Today’s News: Bracing for sequester cuts; L.A. Times sale; Support for gay marriage

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Sequester cuts. School districts across the state will lose more than $250 million for early education and other programs under sweeping federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect Friday. L.A. Unified – California’s largest school district – stands to lose the most. In addition to funding for eight-thousand students in the Head Start early education program, California would lose more than $70 million dollars for disabled students. English learners and charter schools would also take a hit. Press-Enterprise, L.A. Daily News

L.A. Times for sale. Media conglomerate Tribune Co. has reportedly hired outside financial advisers to explore the sale of its newspaper unit. That includes the Los Angeles Times and other papers. Chicago-based Tribune emerged from four years of bankruptcy at the end of 2012. Company officials say there will be no “fire sale” of the newspapers. Potential buyers include McClatchy, Gannett and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. CNBC

Union money. Labor groups have spent more than $3 million on behalf of candidates for L.A. city office in recent weeks. The bulk of that money – more than $2 million – has supported mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel. But unions groups have also spent hundreds of thousands of on City Council races. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, who’s running in District 1 on the Eastside, has received union support. So has City Commissioner John Choi, who’s running in the 13th District, which covers Hollywood and Echo Park. Another beneficiary has been State Sen. Curren Price, a candidate in District 9, in South L.A. L.A. Times

Backing gay marriage. Apple, Facebook. Levi Strauss, Morgan Stanley and dozens of other U.S. corporations are expected to file a “friend of the court” brief with the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow in a gay marriage case from California. The Supreme Court is expected to rule this spring on a challenge to the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved law banning gay marriage. The companies say outlawing same-sex marriage conflicts with American values like “fairness” and “equal treatment under the law.” Fortune

Pot poll.
Attitudes in California appear to be changing when it comes to recreational marijuana. A new Field Poll finds that 54 percent of state voters support allowing marijuana to be sold and taxed like alcohol. That’s the highest level of support since the Field Poll began asking the question in 1969. More than 70 percent of California voters back the sale of medical marijuana. Field Poll