Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for January 27, 2018

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Happy Saturday. After days of rain and gloom it's a beautiful day here at The Nooner global headquarters. Spring is around the corner!

EAR TICKLERS: On the California Politics Podcast, John Myers and Melanie Mason discuss the State of the State, the debate of how to handle the Senator Tony Mendoza situation, and the gubernatorial debate, which all happened on Thursday. On KQED's Political Breakdown Podcast, Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos look at the State of the State and Tom Steyer's campaign to impeach Donald Trump and the associated pushback from Democratic leaders. And, on the Capitol Weekly Podcast, journalist and Jerry Brown biographer  Chuck McFadden visits with John Howard and Tim Foster. McFadden's Trailblazer biography was an inaugural member of The Nooner/ATC's "Sofa Degree" list on California policy and politics.

Speaking of our Sofa Degree, let me know if you have any updates after your holiday reading. Here is the current list:

DISSECTING THE DEBATE: For the Bee, Christopher Cadelago looks at the allegations made in the tiff between Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa on how each made money in Thursday's night's debate.

VOTING ROLLS: The Bee's Billy Kobin writes up the case before the U.S. Supreme Court that poses the question of when states can remove voters from the rolls for not voting. 

Justices will decide by June whether Ohio’s removal system, which is triggered by a voter not casting a ballot for two years, is an illegal infringement of voting rights as opponents contend.
. . .

In Ohio, voters who have failed to cast a ballot for two years receive a notice in the mail asking them to confirm their address. If a voter does not respond and does not vote for another four years, he or she is removed from the voter roll without further notice. Supporters argue the system helps prevent voter fraud and keeps voter registration records accurate. Opponents say removing voters for failing to vote is unlawful and hurts low-income voters who struggle to regularly make it to the polls.

In California, voters can be removed from the rolls if they die, request to be removed, are deemed mentally incompetent, commit a felony or move to another jurisdiction.

Otherwise, the process takes at least eight years.

This is a balancing act. In the last couple of weeks (can't find the link), a conservative group alleged massive voting fraud in Los Angeles County because they found that registrations were 115% of the estimated eligible voters. First, the estimated eligible voters comes from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which provides estimates and is not as accurate as the decennial census. Further, the advocacy group didn't actually allege that these people were voting.

I look at the voting roll frequently, courtesy of my friends at Political Data Inc. I frequently run across households where there are clearly some inactive voters. However, there's zero record of them voting. Thus, there is no fraud. There is a cost to the county for mailing out ballot pamphlets and sample ballots to inactive voters. It will be interesting to see how SCOTUS handles the Ohio case.



THE NUMBERS: The California Secretary of State yesterday assigned numbers (68-71) for ballot measures on the June 5 ballot. Of course, only the Legislature can place measures on primary ballots, following SB 202 (Chapter 558 Statutes of 2011), which places all initiatives on general election ballots.

THE RESISTANCE: Liam Dillon reports in the Times that Kevin de León is amending his SB 227 to double-joint it to his SB 581 (yet to be amended) that will try to ensure that the "donations" to a new state-run fund to get around the elimination of the federal SALT deduction. SB 581 will seek to mitigate the unintended impact on Proposition 98's school funding guarantee by allowing donors to designate funding to either education or parks. 

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Three Republicans did in fact vote in favor of KDL's resolution on the extension of leave of absences--Tom Berryhill, Anthony Cannella, and Scott Wilk. One Democrat, Steve Glazer of Orinda voted against it. Job hazard of looking at a vote at 4:30 in the morning. 


Probolsky Research


DAM IT: The Bee's Dale Kasler writes that the cost of the Oroville Dam spillway has increased by 32% to $870 million:

State officials insist the climbing pricetag is not from unexpected cost overruns. Instead, DWR spokeswoman Erin Mellon said the agency has finally been able to estimate the cost of recovery work that includes removal of debris from the Feather River channel below the dam; relocation of power transmission lines; staff time and other work that’s been undertaken since last winter’s crisis. Those costs came to $210 million.

CA17 (Milpitas): Congressman Ro Khanna was on the Real Time with Bill Maher panel last night.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Lindsay Bubar, Jason Hodge, Richard Stapler, and Scott Svonkin!



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  • The McGeorge Capital Center for Law & Policy Executive Training Series presents ” The Essentials for Cannabis Businesses” on Friday, Feb. 2 from 9 a.m.-Noon at McGeorge School of Law (3200 Fifth Ave.). This executive training will cover the essential knowledge participants will need to start a cannabis business in this environment of chronic uncertainty. Instructors will explain the interplay between federal and state laws and regulations, California's regulatory structure governing the adult use market, the risks of entering the industry, and give an overview of insurance products and key coverages businesses in the industry need. MCLE. Register at

  • Attend a free briefing at the Capitol to learn more about health insurance in California, and learn about how a key contributor to the Legislature's consideration of health insurance-related legislation supports policymakers. All interested parties and the public are invited to the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP)'s annual legislative briefing on 2/7/2018 from 9:00 – 10:00 am. The briefing will provide information about CHBRP’s methods and our role in providing independent evidence-based analysis.

    Please RSVP to this free event online.

  • Join NARAL Pro-Choice California for the Forum for Choice 2018
    NARAL Pro-Choice California presents the first gubernatorial forum in California centering on reproductive freedom with media co-sponsors Rewire.News on Tuesday, January 30th in San Francisco at SOMArts (934 Brannan Street) from 6-8 pm. The next governor will have an en

Bill To Evade President Trump's Tax Overhaul Gets Watered Down
Liam Dillon @
A bid to help Californians dodge the effects of President Trump’s tax plan has gotten a little less generous.

These Candidates For California Governor Have Smoked Weed | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Two States, And Maybe California, Plan To Join New York In Suing To Block GOP's Tax Overhaul
Associated Press @
New Jersey and Connecticut are joining New York in planning to sue Washington over the Republican-led federal tax overhaul, the Democratic governors of the three states announced Friday. They said they're talking to leaders of other states that stand to be hurt by the federal tax plan.

Group Gets 21,000 Signatures For Measure On Free Legal Counsel During Evictions - San Francisco Chronicle
A group of tenants’ rights advocates turned in more than 21,000 signatures to the San Francisco Department of Elections on Friday in an effort to put a ballot initiative before voters that would ensure city-funded legal representation for anyone facing eviction.

California Will Put 5 Million Electric Cars On The Road By 2030, Gov. Jerry Brown Says
Liam Dillon @
California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to put 5 million electric cars on the state’s roads by 2030.

Sandag Faces Nearly $20 Billion Shortfall For Transportation Projects - The San Diego Union-tribune
Joshua Emerson Smith @

Sacramento Needs Thousands Of Construction Workers | The Sacramento Bee
Hudson Sangree @
By Hudson Sangree

Jeb Bush Takes A Poke At Trump On Immigration ‘consistency’ - Politico

"The president's strength isn't his consistency," said former governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Sacramento Moves To Buy Levee Properties For Sacramento River Trail | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis @
By Ryan Lillis

High Taxes Spark Sticker Shock For Cannabis Customers In California - The Cannifornian
A picture recently posted to Instagram shows a receipt for a shopping trip to Cookies LA, a licensed marijuana store in Maywood.

Homeless Man Almost Crushed After San Diego City Workers Scooped Him Up And Tossed Him In A Garbage Truck - The San Diego Union-tribune
Jeff McDonald @
Work was suspended for the day to figure out exactly what went wrong.

Sonoma County Education Leaders Vow To Protect Undocumented Students

Why International Tourists Are Avoiding The U.S. As A Whole But Still Coming To Los Angeles
Hugo Martin @
International tourism to the U.S. has declined for the first time in over a decade, worrying travel industry leaders. So why is Los Angeles bucking the trend?

Nearly 100 People Have Died From Flu In California Since Dec. 31 | The Sacramento Bee
Cathie Anderson And Phillip Reese @
By Cathie Anderson And Phillip Reese

Massive Widening Of The 405 Freeway In Orange County Is About To Begin
Bradley Zint @
The project will affect the 16-mile portion of the 405 between the 73 Freeway in Costa Mesa and the 605 Freeway near Rossmoor. It is expected to be completed in 2023.

Backroom Maneuver Making Farrell Mayor Could Be Boost For Breed - San Francisco Chronicle
On Jan. 20, Aimee Allison stood before thousands of women and supportive men in Civic Center Plaza to address the second annual Women’s March.

State of the Union Preview: Will Trump Stick to the Script?

President Trump plans an optimistic address promoting priorities like overhauls of infrastructure and immigration, but there are no guarantees when the president faces a television camera.