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THE Nooner for May 23, 2017
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Good morning! I hope you stayed cool yesterday. I was a masochist, just to see if I could do it, and made it through the day without air condititioning. Hehe..by the evening, it was 88 degrees in my place. And, making risotto at that temperature is a little silly. I survived.
Fortunately, the awesome Nom Nom Paleo sent out a recipe for Instant Pot chili this morning. A healthy one pot quick solution on a hot Sacramento day. Much better than the oven-cooked ribs I originally planned for the day.
Let's start today by wishing a quick and full recovery for Department of Finance director Michael Cohen, who was unexpectedly hospitalized and has taken an extended leave, reports John Myers in the Times. For those of you who follow the budget, Cohen--both when he was at the Legislative Analyst's Office and in recent years as director of Finance is probably the smartest guy in the room on anything budget-related.
A reader pointed out that ElectionTrack wasn't updating for the nightly email. To be honest, I wrote a lot of the scripts over a decade ago and didn't realize it was broken. All seems to be groovy now, and all late contributions are on the ElectionTrack page and are included in the midnight email summary of the day.
If you haven't seen what the emails look like, I've included one above #CAKEDAY below.
COLONY COLLAPSE: The Sacramento Bee issued a new round of layoffs and buyouts yesterday. I'm told that the political and governmental reporting units aren't affected. The total number of affected employees has not been released.
Kimberly Ellis told Carla Marinucci yesterday that she has no interest in running for AD15 (Berkeley). Since that contradicts some words from trusted folks close to her chair campaign, I'm keeping her on the possible candidates until after this ballot examination of the chair's race is complete.
HEALTHY CALIFORNIA: SB 562 (Lara and Atkins): The bill to institute single-payer health care in California was up in Senate Appropriations yesterday and was sent to the Suspense File, where bills with a fiscal impact are parked until they can be considered together just before the fiscal committee deadline (Friday).
The $400 billion annual price tag, including $200 billion that would need to be transferred from existing employer contributions to a state fund, likely through a payroll tax, had even ardent supporters of single-payer flummoxed. Senator Ricardo Lara, who is chair of Senate Approps, presented the bill and committed that it would be brought back after more of the financing is worked out while in the Assembly. Lara is running for insurance commissioner.
Department of Finance "did not have a file" on the measure. This is going to be the challenge. Governor Jerry Brown, living under the shadow of his father's legacy, is looking at his own. With only 594 days left in office, he still has two of his big projects to tackle--twin tunnels for the water project and high speed rail. Single-payer is a big lift to add to his plate when the overall financing is unclear and, even if the Legislature bought the bullet and imposed a payroll tax (changing the bill from simple majority to supermajority), the plan would still be reliant on federal waivers to redirect existing federal funds.
Governor Brown doesn't like that type of uncertainty.
Don't get me wrong. I spent two years in hospitals as a sick kid and then worked in pediatric intensive care at Children's Hospital of Orange County. I know the problems of the existing health care financing system well, but there are a lot of "ifs" and the governor doesn't have much time left in office.
GUBER 2018: Joel Fox in Fox&Hounds looks at the uncertain GOP field for the governor's corner office:
Republican insiders are still hoping San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer will make the run. He is feeling the pressure. . .
Speaking of Republican donors, rumors have it that GOP mega-donor Charles Munger Jr. is encouraging the declared interest in the top job by former Assemblyman David Hadley. . .
On the other side of the GOP political scale is another former assemblyman and one-time gubernatorial candidate, Tim Donnelly. . .
Yesterday on this site, Scott Lay suggested that former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio may be using his position in leading a recall effort against a tax-raising Democratic state senator as a stalking horse for a gubernatorial run.
Announced candidate John Cox, a successful businessman, has resources to kick-start his campaign.
SHINDIG ROUNDUP: I missed this article by the LAT's Cathleen Decker yesterday, in which she looks at how the generational shift within the Democratic Party is pushing it further to the left. "The generational and ideological fight that split the party over the weekend centered on the party chairmanship and an extended tussle over whether the party and its leaders were sufficiently supportive of a state Medicare-for-all plan."
DOUBLE-X FACTOR: The Assembly approved AB 168 (Talamantes Eggman) yesterday, which would prohibit employers from asking applicants for salary history in an effort to reduce gender-based wage discrimination, reports Alexei Koseff in the Bee.
JUICED: The LAT's Sarah D. Wire writes that the U.S. Dept. of Transportation yesterday released $100 million in funding for the CalTrain electrification project. For the SoCal folks, CalTrain runs from AT&T ballpark down the peninsula to San Jose. It's not only a key commuter route but also now the sports train--access to the Giants and Niners without worrying about parking. The electrification project not only is environmentally preferable than the current diesel trains, but will also be faster and allow more frequent trains.
ANOTHER MUDSLIDE: It's been a brutal 2017 for residents and visitors of one of California's most beautiful locales. Saturday brought another landslide across Highway 1 south of Big Sur, one of five active mudslides from a hillside that was deluged through January and February, reports Tom Wright in the Monterey Herald. There is no estimate as to when the road will reopen as we enter a key season for the Central Coast.
Over the weekend, I talked to a lot of young people at the convention. They asked me where I learned the most about California politics and history. Of course, I had to refer them to the Sofa Degree. If you're a relatively new Nooner reader, you probably haven't seen it, as I publish it periodically (although it's also on the ATC website). Anyway, with a three day weekend ahead and summer recess approaching, now's a great time to get your "sofa degree" books on the shelf.
THE SOFA DEGREE IN CALIFORNIA POLITICS AND POLICY:
What Top 25 books would you read to get a university-quality education that would prepare you for a career in California politics or policy?
SUMMARY FOR 05-22-2017 (details below)
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mike Young and Rock Zierman!
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Yesterday, I listed NRCC target CA07 as Denham. Of course, it's Bera.
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Universal Health Care Cost In California $400 Billion A Year | The Sacramento Bee
Angela Hart @ sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
Last-minute attack may foil proposed SF density housing law
Rachel Swan @ sfgate.com
An affordable housing advocacy group is trying to come between the moderate and progressive wings on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, just as they close in on passing housing density legislation that has taken two years to craft.
Mayor's Proposed Special Election On Convention Center, Homeless Funding Draws Sharp Questions - The San Diego Union-tribune
Lori Weisberg @ sandiegouniontribune.com
While the council was not being asked yet to vote the proposal...
Assembly OKs Bill Banning Employers From Seeking Salary History | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @ sacbee.com
Taking aim at the persistent gender pay gap in California, legislators are pursuing a law that would prohibit employers from seeking the salary history of job applicants.
Trump Budget Shows Tiny Surplus In 10 Years, With Rosy Economic Forecast And Trillions In Domestic Cuts
Brian Bennett @ latimes.com
Trump's first budget calls for deep cuts in Medicaid, contrary to campaign vow, deep tax cuts and higher-then-expected growth to avoid deficits.
Ex-Customs And Border Protection Officer Gets 5 Years In Prison For Immigrant Smuggling
Greg Moran @ sandiegouniontribune.com
A former Customs and Border Protection officer who took bribes of money and sex to allow unauthorized immigrants into the U.S. through the San Ysidro Port of Entry was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.
Conservative Group Runs Ads Thanking California GOP For Health Care Vote
Sarah D. Wire @ latimes.com
A conservative advocacy group will run television ads thanking six California Republicans for voting for the GOP bill to roll back the ...
LA County Wants More People To Sign Up For Food Stamps As Trump Budget Threatens Cuts
Susan Abram @ dailynews.com
Under the threat of federal spending cuts for food stamps, the Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday will call for the formation of a special unit to increase enrollment into a local food assistance program.
After Years Of Planning, California Is Likely To Roll Out Its Earthquake Warning System Next Year
Scientists are making rapid progress in the goal of issuing a limited public rollout of an earthquake early warning system in California by 2018, assisted by recent infusions of government funds.
Cannabis Tax Goes Before Voters In Santa Rosa
JULIE JOHNSON @ pressdemocrat.com
Should Santa Rosa tax cannabis businesses to help offset the cost of regulating the fast-growing industry? That question will be answered by voters, who will decide the fate of Measure D on the June 6 ballot.
San Onofre Critics Question Private Meetings On Waste Storage
Jeff McDonald @ sandiegouniontribune.com
Long before Southern California Edison sought permission to bury millions of pounds of nuclear waste along the San Diego County coast, utility executives were in close contact with state officials responsible for protecting the world-famous shoreline stretching from Mexico to Oregon.
National Democrats Name California GOP Reps. Devin Nunes And Duncan Hunter Targets In 2018 Election
Sarah D. Wire @ latimes.com
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As Protests Continue, Restrictions Tighten
Teri Figueroa @ sandiegouniontribune.com
While hundreds continue to protest every Tuesday outside Rep. Darrell Issaâs office in Vista, the city is cracking down on where people can stand and has suggested organizers consider moving the protest to another site.
Manchester Bombing Strikes Fear Into UK Election
Tom McTague and Charlie Cooper @ politico.com
A suicide-bomb attack that maimed and murdered children at a pop concert changed the political conversation in the U.K., just over two weeks before the country goes to the polls in a general election.
Republican redistricting is taking a beating in the courts (again)
The Supreme Court's ruling against North Carolina is the latest in a string of redistricting rulings that are bad for Republicans, good for Democrats
Brennan: Russia Tried To Recruit U.S. Persons To Influence Presidential Campaign - Politico
Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on May 23. | Getty
Trump And Russia | Some Prosecutions Will Result, Expert Says | The Fresno Bee
Jim Boren @ fresnobee.com
Breaking news, insight on the Valley's political movers and shakers
Gas Station's Nacho Cheese Sauce Is Now Linked To Patient's Death
Veronica Rocha @ latimes.com
A person has died after contracting botulism linked to a toxic batch of nacho cheese sauce sold at Sacramento County gas station, health officials said Monday.
White House Dials Back Cuts To Drug Control Office - Politico
The White House is expected to back down from its proposal to virtually eliminate funding for the federal drug control office amid a nationwide opioid epidemic, officials familiar with the Trump's administration's budget told POLITICO.