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The Nooner for Wednesday, June 3, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
Well, hello there. I'm in a good mood because I largely abstained from the news yesterday. After our midday Open California/Capitol Weekly board of directors meeting via Zoom, I turned on The West Wing and left it on for the rest of the day as I worked. It's what we call a mental health day, which this news obsessed geek highly recommends. Of course, I still had to deal with helicopters overhead all day and well into the night. Nevertheless, I had my first decent night of sleep in five days.
It was nice to "see" fellow board members and our great staff, as we often have people calling in from Southern California. I kind of like this Zoom thing.
It's going to be a hot one today in Sacramento and around the state -- high of 103 forecasted for here today.
The general election is five months from today and we have no idea what it's the most uncertain election in my of voting. In the generic congressional ballot, Democrats have essentially the same advantage in polling now as they did in 2018, which was far better than 2016 and even more so than 2014. I've been watching that carefully before providing ATCpro district analysis, particularly for the districts Dems flipped in 2018. Things are just a little too volatile to make district projections yet, although Dems have been consistently holding that 2020 advantage.
Last night appeared to be largely peaceful in Sacramento while protestors gathered, as well as most areas of the state according to lots of news reports. State offices in Sacramento reopened today although lots of employees will be teleworking. West Venteicher reports for the Bee:
Downtown offices in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Los Angeles will remain closed, according to an emailed news release. All other state offices will reopen, the email says.
PPIC had a blog post on views of residents on policing, broken down by ethnicity.
[T]his overall finding masks significant disagreement, particularly by African Americans, who are far less likely (32%) than others—Latinos (63%), Asian Americans (66%), and whites (66%)—to say that racial and ethnic groups are treated fairly by the police at least most of the time.
Differences persist among other demographic groups as well. Across regions, residents in the Central Valley (70%) are the most likely to think that the police treat racial and ethnic groups fairly at least most of the time. Elsewhere, fewer residents agree (66% Orange/San Diego, 62% San Francisco Bay Area, 60% Los Angeles, 54% Inland Empire).
Finally, perceptions of fairness diverge strongly along partisan lines. Republicans (80%) are far more likely than independents (63%) and Democrats (54%) to think that racial and ethnic groups are treated fairly by the police almost always or most of the time.
SACTOWN: A team at the Bee looks at why law enforcement let the looting happen over the weekend, something that largely changed by Monday night.
By Monday, the National Guard had moved into Sacramento and an unprecedented curfew was in place. Little evidence of vandalism erupted after the peaceful protests in Cesar E. Chavez Plaza.
But the lack of police response to the widespread property crimes the previous two nights left business owners frustrated their property hasn’t been guarded more aggressively. Faith leaders and protest organizers are furious that vandals and looters have hijacked an otherwise mostly peaceful weekend.
For two nights of mayhem and property destruction, including 130 businesses with smashed windows, a remarkably small number of people were charged with looting-related crimes — just 11.
SACTOWN: Theresa Clift reports for the Bee:
The Sacramento Police Department is investigating a use of force incident early Monday morning during which an officer placed a teenager in a neck restraint.
A cellphone video, taken by a bystander, showed an officer lying on his back on the sidewalk with his arm firmly around a young man’s neck or chin.
The young man was identified by Sacramento police as Tyzhon Johnson, 18, who police arrested on suspicion of looting and resisting arrest, police spokesman Officer Karl Chan said. Johnson was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail, but was scheduled for release on Tuesday, jail records show.
LA COUNTY: Yesterday was a tough day in LA, with 60 new COVID-19 deaths and 1,202 new cases reported.
Forty people who died were over the age of 65 years old; 17 people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Forty-five people had underlying health conditions including 31 people over the age of 65 years old, 13 people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old, and one person between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Two deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach.
Public health officials are on pins and needles awaiting the incubation period following all the protests.
LA-LA LAND: In the LAT, Angel Jennings looks at why South LA has been largely left untouched by the protests.
Instead, demonstrators have descended on some of Los Angeles’ most upscale, iconic retail areas, including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood and the Fairfax district. Looting has occurred in some of those locations, as some used the cover of what were largely peaceful protests to rob stores.
Beverly Hills has the earliest curfew time of 1pm for its business district.
SANDY EGGO: The San Diego Board of Supes voted 4-1 yesterday to ask Governor Newsom for a variance to accelerate its reopening, report Morgan Cook and Paul Sisson in the SDUT.
On a 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Nathan Fletcher in opposition, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, asking for the authority to set the pace of community reinvigoration on their own.
The decision came as a new level of freedom appeared on local beaches.
For the first time in months, people were allowed to lay out on the sand and soak up the sun, though hazy skies and cold water seemed to keep the crowds thin.
PROTESTING DURING A PANDEMIC: For the Bee, Cathie Anderson and Kim Bojorquez look at the decision protestors have to make of whether to take to the streets or stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BUILDING: The LAO reports that building permits dropped by 44% in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
California recorded 5,383 housing permits in April, down 44 percent from April 2019. This was the lowest monthly total since January 2017, and the lowest April total since 2012. It was also nearly a third below the March total. These figures show the increasing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown.
...Capitol updates after the jump.
END THE SUSPENSE! Today upon call of the chair, Assembly Appropriations is tackling its Suspense File, where are bills with a significant financial impact are placed until they can all be addressed as a whole. Its also a way for bills to be quietly killed. There appear to be 189 bills on Suspense.
SENATE APPROPS: The postponed hearing from Monday will be next Tuesday with a large agenda. I believe the committee will clear its Suspense File mid-month. Because they are still handling bills of house of origin, the often-used same date was not necessary, tweeted Assembly Approps chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego).
SCA 6 (Dodd): The measure to place a measure on the November ballot to allow sports betting among other things was approved in Senate G.O. yesterday on a 9-3 partisan vote, with four senators not voting. Yesterday, I wrote that the tribes had an initiative, but apparently they have stopped signature gathering, which has been near impossible with stay-at-home orders.
AB 860 (Berman): The measure to codify Governor Newsom's executive order for all registered voters to receive a vote-by-mail ballot was approved by Senate Elections and Redistricting on a 4-1 partisan vote.
AB 398 (Chu): Joel Fox writes to beware of temporary tax increase proposals offered as part of the pandemic:
We already have one temporary tax proposed, AB 398, “The COVID-19 Local Government and School Recovery and Relief Act,” to deal with the budget shortfalls. Assemblyman Kansen Chu has proposed a $275 per employee tax on businesses with more than 500 employees. The tax is supposed to run for five years.
There is plenty wrong with this proposal especially with businesses struggling to survive an economic collapse. If nothing else, it is sure to cost jobs when businesses attempt to get under the 500-employee standard. But, does anyone think if this tax is implemented it would go away in five years?
The bill was a gut-and-amend on May 27.
ACA 5 (Weber): For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks at the debate of whether now is time to bring back affirmative action in California.
Depending on your viewpoint, now is either exactly the right time or precisely the wrong time to take up a proposed change to the state constitution that seems certain to reignite a heated debate about race and justice in California.
At issue: a measure pending in the Legislature that seeks to reinstate affirmative action policies jettisoned by California voters two decades ago.
For supporters, events of the past week— city streets across the country filled with peaceful protesters and then scattered window smashing, thefts from store shelves and a few incidents of violence — show just how necessary it is to aggressively advance racial equity by fiat.
The measure requires two-thirds vote in both houses. It will be addressed by Assembly Approps as part of the Suspense File today.
SPLIT ROLL: Tomorrow at 1:30, there is a joint initiative hearing of Assembly Revenue and Taxation and Assembly Local Government on the ballot measure to assess property tax for most corporate and industrial property on market valuation rather than Prop. 13 capped rates, with the new revenue dedicated to schools and local governments.
OIL: For CalMatters, Rachel Becker writes up a new report from UC researchers that finds that pregnant women near oil rigs were much more likely to give birth to underweight babies.
Pregnant women in rural California who lived near active oil and gas wells were 40% more likely to give birth to low birthweight babies, according to new research published today.
The study led by University of California scientists is the first to investigate what California’s constellation of oil and gas development means for babies born nearby. The finding could galvanize efforts in the state Legislature to require buffer zones around oil and gas activities.
The researchers found that 6% of women living near rural oil and gas wells that churned out more than 100 barrels a day had low birthweight newborns, compared to 5% of women with no oil and gas production nearby. When the researchers factored in variables like the mother’s age and socioeconomic status, that calculates to a 40 percent increased likelihood.
On the other hand...
Sabrina Demayo Lockhart, spokesperson for the California Independent Petroleum Association, said socioeconomic factors could explain the findings, such as access to prenatal care, low incomes and underlying health conditions.
“Pinpointing direct health outcomes to one highly regulated activity ignores the fact that there are so many socioeconomic variables that can impact public health,” she said. “California has the strongest environmental protections for oil and natural gas activity. Extremists will use the headlines to generate fear in their push for stricter regulations.”
cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: No birthdays that I know about today! However, I missed Senator Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) on Monday. Happy belated!