Monday Must Read: State Budget Deadline Looms; Oakland Firefighters Contract Criticized

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The deadline is fast approaching to put Jerry Brown’s tax measures on the June ballot, but the governor still doesn’t have Republican votes for his proposal and may not get them. The CoCo Times reports that the state Republican Party at its convention over the weekend voted to oppose Brown’s tax measures at all costs — even if the governor were to agree to overhaul public employee pensions and regulations on business. Brown also has yet to garner GOP support for his plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies.

2. The Oakland firefighters’ union contract is coming under increasing criticism because it mandates staffing requirements that effectively block budget cuts, the Chron reports. However, the firefighters union notes that it already contributes more to it pension plan — 13 percent — than any other city union. The Oakland police officers' union still contributes nothing to its pension plan.

3. A team of workers was forced to evacuate from Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant after a cloud of gray smoke arose from one of the crippled reactors, the New York Times reports. The setback occurred after engineers had successfully hooked up a two-mile-long power cable in an effort to stabilize the plant. But then engineers learned that they’ll have to make more repairs before power can be restored to at least two of the reactors. At the same time, Japanese health officials said they have begun to find higher-than-normal radiation levels in some parts of the country’s food and water supply.

4. The murder trial of Yusuf Bey IV, the former CEO of Your Black Muslim Bakery who allegedly ordered the assassination of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey, is scheduled to get underway today in an Oakland courtroom, the CoCo Times reports. Prosecutors are expected to deliver their opening statements today after jury selection is completed. The outcome of the trial, however, is anything but certain because the prosecutors’ case hinges largely on the testimony of hitman Devaughndre Broussard, a bakery soldier who has repeatedly changed his story.

5. The Barry Bonds perjury trial also is scheduled to begin today in San Francisco as a jury will decide whether the former Giants’ star lied about his alleged steroid use, California Watch reports. The federal case against Bonds also may be difficult to win because the judge threw out key evidence that included Bonds’ alleged doping calendars after the slugger’s trainer Greg Anderson refused to testify.

6. And Northern California is expected to be pummeled by more storms this week, pushing rain and snowfall levels to well above normal for the year, the Chron reports.

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