Around The Capitol

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  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Carmela Coyle, president of the California Hospital Association to talk about the challenges that hospitals face as they deal with this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, “an order of potential magnitude that we just haven’t seen before.”
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) on California's COVID-19 response  (2020-03-19)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Lenny Mendonca, Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom, on the economic impact of the COVID-19 (2020-03-12)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senators Jim Beall (D-San José) and Tom Umberg (D-Anaheim) on the Census (2020-03-12)
  • Look West (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assembly member Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Secretary of State Alex Padilla on the Census (2020-03-12)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Politico's Carla Marinucci on primary results and Warren's departure (2020-03-05)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Paul Mitchell on the departure of Elizabeth Warren and what's next in the presidential (2020-03-05)

The Nooner for Sunday, March 22, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • State budget
  • Coronavirus/COVID-19
    • The numbers (cases and testing)
    • The state orders
    • It hits everybody
  • Ballot update
  • DeSaulnier
  • Cakeday and classifieds

It is surreal out there. I went to farmers market where booths were rearranged to ensure social distancing. At my favorite, Riverdog Farms, the usual meat containers were available to sort through, although all produce was behind the registers. Folks were pretty well observing guidelines, which made for deceptively long lines. The biggest state of emergency? There was no bacon. I don't need bacon every day, but at this time of the year with amazing braising greens, Brussels sprouts, and the early-season asparagus, pork fat is essential for those of us who eat it. For folks who aren't veggie but don't eat pork, I've made my braised greens several times with smoked turkey thighs and they are fantastic!

Market 5-ONE-5, my back-up for the essential bacon is well-stocked except they have no eggs or paper products. There is a hand-washing station in front of the entrance and the registers area literally have painter's tape on the floor marking the 6-foot spacing.

If you're a Nooner Newbie (and there are many), I spent many years primarily focused on the state budget for community colleges and thus state's position overall.

Folks who know my background are providing a deluge about what's going happen. The Legislature is gone until April 13 and from what we're hearing, likely longer. The May Revision of the Governor's January Budget has been custom at May 15 and is not requested earlier in budget bill language. Last year was May 9.

With the delay of state and federal tax deadline for most taxpayers from April 15 to July 15, we have a quandary. April is normally the biggest revenue month for the state each year because of the tax deadline. I've reached out to some of the best experts in state government and the silence is telling.

In the current year state budget that ends June 30, nearly $128 billion is expected from personal income tax and sales tax revenue. That is over 10% of state general fund revenues and both will be significantly negatively affected.

Essentially, we won't know the magnitude of the changes in state revenue until July. I now expect that the Legislature convenes (perhaps on aa single day) to essentially mirror the federal practice of a "continuing resolution" (CR). That would keep state funding the same as the current year (2019-20) and add additional spending due to the crisis. To be clear, the state is in great financial position, although has to think about it the same way many residents do.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is now talking 12-13 weeks.

At the residents' level, it's about mortgage and rent payments for the next 2-3 months. At the state level, it's about the 2-3 years, but is still likely to yield much pain.

Meanwhile, we can all use a little Neil Diamond right now as I keep thinking about how the state handles the budget and revenues given many upcoming constitutional deadlines.


    • California confirmed cases: 1,546 (+359 from yesterday), with 28 deaths (+3 from yesterday). Confirmed cases in 36/58 counties (+2 from yesterday). [h/t SFChron]

    • Testing count from CDPH: "As of 6 p.m. PDT on March 19, approximately 23,200 tests had been conducted in California. This includes the latest numbers California has received from commercial and private labs. At least 11,487 results have been received and another 11,700+ are pending."

      Note: the testing count MAY not include the hospital-based testing at Stanford, UC medical centers, and the like, as those data may be delayed. It does include the commercial and public health labs.

      Here is the breakdown as of yesterday from the California Department of Public Health:

      Note: The following numbers reflect information received from local health jurisdictions as of 2 p.m. PDT March 20. More current numbers may be available from local health jurisdictions.

      1,224 – Positive cases

      23 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

      Ages of all confirmed positive cases:
      Age 0-17: 19 cases
      Age 18-64: 876 cases
      Age 65+: 321 cases
      Unknown: 8 cases

      Cases not related to repatriation flights: 1,200

      96 – Travel-related
      122 – Person to person
      325 – Community transmission
      657 – Under investigation
      24 – Positive cases related to federal repatriation flights
  • The state orders: Governor Newsom signed an executive order late yesterday that provides several items of flexibility for the COVID-19 response across state laws. I don't have time to research each one, but the one that caught my eye was the suspension of the Bagley-Keene and Brown Acts open meetings act so that elected and appointed officials can receive briefings without breaking the "serial meeting" construct that has evolved under the two acts. 

    I'll try to spend more time with the order this afternoon and see if affected sectors have a response.
  • Everybody is vulnerable: In Louisiana, a 39-year-old health care worker was found dead on Friday in her kitchen while awaiting COVID-19 test results. The original thought that only older folks and the medically vulnerable has been changing rapidly.

more after the jump... 

BALLOT UPDATE: We're getting closer...

  • Ballots counted: 9,479,805
  • Ballots counted are up +11.2% from 2016's 8,548,301
  • Turnout in 2016: 8,548,301 of 19,023,417 registered 15 days out (45.49%)
  • Turnout so far in 2018: 9,479,805 of 20,660,465 registered 15 days out (45.88%) 

DESAULNIER: As I wrote last night, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) is in critical condition with a respiratory failure requiring a ventilator. Sources say that he has been in that condition for nearly a week. He was not present for the March 14 vote on HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. He was admitted to the hospital on Friday before the vote in the wee hours of Saturday morning. He tested negative for COVID-19, although it's unclear which testing protocol was used.

Under the top two primary, DeSaulnier's name will be next to that of Nisha Sharma (R) on the November ballot, even if incapacitated. Sharma has raised $57k for the race and lent herself $11k.

DeSaulnier's staff put out the message on his Twitter feed. I'll report only those that make a public announcement or could impede the function of government or others who want to share their story. Several others from our Capitol community throughout the state have posted on social media to inform their friends and family. I won't report those unless folks ask me to.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research


I'll likely be talking to you later tonight. As always, let me know if you have any questions about what's going on. If I don't know the answer, I'll try to get one for you.

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Steve Baker, Giovanni Hashimoto, and Secretary of State Alex Padilla!



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