Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for August 24, 2016

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  • Some people have asked how I decide between Toss-Up, Leans Dem/Rep, Likely Dem/Rep, and Safe Dem/Rep. Well, it is subjective, but generally, here we go:
    • Toss-Up is a true 50% chance, either because of district make up or candidate factors (money, endorsements, etc.)
    • Lean is a 50+ to 60% chance
    • Likely is a 60+ to 90% chance
    • Safe is 90% - 100% (obviously in districts in which two members of the same party advanced to the general)

Good midday Wednesday to you! One week left in the legislative session, including five business days. If the Legislature follows tradition of not meeting Friday, make that four business days. That explains the frenetic pace if you were watching session yesterday, with gut-and-amends still arriving through rule waivers.

One notable thing was how much faster end of session bill consideration goes without former Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, who liked to speak on every bill he opposed (which was most). We even have time to smash some Pokemon during the proceedings!


Lara Pokemon


For now, barring a Herculean last-minute effort, we're stuck with "spring forward, fall back," meaning my clock radio will be an hour off half the year because I always forget how to change the time.

I'm off to Davis in a few for the first of several appointments following my brain's electrical misfiring on Sunday that landed me in the ER. Hopefully I'm back to Nooner Global Headquarters by the time you read this.

VOTER REG STATS: The latest voter registration numbers are now on the district pages

GASSY: California's climate change law clears a big hurdle after lobbyists crank up pressure [Megerian, Mason and Dillon @ LAT]:

A controversial measure to extend California’s target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions was approved by the Assembly on Tuesday, clearing a major hurdle in a battle at the Capitol over the future of the state’s environmental programs.

. . .

The legislation would require slashing greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, an easier target than the current goal of hitting 1990 levels by 2020.

FLIPS: More than a dozen assembly members flipped their votes from last year to support climate change bill [Liam Dillon @ LAT] - “Seventeen California assembly members on Tuesday flipped their votes from last year to back a major bill to extend the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, including some members of a business-aligned bloc of Democrats and one Republican.”

$$$: A Schwarzenegger-era casino deal will cost state $36.3 million [Jim Miller @ SacBee] - “California will pay $36.3 million after losing a years-long legal fight with a Southern California tribe over a casino deal negotiated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that traded permission to add slot machines in return for millions of dollars in payments to the General Fund.”

CATCH AND RELEASE: California lawmakers block police body camera legislation [Alexei Koseff @ SacBee] - “Assembly Bill 2611, which would have blocked the public release of recordings depicting the deaths of officers unless authorized by their families, was pulled from consideration by its author before a vote in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.”

POKEMON STOP! Bill forcing drivers’ hands off smartphones awaits Gov. Jerry Brown [Anshu Siripurapu @ SacBee] - “Assembly Bill 1785 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, would require drivers to mount their smartphones on their car’s windshield or dashboard and use them only for things that require the ‘motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.’”

QUACK! Loretta Sanchez ducks first U.S. Senate debate with Kamala Harris [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee] - “Despite saying she wanted plenty of U.S. Senate debates, Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s campaign consultants have not responded to a formal request from media partners, including The Sacramento Bee, which was first issued in June.”

SD11 (San Francisco): Scott Wiener has cash backing from strip clubs in Senate race [Lizzie Johnson @ SFChron] - “The politically moderate, mild-mannered politician may seem like an unlikely choice of purveyors of the risque establishments, but they’ve contributed $30,000 to his race so far. Donations of $4,200 apiece came from the Penthouse Club, Gold Club, SAW Entertainment, Cybernet Entertainment ( and SFBSC Management.”

LITE! Gavin Newsom touts legal marijuana, more gun control [Martin Wisckol @ OCR] - “Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s track record of getting out in front on issues has helped him emerge as a leading proponent of two of November’s hot-button ballot measures, propositions to legalize recreational marijuana and add new gun controls.”

OUCH: State receives only a trickle of cash from cap-and-trade program [Chris Megerian @ LAT] - “Although final details won't be available until next month, it's expected that revenue from the sale will be roughly $8 million, even weaker than the previous round in May.”

BLURRED LINES: California’s political map panel seeks some changes [Jim Miller @ SacBee] - “The overall theme: The 14 future redistricting commissioners who draw the state’s next districts after the 2020 census need more time, money and training to get up to speed on California’s complex redistricting process and the many issues that come into play, from litigation and state hiring rules to voting rights laws and demographic data.”

Can't we skip the whole cumbersome and costly process and just have Paul Mitchell draw the lines?

MAIL IT IN: Voting will never be quite the same in California if lawmakers pass reforms [John Myers @ LAT]:

Sweeping legislation at the state Capitol would make the future of California elections dependent on a major expansion of absentee ballots, one that would give local officials the power to close thousands of neighborhood polling places.

In their place, counties would open temporary elections offices known as “vote centers” sprinkled throughout communities, locations offering a wide variety of elections services including early voting and same-day voter registration as well as a limited number of in-person voting booths.

I was always skeptical of this. It changes the dynamic of GOTV efforts since there really isn't an "Election Day," requires people to have stamps (I don't think I have any on hand), and who like me have stacks of mail lying around.

That said, my extended family in Oregon love it. It allows them to not make knee-jerk decision on ballot measures (OR often has long ballots like CA). For my grandmother (who has macular generation), it allows her to use her visual aids and take the time without standing in a polling place. 

It is no panacea. The last time I checked, turnout in OR in presidential elections wasn't appreciably better than in CA. 

And, my family is comfortably middle class white folk. I haven't seen adequate studies on what all mail-in ballots have on minority communities. The African-American community in particular has some of the best Election Day GOTV efforts, which is why they regularly best Latinos in Latino-majority districts, such as South Los Angeles, Compton, and other areas.

Of course, the legislation doesn't propose "flipping a switch" across the state to all mail-in ballots, but would give discretion to county election officials to close neighborhood polling places and create larger "voting centers" throughout districts, where vote-by-mail ballots could be dropped off or provisional ballots cast. So, you could still chase those who haven't cast their mail-in ballots and drive them to the regional "voting center," although it would be a much longer drive.

Also, the cost savings from not paying polling place workers could allow mail-in ballots to be business reply mail, with the cost of postage paid by counties or the state. That would also eliminate that question we vote-by-mail voters have in a lot of elections--is it one stamp or two stamps? I asked that in June, and with 17 ballot measures on the ballot in November, it'll be an even bigger question.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Asm O'Donnell's Jesse Switzer!






  • LOBBYING SUCCESS STARTS HERE. Capitol veteran Ray LeBov's Lobbying 101 and 201 seminars give you a comprehensive, real-world picture of lobbying in California -- the people, processes and best practices critical to helping you succeed. Sept. 22-23, $275 each / $500 for both. Lobbying 101 covers the Legislative process and Legislative advocacy; Lobbying 201 explores the equally critical areas of Budget Advocacy, Regulatory Agency Advocacy, Lobbying the Administration and Media Relations. Essential for lobbying firm principals / staff; organizations / agencies that employ lobbyists; newcomers to the profession. Information / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • Berkeley Lab is Bringing Science Solutions to the World, and YOU can be a part of it!: The Electricity Markets and Policy Group at LBNL is recruiting for a research position (job title: Scientific Engineering Associate). The Electricity Markets and Policy Group conducts technical, economic, and policy analysis of energy topics centered on the U.S. electricity sector.  Our current research seeks to inform public and private decision-making on public-interest issues related to energy efficiency and demand response, renewable energy, electricity resource and transmission planning, and electricity reliability.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of California seeks an outgoing, results-driven, and experienced advocate who is passionate about advancing many of the most important – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil rights and liberties in our State Capitol. Please see job description for details.
  • California Charter Schools Association: The Legal Secretary is responsible for a variety of tasks in support of CCSA’s legal team.  The ideal candidate will have litigation secretary experience. The Legal Secretary will report to the General Counsel/Senior Vice President of Legal Advocacy, along with the three attorneys making up the team.  The Legal Secretary will work in the Sacramento office, but will be assigned to attorneys who work remotely acro
Borenstein: Appellate Court Issues Major Pension Reform Ruling -
The unanimous decision last week rejects widely held assumptions that benefits cannot be reduced once employees start working. That constraint has hindered attempts statewide, and in charter cities such as in San Jose, to meaningfully stem soaring taxpayer costs for pensions.

State Assembly Members Pass Legislation To Ban Tax On Menstrual Products | The Daily Californian
State legislators are one step closer to striking down the sales tax on menstrual products sold across California, after the Senate Appropriations Committee approved Assembly Bill 1561 on Aug. 11.

L.A. Unified Finds Money To Expand Health Benefits Despite Budget Worries
L.A. Unified finds money to expand health benefits ahead of next election, another win for Local 99, a union with low-key but significant clout.

Loretta Sanchez Ducks First U.S. Senate Debate With Kamala Harris | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Bill By Assemblywoman Nora Campos Seeks To Count Latinos As Latinos In Juvenile Justice System, Sent To Gov. Jerry Brown
Update on 'Essential Politics: Live updates as California Assembly agrees to extend climate change law'

California Lawmakers Block Police Body Camera Legislation | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Democrats Beat Republicans In Sacramento's Annual Legislative Softball Game
Update on 'Essential Politics: Live updates as California Assembly agrees to extend climate change law'

Governor Signs Vidak Measures into Law
Governor Brown signed into law on Monday Senate Bill 1178 (Child Abuse Poster) and Senate Bill 940 (High-Speed Rail Property Sale Notification) authored by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford).

California's Climate Change Law Clears A Big Hurdle After Lobbyists Crank Up Pressure
Assembly members voted on climate legislation on Tuesday, a key step in extending the state's environmental programs.

California May Become A Marijuana 'epicenter,' With Pot A $6.5 Billion Market Here By 2020 - The Orange County Register
If Californians legalize marijuana under Proposition 64 in November, legal cannabis sales in the state likely will climb by $1.6 billion within the first year of implementation, according to a report released Tuesday.

Uber And Lyft Drivers Could Use Rental Cars Under Bill Heading To The Governor's Desk
Update on 'Essential Politics: Live updates as Assembly agrees to extend climate change law, but cap and trade auction fizzles'

Status Quo Stands As Supreme Court Stays Out Of Education Fights :: Fox&hounds
The state Supreme Court upheld an Appellate Court decision in the Vergara case, which concerns constitutional protections of students involving teacher tenure, retention and dismissal. Student plaintiffs claimed that they, along with many students in lower economic communities, suffered from dealing with hard-to-fire, unqualified teachers who were retained under the union supported seniority system.

Children Seeking U.S. Asylum Should Be Given A Lawyer, State Senator Urges
Update on 'Essential Politics: Live updates as California Assembly agrees to extend climate change law'

A Schwarzenegger-era Casino Deal Will Cost State $36.3 Million | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Government Travel To States Believed To Discriminate Against Lgbt People Soon Could Be Banned In California
Update on 'Essential Politics: Live updates as Assembly agrees to extend climate change law, but cap and trade auction fizzles'

Tobacco Companies Mislead Voters In Radio Ad | The Sacramento Bee
Taryn Luna @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Effort To Eliminate Daylight Saving Time Fizzles In Senate
Update on 'Essential Politics: Live updates as California Assembly agrees to extend climate change law'

Effort To Roll Back Daylight Saving Time Defeated In California Senate | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

All Police Body Camera Bills Have Failed This Year In California
Update on 'Essential Politics: Live updates as California Assembly agrees to extend climate change law'