Tag Archives: Lou Correa

Republicans Join Resolution Calling for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Senate Republican Leader joins Democratic Senators in Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

by Brian Leubitz

In what has undoubtedly been a very tough day, a bit of interesting news from Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar). He’s joining Senator Lou Correa’s (D-Santa Ana) SJR 8 supporting comprehensive immigration reform.

“The United States has been enriched by the strength and culture of immigrants who’ve come here from all over the world, and there’s no reason to believe that’s changed,” said Senator Huff.  “At every level, be it economic, social, or entrepreneurial, America benefits from immigration.  The status quo is hurting our state. California cannot afford to condemn another generation to living their lives in the shadows or denying them an opportunity to be fully functioning members of our great state.”

The resolution urges Congress and the President to take action that develops a path to legal status and recognizes that immigrants are a vital part of a variety of our nation’s industries including emerging technologies, medicine, agriculture, construction and hospitality.  The resolution also supports a reasonable and timely path to citizenship for immigrants already living and working in the United States, which should include comprehensive background checks, a demonstrated proficiency in English, payment of all current and back taxes, and creating an immigration policy that can respond to emerging domestic labor needs.

Not only is the resolution co-authored by Sen. Huff. He’s joined by Republican Senators Berryhill, Emmerson, Fuller, and Gaines. The resolution doesn’t go into any specifics, of course, but maybe, just maybe, we are making real progress on this critical issue of social justice.

Some Budget payback for the OC

What do Orange County Republican legislators get when not a single Republican works constructively towards a responsible budget solution?

Well they don’t get pension reform, a budget cap, or any help in their plan to gut the state’s clean air laws.

And, in a nice little piece of political payback, in a trailer bill, the State took away 48 million a year that had been going to the county as part of a package to pay back loans issued after the 1994 bankruptcy.

There is much hand-wringing, with threats of lawsuits from blowhards like Assembly member “Spanky” Don Wagner (R,Newport Beach) and State Senator Lou Correa (D?, Santa Ana), who used a previous budget crisis to extort money for Orange County.

So the County will have to find 48 million in cuts, which will hit the Sheriff and the district attorney’s office hard.

In other news, Governor Brown evoked chuckles, smiles, and outright guffaws by appointing OCEA Executive Director Nick Berardino to the Orange County Fair Board. Berardino and OCEA are locked in manichean legal and political battles with Costa Mesa Uber Alles Council Members Mensinger and Righeimer who issued lay-off notices to half of Costa Mesa’s workers (mostly OCEA members). The Orange County Fair, located in Costa Mesa, is directly across the street from Costa Mesa City Hall.

Even in the worst budget, there’s a little Schadenfreude.

Background to the Correa Carve-Out

(crossposted from Orange County Progressive)

The local overnight sensation was the quick news hit from Sacramento that the jerry-rigged conglomeration of initiatives, gimmicks, and bills to prevent California driving off a fiscal cliff included a special bill that would send more property tax to Orange County.

Lou Correa responded by noting that this was something that he had worked on for years.

True, and this has been supported by the BOS, OCTAX, and every local Republican under the cause of Tax Equity.

From the legislative committee analysis of SB 547, introduced by Lou Correa in 2007.

After the passage of Proposition 13 capped the ad valorem  

         property tax rate on real property at 1%, the Legislature  

         responded by permanently restructuring the allocation of  

         property tax revenues.  SB 154 (Rodda, 1978) gave counties,  

         cities, special districts, and schools an amount of property tax  

         revenues in proportion to what they received in the past.  AB 8  

         (L.Greene, 1979) gave local governments their historic  

         proportional shares of property taxes, plus some of the school  

         districts’ property tax revenues, while replacing schools’  

         losses with General Fund subventions.  In response to state  

         budget deficits in the early 1990s, the Legislature reduced  

         state General Fund spending on education by shifting property  

         taxes from counties, cities, and special districts to an ERAF in  

         each county to support schools.

         The county share of property tax revenues varies greatly  

         throughout the state.  In 2004-05, for example, Alpine County  

         received 65% of the property tax collected in the county, while  

         Orange County received only 6%; the statewide average was 17%.  

         These disparities are related to the various governmental  

         responsibilities and services provided by counties statewide.  

         Some of the variables to consider are the following:  counties’  

         municipal responsibilities vary; counties have varied  

         populations that pose different needs for services, some of  

         which may be provided by special districts instead of the  

         county; some counties serve many non-residents, such as  

         commuters, tourists, and seasonal residents; and counties have  

         differing local revenue raising capacity.


         Page 2

         SB 547 (Correa)

         SB 547 would increase the amount of property tax revenue  

         allocated to a “qualified county,” beginning in 2008-09, and  

         proportionally decrease the amount of property taxes allocated  

         to the county’s ERAF.  The amount shifted would be equal to half  

         of the amount of the prior year’s countywide property tax  

         revenues that were in excess of what the countywide amount would  

         have been if property tax revenue had grown at the statewide  

         average rate.  If this “county equity amount” is greater than  

         the property tax in the ERAF, the remainder would come from  

         school district property tax revenues.  This bill would limit  

         the statewide “county equity amounts” to $20 million in a fiscal  


         SB 547 prioritizes the allocation of “county equity amounts,”  

         starting with the county that received the lowest percentage of  

         countywide property tax revenues in 2002-03 and proceeding to  

         counties with successively higher shares until the $20 million  

         limit is reached.  As a result, few of the 16 counties with  

         below-average property tax shares are likely to benefit in any  

         given year.  Orange County, with the lowest percentage share at  

         6% and relatively high amounts of property taxes collected,  

         would garner the bulk of the $20 million in any year that it  

 This bill also states legislative intent that the  

         revenues a county receives would be dedicated to the  

         construction, operations, and maintenance of new or existing  

         adult or juvenile criminal justice facilities.

         Staff notes that SB 547 would initially apply to 16 counties in  

         the following priority:  Orange, Yolo, Riverside, Stanislaus,  

         Contra Costa, San Bernardino, San Benito, San Diego, Nevada,  

         Monterey, Solano, Merced, Ventura, Calaveras, Napa, and  

         Sacramento.  This bill does not allow the revenues to be spread  

         equitably among these counties.

Sen. Correa Really Doesn’t Want To Vote For The Budget

It’s clear that he doesn’t.  He probably thinks it will cost him his re-election in 2010.  That may or may not be, but certainly it’s his point of view.  There is no other reason why the vote was rescheduled.  And it’s certainly why Dem leaders are offering him incentives (someone less charitable might call it a bribe):

In what some might call an amazing coincidence, a measure to give Orange County an extra slice of the state budget pie was included in Saturday’s deficit-closing proposals, the fate of which rested heavily on the vote of an Orange County state senator.

The senator, Lou Correa of La Habra, was the only Democratic member of the upper house reported to be “noncommittal” on whether to support a $40 billion package of tax hikes, spending cuts and loans designed to close the gap in California’s budget.

Correa’s vote is vital because Senate Republican leader Dave Cogdill of Modesto said that for any Republicans to cast votes for the package – and three are needed to give it the 27-vote two-thirds majority it needs – all Democrats will have to vote aye. “I just don’t think it gets out if he (Correa) doesn’t go up on it,” Cogdill said earlier this week.

Capitol sources, who asked not to be named while commenting on private negotiations, said language had been inserted in the massive 33-bill package that would give Orange County $35 million in additional property tax revenues in the coming fiscal year; $35 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year, and up to $50 million annually after that.

Further delays mean he’s further away from saying yes to the whole thing.  And of course, this is another perverse outcome of the Yacht Party’s stranglehold on the budget process – Correa’s marginal seat shouldn’t really hold the key to whether or not this passes.

The Correa Carve-Out

The Sacramento Bee is reporting a special Correa Carve-out in the budget that would bring badly needed revenue to Orange County.

Anybody want to bet against his support of the budget now?

Capitol sources, who asked not to be named while commenting on private negotiations, said language had been inserted in the massive 33-bill package that would give Orange County $35 million in additional property tax revenues in the coming fiscal year; $35 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year, and up to $50 million annually after that.

Correa was elected by a razor-thin margin in 2006 after a campaign in which he repeatedly pledged not to vote for tax increases. In an editorial Friday, the largest newspaper in Correa’s district, the Orange County Register, urged him to vote against the tax-hike portion of the budget package.

State Senate Passes Work-Around Budget, Arnold Rejects It

So the State Senate pushed through the creative, $18 billion-dollar lawsuit bait of a budget moments ago by a vote of 23-15.  Republican Sen. Mark Wyland abstained and there are only 39 Senators in the chamber, with Mark Ridley-Thomas’ seat currently vacant.  That means there was one Democratic “No” vote.

Thanks, Lou Correa.  

A vote is expected in the Assembly later today, and I don’t think anybody knows whether or not the Governor will sign it.  He asked for a bunch of “economic stimulus” reforms and only a few of them made their way into the final bill.

Nail-biter time.

…OK, these bills are on the Governor’s desk.

Democratic legislators today sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a complex and controversial package of tax increases and program cuts, an $18 billion effort designed to avoid the need for Republican votes that GOP leaders called illegal.

The state Senate and Assembly made their way through the package of bills required for the maneuver, voting along party lines on tax increases while jointly backing other proposals to hasten public works spending. Republicans opposed the tax proposals and accused majority Democrats of breaking the law.

There is some relaxation of environmental legislation in the package.  Now we wait to see if the Governor signs it.

…within minutes, the Yacht Party caucus in the Assembly dashed off a letter to the Governor urging him to veto, calling it “the Democrat’s illegal tax package.”  Every member signed it but one – Paul Cook.  And contrary to my musings that he was in a tough election fight and might want some distance from the crazies, Shane Goldmacher sez he’s out sick.

UPDATE by Robert: Sure enough Arnold says no to the deal. Arnold has the Republicans’ back, never let there be doubt about it. He’s perfectly willing to let the state collapse, even after he got his pound of worker and environmental flesh.

Extreme Makeover: OC Government Edition

New desk for reception foyer of Supervisor John Moorlach's office: $8,990, New conference table for Supervisor Pat Bates' office: $3,375, Track lighting with dimmer switch for Supervisor Janet Nguyen's office: $1,300, 90 high-end, “high-concept” Herman Miller office chairs for Treasurer Chriss Street: almost $50,000, 52-inch wall-mounted flat-screen television for EACH NEW SUPERVISOR'S personal office: $4,000 (each) (Street's flat-screen TV cost $7,800).  Seeing complete hypocrisy from all these supposed “fiscally conservative” Republicans featured in the Orange County edition of The Los Angeles Times yesterday: PRICELESS!

Follow me after the flip to see just how much taxpayer money our “fiscal conservatives” in Orange County are wasting on their “extreme makeover”…

So what the heck is going on here?


You might call it “Extreme Makeover: Orange County Government Edition.” As one of their first orders of business, Orange County's four newly elected officeholders — the treasurer and the three new members of the Board of Supervisors — are collectively spending just over $1.1 million to spruce up their offices in the months since they were sworn in, according to documents reviewed by The Times.

The spending is hardly noticeable in a budget totaling more than $5 billion. But the renovations for the four officeholders are occurring in a county known for its anti-tax attitudes, dim view of government spending and Republicans who boast fiscally conservative credentials.

OK, so our new Supervisors and County Treasurer are spending some money renovating their offices. What's the big deal here? Well, should it be costing us taxpayers $1.1 million? And do they really need “high-concept office chairs” and wall-mounted flat-screen TVs? Is that really the best way to spend our money?

And aren't there better ways to spend this money?


It also comes as officials weigh funding cuts in their coming budget sessions for services such as drug counseling for court defendants and payments to doctors who provide emergency medical services.

Oh yes, so I guess the poor people who live in this county don't matter. Let the drug addicts fall back into crack. Let the poor people die in the waiting room as hospitals can't afford to care for the sick and injured. No, what really matters is $200,000 to get rid of that retro 1960s Palm Springs look in poor Johnny Moorlach's office!


Moorlach, whose tab was the highest among the supervisors at $198,525.84, said he felt it was unfair to ask office staff to work in the existing environment. “When I got here, I thought I had moved into an old home in Palm Springs in the 1960s,” he said. “It even went beyond my conservative pale. I said, 'Wait a minute, this has got to be upgraded.'

“If I'm asking professionals to work for me on a $6-billion budget,” Moorlach said, “it doesn't make sense to ask them to sit on an antique furniture that wouldn't even sell at a garage sale.”

No, we can't have that! We can't have Mr. Moorlach's highly-paid staffers cringing in disgust at all that “antique furniture that wouldn't even sell at a garage sale”. But if that nearly $200,000 is money being taken away from essential services to the working poor in Orange County, that's no big deal. Who needs poor people, anyway?

And oh yes, look at the guy who collects our taxes. Isn't he doing a great job spending over half a million of our tax dollars? Isn't he?


Roughly half of the total spent — $578,550.82 — was for the treasurer-tax collector's office, which is undergoing a massive renovation aimed at changing the working environment for all of its nearly 100 employees. […]

Asked if the changes were needed to carry out the work of the treasurer's office, Street said: “We had $7 billion in cash being managed here, and you couldn't see what people were doing…. There is no way you can even have $100 million managed by people sitting in closed rooms. That's taxpayer funds. It's grossly inappropriate.”

Yes, having these people work in such a closed floor plan is grossly inappropriate! Yes, open up those walls! Redesign it like your old digs at that bond-trading firm. Wall Street always knows best when it comes to designing efficient yet tasteful office space.

But wait. Hold on a moment. Is this the best way to spend our tax dollars? Is the best way to spend our money when we have thousands upon thousands of people who struggle to survive?

What about emergency medical services? What about keeping people off drugs? What about the needs of the people in this county? The county is facing some awfully tough budget choices, as County Supervisors consider all these cuts to county services. If times are really this tough, is it really that appropriate to spend county money, OUR TAX MONEY, on unnecessary high-end furniture?

Even though I'm happy that Lou Correa is now my State Senator, I often miss seeing him on our County Board of Supervisors. Among all those “fiscal conservatives”, he seemed to be the only one who was actually interested in putting our tax dollars to work for us.


One former supervisor, state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), was surprised at the price tag for renovations to the office he vacated six months ago. When he was there, he said, he asked that a ripped section of carpet be replaced and covered the cracked glass on a desktop with a book.

“A public office belongs to the taxpayers, not to the elected,” he said. “I don't think I need a 52-inch wall-mounted TV to do my job.”

In fact, Correa said, he had a regular 36-inch television in his office; he bought it himself and took it with him when he left.

Cheese louise, why does it always have to be the Democrat to bring some fiscal responsibility to government? And what happens when we don't have any? I guess we're left with a bunch of “fiscally conservative” Republicans wasting money on high-end desks and flat-screen TVs.

State Senate Passes Voter Registration Fraud Prevention Bill

H/T to Orange Juice for this!

The California State Senate recently voted to pass SB 812, Lou Correa‘s (D-Santa Ana) legislation that would stop the type of “bounty hunting” that the Orange County Republican Party used to illegally switch unsuspecting Democratic and Independent voters to Republican against their will. Finally, something is being done to put a halt to this nasty practice!

Follow me after the flip for more on this important legislation, and how we can help it become law…

So what exactly would this legislation do? Here is how the Legislative Counsel explains it:

This bill would prohibit any person, company, or other
organization, except state political parties that reimburse their
central committees and clubs on a per-affidavit basis, from agreeing
to pay money or other valuable consideration on a per-affidavit basis
to any person who assists another person to register to vote by
receiving the completed affidavit of registration, would prohibit the
receipt of this per-affidavit consideration, and would make
conforming changes. A violation of these prohibitions would be an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

Wow, so that sounds good! So what happens next?

Now, this bill moves to the State Assembly. And if you’d like to end the type of bounty hunting that was part of the dirty tricks used by Orange County Republicans to win our competitive 34th State Senate seat (now Lou Correa’s), you can contact your Assembly Member and ask him/her to support SB 812. Now this type of illegal behavior occurred in Orange County last year, but this practice isn’t limited to Orange County.

We need to ensure that this illegal act doesn’t happen ANYWHERE in the state. That’s why we need Lou Correa’s legislation that would work to prevent this. Let’s help Lou get this passed, and let’s protect the voters in this state. : )

Cedillo’s SB 275, Hospital Dumping, goes to the Senate Floor

After getting blocked by two Senators who think money from the California Hospital Association (CHA) is more important that basic human dignity, SB 275 has made it to the Senate Floor. (Btw, the two senators in question have lost their Appropriation Cmte. seats as a result). 

Well, now that the ModSquad has faded to black (hopefully to stay permanently in the Seventies), the bill will likely pass the Senate shortly.  Whether Correa and Calderon have decided whether human decency or corporate lobbying cash is more important is still an open question.


After delaying a vote on the hospital homeless discharge bill (SB 275) in order to engage the California Hospital Association (CHA) in another round of negotiations, Sen. Gilbert Cedillo’s (D-Los Angeles) bill heads to the Senate floor for a final vote in that house. SB 275 passed out of the Appropriations Committee today on a strong vote, 11 to 4, with Republican Sen. Roy Ashburn included in the bi-partisan support for the bill.

The bill makes it a specific crime to discharge hospital patients to any facility other than a residence without patient consent.  Sponsored by Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, SB 275 seeks to address a deficiency in the law when prosecuting cases specific to patient dumping.

The CHA, a lobbying association representing the state’s hospitals, has contented they have policies in place to address the safe transfer of homeless patients to shelters upon discharge.  However on May 14th as Cedillo presented the bill to committee, a new dumping incident was reported in Los Angeles. The incident occurred at the Union Rescue Mission, a shelter located in downtown Skid Row, which has dealt with prior episodes of patient abandonment.

Detractors feel that SB 275 sets too high of a standard for the medical facilities.  “What does it say about our ethics and humanity? These people are more vulnerable than when they went in to the hospital. Currently there is no law that punishes the transportation of patients without their consent,” said Cedillo.

Cedillo has introduced a series of bills on issues surrounding homelessness – SB 2, Fair Share Zoning, which would require cities and counties to plan for emergency shelters, special needs facilities and transitional housing, SB 119, Medical Drug Treatment for Minors, and SB 275, hospital homeless discharge bill. “I acknowledge there are larger issues at hand involving lack of adequate care offered to homeless populations. This is why we have proposed a package of bills to proactively address the interrelated issues that cause homelessness before they become acute,” remarked Cedillo.