If you don't see images in this message, click "Display Images" or the equivalent.
E-185 - Saturday, August 31, 2019
Advertise in The Nooner to reach over 8,000 readers
RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
TRUMP TAX RETURNS: Lawsuit information page for SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener): Primary elections: ballot access: tax returns.
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Saturday! After the intensity that led up to the Appropriations committees' biggest hearing of the year, the weekend is welcome. And we have a full complement of college football to get past the drama of yesterday. Of course, I'll be watching my UC Davis Aggies playing Cal in Berkeley at 3:30 (PAC-12 Network). Yes, Cal is 14.5 point favorites, but I was at that game in Palo Alto when the Aggies beat Stanford in 2005. Sorry, Lorena, but GO AGS! ;-)
Oregon visits Auburn at 4:30 (ABC) and USC hosts Fresno State at 7:30 (ESPN).
THE SUSPENSE IS OVER! Well, that was a wild day in the Capitol as the fiscal committees in each house closed most of their work for the year. Here are the actions of the Senate and the Assembly and it appears that the votes are online. However, as you will see on those lists, lots of bills were amended as part of the votes sending them to the floors of each house. We likely won't see amendments on many of such bills "in print" until late next week because of the holiday. For home gamers, Friday is the last day to amend bills, one week before the Legislature departs for the year.
If the amendments are in print this morning, I've linked them below.
Here are some crude scratchpad notes on bills I've written about recently:
And, here are a few articles on some of the most-watched bills:
Of course, the "suspense" over bill outcomes normally dominated Suspense File day, but the opponents of SB 276 (Pan): Immunizations: medical exemptions captured the Capitol's attention in one of the most dramatic displays that I have seen in my 25 years here. The Legislature, from members to sergeants, were prepared and handled it beautifully. That while things were quite ugly...
Assembly Appropriations Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) opened the hearing and announced that while they were going to vote in alphabetical order of the authors, as the Senate has done in recent years, rather than subject area. On that note, there is no right answer. Members like author-order so they can follow along, while advocates like subject matter so that they can leave when their topics are over to make room for others in the overly crowded room. (The same is true of subject-oriented Appropriations Committee staff, who yesterday lined up against the wall in case they were needed.) That said, few observers would complain about how Lorena handled the hearing.
While they were tackling the bills in member-order, Lorena announced at the beginning of the meeting that, because of the number of members of the public from out of town interested in the vaccinations bill, the bill would be acted on first. As expected, the bill passed with all Democrats except Brian Maienschein (D-N. San Diego) and Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) voting for it. Also abstaining from the vote was Frank Bigelow (R-O'Neals).
The vote did not end the issue for the day with an exodus from the committee room. Instead, opponents of SB 276 started changing loudly and several stood on the precarious chairs in Room 4202. Gonzalez declared a committee recess with the thought that the protestors would leave. Most, however, did not.
Gonzalez returned the committee to action and, after assuring that the television feed could be heard over the protestors, continued with actions for awhile before recessing again and then returning to complete actions. At the end of the day, Lorena tweeted:
"As someone who has a history in civil disobedience, it would take a lot for me to actually ask for protesters to be arrested. I could do my job, and could be heard on the video (as required by law) & I even have them rest breaks. All good!"
For homegamers, before election to the Assembly, Lorena was Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO and is an alum of Stanford and UCLA Law.
Opponents of SB 276 will continue to fight although it's pretty clear the bill will reach Governor Newsom's desk. While Gavin expressed concerns about the bill earlier this year, it is expected that he will sign it.
I know this is a very personal issue for people who have passion on both sides. I admit I've been critical of opponents and a few bad-acting physicians who have sold medical exemptions. I respect the opponents who feel strongly that they were duped by Senator Pan through SB 277 in 2015 who at the time communicated that he was not trying to halt medical exemptions. However, that was before unscrupulous physicians began selling exemptions to non-continuous patients.
Longtime readers know about my medical history, friends who have died and a dear friend with cystic fibrosis who has had lung and kidney transplants and is thus immuno-compromised. Should there be legitimate medical exemptions? Absolutely. Should a physician be able to open up shop for a weekend in Chico to sell exemptions for $150 a pop? Absolutely not. That's the real issue and, yes, I take it very personally when lives of friends are at stake.
Anyway, here is the video of yesterday's hearing.
RENT: Late yesterday after the crowds left the Capitol, Governor Newsom, Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Speaker Anthony Rendon announced a deal on AB 1482 (Chiu), the rent control bill. The bill was negotiated with organizations that have strongly opposed such efforts, including the California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors.
The compromise would impose an annual rent cap increase of Consumer Price Index plus 5% and require "just cause" for evictions of tenants who have rented for twelve months. While Chiu's bill would only apply for three years, the announced deal would last until 2030.
Clearly, the Governor and Legislature wants to move quickly since Michael Weinstein and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation are back on the streets with a ballot measure for November 2020.
PG&E: For the Chron, Schwankia Narayan and J.D. Morris report that businesses concerned about prophylactic PG&E electricity shutoffs during weather conditions are often finding that there business interruption insurance doesn't cover such situations. Meanwhile, Nicholas Iovino writes for Courthouse News Service that the judge overseeing the PG&E bankruptcy has refused to accept a proposal that the investor-owned utility pay out $16 million in executive bonuses. Iovino writes:
"Refusing to accept that Pacific Gas and Electric’s corporate leaders need seven-figure incentives to achieve safety goals, a federal bankruptcy judge rejected the company’s request for a $16 million bonus plan Friday.
“There is simply no justification for diverting additional estate funds to incentivize them to do what they should already be doing,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali wrote in a 7-page ruling.
PG&E lawyers first sought approval of bonuses for 12 senior executives in June, arguing it was critical for the “safe and reliable operation” of the utility and to maximize the company’s value for economic stakeholders."
FIREARMS, MUNI MATTERS, CAKEDAY, and CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
Along with the two cases in California brewing in the Southern District on age restrictions for the purchase of long guns and ammunition magazine capacity, it sure looks like the Supreme Court will have more chances to provide its latest Second Amendment jurisprudence since Heller and McDonald.
I wrote about this in depth on July 2 and need not rehash it today. Friedman was appealed via a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court, but the petition was denied. Justices Scalia and Thomas dissented from that denial of cert.
It takes four of the nine justices to grant cert. Obviously, Justice Scalia has been replaced by Neil Gorsuch. Justice Kennedy, who did not sign on to the Scalia/Thomas dissent in the denial of taking the case, has been replaced by Brett Kavanaugh. It's fair to guess that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would be interested in taking Cook County case now, so it's up to Alito and Roberts whether they join Thomas and the new justices in granting cert.
THE CAPITOL MALL FOUNTAIN: For the Bee, Elaine Chen writes up the continued debate over the fountain that centers the circle between the Mosk Library and Courts and Unruh office buildings between 9th and 10th on Capitol Mall. She writes:
"A proposal by the California Department of General Services to remove the fountain at the center of Capitol Mall has distressed preservationists, who say it is a historic icon that should remain.
As part of a 10-year plan to construct new state buildings and revamp old ones, the department plans to renovate the Jesse M. Unruh Building that houses the State’s Treasurer’s Office and, in the process, remove the fountain that lies directly south of the Unruh building.
The fountain, encircled by yellow rose bushes, has been turned off since 2010.
A report published by the department in mid-July describing the proposed renovations cites “issues with electrical shortages in the fountain lighting, failure of mechanical equipment, leaks in the fountain bowl and associated valves, and a possible drain line collapse.”
Preservationists are upset."
I'm not obsessed with historical preservation and at King Hall, Professor Joel Dobris repeatedly told us in Property that "land will rise to its highest and best use."
To me, the fountain is indeed a highest and best use and we need to find a way to save it. While locals don't spend much time around it or the memorials on either side of the Capitol, they are a big draw, with busloads largely of Asian tourists regularly visiting them.
OAKTOWN: In the Chron, Sarah Ravani reports that Oakland officials says that a large cannabis grow in a homeless encampment is illegal but aren't shutting it down.
SANDY EGGO: For Times of San Diego, Ken Stone writes that a superior court judge has refused to block the campaign spending of Assemblymember Todd Gloria's mayoral campaign, as requested by candidate and councilmember Barbara Bry. The issue is about the transfer of money from Gloria's Assembly 2020 account and whether there are contributions mixed in that exceed the municipal campaign finance limits. Of course, the fungibility of funds for transfers is always a difficult issues, like the unwinding of abandoned campaigns.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Benjamin Bradley, Marc Carrel, Carol Dahmen-Eckery, Tom Hughes, and Neva Parker!