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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
- Political Breakdown Podcast (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos of KQED): Pollster David Binder (05/10/19)
- Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): "Senator Moms" for Mother's Day with Connie Leyva and Holly Mitchell (05/08/19)
- SacTownTalks by The Nooner: (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): What a Week! YouTube | Simplecast | iTunes - Dynamex, wildfire liability, and Assembly Committee Chairs play Kill Bill - full rundown on the Simplecast page (05/05/19)
- Force of Law Podcast (Laurel Rosenhall/CALmatters and Studio to Be): Split - the two different legislative proposals (05/04/19)
- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Dem. political and communications consultants Roger Salazar and Hilary McLean (05/03/19)
- Open California/Capitol Weekly Oral History Project: Diana Dooley: The Years With Jerry Brown (05/03/19)
- Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) on fatherhood (05/03/19)
- Gimme Shelter Podcast (Matt Levin of CALmatters and Liam Dillon of LAT): Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Michael Weinstein (05/02/19)
- CA45 (Irvine): added Orange County Board of Education member Lisa Sparks (R) - challenge to Katie Porter (D)
You made it to Friday! It's looking like a perfect weekend across California.
MAY REVISION HIGHLIGHTS: I have spent a fair amount of time reading the May Revision of the January budget proposal released yesterday and am a bit scatter-brained this morning with the firehose. Here is my "scratchpad" as I prepare for this afternoon's pod recording. Sorry for being so abbreviated, but there's a lot to get through.
- General Fund revenues are up $3.5 billion over the two-years, much of it one-time
- May Revision proposes $4.5 billion in increased spending over January
- Proposed Budget Stabilization/Rainy Day account: $16.5 billion in 2019-20 - target of 10% of GF revenues is expected to be met in 2020-21
- Warns of a moderate recession over three years w/ $70 billion drop in revenues leading to a $40 billion budget deficit (not included in the three-year outlook)
- Earned Income Tax Credit: $210 million increase to credit to increase credit from $500 to $1,000 for low-income families with young children and increase maximum income to $30,000 to match 2022 minimum wage of $15/hour at full-time (summary pp. 107-108)
- Paid family leave: extends paid leave for a new parent from 8 weeks to 10 weeks (backing down from six months, while keeping the goal)
- Education: $746.5 million increase in Proposition 98 K-14 spending, $357.2 million of which is one-time ($78.4 million in 2017-18, $278.8 million in 2018-19, and $389.3 million in 2019-20) (summary p. 18)
- Education: $389 million into the dedicated Proposition 98 Public School System Stabilization Account ("Rainy Day Fund") - avoids overappropriation in 2019-20, converting ongoing funds into a one-time cash reserve (summary p. 18)
- Education: increases January $577 million increase for special education to $696.2 million ($119.2m) for a year-over-year increase of 21.2%
- Education: additional one-time $150 million buy-down of CalSTRS unfunded liability (on top of $3 billion in January), reducing local district pension contributions for certificated employees to 16.7% in 2019-20 (originally scheduled to be 18.3% and was bought down to 17.1% in January proposal); frees up local money
- Education: the K-14 statutory COLA is reduced from 3.46% to 3.26%
- Higher education: increases January proposals for students facing homelessness and food insecurity (from $15 million to $18.5 million ongoing for UC and $15 million one-time to $15 million one-time and $6.5 million ongoing for CSU) (summary p. 26)
- Homelessness: doubles year-over-year spending on homelessness to $1 billion, increasing grants to local governments for shelters to $650 million one-time (John Myers @ LAT)
- Homelessness: Judy Lin writes for CALmatters:
"His plan calls for $650 million to local governments for emergency aid, $120 million for counties to pilot assistance programs for people at risk for homelessness, $150 million to train mental health professionals, $40 million for colleges to assist students going hungry, $25 million for Supplemental Security Income advocacy and $20 million to assist people from getting evicted."
- Housing: reconfigures and increases funding to spur housing construction with funds for zoning planning by local governments (summary p. 52)
- Housing: restates commitment to tie gas tax transportation funds to local governments meeting assigned housing element (summary p. 53)
- Health care: keeps individual health mandate to replace lapsed federal penalty, with proceeds used for additional Covered California subsidies (Sammy Caiola @ CapRadio)
- Health care: keeps Medi-Cal expansion for undocumented adults 19-25, but does not expand further as many Dems want
- Health care: the governor restates his commitment to universal health care but acknowledges that for now it's piecemeal closing of gaps in coverage
- Water: maintains support for a "sustainable and reliable source of funding" to provide clean drinking water to communities currently with substandard water; intends to work in "collaboration with the Legislature and stakeholders" on funding source
- Judicial Branch: ongoing funding for 25 new judgeships in areas identified in biggest need in upcoming Judicial Council report
- Other issues: funds the sales tax exemption of diapers and tampons, but only for two years and not the five years previously announced
THE RESPONSE: The initial response from legislators was redictably split in support of Governor Newsom's proposal along party lines. GOP members criticized the fee/tax increases proposed, while some praised increased funding for serving the developmentally disabled and to local governments affected by the 2018 Camp Fire and asking for more. Joel Fox looks at what happened to the spending limit, which once triggered refunds to taxpayers. Of course, lots of the press releases praising the release are supplemented by private lobbying asking for more or changes in language.
The good news is that the Legislature has more than a month to work out and Gavin's honeymoon will largely provide a relatively easy path to a final budget and there won't be a standoff like is going on in Salem, the capital of our neighbor to the north.
High-speed rail, ballot measure committees, LA-LA LAND, SACTOWN, after the jump...
Hungry and frustrated, 4 out of 5 eligible seniors can’t access food assistance programs — leaving California with the lowest senior CalFresh enrollment rate in the nation.
How did we get here? Too much confusing paperwork. Too many physical hurdles. And a bureaucracy that leaves seniors behind.
State Senate Bill 285 (Wiener) is a low-cost solution that would streamline the application process and ensure no senior goes hungry, while also infusing our economy with up to $1.8 billion in federal funding. Let’s pass SB 285.
CHOO-CHOO: In the Times, Ralph Vertabedian reports that there has been a communication breakdown between California's high-speed rail leaders and the U.S. Department of Transportation:
"The federal government notified the state in February of its intent to terminate a $929-billion grant that has yet to be transferred and may seek to get back a $2.5-billion rail grant that has already been spent.
In turn, California officials detailed their view of the soured relationship when they released a project update on May 1 that alleged a 'disengagement' in the relationship had occurred. Up until February, the two agencies were still talking, the report said, though the federal bureaucrats would no longer 'participate in meetings, review documents or act on critical decisions.'
After February, officials at the Federal Railroad Administration, a part of the Transportation Department, no longer took their telephone calls, responded to written communication or processed their environmental documents."
BALLOT MEASURE COMMITTEES: Joe Mathews doesn't see a problem with legislators having separate committees nominally for ballot measures. However, he does see a problem with the way ballot measures are currently financed and argues for public financing for them.
LA-LA LAND: The LAT's David Zahniser writes that Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has decided not to retry former councilmember Richard Alarcon and his wife Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon on perjury and voter fraud chargers that he didn't live in the council district. They maintain that they moved out temporarily for a major remodel. They had been found guilty of some counts at trial, but the court of appeal reversed on improper jury instructions.
SACTOWN: The Sacramento City Unified School District voted last night to lay off 102 employees, reports Vincent Moleski in the Bee. Moleski writes:
"The district's Board of Education unanimously voted to authorize the layoffs, which will affect only certificated employees and 77 of which will affect teaching positions. Most of the teachers who face layoffs were hired less than a year ago, district spokesman Alex Barrios said.
The district will eliminate a total of 178 full-time positions, Barrios said, but only 102 employees will be terminated as other positions were removed through attrition.
The district is up against a $35 million budget deficit and expects to run out of cash by November.
The final layoff notices must be sent out by May 15. Some layoffs among classified employees in the district have already been made, Barrios said."
Another one-day strike has been called for May 22. CapRadio's Beth Ruyak looks at what state receivership means with an interview with Caryn Moore, Director of the School Fiscal Services Division for the California Department of Education.
A must read and #CAKEDAY after the jump...
COMMUTATION AND POLITICS: For CALmatters, Dan Morain has the fascinating story of how Jerry Brown reduced the felony murder rule sentence of Speaker Anthony Rendon's brother-in-law. More than politics, the action fit the type of case Brown was looking for in his final actions and consistent with his approval of legislation changing the felony murder rule.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Alex Burrola, Assemblyman Todd Gloria, and Chandra Sharma!
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