Around The Capitol

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California Legislative Directory| Classifieds | Sofa Degree

E-237 - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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  • CA49 (S. Orange County, N. San Diego County coastal): added television commentator Graham Ledger (R) - leans D - challenge to Mike Levin (D)

SacTown Talks by The Nooner


  • Nooner housekeeping
  • AB 5 (Gonzalez): Worker status: employees and independent contractors.
  • AB 1639 (Gray, Cunningham, and Robert Rivas): Tobacco products.
  • AB 1482 (Chiu): Tenancy: rent caps.
  • SB 276 (Pan): Vaccinations: medical exemptions.
  • AB 392 (Weber, McCarty, Rendon, and Sen. Atkins): Peace officers: deadly force.
  • AB 44 (Friedman): Fur products: prohibition.
  • Local taxes
  • Redistricting
  • Money Matters: congressional fundraising
  • Money Matters: Dababneh closes out ballot measure committee
  • Cakeday

Happy humpday! Summer recess is almost here!

Some quick housekeeping before we get to the latest...

Last night, I finally re-wrote the "unsubscribe" script for The Nooner, which wasn't working properly. It should work now and when you click the link at the bottom of each day's Nooner, you'll have an option to either delete an email address completely or just an instance for those receiving duplicates to the same address. The SQL geeks ask "Scott, why don't use use a DISTINCT query so people don't receive duplicates?"

The reason is that each every in the database has a unique randomly generated alphanumberic ID. These are used when we do election contests and "Legislator of the Year" awards. Obviously, if I used the incremental primary key in the database, with the ability to game the system.

While your individual link appears at the end of the daily Nooner, you can also go to at any time, enter your address and get a link to finish the deletion. I'll add that link to other pages on the web site soon.

Anyway, hopefully things are better now. I never add addresses unless the are personally requested or are done online. I only want the 8,000 folks receiving The Nooner to be those who want it.

With apologies, I've dropped headlines. I know some longtime readers have pushed me to keep them, but because of newspaper paywalls, it is almost all manual work now as opposed to stories being fetched by eureka!, the program I wrote more than ten years ago. That's why it has been mostly Politico headlines in recent weeks. Of course, I'll continue to cover the big stories in this space and try to expound on them. My friends at Rough & Tumble continue to do a great job curating the headlines.

I haven't decided what I'll do with the home page yet since I'm not curating the headlines most days. That's what summer recess is for.

Okay...enough housekeeping. A look into the frenetic deadline week activity inside the Capitol after the jump.

I may have a nightcap again today as there is a lot more out there and obviously today is just beginning. For now, I need to hop in the shower and get over to the Capitol. Madness, I tell you, madness.

AB 5 (Gonzalez): Worker status: employees and independent contractors. The bill to codify the California Supreme Court's decision in Dynamex into the Labor Code was heard this morning in Senate Labor, Employment and Retirement Committee (yes, the Senate does not use the Oxford comma, but the Assembly does). The definition would make it more difficult to characterize individuals performing work for an employer as "independent contractors." As employees, additional labor protections including the minimum wage would apply to many workers, primarily in the "gig" economy. I've written extensively on this and don't need to rehash it today, but you can read my past in-depth analysis in the archives.

The Capitol had lots of folks on both sides yesterday pushing members of the committee with their arguments. The "gig" folks had "I'm Independent!" t-shirts. At first, I thought it had to do with one of the voting bills.

Uber and Lyft have been pushing for a compromise that would create a middle ground between "employee" and "independent contractor," where certain guarantees would be made to the workers without all of the protections of being an employee.

While most of the discussion has been around how the employees do or don't benefit from being classified either way (including the right to join a union), it needs to be pointed out that there is another big issue to the employer side. To the extent the individuals currently classified as independent contractors are instead employees, the liability to the employer increases for wrongful acts by the worker. Each "gig" economy company has certain safety criteria, but as an employee, the "supervision" would likely need to be increased. Of course, how that would be done is unclear.

The employer-side is also arguing that the legislation should state that the Dynamex "A-B-C test" be applied only going forward, instead of retroactively as held by Ninth Circuit in the Jan-Pro case. Because the court's decision was based on interpretation of the Labor Code rather than, say, the state constitution, the Legislature likely could do this.

The bill has been amended to include several exemptions for certain professions, particulary licensed ones such as barber and cosmetology. Of course, lots of other folks stepped forward this morning to ask for additional exemptions. Many of these were drivers from the transportation network companies who essentially asked for the Uber and Lyft amendments. Officially, the companies are not in opposition, although the analysis reflects opposition of TechNet, of which both and other "gig" companies are members.

Author Lorena Gonzalez said in the hearing "AB 5 continues to be a work in progress" and that "work will continue during the break," citing the month-long summer recess that begins Friday.

Assuming the bill gets out of Senate Labor that is still hearing testimony as the hamsters start spinning the wheel for Nooner Premium recipients, it will next go to Senate Appropriations and requires a majority of the Senate Floor. 

AB 1639 (Gray, Cunningham, and Robert Rivas): Tobacco products. The bill to increase age verification of all tobacco products and restrict most flavored tobacco e-cigarette product sales to retail locations that limit entrance of patrons to 21 and over will be heard by Assembly Governmental Organization Committee at 1:30 in Room 4202.

The analysis for the bill came out yesterday afternoon and is available now. No formal support is registered, while the opposition includes both health care advocacy organizations and the Vapor Technology Association, which represents manufacturers and distributors of e-cigarettes.

I've written plenty on this issue: July 6, July 4July 3, and May 1.

AB 1482 (Chiu): Tenancy: rent caps. When I entered the Capitol around 1:30 yesterday, the first floor was packed with anti-rent control activists and a smattering on the other side. The largest group was from the Bay Area Homeowners Network (Facebook), which is a group of primarily Chinese-Americans who own rental properties. These were not the big donors to the $74 million in opposition spent on last November's Proposition 10.

SB 276 (Pan): Vaccinations. Just to add some more spice to the already cray-cray week, Senator Richard Pan's (D-Sacramento) bill to tighten medical exemptions from required childhood vaccinations was in Assembly Appropriations this morning for testimony before the bill sits on committee's Suspense File during the break. Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) took the heat, with testimony in opposition aimed at Lorena such as "I oppose YOU," "You are on notice," and "God bless YOU."

AB 392 (Weber, McCarty, Rendon, and Sen. Atkins): Peace officers: deadly force. For Calmatters, Laurel Rosenhall has a great explainer on the compromise police use-of-deadly-force bill sent to Governor Newsom on Monday.

AB 44 (Friedman): Fur products: prohibition. Also for CalMatters, Elizabeth Aguilera looks at the bill to prohibit the manufacture or sale of fur products in the state. Aguilera writes:

"The issue proved popular at the state Capitol on Tuesday as animal rights advocates crowded the hallways in support of the bill.

“All animals are innately born with the freedoms to live the life they should,” said Wendy Bramble, an animal rights activist with several organizations including Anonymous for the Voiceless. “The lives these animals live are miserable. In the case of the fur industry, it’s simply so someone could have a soft piece of skin on their clothing or something along those lines — it’s just for vanity.”

Opponents say if the fur ban becomes California law, the state should brace for a court challenge."

LOCAL TAXES: Joel Fox writes that, given the legal uncertainty of whether local special taxes placed on the ballot by an initiative process require a simple majority or two-thirds after a San Francisco legal ruling, the Supreme Court of California needs to clarify the unclear law.

Dan Walters also writes on the topic for CalMatters and how it also ties to the San Diego pension reform case.

REDISTRICTING: For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks at two bills to push California local governments to more expeditiously switch their election systems under the California Voting Rights Act.

"Now, despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gives lawmakers across the country the greenlight to gerrymander as much as they like, these two bills could push the state even further in the other direction.

  • AB 849 would set up rules restricting how cities and counties draw their council and supervisory maps. Among other things, the bill by Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta from Oakland would require each district to “respect the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods and communities of interest.”
  • SB 139, by Santa Monica Senator Ben Allen, would require most counties over 250,000 people to create independent redistricting commissions. These could either be modeled on California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission, with virtually equal seating for Democrats, Republicans and political independents, or they could be made to reflect the partisan makeup of the county itself—as long as no one political party controls more than a majority of the seats. Of the 12 slots, a single party would only be allowed to have 6, with the rest made up of political independents. Exceptions are made for San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties, which already have their own commissions.

In the wake of a recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, advocates say it’s more important than ever that the state take the lead on this issue."

There may be another Nooner Nightcap day, as I'm watching hearings as much as I am writing this morning! 


Probolsky Research

MONEY MATTERS: CONGRESSIONALS: In the LAT, Christine Mai-Duc reports on quarterly campaign finance announcements from vulnerable congressional incumbents. Mai-Duc writes:

"Coming out in favor of impeachment doesn’t seem to have slowed the campaign of Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), one of seven California House freshmen who must defend competitive congressional seats in 2020.

Porter’s campaign reported Wednesday that it had raised more than $1 million in the second quarter of 2019 and received a big bump from small-dollar donors. Twice as many small donors gave $100 or less in the second quarter than the first, and more than 17,000 unique donors have contributed since January, according to representatives for the congresswoman.

A source close to House Democrats says the sum makes Porter the top fundraiser for the quarter among more than three dozen freshmen members considered vulnerable by House leadership.

Three other California freshmen, Reps. Josh Harder (D-Turlock), Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) and Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) reported six-figure hauls for the three-month period ending June 30."

I'm getting a lot of early reports from federal and state candidates. I'll wait until the reports are filed. The federal quarterly deadline is July 15 and the state's semi-annual deadline is July 31, both for periods ending June 30.

MONEY MATTERS: DABABNEH: Yesterday, in a report showing paid off legal bills and a $3,500 donation to the Hope of the Valley Rescure mission, Matt Dabaneneh brought his ballot measure committee balance to zero. Dababneh resigned from the Assembly last year with sexual misconduct the Assembly Rules Committee subsquently found "more likely than not" to be substantiated.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Christopher Cadelago, Congressman Tom McClintock, and David Panush!

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