected surprise will net schools an additional $3 billion in funding and take a significant bite into the state’s $15 billion deficit.
» One thing Brown won’t be doing, though: The California governor quietly killed a lawsuit put in by Schwarzenegger that would have cut state worker pay to minimum wage during unresolved budget crises. Brown’s office, however, didn’t make a big deal about this. It’s also worth noting that the hiring freeze contains no specifics in terms of how much it’ll actually save.
» New polling from the California Public Policy Institute:A surprising and heartening result, in light of Governor Brown’s rhetoric about tough choices and shared sacrifice. Staring down a state in dire fiscal crisis, Brown has proposed broad, painful spending cuts, as well as a special election to seek voter approval on a package of new taxes and fees. Say what you will about the strategy, but Brown’s candor and honesty about his cuts have been impressive, and it seems voters may reward him with that rarest of the rare: a voter approved tax increase.
I want [Jerry Brown] to be successful. California needs him to be successful. Let’s give the guy a chance to turn around and let’s see what he can do.Meg Whitman • In a speech this week at the University Club. Some have taken this speech, along with another she’s set to give at the end of the month, as a sign that Whitman is planning a political comeback. We think that’s a tad premature. This is simply an ex-candidate wishing good luck to the guy who beat her. In our current political climate, that’s is a nice change of pace. source (via • follow)
» About those tax increases: They would extend a series of temporary tax increase implemented in 2009, which are set to expire in July. Californians are set to vote on the increases in June. And other changes are recommended too – certain services could be transferred from state local governments (such as prisons), and services for the poor are among the ones getting cut the most. However, K-12 schools will be protected from cuts (and just about nothing else).
Everybody knows that the California Governor’s race is really, really expensive. Meg Whitman has dropped $162 million so far on her bid, with Jerry Brown spending an only-modest-by-comparison $25.5 million. However, Whitman’s spending (including $22 million this month alone) hasn’t been able to buy her a lead in the polls. The latest Public Policy Poll has Brown leading by 11 points, 53-42. This made us wonder: how much has each candidate spent for each percentage point they hold in the polls? The results were somewhat lopsided: