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EYE CANDY: Goatcam, provided by the City of West Sacramento [h/t Christopher Cadelago]
Thank you all of you who patronized The Allspicery yesterday. It was great to see a steady stream of customers and they were very happy for the support from the greater Capitol Community as they recover from Wednesday morning's burglary. They are open until 6pm today and from 11am-4pm tomorrow (Saturday) at 1125 11th Street, in between Chicory and The Diplomat Steakhouse. I don't know if they are still card-only or if they have replaced the register to accept cash yet.
REVENUE UPDATE: The last couple of days have brought great personal income tax revenue numbers. When I wrote about the topic on Wednesday, we were $300 million above the amount anticipated through the date. We are now $2.5 billion above the amount expected through April 18. If that holds for the rest of the month, the entire revenue $2.2 billion shortfall that we entered the month with will be wiped out and then some.
Through Thursday, a net (withholding, payments, and subtracting refunds) of $11.1 billion had been collected of the $15 billion projected for the month in the January proposal. If that amount materializes, it would be a 5.8% increase in PIT collections from April 2018. It is very likely the projection will be reached, as the remaining 11 days of April are mostly withholding, which is more predictable than the the days immediately around April 15. Corporate taxes are already $500 million over the projected total for the month, suggesting that corporations were more profitable in 2018 than expected.
As I've written, this month is critical and will determine the final revenue numbers in the Governor's May Revision and the final budget adopted by the Legislature by June 15. Without this reversal in fortunes, we would have been looking at about a reduction from the January proposal of around $2.2 billion in one-time and $2.3 billion in ongoing funds, wiping out many of the Administration's spending proposals both in Prop. 98 (K-14 spending) and non-98 programs.
PG&E: Activists are protesting in San Francisco from 3:30-5pm to call on state leaders to turn Pacific Gas & Electric into a state-owned utility and to call for a California version of the "Green New Deal." They are gathering at Justin Herman Plaza and then marching to PG&E headquarters. Meanwhile, for Bloomberg, Rory Varghese reports that San Francisco mayor London Breed is eyeing PG&E's assets for the city's own takeover to create a public power provider.
SANCTUARY: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most California "sanctuary city" laws in a unanimous ruling written by a George W. Bush appointee reports Maura Dolan in the Times. The case USA v. State of California was brought by the Trump Administration's Department of Justice. From the opinion summary:
"The United States challenged three California laws: AB 450, which--as relevant to this appeal--requires employers to alert employees before federal immigration inspections; AB 103, which imposes inspection requirements on facilities that house civil immigration detainees; and SB 54, which limits the cooperation between state and local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.
The United States sought a preliminary injunction, arguing that these laws violated the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity and the doctrine of conflict preemption. The district court concluded that the United States was unlikely to succeed on the merits of many of its claims, and so denied in large part the motion for a preliminary injunction."
"We conclude that the district court correctly determined that the United States was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its challenges to AB 450's employee-notice provisions and SB 54, and therefore AFFIRM its denial of a preliminary injunction as to these enactments. We also AFFIRM the denial as to those provisions of AB 103 that duplicate preexisting inspection requirements. But because we conclude that California Government Code section 12532(b)(1)(C) both discriminates against and impermissibly burdens the federal government, we REVERSE the district court's denial of the United States' motion as to this provision and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."
The Department of Justice could request an en banc review by the entire Ninth Circuit, but that is unlikely, as is review by the Supreme Court of the United States before the substance is considered by the district court.
TAKE YOUR GATES: The California Horse Racing Board yesterday refused to step in to stop horse racing at Santa Anita despite the deaths of 23 horses over the last few months, reports Beth Harris for the AP. Senator Dianne Feinstein and others have called for a halt of racing at the Arcadia track until the reason for the deaths is known.
"NEGRO REMOVAL": The latest foray into politics by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and it's controversial executive director Michael Weinstein is a mailer against SB 50, Scott Wiener's housing density bill, that uses a 1963 James Baldwin quote to argue the bill would lead to "Negro removal," writes Rachel Swan for the Chronicle. The bill is set for 9am Wednesday in Senate Governance and Finance as a special order in Room 3191.
This follows the $23.3 million the foundation spent on last year's failed rent control measure, Proposition 10. As I've written here before, the foundation is more entrpreneurial than philanthropic, earning money from online pharmacies and other businesses ($53.7 million net in FY 2017) and pays Weinstein over $300,000 per year.
In 2016, the foundation sponsored the failed Proposition 61 to regulate prescription drug prices (prohibiting state agencies from paying more than the VA does). The measure explicitly exempted Medi-Cal managed-care plans, such as the one the foundation runs and makes a profit off of premiums. On that measure, the foundation spent $5 million.
THE TECH CASTES: For KQED, Sam Harnett reports on the different treatment of contract white-color workers from employees in the Silicon Valley:
"Just because someone has a tech job in Silicon Valley, it doesn’t mean they are pulling in a high salary with loads of paid time off, piles of free food and private buses to shuttle them to and from work. Contract workers often don’t share in these perks, even if they’re doing white-collar jobs like developing software, analyzing data or running the servers these tech companies depend on."
THE OTHER CAPITAL: In Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden writes that the inspector general of the U.S. Dept of Interior is looking in to Secretary of the Interior for his past work for the powerful Westlands Water District and other interests:
"The action follows requests from a number of people and organizations, including Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). The senators asked Interior’s inspector general to investigate, among other things, [Secretary David] Bernhardt’s involvement in proposals that would revise rules protecting the delta smelt, a California fish. The investigation covers Bernhardt’s time as the No. 2 official at Interior."
SHIFT HAPPENS: CPR's Chris Hagan reports "The Sacramento region added nearly 25,000 residents in 2018 while Los Angeles lost population, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday. Sacramento’s population gain was second only to the Riverside-San Bernardino metro area, which added more than 50,000 according to new Census estimates. Nationally Dallas, Phoenix and Houston grew the most."
KAMALA 2020: In the LAT, Mark Z. Barabak looks at Kamala Harris's problem with New Hampshire and a lesson from former governor Pete Wilson's failed presidential bid:
"Much time has passed and a great deal has changed politically in the 20-plus years since Wilson tripped and fell in his Granite State debut. Most candidates start fresh and the result of one campaign doesn’t necessarily presage the outcome of another.
But there is one constant that applies today just as it did when Wilson ran for president. How important is it to avoid heedlessly antagonizing voters and the political press corps in a key early primary state?
HOMELESS AND HOUSING: A robust debate is emerging over a proposal to convert the Capitol Park Hotel from single-room occupancy monthly rentals to short-term housing with services for the homelessless. It would displace existing residents who pay around $500 per month for a single room and shared bathroom, reports Bob Moffitt for CapPubRad. With each Sacramento city councilmember being asked by Mayor Darrell Steinberg to identify a location for such triage housing for the homeless, the Capitol Park Hotel SRO is the preferred location of Steve Hansen, who represents downtown. The building is already being purchased by Mercy Housing, a national affordable housing nonprofit.
"Irene Henry, who currently owns Capitol Park Hotel and once owned the nearby Royal Hotel, confirmed that she is in contract with Mercy Housing to sell. At first, she thought the hotel, plus the cafe and the corner store on its ground floor, which she also owns, would have until next year to vacate the property. But now she thinks they might be forced to move out within months.
"We didn’t put the hotel up for sale. Mercy Housing approached us. I'm getting up in age, and we decided, 'OK, we’re going to go ahead and do this,’ with a clean, clear contract with Mercy Housing and all of a sudden the city gets involved and it's like turmoil right now,' she said.
Henry says she feels the city is targeting her properties. “We had the Marshall Hotel. The city worked against us. We had the Royal Hotel. The city worked against us. Now, this,' she said."
Gibran and I were debating this on Facebook messenger this morning and you might be surprised who lands where. I'll be interested in more details that will be discussed by the city council on Tuesday and we're already in the process of inking a pod with Hansen in the next couple of weeks.
GAME ON: With the decision by Major League Soccer to expand from 27 to 30 teams, the Sacramento bid to gain a team seems very likely to be approved with a planned new stadium in the Railyards north of downtown. Tony Bizjak reports for the Bee:
"Speaking to the media after a league Board of Governor’s meeting in The Beverly Hilton hotel, league Commissioner Don Garber said the league has decided to expand. Garber said Sacramento and St. Louis are the only two cities the league will engage in formal expansion discussions, and both will have to show the league they have the stadium plans, fan base, economic strength and corporate support.
'The decision to grant these teams has not been made,' he said. But he added it is the league's intention to have teams in those two cities competing in the league 2021 or 2022 if the negotiations bear fruit."
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Raul Alvarez, Lisa Taylor Carlock, and Courtney Jensen!
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