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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
Happy Tuesday! I'm going to be quick today as we have a 10am podcast recording with Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove. I don't know her and have really enjoyed getting to know her in research for today's pod. She was elected to the Los Angeles Community College District the year after I left my CEO role with the Community College League, so we didn't overlap.
Tomorrow night is the Capitol Cup bipartisan soccer match pitting Northern California legislators against those from the south. Thirty lawmakers plan to play after Honorary Captain and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom flips the coin, who played on the pitch while at Stanford. The game is at 5pm at Papa Murphy's Park preceding a Sac Republic FC game and tickets are $30 and proceeds benefit Sister Libby's Mercy Pedalers.
Speaking of mercy, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday pardoned two Cambodian immigrants who faced deportation for crimes committed in the 1990s. Sophia Bollag writes for the Bee:
"Both men were threatened with deportation earlier this year. The pardons could help them argue in court that they should not be sent back to Cambodia.
Newsom's predecessor Jerry Brown pardoned five Cambodian refugees last year as the Trump administration ramped up its deportations of Asian immigrants, according to the governor’s office."
Meanwhile, Bollag reports that Newsom is hitting the road to sell his budget proposal, in particular the state-specific individual health care mandate.
"Newsom's proposal to reinstate the individual mandate, which the federal government rolled back after President Donald Trump took office, is perhaps his most direct attempt to prop up the Affordable Care Act. But it will require lawmakers to vote to penalize constituents who don't have insurance, one of several taxes and fees Newsom wants to enact to support his budget proposal."
DMV: A 110-page report on suggested changes to the Department of Motor Vehicles gathered by a "strike team" appointed by Governor Newsom following criticism over wait times and the bungled rollout of Motor Voter, reports Bryan Anderson for the Bee.
"The team led by Marybel Batjer, secretary of the Government Operations Agency, conducted 'an intensive series of interviews with DMV executives and managers' and discovered the department had issues with 'weak communication and lack of goal alignment among divisions, key vacancies in top management roles, and poor coordination in efforts to improve customer service.'
To make matters worse, the report noted, 'Employees have been hampered by outdated and inadequate training and obsolete tools.'"
STEM CELL: For Capitol Weekly, David Jensen reports that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is taking a hard look at its business model before asking voters for $5 billion to bail out the agency.
IHSS: Adam Beam reports for AP that Attorney General Xavier Becerra has joined four other states in suing the Trump Administration over a new rule that would forbid states from deducting union dues from employees in the federally funded In-Home Supportive Services program. Under the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, employees working within a bargaining unit can opt out of union membership, including "fair share" fees. (AG's press release)
It's a very big issue for SEIU.
HOMELESS IN COLLEGE: In the Bee, Andrew Scheeler reports on AB 302 (Berman), which would require community college districts to leave parking lots open at night for students. I purposefully rarely comment on community college issues, as that's where I spent 20 years of my professional life. This is a tough one. My heart is with the students but the liability and enforceability issues are huge. The bill states that students in good academic standing and who have paid their enrollment fees (or granted a waiver) would be allowed to park overnight in the college lots.
Some districts, like Peralta in the East Bay, contract with county sheriffs for public safety services. Others have internal departments, with much of the parking enforcement work frequently staffed by students. How will they verify that a parked sleeping student is currently enrolled and paid their fees or had them waived at 2:00 in the morning?
Community colleges now are required to open their athletic facility showers for homeless students and it's a sad necessity. I'm not sure that requiring colleges to open parking lots overnight is a step forward. It's a hard bill to oppose (no votes in opposition in Asm Higher Ed) but is probably not that practical. Community colleges have long debated having dorms, and a couple in rural areas do, which are themselves a huge liability.
San Diego has a different plan at SDCCU Stadium which incorporates associated services, something that is not included in the community college plan. It includes nonprofit assistance for more permanent housing and is part of the city's plan to remove overnight parking from residential city streets. Several other cities have taken similar steps.
Providing access for a morning shower is one thing, but the liability from the endorsement of sleeping in vehicles without supportive services and additional staffing is something else. The bill requires bathroom access, which is understandable, but also a huge liability.
LA-LA Land after the jump...
LA-LA LAND: For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes on the not-so-elegant parcel tax ballot measure for Los Angeles Unified:
"LA Unified's self-inflicted wounds on Measure EE should not surprise anyone who has followed its recent history of revolving-door turnovers in superintendents, ever-changing political alignments of its school board, higher salaries and benefits that cannot be financed, mishandling of funds meant to educate poor kids and, most of all, chronically and abysmally poor academic performance."
It has not been a good month for LA schools. Then again, how many voters will cast ballots for the June 4 election? Only those in the north San Fernando Valley have something else on their ballots--the 12th City Council seat special election with fifteen candidates. Former councilmember Greig Smith is serving the seat temporarily after Mitch Englander's resignation.
Meanwhile, today is the special runoff election for LAUSD district 5 between former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg and Heather Repenning. While not the charter school fight seen in recent LAUSD elections, there's no secret that Goldberg is the favorite of labor and Repenning has the backing of charter advocates and mayor Eric Garcetti.
#CAKEDAY and a #CONGRATULATIONS after the jump...
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Nancy Chadwick, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, Michelle Gomez, Rose Kapolczynski, Joey Legaspi, Tom Ross, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, and Mimi Walters!
#CONGRATULATIONS! Hats off to the FPPC's Phillip Ung who graduated from Lincoln Law School and is going into hiding for a couple of months to study for the bar. He did it in four years at night while working and boasts of no student debt. That's wild.
As I told him, I loved studying for the bar after always working and going to school. It was great to get up each morning and focused on one thing. Let's just hope Phil stays in public policy!
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