Good evening. As anybody who has been standing on the third floor outside of the State Senate and Assembly chambers, it feels good to sit down and recharge (devices and with food). The Assembly worked for about six hours today and the Senate about eight, each with an hour-long lunch break. So I'm writing from my neighborhood Chinese restaurant on the way home from the Capitol.
Like the lobbyists and media folks there today, I can't be comprehensive as it's impossible to follow two floor sessions at once. I do it at home, but I get you true stories through whispers, raised eyebrows, and few other tools of the trade. But, I wanted to get a few out so I can keep tomorrow's Nooner manageable.
In perhaps the strangest story tied to California legislative politics today, the Trump Administration announced that the Food and Drug Administration would move forward to ban all flavored e-cigarettes, except tobacco. Attempts to do the same were blocked in California by the powerful chair of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, Adam Gray (D-Merced). The FDA actions come amidst mysterious youth illnesses, many of which involve cannabis pods and are suspected to be caused by a vitamin E acetate additive.
Okay, let's bullet a few high-profile actions today:
- SB 206 (Skinner): Collegiate athletics: student athlete compensation and representation. - The bill that has California in conflict with the NCAA to allow college athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name and likeness and to be represented was approved 39-0, with one senator, John M.W. Moorlach (R-Irvine) not voting. Moorlach is the one senator who has a University of California campus in his district that faces a serious challenge for re-election next year.
For Nooner newbies, my background is in higher education and I have to say that the vote truly surprised me to have every senator casting a vote do so at odds with UC, CSU, AICCU (nonprofit privates), Stanford, and USC. Lawmakers routinely brag about their alma maters in floor speeches, particularly after rivalry games.
There is a feeling among electeds that the NCAA keeps saying they are studying the matter and members feel like it's a stalling tactic until individual legislators are termed out.
The NCAA previously threatened to exclude California universities from post-season competitions, which didn't play over well with legislators who know how much money that would cost other NCAA colleges and universities (and communities) without California teams.
It's clearly not the end of the stand-off, but forces the NCAA to the table, many legislators think.
- AB 48 (O'Donnell and Glazer): Education finance: school facilities: Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020. - I described this March bond proposal in today's Nooner and sent you the fact sheet under separate cover. To be honest, I'm still reviewing all the language tonight before the Senate Education Committee at 8:30am tomorrow. Here is the committee analysis for the bill.
There are general concerns about the overall size of the bond, the biggest education bond in the state's history, and more specific (and controversial) language prioritizing K-12 project funding to those that have a project labor agreement.
I plan to get over there for the hearing, so we'll see how that affects The Nooner schedule.
- AB 824 (Wood): Business: preserving access to affordable drugs. - passed the State Senate 31-8, with one senator not voting. The bill now returns to the State Assembly for concurrence in Senate amendments. The bill is expected to get easy approval there and then be sent to the governor.
- AB 1482 (Chiu): Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps. - The bill to limit rent annual rent increases to 5% + consumer price index with a base rent of March 15, 2019 and to limit justifiable evictions passed the Assembly on concurrence in Senate amendments on a vote of 47-25, with one member not voting. (There is a vacancy in AD01 (Northeast Cal.) that has a special general election in November. The bill now goes to the Governor, who is expected to sign it.
The bill only applies to units with a certificate of occupancy issued before 2005 and to tenants who have resided in the unit for twelve consecutive months. Unless extended by the Legislature, the law would expire on January 1, 2030.
The descriptions above are quick summaries written by me at 8:45pm after fourteen hours at this stuff with bleary eyes, and I include them only to remind you of which bill I'm referring. The complete text is available by clicking on the bill number from which I have linked to the text.
Don't hesitate to send any questions and I'll see if I have (or can find) the answer. I'll have lots more tomorrow and maybe I'll have time to read some real live newspapers tonight--after the education bond.