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THE Nooner for June 15, 2017
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Good morning and happy budget day! Legislators have until midnight to pass the budget bill in chief to keep that $417/day in salary and per diem payments flowing. Only needing a simple majority vote and with the governor and the top Democrats in both houses, there is little suspense that it will get done.
Both houses are set to convene in the early afternoon, but don't be shocked if that gets pushed back. Although the outcome is pretty much already determined, members on both sides will want to have their say, which will lengthen the debate. And, the number of trailer bills taken up will also determine the length of the evening. Grab your popcorn and tune in to the California Channel.
IMMIGRATION: The AP reports on the budget trailer to stop local governments from signing contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement for housing candidates for deportation. "California is aiming to quash the growth of immigration detention in the state under a proposed budget measure to push back against the Trump administration’s plans to boost deportations."
POT PROVISIONS: California firms up marijuana rules, will allow deliveries [Jonathan J. Cooper @ AP]
CapPubRad's Ben Adler reports on the mixed reactions among legislators on the budget, with even some praise from Republican members.
On Fox&Hounds, Joel Fox takes a look at some of the big (and most controversial) components of the budget, while David Crane argues against the plan to securitize pension liabilities.
SHOCKING! The OCR editorializes against the budget. "This is a wise lesson, if Brown would only heed it. But then he goes on to sign record budget after record budget. Someone should tell him he’s the grasshopper in this tale, not Aesop. This budget spreads far too much of the ants’ corn to feed too many grasshoppers."
The fight to succeed Democrat Jerry Brown is likely to be the most wide-open and unpredictable California governor’s race since at least 1998, when the overwhelming underdog Gray Davis surged to victory in the final weeks of the Democratic primary and took the office in a November landslide.
One would hardly know it, though, talking to voters who haven’t the foggiest notion who’s pursuing the job.
Richard Rios, Newman’s attorney, claims signature gatherers are telling voters that the petition to recall Newman will stop the $52 billion gas tax recently approved by the Legislature. Rios, who works for the Sacramento firm Olson Hagel and Fishburn, alleges that the actions violate the state Elections Code, which establishes a misdemeanor offense for intentionally making false statements regarding the content of a petition.
The LAT's John Myers writes "In an emailed statement, [recall backer and talk show host Carl] DeMaio said Newman "is a liar and a bully who is being recalled from office because he cast the deciding vote to increase car and gas tax hikes — a point we spell out specifically in the recall petition that everyone is signing."
DIFI: The LAT's Phil Willon looks at why Dianne Feinstein did not sign on to the lawsuit filed by 200 congressional Democrats that alleges that President Trump is illegally benefitting from payments by foreign governments to his businesses:
“As the lead Democrat on one of the two Senate committees investigating the president, Sen. Feinstein decided joining the lawsuit at this time may create an appearance of bias,” [Feinstein spox Tom] Mentzer said. “The senator will continue to be a vocal opponent of the president's illegal acceptance of foreign payments and benefits.”
That did not keep Feinstein's fellow Democrat and California's junior senator, Kamala Harris, from joining the lawsuit. Like Feinstein, Harris also sits on the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, one of the panels investigating the allegations about Trump and Russia. Harris has not responded to a request for comment.
The California Democrats in the House who did not sign onto the lawsuit are Ami Bera of Elk Grove, Jim Costa of Fresno, Raul Ruiz of Palm Desert and Lou Correa of Santa Ana.
Mad dog Harris has emerged as a champion of the left in her prosecutorial approach to the hearings. Her aggressive approach (and the interruption by fellow male members of the Select Committee) is being noted by late night hosts from Stephen Colbert to Samantha Bee.
CARB v. VW: Capiitol Weekly's Lisa Renner looks at the battle between the California Air Resources Board and Volkswagon over the, now admitted, falsifying by the automaker of emissions reports on diesel vehicles. "The massive fraud case ultimately included a $14.7 billion settlement in 2016, $4.7 billion in civil and criminal fines and an executive-level shakeup. It dramatically underscored California’s role as a national and international air-quality watch dog."
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Michael Johnson, Drew Mercy, and Jeffrey Prang!
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California budget addresses taxes, education, health care
California's budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 touches on people's lives in everything from education and taxes to how much their medical providers get paid. Here are some of the key areas in the $125 billion general fund spending plan that lawmakers will vote on Thursday:
California Marijuana Laws Set For Personal Use
Taryn Luna @ sacbee.com
If you thought Californians got the final word on marijuana laws after legalizing adult use in November, itâs time to think again. Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers recently struck a deal on a plan to blend Proposition 64 and medical marijuana laws previously approved by the Legislature. The goal of the more than 100-page piece of legislation is to help create a singular regulatory system governing pot in California.
Mark Rocha selected as new CCSF chancellor
City College of San Francisco has selected a New Yorker with a doctorate in literature and a masterâÂÂs degree in engineering as the schoolâÂÂs first permanent chancellor since 2015, the trustees announced Wednesday. Next week, the trustees expect to vote on a contract for Mark Rocha, an experienced college administrator who has earned accolades from the California Community College ChancellorâÂÂs Office but also received âÂÂno confidenceâÂÂ votes from students and faculty over course cancellations when he was president of Pasadena City College in 2013. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges cited a broad range of problems, from poor fiscal controls to convoluted governance, but never complained about the quality of instruction. Rocha, who has taught at several community colleges and at Cal State Northridge, where he earned tenure, served as president and superintendent of Pasadena City College, where he won the State ChancellorâÂÂs Award for Student Success in 2012. A year later, however, Rocha was forced to defend his record at Pasadena when students and faculty passed separate votes of no confidence in the president after he canceled the collegeâÂÂs winter quarter. Raised in the Bronx by parents who didnâÂÂt graduate from high school, Rocha became a scholar, earning his masterâÂÂs degree from Cal State University Fullerton and his Ph.D from the University of Southern California. Enrollment deteriorated significantly during the accreditation crisis, and with the loss of students came the loss of state revenue. Rocha told City College trustees that he increased enrollment and balanced the budget at both colleges he led âÂÂ Pasadena and West Los Angeles âÂÂ and that he first earned his crisis management chops in 1994, when the Northridge earthquake destroyed the California State University campus where he had become associate dean.
California Firms Up Marijuana Rules, Will Allow Deliveries | The Sacramento Bee
JONATHAN J. COOPER @ sacbee.com
California would set standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs and permit home deliveries under legislation set to be considered by lawmakers Thursday as the state prepares for next year's start of legal marijuana sales.
Senate Votes To Impose New Sanctions On Russia And Iran - Politico
The Senate on Thursday voted 98-2 for new sanctions on Iran and Russia, including new powers for Congress to block President Donald Trump from rolling back any penalties against Vladimir Putin's government.
Newman Calls For Probe Into California Recall Campaign
Taryn Luna @ sacbee.com
Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, is asking state officials to investigate his allegations that the GOP groups leading an effort to recall him are misleading Southern California voters into signing petitions to oust him from office.
Richard Stephens, Academy of Art president, real estate mogul, dies
Richard Stephens, Academy of Art president, real estate mogul, dies Richard Stephens, an educator and the mastermind behind the Academy of Art University and real estate conglomerate, died June 6 at his winter home in Phoenix. Mr. Stephens had just completed his own education at Stanford in 1951 when his father, also Richard Stephens, appointed him president of what was then called the Academie of Advertising Art, which had one facility, a loft on Kearny Street. Under Mr. StephensâÂÂ leadership, the academy grew from 35 students studying advertising to a peak enrollment of 18,000 students studying photography, illustration, fine art, graphic design, industrial design, fashion, interior architecture and design, animation, motion pictures and television and acting. Rebranded first as the Academy of Art and then the Academy of Art University, it is a for-profit business and has often drawn complaints that its central business is real estate acquisition. With 40 properties, Mr. Stephens, his daughter, Academy of Art President Elisa Stephens, and various trusts in their names are among the largest landowners in San Francisco, with more than 1 million square feet and an estimated value of well over $100 million. âÂÂAny time you have a for-profit educational facility you are going to have controversy,âÂÂ Brown said. Besides that, you are not interesting unless you are controversial. For years, there were complaints that the Academy of Art violated city zoning restrictions by operating dormitories in buildings zoned for hotel and single-room occupancy, and illegally converting buildings to academic facilities. In 2016, the school was sued by the city, which claimed that at least 33 of the academyâÂÂs portfolio of 40 buildings were out of compliance with zoning laws, signage regulations or historic preservation rules. The settlement included $20 million in fines and fees and conversion of two academy buildings for up to 174 units of affordable housing. âÂÂMy folks never thought of buying anything because the Depression scared the hell out of them,âÂÂ Mr. Stephens told The Chronicle in a wide-ranging interview 10 years ago at the academyâÂÂs Auto Museum. After the war, he studied at Menlo College in Atherton before transferring to Stanford University, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1949 and his masterâÂÂs in education in 1951. The school was headquartered at 740 Taylor St. in a leased brick building that had once housed the French Consulate and later a Benihana Japanese restaurant. Any building that would be difficult to transform to another commercial use could always be turned into either an art studio or student housing, usually without the proper permits from the city. Mr. StephensâÂÂ educational philosophy has always been that secondary education is no indicator of artistic talent.
Liberals Ease Up On Health Care Fight — For A Moment - Politico
"It should drive home how health care is personal, not political," Sen. Debbie Stabenow said. | AP Photo
Orange County Supervisors Reject Cost-saving Vote Centers
Jill Replogle @ scpr.org
Orange County will not be adopting a new voting system designed to make it easier for the countyâs 1.2 million voters to cast a ballot. This week the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously against adopting a voting center model for elections proposed by county Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.
CA Unions Win Seat At Employee Orientations
Adam Ashton @ sacbee.com
New California government workers will hear from union representatives almost as soon as they start their jobs under a state budget provision bolstering labor groups as they prepare for court decisions that may cut into their membership and revenue.
Dianne Feinstein Among Handful Of California Democrats Who Didn't Sign On To Suit Over Trump's Foreign Earnings
Phil Willon @ latimes.com
Close to 200 Democrats in Congress filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday alleging President Trump has illegally profited from foreign pa...
Senate Backs Measure Limiting Presidentâ
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a proposal aimed at punishing Russia for its meddling in the 2016 election. The House has yet to take it up.
Senate Judiciary Committee To Investigate Comey Firing, Clinton Email Probe - Politico
Grassley and Feinstein met late Tuesday to discuss the Russia matter following testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to a Grassley spokesman. The Judiciary Committee has oversight of the Justice Department and the FBI.
Senator Kamala Harris Questions Jeff Sessions
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS @
Senator Kamala Harris and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a contentious back and forth during Tuesday's hearing, in which Chairman Richard Burr had to weigh in.
East Bay: Water Is Safe Despite Cancer Warning, State Says
Denis Cuff @ eastbaytimes.com
Despite drought-related increases in cancer-causing compounds, tap water for 1.4 million East Bay residents is safe to drink, state regulators said Wednesday.
California Doctors Feeling Sick About New State Budget
Kenny Goldberg @ kpbs.org
When the California Medical Association lent its support to Prop. 56 last year, they expected to get something in return if it passed: a Medi-Cal pay raise. Things have not turned out as the CMA expected.
Kellogg Co. Will Close Office And Impose Layoffs In Roseville, Ca | The Sacramento Bee
Mark Glover @ sacbee.com
By Mark Glover
Trump To Nominate Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, A Net Neutrality Supporter, To Return To Fcc
Jim Puzzanghera @ latimes.com
President Trump has nominated Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to return to the Federal Communications Commission after her term lapsed at the end of last year because of political maneuvering.
Secrecy Surrounding Senate Health Bill Raises Alarms in Both Parties
Senate leaders are writing legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act without a single hearing on the bill and without an open drafting session.
Bay Area political events: shootings memorial, nuclear weapons march
Bay Area political events: shootings memorial, nuclear weapons march Political events Shootings memorial: A memorial ceremony, hosted by Alameda for Black Lives, marking the anniversary of the June 17, 2015, mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., that resulted in nine deaths. Participants will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the southwest corner of Webster Street and Atlantic Avenue in Alameda. Nuclear weapons march: âÂÂWomenâÂÂs March to Ban the Bomb,âÂÂ in support of U.N. negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Demonstrators will meet at 11:30 a.m. at El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. Hosted by the Freedom Socialist Party, a conversation on countering racism and fascism. The event begins at 2 p.m. A $3 to $5 donation is requested at the door. Nuclear weapons film: A screening and discussion of âÂÂThe Nuclear Requiem,âÂÂ on the challenges of controlling nuclear weapons. The free, two-hour event starts at 3:30 p.m. at the Los Altos Public LibraryâÂÂs Orchard Room, 13 S. San Antonio Road. What We Need to Know, What We Need to Do, presented by immigration and refugee resettlement professionals. Coal film: A free screening of âÂÂFrom the Ashes,âÂÂ a National Geographic documentary about coal, followed by a discussion on the environment and climate. Hosted by the Older WomenâÂÂs League of California, a discussion and postcard writing to elected representatives to push for climate change support. Nationwide marches will call for President TrumpâÂÂs impeachment.
Tijuana, San Diego Mayors Tout Ties To Washington Audience
Sandra Dibble @ sandiegouniontribune.com
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his Tijuana counterpart, Juan Manuel GastÃ©lum, shared a podium in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, touting the collaboration between their cities during a conference on cross-border economic competitiveness.
Reaction To Shooting At Congressional Baseball Practice Reveals A Nation That Doesn't Just Disagree. It Hates
Mark Z. Barabak @ latimes.com
Not necessarily over issues or ideology, which can be debated or leavened by compromise. But rather as an outgrowth of a deeper pathology, a contempt toward people for merely existing.