Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for April 22, 2015




NAG ON: Hey folks, more of the sources I rely on are locking down their sites behind paywalls. I realized just how much it is when I was doing my taxes last week. To bring you content, I need to break through the walls. And, as I hope is noticeable, I'm spending more time on original content now that I've taken a break from the jetsetting life of an association CEO. Now is a great time to become a paid subscriber.  NAG OFF, THE NOONER.


Happy Earth Day. Earth Day is every day at the State Capitol, as old ideas are recycled over and over again. 

THE VACCINATOR: SB 277 (Pan/Allen) passed Senate Education 7-2 this morning and moves to Senate Judiciary Committee. The two no votes were Vice-Chair Sharon Runner (R) and Connie Leyva (D). The bill, which started in Senate Health, got the hat trick of three policy committee referrals, which you hardly ever see. While the bill was vote only, the passionate forces on both sides still filled the parking garage, which was quite backed up with the extra time required for car seats. Anyway, even though I'm up-to-date on my vaccines (at least Kaiser tells me so), I'm glad I didn't have to be in 4203 with all those unvaccinated kids.

RULES, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' RULES:  Senate Rule 38.5 provides:

Amendments to Be Germane

38.5.Every amendment proposed must be germane. In order to be germane, an amendment must relate to the same subject as the original bill, resolution, or other question under consideration.

A point of order may be raised that the proposed amendment or an amendment now in the bill, resolution, or other question under consideration is not germane, so long as the question is within control of the body. In that case the President pro Tempore shall decide whether the point of order is well taken. In the absence of the President pro Tempore, the Vice Chair of the Committee on Rules shall decide whether the point of order is well taken. If, in the opinion of the President pro Tempore or the Vice Chair of the Committee on Rules, the point of order is well taken, the question of germaneness shall on his or her motion be referred to the Committee on Rules for determination. The Committee on Rules shall make its determination by the following legislative day. If the point of order is raised and referral is made on the last legislative day preceding a joint recess, the Committee on Rules shall make its determination before adjourning for the recess.

The proposition shall remain on file until the determination is made. If, upon consideration of the matter, the Committee on Rules determines that the amendment is not germane, the bill, resolution, or other question shall be stricken from the file and may not be acted upon during the remainder of the session, provided that the author of a bill, resolution, or other question shall be given the opportunity to amend the bill, resolution, or other question to delete the portions that are not germane, in which case the bill, resolution, or other question may continue to be acted upon. If the Committee on Rules determines that the amendment is germane, the bill, resolution, or other question may thereafter be acted upon by the house.

Notwithstanding Rule 21, this rule may not be suspended unless the Committee on Rules determines that an extraordinary circumstance and overwhelming public interest exist that justify the suspension.

Now, baby staffers and lobbyists are taught first and foremost that this rule is a total joke. Early on, I thought my mentor was paranoid by following anything but our bill list after the introduction date. Soon, I understood that that paranoia was necessary to be effective.

Normally, at the end of session, bills that have previously died or for which there is an interest of bypassing the entire legislative process are risen from the dead ("the zombie bills") to gain a new life as parasites that entirely take over the original version of the bill. As long as nobody objects on the floor, or for which there are a majority of votes to sustain the non-germane amendments, the "gut-and-amends" are sustained.

However, it's unusual to see that happen this early in the session, but we have an example in SB 593. The bill was introduced on February 27 by Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsberg) and related to the extension by four days of the right to appeal of suppliers of motor vehicle license revocation. The bill was first eligible to be heard on April Fool's Day.

Five days later, the bill was completely gutted to become a regulatory bill on the "sharing economy," specifically to increase the ability of local governments to regulate and/or limit residential sharing, such as Airbnb. Clearly, a non-germane amendment.

Yesterday, the bill passed Senate Transportation and Housing on a  8-0-3 vote, with Republicans abstaining. From what I can tell, nobody objected to the non-germane gut-and-amend. Why, you might ask? Well, it's "don't ask, don't tell." Every member may need to do it at sometime during the year, and so the rule is just ignored until the most contentious hours of the end of session.

I have no position on the bill, and appreciate Senator McGuire's work. However, his bill provides a great example of this longstanding practice of the laughabiliity of the germaneness rule. 

SPEAKING OF, DON'T HATE THE PLAYA, HATE THE GAME: Drinks, dinners, favors helped PG&E lobbyist build PUC ties, emails show [Marc Lifsher @ LAT]

CA25 (Santa Clarita): 'I'll drop your a--,' Republican tells immigration protester [Tim Devaney @ The Hill] - "A Republican congressman threatened to fight a protester during a heated exchange over President Obama’s illegal-immigration order. 'If you touch me again, I'll drop your ass,' Rep. Stephen Knight (R-Calif.) told a protester in a YouTube video posted over the weekend." [video]

I've never heard the phrase "drop your ass." Is that cop talk? After all, that's Knight's background...

PULL THE POLLS: Bob Hertzberg's SB 163, which would move to an all-mail ballot in California--passed Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments yesterday on a 4-1 vote. It's actually great if you think about it. If marijuana legalization passes next year, you'll hardly have to get off the couch to vote.

In all seriousness, most of you know that I was born in Oregon and have family up there. They are my focus group, and they love the system.

SMOKIN! Backers of legal marijuana face challenges in crafting a ballot measure [Michael Finnegan @ LAT]

TEAR-DOWN: Is Wal-Mart closing stores for 'repairs,' or to punish activist workers? [Michael Hiltzik @ LAT]

Really, Wal-Mart, which used undocumented workers to clean stores overnight, can't fix leaky urinals without closing? I mean, if the Sacramento Intergalactic Airport had to shut down for leaky urinals, we'd never be flying.

Finally, someone said "I'll meet your gyrocopter, and raise you." - Drone with radioactive material found on Japanese prime minister's office roof [Jake Adelstein @ LAT]

#CAKEDAY: Happy Birthday to Dan McCrory, Tony Mendoza, and Rod Olsen! 





  • Vice President.  Fiona Hutton & Associates Inc., a Los Angeles-based strategic communications and public affairs firm representing corporate, trade association, government, non-profit and political clients involved in complex and often controversial issues, is expanding its team and immediately hiring a Vice President to manage the agency’s high-profile and often complex clients. More info:

  • STATE SENATOR HOLLY MITCHELL discusses her legislative priorities in this exclusive interview:

    Know a current or former elected official in Southern California we should interview? Our TV program reaches California's #1 zip code for campaign contributions. Send suggestions to:
  • Harbage Consulting, a health policy consulting firm with expertise in public programs and delivery system reform, is seeking a Communiations Coordinator for its Sacramento office. [more info]
  • Join Capitol Network for its Spring Luncheon featuring Debbie Manning, the first female California State Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms. April 23 at 11:30am at Cal Chamber 1215 K Street, Suite 1400, California Room. Click here to register: For more info, email

  • Corporate & Individual Sponsorships - Available for 8th Annual Assembly Veterans of the Year Luncheon, Wednesday, June 24th.  Event co-sponsored by major veterans groups.  Last year 75 Assemblymembers honored district veterans, 350 people attended.
    Contact Pete Conaty, 916-492-0550,
  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California seeks experienced lobbyist to work on policy issues related to reproductive health, health care, ACA,  Medi-Cal and women’s health. Competitive salary and excellent benefits package. Details here.
  • Senior, progressive California member of congress seeks state and local political director for active campaign operation.  Candidates must be politically savvy, with excellent communications skills and ability to work with all forms of media including social, ethnic and traditional. Candidates should have at least two cycles of campaign or related political experience in a leadership/management role and a Strong understanding of local political landscape.  The right candidate will have a proven ability to organize and mobilize grassroots, coordinate volunteers and run all aspects of campaign is required. Diverse candidates encouraged to apply.  (Read More)

  • California Nurses Association seeks Regulatory / Policy Specialist to help improve healthcare for California patients.  Do you have firsthand Sacramento experience helping to develop laws, policies, or regulations? Permanent full time position.  Excellent benefits -  family healthcare, pension, 401k.  If needed, will help the right person making a long term commitment learn more about health care, and nursing regulations.
    Details  Here 

  • Seeking Diverse Applicants and Progressive Minded Vendors for 2016 Democratic CampaignsInclusv is seeking a diverse pool of talented professionals and vendors for a one of kind repository of staff, consultants and vendors of color. There are commitments from partner organizations and institutions to utilize these resources in hiring, contracting and vending opportunities within Democratic Campaigns for the 2016 Electoral Cycle. Looking for individuals with various levels of political campaign experience, roles range from entry level to senior positions. There is a rigorous screening process to place the right people in the right positions. People of color, women, LBGTQ and those with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply. To submit your resume or join the vendor database, please visit:

  • Democratic Congressman seeks highly-motivated individual to serve as Member's DC Scheduler, who will evaluate and respond to meeting requests among other duties. The office’s atmosphere is supportive with opportunities for professional growth. Spanish-speaking candidates preferred. Please send resume to
  • Harbage Consultancy is seeking Outreach Coordinators -  full-time and temporary positions available in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. [more info]
  • Redwood Pacific Public Affairs seeking professional with 5+ years’ experience. Includes public relations, public affairs and issue campaigns. Exceptional writing skills essential. Legislative/campaign/corporate experience helpful. Salary and title commensurate with skills and experience. Email: or Fax to (916) 329-7404

  • California Department of Insurance (Commissioner Dave Jones), Community Programs & Policy Initiatives Branch, is seeking an energetic and dynamic Community Programs Assistant.  The branch focuses on priority initiatives of the Insurance Commissioner and programs that benefit underserved communities.  Serve as project coordinator on various internal and external programs, assist on national/statewide policy issues, and provide daily administrative support to the CPPI Branch Deputy Commissioner.  Duties include meeting coordination, travel, database and tracking systems, writing, and research.  The ideal candidate has prior experience with administrative systems and scheduling; strong organizational, interpersonal, and project management skills; and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.  Salary: $2,873 - $5,618.  To apply, click here: 

  • Learn the legislative process and best practices for effective lobbying. Cover the complete spectrum of governmental advocacy in two days, including the legislature, budget advocacy, regulatory agencies, the administration, and media relations. Capitol veteran Ray LeBov presents "Lobbying 101" and "Lobbying 201" seminars April 23-24. $250 each. Essential for lobbying firm principals / support staff, organizations / public agencies that employ lobbyists. Complete info / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • Southern California Democratic Member of Congress seeking full-time finance director. Applicant should be self-starter, able to work independently as well as in consultation with senior staff. Responsibilities include planning fundraising events, organizing call time, pledge collection and compliance with campaign finance regulations. Must also be available to attend political events and assist local Party efforts. Finance director works out of Los Angeles-area political office. Candidate should have at least one year of campaign/government/fundraising experience. Salary commensurate with experience. Email resume to
  • Job opening: Executive Director The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) is seeking a committed individual to serve as Executive Director. The applicant must possess strong organizational skills and demonstrated leadership ability. In coordination with the Party Chair, the Executive Director will implement the DPOC's strategic plan and oversee the administration and programs of the Party, including political activities, personnel, fundraising, communication and technology. For more information, visit:
  • Add your 100-word classified for $30/week. Email me at

Backers Of Legal Marijuana Face Challenges In Crafting A Ballot Measure
With Californians facing a possible vote next year on whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, supporters are scrambling to craft a measure that can win broad public support.

Background: Misuse Of Assessments And Fees Brought On Prop 218, Which Took Down The Tiered Water Fee Plan :: Fox&hounds
In other words, some governments went beyond paying for the service provided. The local governments or agencies tacked on increased amounts beyond what was necessary to provide some services such as water and sewer charges. If the local governments wanted additional revenue they should have presented a tax measure to voters for approval. To avoid tax votes, many governments turned to revenue raising devices such as assessments and fees.

Opinion: Senate Competitor May Reveal The Real Kamala Harris
Dan Walters @
It’s always perilous for politicians to tell the truth, as President Barack Obama discovered when he commented on Kamala Harris’ good looks in 2013.

Under Pressure, Beverly Hills May Fine Water Wasters $1,000
Under increasing pressure to slash water use during California's ongoing drought, Beverly Hills is preparing to toughen watering rules and could decide to ban the refilling of pools and set fines as high as $1,000 for water wasters.

California Cities Fret Over Tiered Water Rates After Court Decision
Christopher Cadelago @
Roseville, the sun-splashed suburb of about 125,000 residents, has been among the statewide leaders in saving water. Relying on a tiered pricing plan that charges heavier water users more, the city in recent months has outclassed the region in residential water conservation.

Six U.S. Senators Oppose Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger
Meg James @
Political pressure continues to build for federal regulators to block Comcast Corp. 's proposed $45-billion takeover of Time Warner Cable .

Sen. Mike McGuire Introduces Sweeping Marijuana Bill
A North Coast state senator has introduced sweeping legislation aimed at establishing a comprehensive way for California to regulate nearly all aspects of medical marijuana, from licensing dispensaries to creating quality assurance testing for cannabis products.

Supervisors vote to keep armed guards
The contract became the source of unexpected controversy last week when Supervisor Jane Kim asked why the Metropolitan Transportation Agency needed to hire armed guards. The armed guards, who make up about 18 percent of the security force, escort Muni workers who collect cash from buses, transit-sales desks and fare machines. Only two companies sought the contract, and Cypress Security initially lost the bid before the transit agency reversed course and awarded it to the company. No process is perfect, no contract is perfect,” Supervisor Scott Wiener said, “but this is an existing government contract that has worked well, protected these workers, kept them safe and allowed them to do their jobs. “The negative health effects of smokeless tobacco are crystal clear,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, a former smokeless tobacco user who sponsored the legislation. A new paper from UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education shows that 15 percent of the nation’s high school boys use smokeless tobacco, with the figure even higher for those who play organized sports. The supervisors also gave final approval to a ban on exotic animal performances in the city. The measure will bar performances by animals like elephants, lions and bears in circuses as well as on movie sets.

Californians Can Now Pay Cash For Health Insurance At 7-eleven | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
A fan uses MasterCard with Apple Pay to pay for garlic fries in this October 24, 2014 file photo taken in San Francisco, California. Many people who are eligible for federal health insurance subsidies don't have bank accounts, which makes it hard to pay premiums. By scanning a bar code sent to their smartphones instead, customers can pay with cash at convenience stores under a system in California. Rob Carr/Getty Images for MasterCard

Court Ruling Affects Private And Public Water Entities Differently -
A California Court of Appeals ruling -that tiered water rates must correspond to the cost of service- affects public water agencies. But, it does not affect private companies.This month, the state Public Utilities Commission voted to allow a higher, second tier on the billing of 180,000 people in the Sacramento area.Evan Jacobs is with the California American Water Company.'We serve nine different water systems throughout Sacramento County and western Placer County," he says "and we go from Isleton all the way up to Antelope in those different systems."

Waka Flocka Flame's Presidential Campaign: Where Does He Stand On The Issues?
The 2016 election is heating up, with a number of prominent players formally announcing their candidacies. But it wouldn't be a primary without a few wild cards, and the first one has entered the fray: Waka Flocka Flame.

Update: Carson Approves $1.7 Billion NFL Stadium
Southern California Public Radio @
The Carson city council unanimously approved a $1.7 billion stadium by a 3-0 vote Tuesday night.

52 California State Employees To Receive Medal Of Valor
Jon Ortiz @
California state government will present its Medal of Valor to more than four dozen state workers on Thursday during a ceremony from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento. The award is the highest honor the state bestows on its public servants.

Lawsuit Threatens Sweetwater's Tiered Water Rates But Not San Diego's
Claire Trageser @
A court ruling Monday knocking down a water rate system in San Juan Capistrano likely won't affect most of San Diego County, even though many local water agencies use similar rate structures.

Waka Flocka Flame's Presidential Campaign: Where Does He Stand On The Issues?
Jessica Roy @
The 2016 election is heating up, with a number of prominent players formally announcing their candidacies. But it wouldn't be a primary without a few wild cards, and the first one has entered the fray: Waka Flocka Flame.

Drought legislation is an 'emergency' expansion of government power
Senator Mike Morrell @
With another dry winter behind us, it is appropriate that the drought is at the top of the agenda. We should be looking at all options to ensure every Californian has access to reliable and clean sources of water and doing our part to conserve it.

Ghost Of Nafta Haunts Proposed Pacific Rim Trade Deal
As lawmakers gear up for a rancorous debate on a bill that would help President Obama secure a massive Pacific Rim trade deal, congressional Democrats and their allies are making the case that such an agreement would be disastrous for American jobs and wages.

Ruling Forces California Water Districts To Review Rates
An appeals court decision striking down punitive water pricing that was intended to encourage conservation had water agencies reviewing rates Tuesday and some residents exploring whether to bring similar challenges.

Bill Would Require Agencies To Approve U Visas For Immigrants Helpful In Investigations -
A bill in the California legislature would require local law enforcement agencies to sign off on federal U visas if victims have been helpful in investigations. U-Visas are designed to let immigrants report crimes without fear of deportation.

Federal Data-breach Bill Would Replace Dozens Of Stronger State Laws
It's called the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015, and, if passed into law, it would be the first federal rule requiring businesses to let consumers know that their personal information may be in the hands of hackers.

California Officials Propose Higher Rates For Some | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

Doctors Medical Center Closure Shows Struggle Of Hospitals That Serve The Poor -
Doctors Medical Center, a 60-year-old hospital in San Pablo, has been struggling financially for two decades. Economic changes in health care are putting new pressures on hospitals, especially ones that serve the poor.  

L.A. School Board Backs Tentative Teachers Pact With 10% Raise
Teresa Watanabe @
The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to back a tentative labor agreement that would give teachers a 10% raise over two years — their first pay increase in eight years.