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California Capitol Hill Bulletin
* abridged "recess edition" *



                           Volume 7, Bulletin 1 -- January 7, 2000    [or see pdf version]


To expand communications between Washington and California, the California Institute provides periodic faxed bulletins regarding current activity on Capitol Hill which directly impacts our state. Bulletins are published weekly during sessions of Congress, and occasionally during other periods. The e-mail edition is made possible in part by in kind donations from Sun Microsystems and QUALCOMM, Inc.

"Recess Bulletin" and Governor Davis' State of the State

During the current Congressional recess, the California Institute is publishing this brief edition in lieu of a complete California Capitol Hill Bulletin. For your information and reference, we are including information from Governor Gray Davis regarding his state of the state message, delivered on Wednesday, and the "Washington" section from the Governor's year-in-review look at 1999. For source material, see http://www.ca.gov . The California Capitol Hill Bulletin will resume publication when Congress returns from recess in late January.
 

Sen. Feinstein and Gov. Davis Urge Full SCAAP Funding

In separate letters to Attorney General Janet Reno, both Governor Gray Davis and Sen. Dianne Feinstein urged the Administration not to cut funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, to meet the .38 percent cut mandated in the omnibus budget deal.

Gov. Davis' letter, dated December 10, points out that the current $585 million in funding does not fully reimburse the states for the costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants and the program is too important to sustain any further cuts. He also urges the Administration to increase the budget request for SCAAP funding in the FY01 budget.

Sen. Feinstein was joined by Sens. Jon Kyl (AZ) and Charles Schumer (NY) in her letter to Reno. She notes that the Office of Management and Budget has announced that it may cut FY00 funding by as much as 15 percent for any program that received more money than the President's initial budget request. This would put SCAAP on the cutting block, inasmuch as the Administration's budget only requested $500 million in funding.
 

Encryption Regulations Delayed

The Administration has announced that it will delay publishing the regulations governing encryption exports until January 15. The Commerce Department's draft regulations circulated in November had been criticized as not accurately reflecting the Administration's plan to ease export restrictions. A letter signed by several members of Congress, including Reps. Zoe Lofgren (San Jose) and Anna Eshoo (Atherton), raised concerns that the regulations favored some domestic firms over others. See, Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 40 (12/9/99). The Administration announced in September that it would update current encryption policy to allow more liberal export of readily available products.
 

Sen. Boxer & Gov. Davis Reiterate Request for MTBE Waiver

Governor Davis and Sen. Barbara Boxer sent separate letters to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner urging expedited action on California's request to waive federal requirements that gasoline sold in the state contain a minimum oxygen content pursuant to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The waiver, if granted, would allow California to see MTBE-free gasoline, as long as it continued to meet federal emission standards.

Governor Davis' letter points out that two major refiners have pledged to eliminate MTBE from its gasoline well before the state mandated phase-out date of December 31, 2002. However, to meet that pledge they must have an EPA waiver.



 

Governor Gray Davis -- 2000 State of the State Address

At the Dawn of the 21st Century, Governor Davis Outlines Plan for California's Future

Education

Continuing his commitment to make fundamental changes to improve student and teacher performance, Governor Gray Davis' State of the State address outlines his plans to provide incentives for students, teachers and schools in the Era of Higher Expectations.
 

Recruiting and Training Qualified Teachers: Responding to California's need to hire a huge number of teachers in the next decade, Governor Davis is committed to enhancing the prestige of the teaching profession and implementing measures that will attract and retain talented, fully credentialed teachers for every school in the State. His plans include:

Recognizing Student Achievement: Governor Davis is proposing to recognize and reward students who meet the highest academic standards, as well as encourage those students to continue to pursue their educational goals in college. Preparing Students to Meet Higher Academic Standards: Governor Davis' education reforms have set the bar high for student achievement. Governor Davis now plans to expand on those efforts by providing students with the tools necessary to meet these higher standards by:
 
Healthcare

Governor Davis recognizes that the fastest growing segment of California's population is 85 and older and he believes that this generation deserves nothing less than the opportunity to age with dignity. The governor plans to provide for seniors by:
 

Infrastructure

Governor Davis intends to put every possible transportation dollar to work to speed up commutes, improve highway safety and eliminate gridlock. In order to get California moving again, the governor plans to change the funding rules to provide for the State's long-term transportation interests by:


Public Safety


Governor Davis is strongly committed to public safety and is determined to move forward with comprehensive measures that reduce crime and increase the security of California's citizens, including:

[Source: Governor Gray Davis' Home Page: http://www.governor.ca.gov/s/briefing/pressreleases/pr000021500att.html .]
 

[The following was excerpted from Governor Gray Davis' Web Page entitled "Year in Review" 12/30/99]
 
 

WORKING WITH WASHINGTON: Lobbying for California's Interests

Governor Gray Davis went to great lengths during his first year in office to ensure California received its fair share of federal resources. The governor actively lobbied for additional federal funding on issues from improving California's classrooms to demanding a phaseout of the gasoline additive MTBE.
 

Education

Governor Davis, joined by Vice-President Al Gore, announced that California would receive $32 million
in federal education funds for classroom accountability programs. They also announced that California
would retain $129 million in federal funding for class-size reduction efforts in grades 9 and 10.
The Davis Administration urged Congress and the Clinton Administration to include $36 million in the
FY 2000 Interior Appropriations bill. The amount comes from a sale of California land and is directed
toward the California State Teachers' Retirement System.
 

Tobacco

Governor Davis lobbied Congress to ensure that tobacco funds would not be redirected to the federal
government. The Master Settlement Agreement reached between the states and the tobacco industry
will net California state and local governments $1 billion per year. Funds are being directed to combat
youth smoking.
 

Transportation

Governor Davis lobbied to have language removed from the FY 2000 Transportation Appropriations bill
that would have cost California $120 million in FY 2000.
The Davis Administration played a key role in urging Congress to provide $65 million in FY 2000 for the
BART-SFO extension project, which adds nine miles to the current BART transit system.

Environment

Congress, at the urging of Governor Davis, appropriated $60 million to the CALFED program, which
addresses California's complex water problems.

Spurred by a letter from Governor Davis, the California delegation to the House of Representatives
provided $30 million, of which California will receive $3 to $4 million, for the stateside portion of the
Land and Water Conservation Fund. These monies add to the $230 million in federal funds the State
has expended to develop recreation facilities as well as protect park lands and valuable coastal
resources.

Governor Davis wrote the Clinton Administration requesting funding for salmon restoration efforts, and
was successful in obtaining $9 million for California.
 

Law Enforcement

Governor Davis led a coalition of state and local governments to combat efforts to significantly cut
existing State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) funding. As a result of that effort, Congress
restored funding to existing levels.
 

Disaster Relief

After a freeze devastated California's citrus crop, Governor Davis obtained federal disaster assistance
to meet local needs and ensure the economic viability of the industry.
 

Defense

Governor Davis' Trade and Commerce Agency produced a study used to lobby the Department of
Defense to bring a contract for the Joint Strike Fighter, which is now in the development phase, to
California companies. The study found that Plant 42 in Palmdale could produce a $2.2 billion savings,
the equivalent of 55 free aircraft.

Governor Davis urged President Clinton to sign the Defense Appropriations bill, which contained
funding for the F-22 fighter, a bill that the President signed on October 25, 1999.
 

Housing

Governor Davis urged Congressional leaders not to support the proposed cuts to vital community
planning and development grants within the VA/HUD bill. Funding of these programs was preserved,
and in some cases increased over FY 99 levels.
 

Social Services

Working closely with the National Governor's Association to fend off cuts in Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families, Governor Davis sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations committees
regarding restoration of $75 million to the Social Services Block Grant and protection against further
cuts.

Census 2000

The last Census undercounted Californians, costing the State $2.2 billion over the course of the
decade. To ensure the same outcome doesn't occur again, Governor Davis worked with Congress and
received $4.4 billion in emergency spending for the upcoming Census. Governor Davis also formed the
Complete Count Committee.
 

Ninth Circuit

Senator Murkowski (R-AK) authored a bill to subdivide the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which
would split California into different divisions of the circuit. Governor Davis worked with Senator Feinstein
to oppose this scheme, and the measure stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

[Source: Governor Gray Davis' Home Page: http://www.governor.ca.gov/s/state/index.html .]
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