Today’s News: L.A. mulls tax hike; Dawn of ‘Cap and Trade’; Phil Jackson responds

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CSU fees. Cal State University trustees will apparently put off a scheduled vote on a set of proposed fee hikes. A student group had planned to ask the university to postpone the move. The fees would apply to students who already have enough credits to graduate, repeat courses, or take more than a full-time load. The idea is to free up space for incoming students. Opponents say the new fees would make it more difficult to graduate on time. Sacramento Bee

Tax talk. The Los Angeles City Council today is scheduled to discuss putting a proposal for a half-cent sales tax hike before voters in March. The tax would raise about $200 million a year for the city’s general fund. Backers say its necessary to maintain police, fire and city services at basic levels. Mayor Villaraigosa says he’ll support the tax – if the city continues with cost-cutting measures. KABC

School’s in. Not every student will be thrilled, but the LAUSD school year is likely to get a little longer. Superintendent John Deasy will ask the Board of Education today to restore five instructional days that were eliminated because of budget cuts. Deasy will also ask the Board to cancel five additional furlough days that teachers and other employees accepted to stave off layoffs. Passage of Prop. 30 restores $255 million to LAUSD this school year.
Huffington Post

Carbon market. Some of California’s biggest polluters will begin buying permits tomorrow in a landmark “cap and trade” system. The goal is to control emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and encourage investment in clean technologies. But business groups say it could trigger higher energy prices and layoffs. The Christian Science Monitor reports that legal threats, political opposition and disagreement about climate change could derail the program before it gets started. Christian Science Monitor

Assessor’s angle. Embattled Assessor John Noguez accepted large donations to his Huntington Park City Council campaign account before being elected to countywide office – with most of the cash coming from businesses in the city of L.A. The L.A. Times reports that donors to the council fund received big tax breaks in the months after Noguez became Assessor. L.A. Times

Hire power. Phil Jackson says he was prepared to return as coach of the Lakers – and he disputes allegations that he placed unreasonable demands on the team during preliminary talks. Jackson says he spent the weekend mulling the Lakers’ offer and was surprised he wasn’t given time to make up his mind. After courting Jackson for two days, the Lakers did an about face and hired former Suns and Knick coach Mike D’Antoni. Jackson says it seemed “slimy” to be awakened in the middle of the night to be told he wasn’t getting the job. L.A. Times