Weekend wrap: new marriage, more money

10:36 AM, Jul 6, 2013   |    comments
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Making Good on Marriage:  For years, we've read about celebrity couples who had promised no marriage until gay couples could also legally tie the knot.  The historic legal end to Prop 8 hasn't seemed to spark any Hollywood nuptials of yet, but it has in the world of Sacramento politics.

On Friday, lobbyist Jodi Hicks and political consultant Paul Mitchell wed at San Francisco City Hall -- a wedding that came after eight years of being together.  The two had first been set to make it legal in the fall of 2008, but delayed once Prop 8 passed and limited marriage to heterosexual couples... a limit removed last week.

"When we sat together and watched the coverage of the Supreme Court decision," says Mitchell, "we had the same thought.  Why not now?"

Hicks and Mitchell were married by West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, and joined by their daughter and a small group of other Capitol VIPs who tweeted photos of the big event.

Brad and Angelina, you're next.

Pay Rate Ricochet: Friday afternoon's news that officers in the California Highway Patrol are getting an immediate pay hike is a telling example of how so many public safety labor contracts are linked to each other... and when one wins, they all win.

The state labor contract for highway patrol officers links their salary with that of law enforcement officers in five other local communities.  In essence, that means pay hikes approved by city councilmembers and county supervisors supersede a formal vote by state legislators and a governor.

And if the past is prologue, it won't end there.  Correctional officers have almost always based their salary demands on what CHP officers are getting paid. And the union representing prison guards is currently negotiating a new contract.

SB 202, Never Mind?  When the Assembly returns next month, expect a vote on the ballot measure to ensure open records in California's constitution -- the end to a public relations mess for lawmakers who agreed to Gov. Jerry Brown's pitch on the issue, only to backtrack after intense media backlash.

SCA 3, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate this past week, essentially makes the public's access to documents in a timely fashion permanent, without reimbursing local governments for the effort.  It places the amendment on next June's primary ballot... which historically is a low turnout election, and calls to mind the rhetoric over 2011's Senate Bill 202.

For those who've forgotten, SB 202 moved all initiatives to November ballots. Criticized at the time as a Democratic power play, backers argued it was about ensuring enough voters turned out for big decisions.

"These initiatives, as you know, have profound impact on California," Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told KFBK that fall. "It just doesn't seem fair that those initiatives would be heard during a primary season where the voter turnout is always, always lower."

Sure, SCA 3 isn't an "initiative," it's a legislative ballot measure. But isn't the venerable California Public Records Act  something with a "profound" impact?


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