CTNS PRELIMINARY RUNDOWN
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Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
TO REQUEST 16 BY 9 FILES OF THE CTNS NEWSFEED ONLINE PLEASE CONTACT VENUS AT HER CELL OR EMAIL. THE CTNS PRELIM, MIDDAY AND SCRIPTS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE WEB AT WWW.CTNSNEWS.COM.;
(EDITOR'S NOTE: FOR QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, AND/OR REQUESTS, PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO CALL VENUS STROMBERG: 916-396-5140 OR ROB GRIFFITH: 916-600-8614).
1. Bad Budget Times Ahead VO/SOT
The Legislative Analyst' Office is expected to revise budget deficit predictions for the coming fiscal year. Before the spending cuts in the current year passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, the state was facing a 14.5 billion dollar deficit for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The Assembly Speaker indicates the cuts that were made in the current year will save seven billion in the coming year, but he predicted the Legislative Analyst would revise the deficit problem at a million greater, leaving about an eight and a half billion dollar hole. Efforting soundbites and video.
2. Half Million Votes Still Uncounted VO/SOT
More than two weeks after California's Presidential Primary election, between five and six hundred thousand vote by mail (absentee) and provisional balllots have yet to be counted. Efforting soundbites and video on why this is, and if it matters, will feed extra soundbites and video regarding voting machine hearing being conducted at the Secretary of State's office for Electronic Systems and Software's upgraded software that might affect 13 counties that use ES&S machines.
3. Governor Awards Charitable State Employees VO/SOT
Governor Schwarzenegger will present awards to state employees that have donated the most to charity. Efforting soundbites and video.
4. Public Utilities Commissioner Questioned VO/SOT
The Senate Rules Committee today will consider the appointment of Public Utilities Commissioner Timothy Simon. Simon received donations from utility companies he regulates, which later received favorable PUC rulings on energy efficiency requirements that these companies sought. Efforting soundbites and video.
5. Cogdill Republican Leader? VO/FILE
Senate Republicans are expected to vote today on their choice to take over the leadership position from current minority leader Dick Ackerman (R-Irvine). Ackerman will be termed out at the end of 2008 with the defeat of Proposition 93 which would have changed term limits and extended the terms in office of some legislators. Modesto Republican Dave Cogdill is expected to receive at least eight votes which is required to assume the leadership role in the minority party, made up of 14 Republican Senators. Feeding file video.
6. Stem Cell Salary Hikes? VO/FILE
The Governance subcommittee for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine which oversees dispersal of the three billion dollars in voter approved stem cell research bonds will consider raising the range of salaries for some of the institute's executives by as much as 50 percent. This vote on the possible salary hike comes as the state faces a budget deficit and the institute has shown little progress in research leading to cures for diabetes, Alzheimer's and other conditions. A consumer and taxpayer advocacy group also takes issue with the general consul's salary for the stem cell board which is greater than the California Attorney General's salary. The teleconference meeting in five locations throughout the state and one in Hawaii happens after the CTNS feed, but CTNS will feed file video of the board, and provide updates on the decision regarding raises.
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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in Los Angeles for an event on housing and the economy and in Sacramento for a thank you luncheon for state employees' charitable contributions.
The Senate and Assembly check in as required to collect per diem.
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