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LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY UPDATES:
Me: "Alexa, write The Nooner."
Alexa: "Nooner is spelled N-O-O-N-E-R"
Damn, that didn't work.
Here are a few of the key dates in January:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Or, as sung in the second stanza at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento to the reverand strumming a uke, "Hotaru no kikiri, mado no yuki?" (I don't vouch for the accuracy of the ukelele backed version as neither I nor likely a majority of attendees speak Japanese.
Nevertheless, John Myers reports the answer to the question this morning from outgoing governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.--"Hell no!"
Myers, who traveled up to the governor's new 2,600 square foot one-bedroom ranch house on the family Colusa County ranch over the holiday, reports in the Times that, while the governor is coy about his future efforts, there are some clues...
"One safe bet for Brown’s near future is a full-throated defense of his criminal justice legacy. The governor has his sights set on squashing a 2020 ballot initiative that would undo some of his efforts to overhaul state prisons by providing new parole opportunities for some convicted of lower-level felonies. Last month, he filed a lawsuit challenging the initiative’s place on the ballot, insisting that the measure — which aims to rewrite his parole overhaul, Proposition 57 — was improperly drafted.
Brown took issue not only with the process used by the crime victims group that drafted the measure, but also what he believes is its intent.
And, on the non-legacy legacy:
"No one may ever again see politics from as many vantage points — local government, three different statewide elected offices, three campaigns for the presidency. Brown, who said there are no plans for a vacation in the coming months, seems at ease with whatever California’s historians might someday write about him.
"I’ve been able to leave on fairly good terms,” he said. “I think I was skillful and we got a lot done."
Myers includes his interview with Brown in the California Politics Podcast.
HIGH BAR: While there are ardent detractors of any Democrat, many of whom are readers and who I respect, I think that most would say that Jerry Brown exceeded hopes for entering office. Gray got clobbered by a wobbly budget and the dot-com bust, with a little help from Enron. Arnold rode in on star power and found that balancing his goal of being an agent of change did not fit his desire of being adored by as many people as possible.
I personally like both of them. For both in their own ways, timing really sucked.
Jerry came along for his second stint with a goal of fixing the state's budget problem and really didn't care about his overall image. He restrained spending and obtained increased high-income personal income, sales, and vehicle taxes--all eventually approved (or not repealed) by the voters. He upset people on both ends of the political spectrum, but has held that elusive 60%, which is what counts.
As Jerry acknowledges to John Myers, much of his success was luck. The surging state revenues and cooperation of the voters allowed him to not only balance the budget but set aside a boatload of cash. More importantly, it allowed him to champion his causes of criminal justice reform and climate change.
Now, Gavin comes in with a challenge of maintaining that 55-60%, albeit without the same "last act" attribute that Jerry had. Already, activists are going back to his early support of single-payer health care and expecting a bill this year.
That's not going to happen without federal cooperation. First, we would need waivers for repurposing existing federal subsidies to California's coverage programs and provisions of the Affordable Care Act. More importantly, we would need major tax changes to allow the private sector to yield the same benefit of providing employee coverage if done through either increased state or individual taxes.
I believe in single-payer, but I also recognize that I could sprint to the first water station in a marathon, but there's no way I'm finishing one.
I know, before you start emailing me, there are studies about how it can be done. I'm just saying that there is a reason SB 562 stopped where it did "at Rendon's desk," and it was out of these practical issues. Gavin can't spend his political capital on something like this without assertions from a lot of other parties, from key private sector players to the feds that they will play ball. The chess board isn't even set yet.
Legislative leaders owe a lot to Gavin, who spent a lot of time of the last month on the campaign at rallies to drum up local supporters for down-ticket races, and it yielded 7 more congressional, 5 more Assembly, and 3 more State Senate seats for the Democrats. He has both offensive and defensive coordinators up in the booth, as they'll be saying today.
In no way am I saying that either Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins or Speaker Anthony Rendon are lap dogs to Newsom. They just know that collectively they are a team. From this "high bar" that Gavin is being handed by Jerry Brown and with 60 Assembly Democrats (75%) and 29 State Senate Democrats (72.5%), they are like Alabama going in to next Monday's game--they can control the field as long as there are no fumbles or interceptions.
Scott Shafer looks at the governor-elect's ambitious proposals and whether or not he can deliver on them.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gavin is no empty suit. He'll face budget challenges, but he has a heckuva lot of breathing room. During that time, he can check items off his to-do list.
DREAM THE VOTE: In the Los Angeles Times, Jazmine Ulloa looks at the efforts of the DREAM Acters made during the election, even though they couldn't vote themselves.
"In California, Dreamers [...] phoned voters, walked precincts and protested outside Republican lawmakers’ offices, reaching people who had not been called or visited by either party. Their efforts helped boost turnout among Latinos in this year’s midterm election — 29 million nationwide were eligible to vote, according to the Pew Research Center — which is projected to surpass levels higher than in past presidential election years, political analysts said.
An analysis of data from eight states by the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA found the Latino vote grew by an estimated 96% from 2014 to 2018, compared with 37% among non-Latinos. The surge, researchers said, helped move 20 House districts held by Republicans to Democratic control in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
In another study, the political research firm Latino Decisions found that an increase in Latino voter turnout contributed to flipping six GOP-held congressional seats in California — four in the once conservative bastion of Orange County and two in the Central Valley that have long eluded Democrats."
More and #CAKEDAY after the jump...
ON THE JOB: As the calendar changes, so do the state's minimum wage and many workplace laws. In the Times, Margot Roosevelt reports that, not surprisingly, not everyone is happy about the changes.
SANCTUARY: For the Times, Brittny Mejia reports that the killing of Newman police officer Ronil Singh by an allegedly undocumented immigrant has brought new attention to the state's "sanctuary" laws, particularly in the state's red counties.
PG&E: Nothing better than to drop a federal court filing on New Year's Eve, but that's what PG&E did yesterday in response to a request from a federal judge. The Chron's Roland Li reports "Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said in a federal filing on Monday that numerous employees spotted and reported flames shortly after the Camp Fire started on Nov. 8. The company also provided new details on equipment inspections and damage in response to a federal judge’s request for information."
The filing was in response to a request by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing the five-year probation of the utility that followed the San Bruno natural gas explosion.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to RL Miller and Fabrizio Sasso!
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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS @
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ASSOCIATED PRESS @
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JOANNA WEISS @
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