If you don't see images in this message, click "Display Images" or the equivalent.
E-172 - Friday, September 13, 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:
This is it! Yesterday, I walked 4.5 miles, according to the personal trainer that doubles as my watch. It's exactly one mile from my front door to the south entrance to the Capitol so, subtract 0.5 for walking to Darna on K for lunch, and I walked 2 miles inside the Capitol yesterday, with much of that stair ascents and descents. Remember the rule, Capitol visitors, if you're going up or down one level, you are expected to use the stairs unless you have physical reasons or are carrying a bunch of stuff. Most have a personal rule of the elevator for over two flights.
Mine personal rule stairs unless for a first-to-sixth floor trek. It's cheaper than a gym membership and doesn't make those holding a box of stuff for a fifth floor office to be holding that heavy box while the lift stops at every floor.
Did you hear that anti-vaxxers? You're welcome to linger fruitlessly in the Capitol as long as you want while your referendum title and summary as prepared before you stand in front of Walmart collecting signatures during rainy season. But, c'mon, the stairs are just to the right of the elevators.
I was going to send out much of this as a Nooner Nightcap last night but thought that was silly at 10:30pm and with the Senate coming in at 10:30am and the Assembly coming in at 12pm, I figured I just get some sleep and send out an earlier Nooner before sessions start. The fact is that the big stuff can't happen until later because of the 72-hour-in-print rule.
What's pretty clear is that despite early adjourns this week, it's very likely we'll see session go to 10-11pm and possibly to the end of the legislative year at midnight.
AB 824 (Wood): Business: preserving access to affordable drugs. - Yesterday, the Assembly voted 64-1, with 14 members going to the bathroom, on Jim Wood's (D-Healdsberg) bill to limit pre-patent expiration agreements between brand name pharmaceuticals and generics that have anti-competitive effects. The lone vote? Adam Gray (D-Merced).
When the bill passed the Assembly Floor on May 24, the vote was 56-0, with 24 abstentions. Thus, the amendments taking in the Senate led 8 more votes to support the bill and none other than Gray went from a duck to a "no."
The two have been wrestling over regulations of flavored e-cigarette bills all year and hostility was fairly clear when Wood reviewed Gray's AB 1639 in Assembly Health on August 20. Gray didn't vote on AB 824 on the Assembly Floor on May 29 and the bill has taken amendments that led PhRMA to remove its opposition, leaving the big generics the lone opposition. The amendments on
Under the law, you can't overtly say "I'll vote for your bill if you vote for mine." But, there's nothing against the law to saying "I'm voting against your bill because we haven't been getting along.
I know I use it too much in this space, but "All in the game, yo'."
Let's at look at the day ahead after the jump...
As we've been talking about, a bill must be in print for 72 hours before a final vote in the house that possesses it. Therefore, today's schedule will largely be driven by when bills were amended on Tuesday. While everyone would go home early, but in addition to the constitutional 72-hour requirement, there are some big political wrinkles that need to be worked out on some of the biggest remaining bills. I'll talk about that after we look at the schedule.
Friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli but together this list which I have expanded on. These are not the only bills that are up today--there are 53 bills left in each house. Coincidence? I don't know, but when we get to the end of the legislative year (odd years) or session (even years), there is a lot of control of flow of bills so one house doesn't send to the governor bills from the other house it the other one hasn't done so with the bills from the first one. I don't know if that made sense and I'm on my first cup of coffee, but hopefully that makes some sense.
The political dynamics after the jump.
I don't have time to write on all of the above bills, let alone the other 90 on the file for today. Just looking up the titles of those bills gobbled up lots of Nooner time and I have to shower before long and get my tush over there.
The biggest drama is around three bills--SB 1 (Atkins), SB 54 (Allen), and AB 1080 (Gonzalez)--listed above in the "72-hour bills" but will likely affect other bills.
SB 1, which I refer to as the "Trump Defense Act" just so you recall that it is the bill meant to retain California environmental, health, and labor standards regardless of federal regulatory rollbacks, is the biggest bill left for Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). Despite the amendments taken on Tuesday to mollify concerns of Senator Feinstein and four Valley House Democrats and state legislators on the ability to advance water contracts with the Bureau of Reclamation because the differential standards for endangered and threatened species under the California and federal Endangered Species Acts, most water interests remain opposed (some big ones, including the ports, peeled off to neutral).
So, SB 1 is in the Assembly and needs 41 votes. The wary ag district Dems are hearing continued concerns from water interests. To my knowledge, Senators Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) have not publicly commented on Tuesday's amendments after sending a letter to Senator Atkins midday Tuesday echoing the concerns of Feinstein and the Valley Four. While ag members of the Assembly haven't been as forthright as Caballero and Hurtado, they are expected to be aligned.
One such member is Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara). While you may scratch your head about a member from Santa Barbara wavering on a strong declaration against Trump Administration roll-backs, it's all in the game, yo'. As I wrote on Monday, Limón is strongly expected to announce sometime after today that she is running in the SD19 seat being vacated by Hannah-Beth Jackson due to term limits.
While we think of the beautiful coast of the district referred to as the California Riviera, let's look at the map of SD19, which largely consists of the nested AB37 (Limón) on the northern half and AD44 (Irwin) on the southern half.
People often think of agriculture as a Central Valley issue and, while it's indeed accounts the greatest portion of California agricultural GDP, you can't ignore the Salinas Valley (Caballero) also known as the "nation's salad bowl," Imperial County (where many salad bowl crops shift during the winter), and the central coast. In AD37 (Limón), it's largely wine grapes, but also has berries and other crops. AD44 is largely strawberries and a variety of other cool-loving coastal crops.
In the map l have included layers of the Assembly districts over SD19 so you can play with adding and removing the layers if you're bored to see the areas I'm talking about.
If Limón was staying put in AD37, SB 1 would likely be an easy vote as the mostly non-ag city of Santa Barbara dominates the district. However, when you add new voters in the southern part of the district and more ag areas in the overall SD19, the vote gets a little bit more sketchy. Thus, sources tell me that Limón is still wavering on the bill.
But, like Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins has SB 1 as her top bill today sitting on the Assembly Floor, Limón's biggest bill, AB 539 is sitting on the Senate Floor. That's the bill regulating interest rates on short-term loans that some refer to as "payday loans" (the industry would call them "community loans")--a fight that has been going on since the industry flourished, particularly in low-income communities. This year, it finally got out of the house of origin. Both bills need to pass their opposite house, and returned to their house of origin by midnight tonight.
I'm not going to connect all the dots for you as I want to foster more logical thinking about how the sausage is made.
The other highest stakes battle I'm watching today as much for political drama as policy is the fight over SB 54 and AB 1080 (linked above), that seek to reduce single-use plastic consumption in the state by 75% by 2030. Like the previous fight over emissions educations, this is a huge fight between the environmental community and industry. The biggest player in opposition is Dart Container Corp, which is an unknown name to the casual reader. However, most of us have used one of their products this week, perhaps unknowingly. For me, I know that the polystyrene ("Styrofoam") container into which the Mexican bacon-wrapped dawgs for me and my policy assistant (corner store operator) were put in one on Sunday. Those kiddos playing beer pong regularly across the alley from me? Those red SOLO cups are, yes, made by Dart.
Proponents argue that reduction in single-use plastic is essential to reduce difficult-to-recycle/non-recyclable waste while opponents proffer that the problem isn't the product, it's a problem with the state's recycling programs. Proponents counter that the failure of recycling is in international issue that the California Legislature can't solve because primarily China has stopped paying and raised standards for shipped recycles at the amount that pays for the cost of sorting, processing, bundling, and shipping oversees recycled products.
It's a fascinating issue, and Dart is one of the biggest corporate players in California politics. The corporation is also brilliant about where it sites manufacturing and offices.
Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) is the author of SB 54. He has been on both sides of SB 276 (vaccinations) this year, ultimately voting for it on the Senate floor. Allen has also cast some other votes leaving sour tastes in the mouth of his colleagues in both the Senate and the Assembly. That's not a criticism of Allen. Like Dems from ag districts, Allen has a coastal, wealthy district on the westside of Los Angeles, including Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Palos Verdes, and Westwood to name a few. It's a liberal community, but is unlike say newly seated senator Lena Gonzalez's immediately to the south that is also coastal starting in Long Beach.
This is why I hang out in my t-shirt, shorts, Adidas and a Capitol Weekly hat at the "gates" where the lobbyists are (and where members often come out to) off the floor instead of seeking a press pass in order to put a tie on to watch the floor directly instead of on the monitors. That's where I get the real story (as much as I can) to tell you. And, for my (former) lobbyist colleagues, I never listen in on your private conversations while I'm hanging around. I have plenty of sources, and am probably too busy texting a member on the floor for info to listen in on you anyway.
I could talk about many other bills tied in to the drama today, but it's 10:30am and I need to hop in the shower and get over there. Now you know what drama I'll be looking for today and it sure as hell not limited to the bills I've written about today. It's about time to go to "my gym," the stairwells of the Capitol. I'll bet I walk more than two miles today inside 1315 10th Street.
Probably no Nooner Nightcap tonight since they are going late. By the end last night, I was exhausted and forgot how to type and think logically let alone try to write sensibly. Of course, you can follow my day on Twitter with what I see.
Until tomorrow for this space, your faithful servant (most of the time),
CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Councilman Bob Blumenfield, Tina Cho, Brian Duke, Supe Susan Gorin, Councilwoman Martha Guerrero, Katerina Ioannides, Brian King, Carlton Larson (not a Nooner reader I think but a buddy and UCD Con Law prof coming soon on the pod to talk gun litigation) and Allen Wilson!