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E-193 - Friday, August 23, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
UPDATED: Lawsuit information page for SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener): Primary elections: ballot access: tax returns.
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
You made it! Enjoy your Friday as the next one is likely to be frenetic with Suspense Files and a per diem floor session. The negotiations on suspense have already begun and many members (and staff and lobbyists) will have a very busy weekend.
I'm not writing long-form on the wildfire recovery bonds issue today as I'm in the middle of talking to folks on both sides about it. That said, I'll say that if you thought the drama around SB 901 at the end of last year's session was big, this may be bigger. There are lots of BIG players on both sides and seemingly most people in town are involved. For reference, the SB 901 language didn't come out until August 28th last year before being approved August 31, so in terms of end of the legislative year, it's early. Final language has to be online three days before the Legislature departs September 13th, so September 10th.
AB 235 (Mayes) is the vehicle, but hasn't been amended yet, and most members I've talked to haven't seen language but there have been discussions for months. Here is the website of the proponents of the bonds.
For CalMatters, Judy Lin looks at PG&E's rates and how much they could rise under the invester-owned utility's petition for wildfire prevention. PG&E asserts that this has nothing to do with the wildfire recovery bonds, which would be paid by shareholders because bond service is paid before dividends. The thought is that with the stock in the cellar in bankruptcy, there is a huge upside in value for shareholders if the wildfire liabilities issue is taken care of, making it a growth stock rather than the usual equity stock status of investor-owned utilities.
Speaking of bondage, Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) did a gut-and-amend yesterday to his AB 1298 for a "Climate Resiliency, Fire Risk Reduction, Recycling, Groundwater and Drinking Water Supply, Clean Beaches, and Jobs Infrastructure Bond Act of 2020."
If approved by the voters at the November 2020 election, it would provide:
(b) Proceeds of bonds issued and sold pursuant to this division shall be allocated according to the following schedule:
Apparently, it's time to start negotiating as it's Christmas time! That's a big group of subject areas for a bond and there will likely be a rush by all the interest groups to maximize their chunk.
Speaking of gut-and-amends, Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) got the Medi-Cal reimbursement bill into her AB 1327. Petrie-Norris, who defeated Matthew Harper (R) last year, is considered the most vulnerable Assembly Democrat in 2020.
Bennett posted this morning:
"Just to be clear, I never apologized for pushing Senator Richard Pan, I am glad for it. We have free national publicity, including Washington Post, LA Times, CBS, etc. Our platform to expose Dr. Pan is broadened, highly viewed and our recall tee’d up. We have new and powerful supporters and the world can see we are fighting for our freedom, our right to free speech, to raise our children without government interference; the right to life and pursuit of happiness."
...which triggered these comments:
The California Medical Association tweets:
"With #SB277, it was death threats & lobbyists being stalked. This year it escalated to attacks on @DrPanMD. Stop the Hitler comparisons. Get rid of the blood-spatter shirts. End talks about "hanging for treason." #standwithDrPan #StopAntiVaxViolence #SB276"
Mike Madrid retweets:
"If Antifa or The Proud Boys were using these tactics we’d call it out for the extremist movement it is. AntiVaxx groups are actively using death threats, violence and hate speech as an intimidation measure. It’s not just conspiracy theorists - they’ve been radicalized #SB276"
Folks in and around the Capitol need to seriously be cautious, particularly going to and from the Capitol. Security is strong, but folks are constantly entering and exiting to go to lunch, like Dr. Richard Pan and Ash Kalra were doing Wednesday when he was confronted.
HOUSING: For the LAT, Liam Dillon reports on the Newsom administration's continued push for local governments to deliver on more housing:
"Cities and counties in Southern California will have to plan for the construction of 1.3 million new homes in the next decade, a figure more than three times what local governments had proposed over the same period, according to a letter released by state housing officials Thursday.
The decision is sure to intensify a clash between cities in the region and Gov. Gavin Newsom over the need for new construction to alleviate the state’s housing crisis. Newsom and allies in the Legislature have called for 3.5 million new homes to be built statewide by 2025 in an effort to end a shortage of available homes that is driving up prices. Local government officials, including many in the Los Angeles area, have been frustrated by the state’s efforts to push for greater growth in their communities and to take away some of their control over development."
EMISSIONS: Politico's Jeremy B. White writes that Governor Gavin Newsom is loving California's fight with the Trump Administration over emissions standards for automobiles:
“This is checkmate,” Newsom told POLITICO Thursday. “This is showing the limits of the power of this administration.”
The deal “is bigger than [Trump’s] tweets and it's bigger than his EPA. This is a very frustrating place for him to be,” Newsom added. “There’s a weakness that’s exposed, and that’s very raw for this president in particular.”
WEEDMAPS: For the Bee, Andrew Sheeler reports that Weedmaps.com will change to include only licensed cannabis retailers in its directory, service ads. Weedmaps.com, owned by Irvine-based Ghost Management, LLC, has been fighting AB 1427 (Blanca Rubio), which would impose new disclosure requirements on California law for legal purchases. The company is a prolific donor and has spread around $259,300 already this year. The bill is co-sponsored by the United Cannabis Business Association, which has been fighting to crack down on unlicensed operators that are competing with licensed retailers. It's unclear if Weedmaps is removing opposition to the bill, which is on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File.
HIGHER ED: For EdSource, Larry Gordon writes:
"The first order of business for a new higher education advisory board appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom will be to look at ways to improve the low college graduation rates in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire and counter the effects of poverty and geographic isolation there, officials say.
The “Council for Post-Secondary Education,” which includes the state’s top education leaders as well as representatives of business and labor, will meet for the first time on Monday in Sacramento. It is supposed to get the state’s various public and private education systems out of what Newsom called their separate “silos” and to cooperate on issues of college access, success and costs."
RECYCLING: Joel Fox looks at the debate of the future of California's recycling program:
"If the CRV continues to exist or is even increased to help pay for the changes to long time recycling procedures and the incentive program is greatly diminished if it even continues to exist at all, then the CRV looks more like a tax. In remodeling the recycling program that fact must be considered by the legislature because a tax would require a two-thirds vote. Some will assert a new or increased fee would be akin to the vehicle tire recycling fee. But the loss or near-loss of the incentive program changes the nature of the original fee in fact as well in the eyes of the public.
It is not out of the question that the tax could pass, given strong support for environmental laws, but the question of a tax becomes part of the debate."
MUNI MATTERS. CAKEDAY, and CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
LA-LA LAND: For the LAT, Mark Puente and Laura J. Nelson report that, as electric scooters flood Los Angeles, so are tickets to riders not obeying the law. They write:
"The Los Angeles Police Department wrote 800 tickets to riders on the zippy electric vehicles between January of 2018 and mid-July, and cited them for more than 900 violations, according to city data analyzed by The Times.
The ticketing rate rose sharply this summer as police officers targeted riders on the city’s narrow and sometimes crowded sidewalks, the data show. In June, officers wrote 249 citations, a 1,815% increase compared with the same time last year.
Nearly two-thirds of the violations cited a California law that bans motorized vehicles on sidewalks."
SANDY EGGO: In the SDUT, columnist Michael Smolens writes that things are testy in the San Diego mayoral race between Councilwoman Barbara Bry and Assemblyman Todd Gloria:
"It’s always better to have more money than a political opponent, but the legality of some $300,000 Gloria has socked away has come into question amid accusations that he violated campaign finance laws.
What is typically routine and legal political behavior — transferring leftover funds from one campaign committee to another — may have may become problematic for Gloria, who admits he mishandled things.
This all surfaced in the run-up to the Tuesday night decision by the party’s central committee on who — or whether — to endorse for mayor. The endorsement puts party resources and infrastructure behind Gloria. That’s huge because, with no Republican yet in the race, the next mayor likely will be either Gloria or Bry."
The issue is the transfer of money from that raised for a re-election bid to the Assembly to the campaign for mayor. San Diego has a limit of $2,300 for the primary and general elections combined, far less than the $9,400 for the two elections for the Legislature. Transfers can be made from a state account, but require itemization to show that a transferred money from each donor hasn't exceeded the local limit.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Barry Broad, Ed Emerson, Dani Kando-Kaiser, Kevin Sabo, and Karo Torossian!