- Guns illegally owned by 20,000 in state (SF Chronicle)
Nearly 20,000 registered gun owners in California are ineligible to have guns yet still do, and it could take three years and $25 million for authorities to confiscate the weapons, law enforcement officials told a legislative committee Tuesday. The registered gun owners lost their legal rights to keep the weapons due to felony convictions, domestic violence actions, mental health conditions or addiction to narcotic drugs, among other reasons. California Department of Justice officials have listed 19,784 such gun owners in an “armed prohibited persons system” and say they own nearly 39,000 handguns and more than 1,600 assault weapons. (Assault weapons are banned in California, but people who purchased them before the ban can have them legally.)
- U.S. judges give California six more months to cut inmate population (Sacramento Bee)
Three weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state’s prison overcrowding crisis over, a court of three federal judges said Tuesday that state officials can have six more months to reduce the inmate population to the previously ordered level. The judges noted that California officials have said they cannot meet the court’s June 30 deadline for reducing its population to 137.5 percent of design capacity, but the officials believe they can hit that mark by Dec. 31.
- Many state workers hold more than one job; Brown administration puts a brake on the practice (Sacramento Bee)
Nearly a dozen state departments have allowed hundreds of employees to hold more than one job, confirming CalPERS officials’ claims that the practice is widespread, according to January state jobs data The Bee obtained. As new details emerged, the Brown administration took steps to curtail the controversial and little-known practice that allows full-time state employees, including salaried managers, to moonlight for their departments.
- Obamacare loophole threatens UC students (SF Chronicle)
Life was great for Kenya Wheeler in the spring of 2011. He’d just enrolled in a UC Berkeley master’s program in city planning and had won a research position that would pay his fees. Healthy as a horse, he biked to campus every day. A year later, a cancer diagnosis had changed everything. Wheeler, 38, had so many medical bills that he reached the $400,000 limit allowed by his UC student health plan. He scheduled a hasty wedding with his girlfriend in March so he could continue receiving life-saving chemotherapy through her insurance.
- Facebook expected to issue strong earnings report (SJ Mercury News)
Wall Street expects a strong fourth-quarter earnings report from Facebook on Wednesday, amid signs the giant social networking company is feverishly building new products and working to expand its mobile ad business. Investors and financial analysts say they’re hoping Facebook’s fourth-quarter results will show the impact of new mobile ad campaigns and other initiatives — including a program that shows ads to Facebook users based on their visits to other websites, and the online retail service known as Facebook Gifts.
- Golden Gate Bridge starts testing all-electronic toll hardware; toll-takers to leave end of March (Marin Independent Journal)
Beginning Wednesday morning, testing of the Golden Gate Bridge’s new all-electronic tolling system gets under way and will culminate in toll-takers vanishing from the span by the end of March. There won’t be any visible changes to the public as the testing starts. During this testing phase the new “pay-by-plate” toll system will be operational, along with traditional Fastrak and cash options. The public can sign up for pay-by-plate by visiting www.golden gate.org.
- Same-sex marriage opponents running out of money ahead of Supreme Court hearing (Reuters)
Foes of same-sex marriage are laboring to pay the tab for an epic legal case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, as the movement suffers from fundraising shortfalls that could sap its strength in future battles.ProtectMarriage.com, the advocacy group defending a California gay marriage ban now under review by the high court, showed a $2 million deficit in its legal fund at the end of 2011 — the third year in a row that expenses exceeded donations, federal tax records show. The 2012 accounts are not yet available. ProtectMarriage.com says it has since covered the 2011 shortfall. However, it is still $700,000 short in fundraising for its Supreme Court costs, according to a ProtectMarriage.com attorney, Andrew Pugno. That message has gone out to donors, with some urgency, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in March in its first thorough review of same-sex marriage.