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E-181 - Wednesday, September 4, 2019
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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:
Sorry for the delay, but one of the most interesting legislative debates of the year took place as I should have been writing and required a rewrite. As the September 13 end of the legislative year approaches, the "cray-cray" dial has been turned up to 11. We're essentially taking Highway 128 from Cloverdale to Mendocino at 60 miles per hour--shout out to my friend Assemblymember Jim Wood and one of my most favorite regions of California.
If things weren't crazy enough already, it was literally raining for about a minute as a thunderstorm-type cloud moved over The Nooner Global Headquarters around 9:30am. Hopefully it didn't pass over the chalk artwork at Fremont Park from the weekend's festival. While we always appreciate moderate levels of rain, it's totally unexpected on September 4.
As I emailed you earlier this morning, we were literally recording the new podcast as the Assembly vote on SB 276 took place. I'll talk more about the bill below the jump, but I was thinking about how much things have changed since I arrived "in town" 25 years ago. Of course, I arrived as a transfer undergrad to UC Davis and started interning at the Community College League in January 1995.
That fall semester of 1994, I took a job at the "Surge IV" computer lab at Davis, which was really two labs in trailers. One lab was a "writing lab" with Mac laptops where students practiced their typing and wrote papers. My desk was in the "IBM lab," where classes of agricultural economics and other students would come in to use advanced statistical software.
This was also when the "World Wide Web" was introduced to students as mostly a collection of academic resources with crude HTML. Of course, I had experience with the text-based Internet of newsgroups, email, FTP, and Gopher, and was using them for student organizing and politics during the early 90s. Graphics were available on Prodigy and some company that sent out floppy disks (and later CDs), but the Internet graphics were mostly ASCII.
By the time I got to law school in 1997, I took "Internet and the Law" with Kimberly Mueller, who is now a judge on the Eastern District of California bench.
Fast forward to yesterday, where Gibran and I were recording audio and video and getting live reports of votes on the Assembly Floor, and posted the audio online within a half-hour of recording (thanks Gibran!) and had video available overnight (uploading and rendering obviously takes longer).
I don't know the point of that rambling except to show my age. "Back when I was a kid..."
Really, I was just delaying writing about bills until I had some coffee in me. Fueled up, let's look at a few after the jump.
SB 276 (Pan): Immunizations: medical exemptions.: As I wrote in the podcast email this morning, SB 276 was adopted by the Assembly on a 48-19-12 vote, which occurred while we were recording the pod. With intense pressure by opponents, the Assembly brought up the bill without reference to file (WORF). Under the rules, the bill wasn't eligible to be heard today, but Rule 63 can be dispensed with by a simple majority vote, which the bill clearly had.
The story doesn't end there, which we'll get to.
Let's look at the deviations from the general party-line of Democrats voting in support and Republicans voting against:
After the Assembly passed the bill, the Governor's Office, thought to be on board,
This morning (when The Nooner should have been going out), the Senate followed suit on a 28-11-1 vote, along party lines with Richard Roth (D-Riverside) not voting.
When asked about the governor's requested amendments that came out after the Assembly floor vote yesterday, Senator Pan said that they had negotiated with the governor's office up to Assembly Appropriations and had been given a signal of support. Legislative supporters of SB 276 I have talked to after the post-Assembly vote request from the Governor's Office were utterly perplexed.
We talk the political dynamics of the deviations in advance of next year's election near the beginning of the pod. Basically, in my opinion, there's no political liability for not voting or voting no, which is the case on many bills. We also talked about why they moved it so quickly. Obviously, they wanted to pass it while the votes were still there amidst an increasingly effective (albeit ugly) campaign by opponents. I also think that they knew the votes were there and the bill was sucking all the oxygen out of the room with many, arguably bigger, issues pending.
With the bill passing both houses, it now goes to engrossment and enrollment. That's the process of proofreading the bill before it goes to the governor. Bills can be withdrawn from enrollment, but I'm still trying to understand the interplay of the relatively new Proposition 54 (2016) legislative transparency rules with having amendments in print, etc. Remember, if the bill is to be amended, it has to go back to the Assembly to do so and then back to the Senate before it can go to the Governor. I think it can take two steps back.
If only Irwin hadn't retired... (inside Capitol joke). Actually some of the best legislative process experts were recently laid off or "retired"--they were on the Republican side and the caucus budgets are proportional. We've lost some great people.
One more bill for today and we'll be back tomorrow. Or, perhaps I'll nibble at your inbox with a Nooner Nightcap tonight. It may be 1pm and I've been sitting in this chair since 6am with little to show, but I have a feeling my day is just beginning.
Speaking of rent, my bank account is empty after paying mine (and after having $622 stolen from a fraudulent debit that is in the banking neverland and incurring charges left and right) so we must have a word from a sponsor. And for those who think that I write content around ads, all I see is "adblock4" and honestly have no idea what is even in the rotating spot. I wish I could firewall it off, but all you get is me. And, thank you.
AB 1482 (Chiu): Tenancy: rent caps.: I was going to write about this today but ended up in the "Being John Malkovich" space of being between floors. I need more information and Chiu's office is helping. There's a lot of misinformation out there about who is on board and who is not after Friday's announced "deal." The ish got personal when a close friend was given an eviction notice yesterday for "renovations," suspiciously right after the deal.
I generally like the concept (which wouldn't apply to me as my place is less than 15 years old), but with any rent control implementation, there are huge policy hazards and I'm trying to figure out if my friend is getting screwed and what the impact is on the Sacramento housing market. We talked about this on the pod as well, but like everything else, had (and still have) little to go on other than press releases. While it sounded on Friday that the California Association of Realtors was on board, they have ads up against it. Frankly, people are confused and it's not really about "free market" or "rent control." There are majorities in both houses for the latter, but it's all about implementation.
For example, there's a retroactivity provision to March 15, 2019. That's smart so landlords don't drop rent hikes on tenants just before the new law goes in to effect. But, how does that protect people like my friend who might be pushed out right now and then are gouged by other landlords in downtown Sac who know that it's their last pre-rent control chance until 2030 to "rebench" rents to a higher level?
Big moral hazard of a policy that I agree with in concept. Gibran just generally disagrees. People think that we have some common agenda with the pod, but if you listen, you know that is certainly often not the case even if we are both registered Democrats.
CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi and Anthony York!