Today’s News: Alarms sounded over Prop. 8 decision; Extreme heat roasts Southland; Garcetti inauguration

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Prop. 8 fallout. Gay rights supporters rejoiced over this week’s Supreme Court decision that will allow same-sex marriage to resume in California – but now activists on both sides of the ideological divide are raising concerns about the decision. The worry is that the court set a dangerous precedent by giving elected officials undue power over ballot initiatives.

The Supreme Court decided the Prop. 8 case on the issue of standing. The justices said the coalition of religious conservative groups that backed Prop. 8 did not have the right to defend the law in court when state officials elected not to.

California’s initiative process allows activists to collect signatures without support from elected officials. Critics say the Supreme Court decision paves the way for elected officials to turn back initiatives they don’t like by refusing defend court challenges.

In a dissenting opinion in the Prop. 8 case, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the ruling – quote – “disrespects” California’s political process.

Similar views have been expressed by everyone from The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Assn. to California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who’s a fierce supporter of gay marriage rights. L.A. Times

Dangerous heat. You know it’s hot when forecaster’s are talking about the possibility of an all-time heat record in Death Valley (134 degrees, set in 1913). Temperatures are expected to soar throughout Southern California and much of the Western U.S. this weekend. Desert areas could see highs of 120 degrees or more and the National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings from Santa Barbara south to the Mexican border. Do the right thing: stay out of the sun, wear a broad-brimmed hat outside, and drink lots of water. Meanwhile, local power officials are asking customers to conserve energy to help avoid potential blackouts. AP, L.A. Daily News

Mayor Garcetti. By the time Angelenos wake up and head to work on Monday, they’ll have a new mayor. Eric Garcetti will be inaugurated Sunday evening, along with a bunch of other incoming city officials. The official inauguration will take place on the Spring Street City Hall steps beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday. After the official business wraps up, the new mayor will head over to Grand Park to celebrate. The party will feature musical and dance performances, carnival booths and food trucks. Jimmy Kimmel will emcee. L.A. Times

Train and plane. Air passengers will finally have a rail option for travel between LAX and South L.A. The MTA Board has voted to fully fund the design and construction of the 8.5-mile Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail line. The total price tag is expected to reach $2 billion, most of it funded with Measure R money. Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors has been signed to oversee the project. L.A. Times

State budget. Gov. Jerry Brown has given the ok a state budget for the fiscal year starting Monday that makes budget-busting deficits a distant memory. The governor was joined by Democratic legislative leaders yesterday as he signed the $96 billion dollar spending plan. The budget adopts a new funding formula for public schools that will send more money to districts with disadvantaged students. It also expands Medicaid to an additional 1.4 million low-income Californians and includes a $1 billion reserve.  San Jose Mercury News

Charter demand. Despite an explosion in the number of charter schools in recent years, there is still isn’t enough supply to meet the demand. More than 15,000 LAUSD students and more than 50,000 students statewide are on wait lists for charter schools, according to a new report from the National Alliance for Public Schools, a pro-charter organization. About 2.3 million children attend charter schools in the U.S. That’s about four percent of school-age children. In LAUSD, about 15 percent of students attend charter schools. L.A. Daily News