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Happy midweek! This morning, the 2026 World Cup was awarded to North America (Canada, Mexico, US). Hopefully we can actually qualify for that one. Huge win for us.
On my morning walk, as I passed the California Democratic Party headquarters, they were setting up in the parking lot for Gavin Newsom's speech there at noon to rally for Democratic candidates across the ballot.
INITIATIVE STUPIDITY: The initiative sponsored by billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper to divide California into three states qualified for the ballot, the Secretary of State announces. Even if approved by voters, there's zero chance that Congress will approve the divide giving the existing California four more U.S. Senators. And, President Trump certainly wouldn't sign the bill. Timmy is just a kid with too much money. Obviously, his political consultants and signature-gathering firms are happy to cheer him on.
I'm sure the paid signature gatherers told petition signers that it requires congressional approval.
There have been only two state divides in the history of the country--Virginia/West Virginia and Maine/Massachusetts. California tried to split off Southern California in 1859, but Congress never acted on it.
Draper lives in a $12 million house in Atherton (San Mateo County) and wants to kick Fresno and Bakersfield out of "his" state.
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: Supervisor London Breed now has a 1,861 lead over former state senator Mark Leno. Leno has a presser today to concede. I'm not involved in San Francisco politics, but I'll just take a moment to say that term limits suck. We miss him serving in the Capitol.
$$$: In the Bee, Adam Ashton reports why taxpayers aren't getting a refund with the state's huge budget surplus.
CAPITOL ANNEX: In the Chron, Melody Gutierrez reports on the budget's inclusion of $1.2 billion in the budget to replace the Capitol Annex. The Annex is where basically all the legislative offices are, with the exception of offices of the Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader. The governor's and the lieutenant governor's offices are also in the Annex. Other statewide officials are located in office buildings near the Capitol.
The plan will involve relocating all legislative staff and members to a building a block away on O Street between 10th and 11th in a new building, across the street from the Secretary of State's Office and The California Museum that is currently a state parking lot. Most committee hearings will also likely be in the building. While the main Capitol building will still be open, there are only a few committee rooms, and they are small. I can't imagine an Appropriations hearing in any of them.
The Legislative Office Building (LOB in Capitol parlance)--which also needs to be rebuilt--doesn't have the space to accommodate everybody. Staff assigned there are simply embarrassed and lobbyists hate having meetings there, except that you can dress down.
For those who have worked in the Capitol in any capacity, you can understand the need to replace the 66-year-old Annex attached to the Capitol. The bathrooms are atrocious, committee rooms are hot and stuffy, staff are in embarassingly small spaces, disabled access is limited, and the floors with the 19th century Capitol don't align.
It's going to be a rocky road, though. Here is the trailer bill.
As Melody writes, the spending pales in comparison to the $600 million for homelessness services in the budget, although a big portion for the Annex project is using lease-revenue bonds that will be paid over 30 years. The state's liability for the Annex because of access for the disabled and employee health makes the project sensible.
On my walks, I see more homeless in my area of town (where there are only a few). This morning, there was a woman clearly in need, obstructing traffic on T Street while carrying a blanket. I don't know if that is the state, county, or city's responsibility, but it was sad. And, I don't know if cash helps, but few of us carry it anymore. I don't know the solution.
GOV: Gavin Newsom is going to have a hard time paying for his campaign promises, writes Dan Walters for CALmatters. That said, Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature are making it easier as they bury lots of financial nuts in the lawn. That said, we're going to have a recession one of these days.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Seema Mehta, Toni Roberts, and Samuel Sukaton!
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