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State of Affairs: CA bills that made Gov. Brown's cut, fundraising for ballot props, NFL team for LA

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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco, California.  Gov. Brown declared a drought state of emergency for  California as the state faces water shortfalls in what is expected to be the driest year in state history. Residents are being asked to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent.
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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

In today's State of Affairs: what could be a big blow to government pensions in California, using humor to win votes, and the big money behind California's ballot propositions.

In today's State of Affairs: What could be a big blow to government pensions in California, using humor to win votes, and the big money behind California's ballot propositions. 

Southern California Public Radio political reporters Alice Walton and Frank Stoltze join Take Two for a weekly look at news and politics in California.

Opposition raises $53 million against Proposition 46

The watchdog group MapLight has released fundraising totals for issues on the Nov. 4 ballot. Proposition 46, which would increase caps on medical malpractice damages from $250,000 to $1.1 million and would also require drug and alcohol testing of doctors, is getting the most attention. Opponents of the prop have raised $88 million. Those opponents include doctors, hospital associations, insurance companies and civil libertarians, who feel the requirement to test doctors invades their privacy, Stoltze said.

Proposition 45, which would allow the state insurance commissioner to reject health insurance price changes. The health industry has raised $38 million against the prop. 

AEG asks for extension to nab NFL deal

AEG has asked the Los Angeles City Council for an extension on plans to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles. The deal, signed two years ago, proposed that Farmers Field would be built near the Staples Center on the contingency that L.A. could woo an NFL team.

AEG is asking for another six months and has sweetened the deal by saying they will also work on building a new hotel, as a way to ease concerns that there aren’t hotels enough in downtown.

The extension is supported by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson and Councilman Curren Price. The City Council still is expected to pass the extension, Walton said.

Judge: Government pensions can be dipped into during city, county bankruptcy

A federal bankruptcy judge dealt a potentially huge blow to government pensions in a ruling that gives the green light to slash pensions when a city or county declares bankruptcy. This doesn't mean too much right now to employees in California but the judge has opened the door by saying if a city or county is in bankruptcy, then as part of the recovery plan, pensions can be reduced for current and future workers, according to Stoltze.

Superintendent candidate uses humor to gain votes

Instead of going negative, one candidate is using humor as a way to gain attention from voters. Marshall Tuck is running for California Superintendent of Schools. His campaign ad features Dax Shepherd and Kristen Bell making jokes about what they may (or may not) know about the election. This tactic is wise as Tuck has never run for public office and faces incumbent Tom Torlakson, Stoltze said.

Correction: In an older version of this post, we wrote that the opponents to Proposition 46 raised $88 million. But Maplight, the organization that first reported that figure, said yesterday the figure is incorrect. Maplight has revised the number to $53 million.

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