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E-256 - Saturday, June 22, 2019
RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
"Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking the California Legislature to extend an existing charge on utility customers’ bills in hopes of generating $10.5 billion for a new wildfire fund, one that power companies could use to pay for fire damage — but only if they meet the state’s safety standards.
The proposal stops short of meeting investor demands that the state change its doctrine of inverse condemnation, which holds utilities responsible for wildfire damage linked to their equipment.
The proposal stops short of meeting investor demands that the state change its doctrine of inverse condemnation, which holds utilities responsible for wildfire damage linked to their equipment."
Luna also has a quote from Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), a long critic of PG&E:
Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) said it is unknown what criteria the state will use to determine whether utilities managed their systems to prevent wildfires, and that will be central to the plan.
“What are those standards that you would have to follow in order to avoid liability?” Hill asked. “The devil is in the detail, and that’s what I haven’t been able to look at yet.”
As Marisa Lagos reports for KQED, PG&E likely is not crazy about the plan as proposed, as it would require it to settle 2017 and 2018 liability and exit bankruptcy before accessing the funds, while Julie Cart reports for CALmatters that the governor's proposal walks a political tightrope on a contentious issue in the Legislature.
I've written before how complicated the involved issues of liability, inverse condemnation, and securitization of liability. I have a feeling it's going to be a long, hot last month of session after summer recess ends August 11.
CRAZY TRAIN: Also yesterday, Governor Newsom told a group of Bay Area business leaders that to finish high-speed rail now will require private investment.
THE WALL: After President Trump said that San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer thanked POTUS for his border wall, Faulconer is now saying that that's not what he said, writes David Garrick in the SDUT. Garrick reports:
"Trump said on Fox News Wednesday night that Faulconer expressed gratitude for local upgrades to the wall and declared that they had been highly effective.
'The mayor was just up in my office - great guy,' Trump told Sean Hannity. 'He came up to thank me for having done the wall because it’s made such a difference. He said it’s like day and night. He said people were flowing across and now nobody can come in.'
Faulconer’s spokesman Craig Gustafson said the president’s recollection of the meeting is flat wrong."
AD73 (Dana Point): In the Register, Brooke Skaggs reports that OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and three other women have come forward with complaints that three-term Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point) made aggressive, unwanted sexual advances against them in recent years. Brough denies the charges.
Bartlett is currently chair of the board of supes and also lives in Dana Point. She served on the city council with Brough from 2010-2014. Awkward in the South Orange County town of 34,000.
EMINENT DOMAIN: The Supreme Court of the United States yesterday on a 5-4 vote overturned a 1985 precedent that said that property owners had to first seek negotiations with public officials before going to federal court to seek a takings determination. (Knick v. Township of Scott, PA). Here's a good analysis of the decision by Miriam Seifter for SCOTUSblog. Justice Elena Kagan in writing the dissenting opinion--joined by J. Ginsburg, J. Breyer, J. Sotomayor--blasted the overturning of precedent under the principle of stare decisis.
SCOTUS's term ends this week. While decisions are usually handed down on on the final Monday of the term, but still has 12 cases left and that would be a long decision day.. Those include the Census citizenship question and partisan gerrymandering. FiveThirtyEight has a podcast released yesterday of what's left in the final week.
HIKE! Legislators and constitutional officers will be receiving a 4% pay raise effective December 2 following a vote of the California Citizens Compensation Commission.
SPLIT ROLL: The California Teachers Association yesterday reported that it had given $500,000 to the November 2020 ballot measure to remove the inflationary protections from certain industrial and commercial properties.
MUNI MATTERS and CAKEDAY after the jump...
LA-LA LAND: San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón is seriously considering running for Los Angeles District Attorney next year, report Alene Tchekmedyian and James Queally in the LAT.
"'This is a big decision for me and it is one I will ultimately be making in consultation with my family, but I am both proud and humbled that so many Angelenos have encouraged me to bring a data-driven vision of public safety and racial equity back to my hometown of Los Angeles,' Gascon said in a statement."
CHECKOUT: In the LAT, James F. Peltz and Hailey Mensik look at the possibility of the first grocery strike in Southern California in 16 years. They write:
"During the strike, the chains in the labor dispute lost a combined $1.5 billion in sales.
And now it might happen again.
Early next week, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union in Southern and Central California plan to vote on whether to authorize another strike, this time by 46,000 unionized workers. Negotiations have stalled on a new contract with Albertsons — which now owns Vons and Pavilions — and Ralphs."
WATER WARS: On HBO's Vice News Tonight last night, the longstanding conflict between cattle ranchers and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power over water in the Owens Valley, which has only intensified with climate change.
SACTOWN: The "Our Street Night Market" returns tonight for its second year rom 7pm-1am on the Ice Blocks along R Street (between 11th and 14th) for street food, games, music, and art.
GREAT SHOW: Last night, I went to the production of "RENT" at the Davis Musical Theatre Company. The show runs for another couple of weekends. Highly recommend!
WHAT THE INTERNET IS FOR: This video of a dog discovering a clam on a beach is one of the cutest things you will ever see.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Adrienne Alvord, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Jeli Gavric, Rob Katherman, Congressman Adam Schiff, and Matt Wainwright!
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: On SB 276 (Pan), the vaccine bill, Assemblymember Chad Mayes (R-Yucaipa) was no voting, not an "aye" vote that I stated yesterday. Sorry about that!
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