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THE Nooner for June 24, 2017

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Hope you're having a great start to the weekend! It'll be cooler today...of course, my air conditioning was fixed yesterday afternoon. I survived. In SacTown, it should be a great day at the R Street Block Party showcasing local music, food and art.

STETHOSCOPE: Knowing that it was facing a veto and that it would need two-thirds vote once the financing pieces are added, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelved the bill by Senator Ricardo Lara and Senator and former Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to create a single payer health care program in California, report Taryn Luna and Christopher Cadelago in the Bee. The bill also would have required federal waivers to redirect Medicaid funding, something very unlikely under the current administration.

By keeping the bill away from the floor, Rendon avoids a vote that would have pitted vulnerable members from a contentious vote against labor that is critical for their reelection and curries favor with the governor who doesn't want to be jammed with the bill on his desk. The California Nurses Association--sponsor of the bill--is not the most powerful interest group in Sacramento, but has a "no holds barred" attitude to its political stagery and would make the signing period for end-of-year bills ugly. 

Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins walk away with a victory. They are the darlings of the left, both openly gay, and have received national attention. How that parlays out is still a question. The bill will be carried into next year, the second year of the two-year session. Lara is in the Senate until 2020 and Atkins is in the upper house until 2024. Lara could serve an additional two terms in the Assembly.

There's no question that the bill had major financial problems. It would have needed $150-200 billion in new state revenues, ostensibly through the redirection of existing premiums paid by businesses to taxes. First, that would be tough to make happen (15% payroll tax), and second, it would likely require voter approval of a constitutional amendment to get around the Gann Limit on state spending.

Meanwhile, things in Washington are equally uncertain. Five Senate Republicans (Collins, Heller, Lee, Murkowski, and Paul) have come out against the Senate bill and Democrats remain unified in opposition. With only 48 votes to the current version, and the path to a compromise between Senate and House Republicans, makes for a very murky landscape. 



SCOTUS: Monday is likely the last day of the Supreme Court's 2016 term, and there are six cases that have been argued on the merits. Of these, three were argued before Neil Gorsuch took the bench on April 10, 2017. Thus, those cases could be set for reargument for the new term that begins in October. Of those cases, one involves the California Public Employees' Retirement System, but is really about statutes of limitations for members in class actions. The issue is whether an individual member of CalPERS waived his right to file suit after the statute of limitation after CalPERS opted out. Legal geekery...

The other of California interest is Jennings v. Rodriguez, which is a class action that comes from California in a challenge to ensure bail hearings for lawful permanent resident immigrants held by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for prolonged periods of time.

The named plaintiff in the case was held for three years, with the reason for deportation a conviction of posession of a controlled substance and "joyriding." UC Davis Law dean Kevin Johnson, an immigration expert, has been providing coverage of the case for SCOTUSBlog.

GOLDEN SHOWERS: The Lone Star state is rhetorically fighting back against California's ban of state-funded travel to Texas and seven other states, reports Patrick McGreevy in the Times. "California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can't stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas,” [Governor Greg Abbott's press secretary] John Wittman said."

Uh, fiction.

Meanwhile, Senator Ricardo Lara is in Dallas for the National Association of Latino Elected Officials on his own dime, reports Melanie Mason in the Times. We'll wait until next month's campaign finance reports to discern whether "own money" is defined as from one's personal pocket or a campaign account.

JUST ASKING: What's up with all of these no-camera pressers in the White House briefing room? Is there an acne breakout?

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Of course, John Chiang is state controller, not treasurer. 




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Secretary Of State Alleges Politics May Have Caused Orange County Supervisors To Reject Cost-saving Voting System – Orange County Register
California’s top election official has accused Orange County’s governing board of playing politics and whipping up unfounded fears of voter fraud by rejecting a proposed overhaul of the county’s voting system that proponents say could boost turnout and save taxpayers more than $20 million.

California shelves single-payer health bill
Three weeks after the state Senate passed a bill that aimed to create a $400 billion-a-year single-payer system in California, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) abruptly shelved the measure Friday, calling it “woefully incomplete.” “It does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation,” Rendon said in a statement. The measure had aimed to create a universal health system in the nation’s most populous state, wherein most health care services for all 39 million Californians would have been paid for by the state. The analysis from the state Senate Appropriations Committee estimated it would have cost $400 billion a year and suggested that half of that could be generated by enacting a new 15 percent payroll tax while the other half could come from what is already spent by federal, state and local agencies on health care. The measure had been staunchly opposed by major insurance companies including Kaiser, which said such a plan would put the health system out of business in the state.

Jerry Brown Prepares For Cap-and-trade Fight | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Morain @
Editorial page editor, political affairs columnist and editorial writer

Amid Uncertainty, Investors Still Backing Health Care Startups - San Francisco Chronicle
As Congress rushes to overhaul a federal law that could alter millions of Americans’ access to health insurance, investors continue to pour millions of dollars into growing health care startups that are building businesses around avoiding the insurance system altogether.

What The Senate Healthcare Bill Could Mean For Californians
Soumya Karlamangla @
The Senate healthcare bill unveiled Thursday makes deep cuts to Medicaid, which provides health insurance to 1 out of 3 Californians.

Trump Defends GOP Health Care Bill, Blasts Obamacare - Politico
"Democrats slam GOP healthcare proposal as Obamacare premiums & deductibles increase by over 100%," President Donald Trump tweeted. | Getty

Senate Health Care Bill: How the Right and Left Reacted

Writers across the ideological spectrum and around the internet seem to agree on one thing: displeasure with the Senate’s health care legislation.

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon Shelves Single-payer Healthcare Bill, Calling It 'woefully Incomplete'
Melanie Mason @
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon decided to stall a high-profile bill to create a single-payer healthcare bill on Friday afternoon

G.O.P. Senator Rejects Health Bill: â

Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, announced on Friday that he would not support the current version of the Senate health care bill.

Heller Comes Out Against Senate GOP Health Care Bill - Politico
Sen. Dean Heller is now the fifth Republican to go public with a threat to vote against the bill, which is the culmination of seven years of GOP campaign promises. | AP Photo

Senate Gop's Obamacare Repeal Bill Will Cost Lives, But Fatten The Wallets Of Millionaires
Michael Hiltzik @
The Senate GOP's Obamacare repeal bill will eliminate coverage for millions of Americans and deliver a big tax cut to the wealthy.

TV ads flood Nevada to win a Republican senator's health-care vote

Dean Heller is the only Senate Republican facing a 2018 reelection bid in a state won by Hillary Clinton last year.

The Senate GOP Hid The Meanest Things Very Deeply In Its Obamacare Repeal Bill. We Found Them
Michael Hiltzik @
Here are the meanest things hidden deeply in the Senate repeal

12 Billion Gallons Of Water Pour Into Lake Tahoe Amid This Week's Heat Wave - Sfgate
Don't mind the traffic on this epic March 2017 day with gorgeous weather and snow-capped peaks. The scenery is stunning around Mount Rose.

Senate Health Plan Falls Short of Promise for Cheaper Care, Experts Say

Republicans and President Trump have said a new health law would make it easier and more affordable to get care. But the opposite may be true.

Lawsuit Filed Over San Jose Flood Control Project
Upper Berryessa Creek, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

Republican Governors Could Be Secret Weapon Against Health Care Bill - Politico
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is a Republican moderate who has hammered the repeal efforts for months. | AP Photo

Values Revealed: The Health Debate Shows What Both Parties Care About Most

What role should government have in health care, and who should pay for it? A political fight lays bare a philosophical one.

Pro-trump Group To Target GOP Sen. Heller Over Health Care Bill - Politico
Heller is up for re-election in 2018 and is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans in that cycle.

California's Climate Debate Heats Up Behind Closed Doors As Gov. Brown Pushes To Extend Cap And Trade
Chris Megerian, Melanie Mason @
Gov. Jerry Brown has intensified his efforts to reach a deal on California's climate policies even as the debate remains behind closed doors.