Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for October 14, 2017


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Well, it has been a tough week in California. As of yesterday's Cal Fire report, 221,754 acres had been burned by 17 wildfires. More burned overnight as the winds picked up. The high winds are expected to continue into this afternoon. Shifting winds of brought fire back to the east side of Santa Rosa, with evacuations on the east side of Highway 12 [map of current SR evacuations]. The Nuns fire is burning houses within one mile of the historic Sonoma Plaza--the location of the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846. There are at least two new fires--one in Lake County and one in Sonoma County.


  • 35 dead
  • Mendocino: 8
  • Napa: 4, 74 missing
  • Sonoma: 19 dead, 355 missing
  • Yuba: 4, 1 missing

(Last night, Mendocino County corrected the death toll from 9 back down to 8.)


From the City of Santa Rosa:

@CityofSantaRosa: Food normally donated to SRCity’s homeless shelters has been diverted to Evac shelters, leaving the homeless shelters in CRITICAL NEED.

Unprepared food:
St. Vincent de Paul
610 Wilson Street
(go to 7th Street entrance for deliveries)
Open for deliveries: 8am – 3pm

Today, Governor Jerry Brown, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Sen. Kamala Harris will be visiting Santa Rosa for private meetings with officials and a community meeting.

As of yesterday, 2,800 homes had burned in Santa Rosa alone--accounting for 5% of the city's housing stock. The MercNews's George Avalos reports that throughout Northern California, 5,700 homes have burned, "a catastrophe that potentially leaves several thousand people to determine whether to eventually resume living on their devastated properties or to move elsewhere."

Fortunately, the state's finances are in good shape. The Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties ("regular" reserve) has a balance of $1.4 billion, and revenues were $481 million above projections in the first two months of the fiscal year. Additionally, the state's Proposition 2 "Budget Stabilization Account" has a balance of $8.4 billion. With a declaration of emergency by the governor, the Legislature can access that money a two-thirds vote. 

Combining insurance money and state and federal assistance, much of the lost housing stock around Northern California can be rebuilt. However, it's going to take a long time. After a glut of construction workers during the downturn, finding qualified construction workers now is not easy. This includes many Mexican and Latin American nationals who have returned home as the economies in those countries improve and amid immigration uncertainty in the U.S. 

Evacuees are spread among shelters, homes of friends and family, and hotels. However, this rebuild could take more than a year and it will be awhile before we know how evacuees who lost their homes are accommodated. After Hurricane Katrina, affected residents were evacuated to Houston and many stayed there. It's very possible victims in Northern California depart and do not return.

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS: Just because Senator Ricardo Lara and Assemblymember Rob Bonta shelved their SEIU-UHW-backed bills to increase staffing requirements in dialysis clinics amid significant opposition by dialysis center operators and other health care providers, it doesn't mean the supporters of the bills have given up. They were given the green light yesterday to collect signatures on an initiative to accomplish the goals of the bills.

THE WALL: In the SDUT, Greg Moran writes that five of the eight planned prototype border wall sections have been built outside Otay Mesa. 

INDIE SPIRIT: The OCR's Martin Wisckol looks at the four independents running for Congress in Orange County.



  • AB 7 (Gipson): Expands the existing prohibitions against the open carrying of unloaded long guns to unincorporated areas.
  • AB 19 (Santiago): Waives fees for one academic year for first-time students at a community college who enroll in at least 12 units if they complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or California Dream Act application. The bill is operative if the Legislature provides funding for the waivers, which was not included in the bill.
  • AB 485 (O'Donnell): Prohibits the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits by a pet store, unless the animal was obtained from a shelter or rescue group.
  • AB 1127 (Calderon): Requires baby diaper changing stations in at least one restroom per gender for specified facilities open to the public. The LAT's Mina Corpuz reports on the bill.
  • SB 182 (Bradford): Provides that drivers in transportation network companies (i.e. Lyft, Uber) are only required to obtain a business license in the locality in which they are domiciled.
  • SB 613 (de León): Repeals existing code sections requiring the cooperation of the following agencies with the United States Bureau of Immigration in arranging for the deportation of all aliens committed to them:
    • Division of Juvenile Justice
    • State Department of State Hospitals
    • State Department of Developmental Disabilities


  • SB 51 (Jackson): Would have required the Department of Environmental Quality to preserve and post online scientific information and data that might be censored by the federal government. The bill also would have prohibited state licensing agencies, other than the State Bar, from taking disciplinary actions against public employees who report improper federal government activities or make scientific research public. [veto message]
  • SB 464 (Hill): Would have required specified security requirements of firearms among licensed retail dealers. [veto message]

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Aref Aziz!




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Trump's Education Secretary Visits Milpitas Middle School
Charter Schools, K-12 Education, Politics

Lawmakers Launch Legislation To Protect Transgender Troops - The San Diego Union-tribune
Carl Prine @

California Joins Other States To Sue Trump Administration Over Rollback Of Healthcare Subsidies
Patrick McGreevy @
California and other states will file a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's decision to roll back cost-sharing subsidies tha...

Ice Raids: Alum Rock Pledges $250,000 For Legal Defense
Immigration, K-12 Education

ACLU sues to end US ban on abortions for minors held by immigation
A flurry of documents in a San Francisco court case has disclosed a previously unknown Trump administration policy, in effect since March: a ban on abortions for pregnant girls who entered the United States alone and are in immigration custody. The policy appears to be illegal, U.S. Magistrate Laurel Beeler said Wednesday, because all women in the United States — including prisoners and immigrants, documented or undocumented — have a constitutional right to abortion. “The government may not want to facilitate abortion, but it cannot block it,” Beeler said. “It is doing that here.

5% Of Santa Rosa's Residences Destroyed In Firestorm; $1.2 Billion In Losses Estimated
Laura J. Nelson @
5% of Santa Rosa's housing stock destroyed in fire storm

End to Health Care Subsidies Puts Congress in a Tight Spot

Some lawmakers want to fund the payments to insurers that President Trump is cutting off, while the president says Democrats should negotiate with him.

California Taxi Companies Will Need Fewer Permits In Bid To Compete With Uber And Lyft
Liam Dillon @
In an effort to help the beleaguered taxi industry compete with ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a ...

San Diego Waterways Are Not Being Tested For Hepatitis Amid Health Crisis - The San Diego Union-tribune
James DeHaven @

Fema Mounts Response To California Wildfires - Sfgate
The federal government has dispatched one of the largest teams of disaster experts that California has seen in recent years to assist with the state's firefighting efforts - and what promises to be a long and expensive recovery in many spots. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday that representatives from nearly a dozen agencies, from the Department of Defense to Health and Human Services, have joined state officials near Sacramento to assess California's emergency needs and deliver on them. FEMA also has consultants on the ground in at least eight badly-burned counties covered under President Trump's declaration of emergency earlier this week, including hard-hit Napa and Sonoma.

The president is trying to force lawmakers’ hands on everything from health insurance markets to immigration.

Good News, California Moms: It's Going To Be Easier For Dads To Change Diapers Away From Home
Mina Corpuz @
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News Analysis: Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning.

On issues like health care and Iran, President Trump’s language has not been matched by action, raising questions about whether his base will be satisfied by partial steps.

California governor declares emergency over hepatitis A outbreak
Elliot Spagat @
SAN DIEGO — California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Friday to combat a hepatitis A outbreak that has claimed 18 lives in San Diego. Brown said the federally funded supply of vaccines is inadequate. His proclamation allows the state to buy vaccines directly from manufacturers and distribute them. The declaration “allows us to move very swiftly,” Dr. Gil Chavez, epidemiologist at the California Department of Public Health, told reporters. He said that the state would place an order Monday or Tuesday and that supplies would reach the state soon after.

Trump Values Voter Remarks - Politico

'go! Go! Go!': Deputy's Body Camera Captures Frantic Evacuation
Laura J. Nelson @
Body camera footage released by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office on Friday captured the frantic effort to evacuate Mark West Springs ...

Mnuchin, Contradicting Trump, Says Estate Tax Repeal Will Help â

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said repealing the estate tax will help the rich. Those comments stand in contrast to President Trump’s claim that the tax hurts the working class.

Sonora Local News, Sports, Weather, And Lifestyle

California Firestorm Takes Deadly Toll On Elderly; Average Age Of Victims Identified So Far Is 79
Alene Tchekmedyian, Esmeralda Bermudez @
Among the dozen people identified by Sonoma and Napa county officials as of late Thursday, the average age was 79. The youngest was 57, the oldest 100.