Advertise in The Nooner to reach over 8,000 readers
Yesterday was a heavy day in the Capitol, with a hearing on Dynamex (independent contractors), Cal Grants, public bills, and charter schools. But, the talk of the town wasn't about policy or politics. It was about the L Street turkey.
The turkey lingered for awhile outside of See's Candies and the Goodie Tuchews cookie shop, seemingly happy to be out of the significant rain that fell from the sky. Turkeys aren't usual downtown although folks who work in the Capitol treat them like hail in Los Angeles or a sunny, 70-degree day in San Francisco. Did you see it? I saw it!
It's a sad day in Guerneville and other western Sonoma County towns that were flooded last night after over 21 inches of rain fell. Dan Brekke and Ryan Levi report for KQED:
"The Russian River at Guerneville is on track to reach a crest of 46 feet Wednesday night-- 14 feet over flood stage and a level high enough to prompt mandatory evacuation orders for an estimated 4,000 residents along the waterway.
Daylight Wednesday morning showed a wide area of Sonoma County inundated by water rising in both the Russian River and creeks draining into it."
It is day 5 of the Oakland teachers strike. The school board meets today at 4pm. Both sides have been quiet about negotiations this week, which is generally seen as a good sign. My sources say that they are close and they likely close out on the strike on Friday with a weekend deal. Unlike Los Angeles, there doesn't appear to be any shuttle diplomacy involving Sacramento, except for Monday's participation in negotiations by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
Since state leaders gave United Teachers Los Angeles a commitment to consider a moratorium on charter schools and they are fast-tracking a bill on transparency and accountability, Oakland is largely down to fiscal issues.
The district says that the strike is costing it $1 million per day in lost average daily attendance state funds. Only 6% of the district's students have attended each day since the strike began last Thursday. The school board will go into closed session at the beginning of their meeting to get an update on negotiations, but no agreement is believed to have been reach.
SB 126 (Leyva): charter schools. The bill to explicitly put charter schools under the Brown Act (public meetings), Public Records Act, and conflict of interest laws passed out of Assembly Education on a 5-1 vote yesterday. Since it's not keyed as a fiscal bill, it could be on Governor's desk in the next week.
DIFI: In The Atlantic, Caitlyn Flanagan writes that Dianne Feinstein offered a master class in grace in dealing with the Sunset Movement of kids that confronted the senior senator at her district office on Friday.
"A group of jackbooted tots and aggrieved teenagers showed up at the local office of Dianne Feinstein—85 years old and holding—with the intention of teaching her about climate change and demanding that she vote for the Green New Deal.
The resulting encounter was so gonzo that it made Gran Torino look like The Pajama Game. At the 13th hour of a long career, Feinstein did something that the kids weren’t expecting. She took them seriously, and she patiently explained some truths about American political life that they didn’t understand. And then she did the one thing that an old woman isn’t supposed to do. She said that she wasn’t good at her job in spite of being old, but because of it."
CAGOP: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden talks to GOP convention delegates about the future of their party, while Dan Walters writes that the party dodged a bullet over the weekend but is not out of the woods.
HOUSING: At a joint committee hearing of Budget Sub No. 4 on State Administration, the Asm Housing And Community Development, and the Asm Local Government yesterday, it was clear that legislators are not excited about Governor Newsom's proposal to tie SB 1 transportation funds to commitments by local governments to meet their state housing allocations. KQED's Guy Marzorati reports:
"Legislators on three committees that convened to review Newsom's housing plans (including Democrats typically aligned with the governor's goals) argued that the road repair money should not be contingent upon housing development.
"I’m taken aback right now," said Cecilia Aguilar-Curry, D-Winters. "Because going after [transportation] funding is not something that I think should be on the table."
The affected cities are largely coastal, but many Los Angeles County urban districts are also on the list maintained by the Calif. Dept. of Housing and Community Development as those out of compliance or in review.
TEAM NEWSOM: In the Los Angeles Times, Phil Willon looks at how Newsom is defining his early administration through the appointment of people to key roles.
POLL POSITION: A new study by Pew Research finds that the number of respondents willing to answer telephone polls has fallen to a new low, reports Steven Shepard for Politico. "The Pew Research Center reported Wednesday that the response rate for its phone polls last year fell to just 6 percent — meaning pollsters could only complete interviews with 6 percent of the households in their samples. It continues the long-term decline in response rates, which had leveled off earlier this decade."
More and #CAKEDAY after the jump...
MEDICARE FOR ALL: In the Bee, Kate Irby reports that first-term Josh Harder (D-Turlock) is the only Democrat from a moderate district who has stepped forward to support the health care plan being rolled out by House progressives. Harder beat Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) in 2018 in a district south of Sacramento.
Meanwhile, in the Bee, Sophia Bollag writes that California Democrats are not pushing single-payer health care this year despite personally supporting it, at least from the bills introduced by last Friday's deadline.
"Stephanie Roberson, a lobbyist for the California Nurses Association, said the union was in talks with Sen. Mike McGuire about running a bill this year, but those discussions fell through."
“Senator McGuire’s admission that he could not get enough political consensus to move a bill around this issue is troubling,” Roberson said in a statement. “To not have a comprehensive solution on the table in the first year of a two-year session in the most progressive legislature in the country is baffling.”
It was no secret that last year's SB 562 had no chance of passage. The halftime death in Assembly Rules Committee was known by legislators supporting the bill. There was zero chance that Governor Jerry Brown would sign it and Speaker Anthony Rendon didn't want the pain of moving the bill through a futile process.
To implement single-payer in California, it would require big Medicaid waivers from the federal government. As we all know, California and the Trump Administration are not BFFs at this point so a waiver is extremely unlikely. California could sue the feds under the Administrative Procedures Act, but that would be a lengthy lawsuit of an uncertain outcome.
Meanwhile, Democrats had a very successful election and Ricardo Lara, the SB 562 co-author with now-Senate President Pro Tem, is now Insurance Commissioner. I don't accuse Lara of being insincere on the bill, but 2019 is not the same as 2018.
Democrats have supermajorities and a friend in the Governor's Office. The last thing they want to do is jam Gavin Newsom this year. You may not like the sausage factory that has policy consequences on the lives of Californians. However, expect legislative leaders to carefully manage the flow of legislative down to the office found behind Bacteria Bear.
DMV: The operating account that the state's Department of Motor Vehicles relies on for operational costs is heading to financial collapse according a new Legislative Analyst Office budget report, writes Bryan Anderson for the Bee.
STATE OF BLACK CALIFORNIA: Tomorrow at 3:30, Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) will moderate a panel on the state of incarceration. Panelists will include Brant Choate -CDCR Director for Rehabilitative Program, Connie Gipson -CDCR Director for the Adult Institutions, Dr. Kelly Hernández -UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center Interim Director, Michael Romano -Stanford Law School’s Three Strike Project Professor, and Zachary Norris -Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Executive Director.
The event at the Secretary of State's Auditorium runs 9am-5pm and is hosted by the California Legislative Black Caucus. RSVP here.
THE OC: Yesterday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to become a Voters' Choice Act (VCA) county for 2020. In 2018, there were five such counties--Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo. The law opens it up for other counties next year. Under the VCA, all registered voters are mailed a ballot, which can be returned in the mail or dropped off at "vote centers."
Los Angeles County is also observing the VCA beginning March 2020. In June 2016, the two counties combined for 31.79% of statewide voters. It could be a significant assist to Senator Kamala Harris's presidential bid as California receive ballots beginning the day of the Iowa causes and a week before New Hampshire votes. Between when ballots are mailed and when final results in California are known, twenty-two other states will have voted.
WILD LANDS: The House of Representatives yesterday approved the National Resources Management Act, which will expand Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and names the St. Francis Dam in Los Angeles County as a national monument. The dam 10 miles from Santa Clarita failed in 1928, killing several hundred people, sweeping many victims out to sea.
It was the end of the Mulholland era of waterworks that inspired the 1974 movie Chinatown.
LAW AND DISORDER: The AP reports that Attorney General Xavier Becerra " is demanding that a university journalism program return a state list that includes law enforcement officers convicted of crimes in the past decade, saying the information wasn’t meant to be public and shouldn’t have been given out by another agency."
IMMIGRATION: For Capitol Public Radio, Chris Nichols reports on the ugly conditions at federal immigration detention facilities in California.
"Immigrants at federal detention centers in California lack sufficient access to health care and legal aid and the facilities operate with little to no oversight, according to reports released on Tuesday by the state’s attorney general and auditor.
Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra said those held at the centers are “civil detainees” awaiting a hearing on their immigration status. He said they are due fair and humane treatment."
HERTZBERG, THE ARTIST: Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) painted a picture for Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R-Yorba Linda). Who says there is no such thing as comity anymore? California Democratic Party acting chair Alex Gallardo-Rooker also received one. Hertzberg had a fundraiser last night of
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Cynthia Moreno and Alyssa Selogie!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM