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THE NOONER for June 10, 2015
Happy Wednesday. We start today with some housekeeping, so bear with me, but we do have real content following some important announcements.
ELECTION CYCLE CHANGES: For those of you who have been part of The Nooner community for awhile, you know that I left my full-time President/CEO higher education job in November, preferring a slower, healthier lifestyle and less travel. It has been wonderful.
I am now spending much more time on AroundTheCapitol.com, ElectionTrack.com, and The Nooner. I'm watching hearings and hopefully will be bringing you additional policy insight that has political implications. For now, the wonderful paid subscribers and advertisers are sheltering and feeding me, and I thank you all for that!
We'll do things a bit differently this cycle. First, subscription prices will increase to $49.99/year effective July 1. Existing paid subscribers are grandfathered through December 31 at the existing $39.99/year.
For paid subscribers, here are the changes:
I have no plan to charge for anybody to receive The Nooner, and the AroundTheCapitol.com district pages will continue to have the information displayed now. I appreciate the many students and others on limited income that are readers and contributors to my network.
I'm looking at how I am spending my time now and trying to balance what I believe should be available for free and what is enhanced. I think you'll agree that compared to other products, The Nooner/ATC/ET are still quite cheap, even at $49.99/year.
I'm also open to covering other things. You'll notice less excerpts from newspapers in the content of the Nooner (headlines will still be below), and more original content from me. Just let me know what you want to read by filling out The Nooner survey. I work for you!
Yesterday was a wild day on the fourth floor of the State Capitol, as two very different hearings took place concurrently. And, of course, as the SB 277 hearing wound down, Game 3 of Warriors-Cavs was tipping off, creating more conflicts for multi-tasking lobbyists and staffers.
In 4202, the Assembly Health Committee had a nearly five-hour hearing on SB 277 (Allen and Pan), the vaccination bill. Proponents were a blend of professional lobbyists representing health and education groups and pro-vaccination parents, while opponents (aside from the Chiropracters) were largely red t-shirt-clad parents. Committee chair Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) hung in there and kept the "me too" testimony short and moved through hundreds of members of the public.
In the end, the bill passed 12-6-1 on a party-line vote, with Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) abstaining. The bill goes gets a pass from Appropriations committee and now goes straight to the Assembly floor. It could be on the governor's desk as early as the end of next week.
Meanwhile, across the hall in 4203, the Joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee completed its work on the 2015-16 spending plan. There are still some issues that are being negotiated with the governor and Department of Finance. However, a floor vote is planned for Monday, which is the deadline for the Legislature's passage of the main budget bill to keep the legislators' paychecks flowing. Not all issues are expected to be resolved by Monday, and additional budget "trailer bills" may be adopted to amend the spending plan between now and the July 17 recess.
The biggest sticking point between the Legislature and the governor is different revenue projections. Governor Brown relies on his Department of Finance's projection of $115 billion in budget year revenues, while the Democratic majority in the Legislature is using the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office's more optimistic projection of $119 billion. In spending the, the Conference Committee uses the difference in projections to spend around $2.5 billion more.
Obviously, that's a big number... Of this, $753 million in the 2015-16 (budget year) is for Proposition 98 funding for schools and community colleges, on top of $177 million in additional one-time funds from the previous two fiscal years.
MONEY MATTERS: The State Controller's monthly cash report is out, finding "Less than a month after the Governor revised his proposed 2015-16 state budget, May receipts for the state’s General Fund exceeded the Governor’s new projections by $69.1 million, according to State Controller Betty T. Yee’s monthly report of California’s cash balance, receipts, and disbursements published today."
EGGS IN MULTIPLE BASKETS: There has been lots of confusion about which office Michael Eggman (D), the beekeeper/farmer brother of Asm Susan Talamentes Eggman (D), is running for. This week, he both filed a statement of intent to run for AD31 (West Fresno), the seat held by termed out Henry Perea (D). Meanwhile, he sent an email out that open by stating "I wanted you to be the first to know. I am running again for Congress in California's 10th district." That's the seat that he lost by 12.2% in the 2014 midterms to incumbent Jeff Denham (R). Eggman does live in AD31, but not in CD10. Of course, one doesn't need to live in the congressional district they are running for, unlike state legislative districts.
POLITICS, THE SAN FRANCISCO TREAT: Following yesterday's Politico story of former DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen's endorsement of Steny Hoyer as Nancy Pelosi's successor, folks in DC and California were asking if Pelosi was going to bow out in the 2016 cycle. Two watching closely are Senator Mark Leno and Pelosi's daughter Christine Pelosi, both reportedly interested in the SF congressional seat--when available.
A friend I talked to yesterday noted that the move by Van Hollen is really just a pat on the back to Hoyer to solidify the Senate Minority Whip's support in Van Hollen's U.S. Senate campaign. Both are from Maryland. That makes sense, and I have no expectation that a retirement of Pelosi can be anticipated this cycle, although 2018 is likely. It is likely that after 2018, certainly Barbara Boxer and likely Dianne Feinstein will be gone, and a Democratic majority is almost certainly unreachable before 2022, and perhaps not even then if the U.S. Supreme Court changes rules governing the drawing of House districts.
Meanwhile Mark and Christine get to wait.
Then we have the termed-out Leno's Senate seat in 2016. Leno's shoes will be hard to fill--particularly the role as Budget chair, but several folks are interested in checking the fit. The only candidate "in" the race is San Francisco District 8 supervisor Scott Wiener, who lives in the Castro and is an attorney. There are three other candidates waiting to see what the others on the "progressive" side of SF politics are going to do. These include former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, District 9 supervisor David Campos, who lives in Bernal Heights, and District supervisor Jane Kim, who lives in SOMA. Ammiano is a former teacher, legislator and supervisor, while Campos and Kim are attorneys. Campos lost to David Chiu for AD17 in 2014.
Expect only one of those three "progressive" candidates to run, and likely in that order, Ammiano, Campos, and Kim.
When Paul Mitchell and I do talks like we did last week for the Sacramento County Young Democrats, everyone always wants to know the impact of the elections "reforms" in recent years, including top-two primaries, the redistricting commission, and the changes to term limits. This San Francisco Senate seat is a good example of all three.
First, the easy one--top-two. In San Francisco, unless 20 Democrats and 1 Republican run, under top-two, there will be two Democrats in November. The fights between the more business-friendly Democrats and progressives used to be all in the primary. Now they likely will be both in June and November, unless there are only two Democrats and they basically defer serious campaigning until November.
Second, San Francisco only has one State Senate seat now, rather than the two that it had before the 2011 redistricting. This is due to the relatively constant population as opposed to faster growing parts of the state, but more importantly because the the Citizens Redistrict Commission asked and answered "Why split up San Francisco?" Before 2011, San Francisco was split between SD08--west SF (plus Daly City, San Bruno, and San Mateo) and east--and SD03--east SF (plus Marin County and parts of southern Sonoma County). Leland Yee represented SD08, a district that was teleported to the Sierra Foothills in redistricting, and Mark Leno represented SD03.
Now, all the possible candidates I discussed above for Mark Leno's current SD11 are from the old SD03, but some would be willing to move if there were still two State Senate seats in this hyperpolitical city.
Finally, the changes in term limits likely means that the two Assembly seats--David Chiu's AD17 and Phil Ting's AD19 likely won't be open until 2024 and 2026, respectively. If you're an ambitious county supervisor who wants to move up, a bid for State Senate may be the only option, particularly with the profile of the single congressional seat of Nancy Pelosi. The old staircase of school board, supervisor, Assembly, and then State Senate is no longer the rules of the game in this hyper-political city with lots of high caliber and ambitious talent.
I challenge you to find another part of California in which the election "reforms" have had a greater impact.
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Richard Ramirez died two years ago Sunday. Facebook fail. #gullible
#CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Assemblymember Bill Dodd, CTA President Dean Vogel and AD41 DSCC delegate Tim Wendler!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California State Senators To Propose Overhaul Of Prop. 13
SACRAMENTO — Two Democratic state senators plan to introduce legislation Wednesday to overhaul Proposition 13, the state's landmark restrictions on property taxes, so local governments can raise more revenue from commercial and industrial properties.
California Lawmaker Proposes Steep Tax For Water Guzzlers
Associated Press @ kpbs.org
California's worst water-guzzling residents and businesses could get slapped with 300 percent taxes on their bills under drought-inspired legislation that was proposed Tuesday but faces a tough path before it could actually affect local water bills.
Supes delay action on Airbnb rentals but go after sugary drinks
Supes delay action on Airbnb rentals but go after sugary drinks After a contentious debate Tuesday, the supervisors continued for a month two pieces of competing legislation on the issue. The debate over short-term rentals is an important policy one and has taken on heightened importance given evidence that they take units off San FranciscoâÂÂs tight housing market, although to what extent is a disputed question. Campos said he wanted a vote by the full board on his proposal, which would cap rentals at 60 days per year, give private citizens the right to sue landlords who exceed that limit and require short-term rental companies to give quarterly reports on who is renting out space. Campos lacked the votes to pass his legislation, but a vote by the board rejecting it would give ammunition to foes of short-term rentals seeking a ballot measure in the November election thatâÂÂs similar to his legislation. [...] on Tuesday, the board unanimously took action to regulate the advertising of soda and other sugary beverages, rejecting arguments by the beverage industry that its products should be treated no differently than cake and doughnuts. The board unanimously passed three pieces of legislation: A first-of-its-kind-in-the-country measure to require warning labels on new soda advertising on city surfaces, including billboards, buses, transit shelters, posters and sports stadiums. Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. The board also passed legislation by Supervisor Malia Cohen banning soda advertising on city property, and Supervisor Eric MarâÂÂs proposal banning spending of city money on soda. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among children ages 10 to 19 has risen dramatically in recent years, disproportionately affecting African-American and Latino youths, according to a 2014 study published in the the Journal of the American Medical Association. Roger Salazar, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, said the association is âÂÂdisappointed that the board took the politically expedient route of scapegoating sugar-sweetened beverages instead of finding a comprehensive solution to the complex issues of obesity and diabetes.âÂÂ
New School Funding Formula To Get Huge Increase
John Fensterwald @ edsource.org
A projected big infusion of state revenue next year will inject much more money into the new K-12 education finance system than school districts and state officials expected at this point.
Fresno Lawmaker Invokes Concentration And Internment Camps At Vaccine Bill Rally
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
During a rally against a California bill making vaccines mandatory for school children, a Republican lawmaker from Fresno galvanized the crowd by invoking forced interment camps.
Democrats Counter Brown's Budget Proposal
Ben Adler @ capradio.org
Legislative Democrats are finalizing a California budget proposal that highlights some big differences between their priorities and those of Gov. Jerry Brown.
Obama Gives Sweeping Defense Of Healthcare Law As Supreme Court Ruling Looms
President Obama reentered the political battle over healthcare Tuesday, delivering an extended defense of the Affordable Care Act as the Supreme Court prepares to issue its ruling on a case that could strip away health insurance from millions of Americans.
Major Issues Remain As California Budget Deadline Nears | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
Assembly, Senate plans include brighter revenue assumptions
Gov. Jerry Brown Sees California Getting Through Drought
Even as the state struggles through an epic water crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown assured residents Tuesday that technology, adaptation and “a more elegant” way of living would ultimately preserve the California dream for generations to come.
First Draft: Carly Fiorina Steps Up Campaign Against Hillary Clinton
Carly Fiorina is trying to catapult her long-shot presidential candidacy by focusing on attacking Mrs. Clinton in more aggressive and pointed ways than her male Republican rivals.
California Budget Drafted Amid Warnings To Prepare For Recession
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
Even as California's leaders prepare a new state budget that is flush with cash, Gov. Jerry Brown has increasingly raised the specter of another recession that could undo years of hard-won financial progress.
Santa Clara County boosting age to buy tobacco to 21
Jenna Lyons @ sfgate.com
Come January 1, Santa Clara County will raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21 in its unincorporated areas, a move in line with growing public health concerns about access to younger users. County superintendents voted unanimously Tuesday to pass the ordinance just a week after the Senate approved proposals to raise the purchasing age statewide. The county already has a history limiting younger crowdsâÂÂ tobacco access, including an ordinance officials passed in 2010 that bans retailers from selling tobacco within 1,000 feet of a school. The Institute of Medicine released a March 2015 report claiming increasing the purchasing age can have a major health impact on young adults, one of the reasons Sara Cody, public health officer for the county, said she is âÂÂthrilledâÂÂ with the ordinance, which will affect about 25 retailers.
Volcker Report Praises California Budget Moves But Raises Warnings :: Fox&hounds
Will the legislature want to follow that path that could become economic quicksand? Looks that way.
Crisis Or Not? Jerry Brown Avoids Offering Stern Advice On Drought
Cathleen Decker @ latimes.com
In his latest iteration as California’s governor, Jerry Brown seems to have cracked the code of the state’s quirky politics. The code: We’ll elect you, if you promise to fix the mess and leave us alone.
Bullet Train Runs Into Rising Opposition Over Southern California Routes
Over the last decade, the California bullet train has been largely confined to futuristic renderings and promised trips of about 2 1/2 hours from Los Angeles to San Francisco. But as its effects on urban areas come more sharply into focus, opposition is intensifying among people along its path.
S.F. ad campaign makes water conservation sexy
The city of San Francisco credits its provocative water-savings campaign last year, thick with double entendres, with helping residents achieve among the lowest levels of water use in the state. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission announced itâÂÂs throwing another $300,000 into its ad blitz as well as a few more racy conservation slogans. The commissionâÂÂs wholesale water buyers are also partnering in the campaign. The four-year drought isnâÂÂt going away soon, and city officials need to keep saving water. Last summer, San Francisco residents used 45 gallons of water per day on average after the conservation promo premiered, according to state water records. Under Gov. Jerry BrownâÂÂs new conservation order, the city has to maintain at least 8 percent savings over the next nine months or face possible penalties from the state.
Gov. Brown Says Fixing Delta Water System Important For Entire State
Gov. Jerry Brown called on California to support a plan to transform the heart of one of the state’s most important water systems, saying failure to take action on the delta could risk disaster for not only Southern California but the San Francisco Bay Area as well.
California Vaccine Bill Clears Committee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
A California bill mandating full vaccination for schoolchildren now awaits an Assembly floor vote after passing the Assembly Health Committee on a 12-6 vote Tuesday.
Ethics Troubles Could Mount For Ex-Candidate Who Missed Fine Payment
David Zahniser @ latimes.com
A Los Angeles City Council candidate accused of filing bogus information about campaign contributions — attributing multiple donations to dead people — faced potentially more trouble Tuesday after he failed to submit the first payment on a proposed $91,548 fine.
Hertz accused of unauthorized background checks on job applicants
Civil rights lawyers sued Hertz Corp. and its background-checks contractor on Tuesday, accusing them of blindsiding job applicants by looking up their criminal records and withholding or withdrawing job offers without giving them a chance to challenge the reports. A federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, requires private employers to get applicantsâÂÂ written consent before checking their criminal records or credit history, said lawyers in the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. When a report contains damaging information, the lawyers said, the employer must give the applicant a copy and a chance to correct any errors. âÂÂA significant percentage of these (criminal background) reports ... contain incomplete, inaccurate, misleading, or improper records that can erroneously disqualify a job applicant,âÂÂ the suit said. California enacted such a ban for state and local government jobs last year, and San Francisco later expanded that ban to private companies with more than 20 employees. Both laws allow employers to conduct full background checks after an initial interview, subject to the restrictions in federal law. Six days before he was scheduled to start, Hertz said it was withdrawing the offer because of information uncovered in LeeâÂÂs criminal background check.
L.A. Police Commission Faults Officers In Ezell Ford Shooting
The Los Angeles Police Commission issued a mixed ruling Tuesday in last year’s killing of a mentally ill black man, finding that one officer was wrong to use deadly force but clearing another in the fatal shooting.