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THE Nooner for May 18, 2017

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Good morning! Happy Thursday, Noonerific people.

Admittedly, I've been in a bachelor funk lately. I love to cook, but have had little desire to do so when I can simply open a can or fry a quick pork chop. But, I'm getting back into my game. Last night, I dusted off my favorite kitchen appliance--my Instant Pot--and made shrimp and sausage over wild rice. I realized what I have been missing. Let's stay out of that funk!

Gearing up for this weekend's Democratic Party convention, Antonio Villaraigosa said that it's time for Donald Trump to resign before he faces impeachment, writes Christopher Cadelago in the Bee. The Department of Justice's appointment of a special counsel adds fuel to the fire. 

FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: George Skelton shares his disappointment that Jerry Brown did not include provider increases for doctors, dentists and hospitals using the tobacco tax revenue gained from the $2/pack increase approved by voters last November. The associations representing providers bankrolled the measure, hoping that higher provider rates would provide much needed access for patients on MediCal, who have found fewer professionals willing to serve them.



RED FLAG: Assemblymember Rob Bonta has dropped his bill to strike the state's ability to fire employees who affiliate with the Community Party, after an uproar--particularly within the Vietnamese-American community, reports Alexei Koseff in the Bee. “Through my conversations with veterans and members of the Vietnamese American community, I heard compelling stories of how AB 22 caused real distress and hurt for proud and honorable people. For that, I am sorry.”

FUGEES: The Bee's Stephen Magagnini and Phillip Reese report on the package of bills passed in the Assembly this week that would aid refugees. It would provide in-state tuition at community colleges to all refugees and provide preferences for state jobs to refugees who aided the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

BEHIND THE ORANGE CURTAIN: The Trump phenomenon is giving hope to Orange County Democrats of chipping away the GOP's advantage in the largest Republican-dominated county in the Golden State, reports Sarah D. Wire in the Times. Currently, Democrats hold one congressional seat (Sanchez), one Senate seat (Newman) and two Assembly seats (Daly and Quirk-Silva). 

"The four targeted Republicans are Reps. Ed Royce of Fullerton, Mimi Walters of Irvine, Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach and Darrell Issa of Vista. They have been among the most lambasted after Republicans voted to roll back the Affordable Care Act."

Also in the OC, the Register's Jessica Kwong reports that Santa Ana is considering establishing a legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation.The council directed staff to develop a proposal on a 4-2 vote. Dissenting were councilmembers Jose Solorio and Juan Villegas, over concerns that projections are that the city already faces significant deficits over the next could of years.




  • Assembly Budget Sub 4 is moving to address issues identified in the state audit of the Board of Equalization, reports Patrick McGreevy in the Times.

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES? On Fox& Hounds, Joel Fox looks at the school board election results in which pro-charter/reform majorities were created, and what that means to long-term education reform throughout the state.




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Housing Crisis Causes Legislative Avalanche: 130 Bills Proposed In Sacramento – East Bay Times
Home prices keep rising to shocking levels around the Bay Area, while rents remain out of sight. Now, state lawmakers in Sacramento are responding with a torrent of proposals.

Gov. Brown Stiffed Doctors, Dentists And Hospitals By Not Increasing Provider Fees With New Tobacco Tax Money
George Skelton @
Gov. Brown stiffed doctors, dentists and hospitals by not increasing provider fees with new tobacco tax money. Providers put up at least $12 million to get the tax passed.

Villaraigosa Says Trump Should Resign Or Be Impeached | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Pelosi Wants Independent Commission On Russia Despite Special Counsel Appointment | Thehill
Cristina Marcos @
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the agency's investigation of how Russia tried to influence the election and any links with President Trump's campaign.

Caltrans Worker Wins $3 Million Allergy Lawsuit | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

UC Regents Meeting Disrupted By Protests Over State Audit Finding Of Undisclosed Surplus
Teresa Watanabe @
Critics chastised University of California regents for raising tuition while squirreling away millions, and regents vowed to increase UC transfer enrollment at their meeting Wednesday.

Anti-communist Law For California Public Employees Will Stay | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

California Budget Panel Seeks New Limits On State Tax Board Funding And Staffing
Patrick McGreevy @
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Refugees To Receive Breaks In Hiring, Tuition Under California Bill | The Sacramento Bee
Stephen Magagnini and Phillip Reese @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Free Booze And Celebrity Appearances: How Candidates For Governor Will Court California Democrats This Weekend
Seema Mehta @
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Tom Steyer Testing Waters For Calif. Gubernatorial Bid | Thehill
Reid Wilson @
"It's no secret that Tom Steyer is considering running for office, and he'll make a decision later this year," said Rose Kapolczynski, a top Steyer advisor. "We aren't going to discuss our research program in the news media."

Democrats Fight For Rep. Eric Swalwell's Russia Commission
As controversy roiled the capitol over the latest damaging reports about the Trump administration, House Democrats launched a procedural fight Wednesday to create an independent commission into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Ryan: Tax Reform Is Happening In 2017 - Politico
House Speaker Paul Ryan during his press conference also gave a full-throated endorsement of his controversial border adjustment tax proposal. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

The political rift on drug laws, illustrated in one tweet

Sen. Ben Sasse's joke about marijuana inadvertently highlights the far-right politics of his party's president.

Fresno Faces Water Lawsuit Over Pipe Corrosion, Lead | The Fresno Bee
Tim Sheehan @
By Tim Sheehan

Devos Expected To Unveil School Choice Plans Monday - Politico
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is believed to be preparing to unveil an education tax credit scholarship proposal, which the Trump administration has been considering for some time. | AP Photo

UC Students Protest Hidden Funds, Shut Down Regents Meeting - San Francisco Chronicle

Vulnerable Republicans Flee From Trump - Politico
The break from Trump among centrist Republicans is especially notable because some of them had stuck by the president through the brutal fight over Obamacare repeal legislation two weeks ago, backing an unpopular bill despite great political risk at home.

Farmers Pumped Enough Groundwater During The Drought To Fill Shasta Lake Seven Times | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Sabalow and Phillip Reese @
By Ryan Sabalow and Phillip Reese

Jolted By Trump, Orange County Democrats See A Shot At Victory On GOP Turf
Sarah D. Wire @
Catherine Nadeau was never a supporter of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, but as a resident of historically conservative Orange County she had never bothered to get involved in local politics either.

Issa's Reactions Trigger Social Media Storm - The San Diego Union-tribune
Joshua Stewart @

After Election Loss, Critics Of Charter Amendment C Call For Sweeping Review Of LAPD Discipline
David Zahniser @
Police accountability groups called Wednesday for Los Angeles city leaders to overhaul the process used to select civilians who review allegations of serious officer misconduct.

Sacramento County Assessor Resigns Amid Investigations Into Alleged Wrongdoing | The Sacramento Bee
Brad Branan and Ellen Garrison @
By Brad Branan and Ellen Garrison

Ag Becerra: Lifting The Poor Will Boost The Economy :: Fox&hounds
Becerra recalled speaking to visitors from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce telling them if he directed his efforts toward them he was not helping California. Becerra emphasized what his office and the government should be concerned with is helping low-income people rise to the middle class.