Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • Chasing Justice (SF DA Chesa Boudin and Rachel Marshall): Professor Angela Davis on the modern civil rights movement (also available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, and others)
  • Chasing Justice (SF DA Chesa Boudin and Rachel Marshall): Professor James Forman, Jr. on race, policing, and protest
  • Cap•Impact Podcast (McGeorge School of Law): Lobbyist and adjunct professor Chris Micheli talks about California’s Balanced Budget Requirement. (2020-06-19)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarski and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): The protests, LAPD, Garcetti, and the budget (2020-06-19)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Former Assembly Speaker and UC Regents chair John Pérez on a Historic Week at the Supreme Court and the Push to Bring Back Affirmative Action in California (2020-06-18)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast: (John Howard and Tim Foster): Joe Rodota discusses his new podcast The Oppo File, where he looks at the history of opposition research (2020-06-18)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarski and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Are Latinos being ignored in the debate over police brutality? (2020-06-18)
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assembly members Patrick O'Donnell (Chair of the Education Committee), Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Cristina Garcia and local school officials about the day the schools were shut down, how to reopen the schools safely and addressing the inequities in the school systems that have been magnified by the coronavirus crisis. (2020-06-16)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Maeley Tom, a longtime legislative staffer and Democratic Party stalwart who played a pioneering role as one of the first Asian women in California’s capitol about her new memoir I'm Not Who You Think I Am. (2020-06-16)
  • Cap•Impact Podcast (McGeorge School of Law): Lobbyist and adjunct professor Chris Micheli talks about how advocates are conducting business in the Legislature during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-06-15)

ATCpro UPDATES (subscriber feature):

  • I have a few more analyses almost done, but as you'll see below, I've been underwater on budget and ballot measures!
  • A full list of recent updated analyses is available at the subscribers home page along with my top races to watch rankings. If you have forgotten your password or never set one, click "Forgot Password" on that login page.

The Nooner for Monday, June 23, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Budget
  • Ballot bonanza: stem cell, SCA6, ACA4, ACA5, ACA6, ACA11
  • COVID-19
  • SB 1410: COVID-19: tenancies.
  • LA-LA Land: Huizar arrested
  • Cakeday and classifieds

GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS

Happy Taco Tuesday! I'll be making carne asada with fresh salsa verde tacos in the bunker this evening. This is definitely a week of recipe adaptation to pressure cooking in the Instant Pot to avoid heating the place up amid near-100 temps.

As part of my fight against COVIDsomnia and the mighty COVID+19 (pounds that is, and not reall), I've been eating much better, at least two hours before going to bed, cutting off device usage an hour before bed, and sticking to a sleep schedule.

I'm even using the Calm app since it's free for Kaiser members. I laughed at the commercials on teevee at first, but actually really like it. I've been falling asleep in under ten minutes and staying asleep. Anyway, since I know several of you have had similar COVIDsomnia over the last few months, so I thought I'd share my experience.

Tomorrow, the Sacramento Press Club's is hosting a Facebook Live COVID-19 update at noon. The special guest to kick things off is scheduled to be Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci will be followed by a panel moderated by CapRadio's Sammy Caiola that will include Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D), chair of Senate Health, Santa Clara County public health director Dr. Sara H. Cody, and UC Davis Health emergency physician Dr. Sarah Medeiros.

The event is free to members and non-members, but if you can give to the SPC's scholarship fund for promising college students pursuing journalism, that would be great. The suspension of the popular in-person lunches threatens the ability to provide such scholarships amidst likely tuition increases at UC and CSU with the forthcoming budget cuts. Contributions are tax-deductible as SPC is a 501(c)(3) organization.

BUDGET: As you know, the announcement of a budget deal between Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon came just before yesterday's Nooner went out and details were largely unavailable. Even by the NewsomAtNoon presser, the governor didn't provide many details about the agreement when asked by reporters.

CalMatters's Laurel Rosenhall tweeted "A week after Legislature passes placeholder budget, Newsom announces budget deal with Legislature, spends more than an hour talking to press, and provides no details on said budget deal...He says more detail will be released "in coming hours and days" - for a man who routinely memorizes a mind-boggling array of stats and figures, this seems to be a deliberate omission of key facts while standing before the press."

The budget and trailer bills started popping up online after 8pm last night. The "Budget Bill Jr.'s I" are reflected SB 121 and AB 89, identical bills which amend SB 74, the bill sent to the governor by the Legislature on June 15. Chris Micheli shared a list of trailer bills last night. For Nooner newbies, "trailer bills" contain statutory changes to implement the budget bill as well as actions that effect the 2019-20 budget, such as the education deferrals.

Since AB 89 was posted yesterday at 8:45pm and SB 121 at 9:00pm, that means that the bills, if not amended, can be voted on by the Senate and Assembly floors after Thursday at those times. The Assembly is expected to be back at 1pm on Friday. Monday is the deadline for the governor to sign or veto SB 74, so the newly amended bills need to be passed at the latest by Monday.

I have heard that the Assembly will be called back "tentatively Friday." Since they can't vote until 9pm, Thursday makes little sense.

Here is the Assembly Floor Report on the budget deal.

Here is a few of the items that I've gathered while also following Senate Appropriations this morning. Obviously between last night and starting at 6am this morning, I can't get through everything but tried to look up some of the big items that you might be interested in. I'll keep reading this afternoon and may have a Nooner Nightcap for you tonight.

  • Generally accepts the Governor's May Revision proposal to "cut first, restore if new COVID-19 federal funds materialize" approach with an October 15 trigger of restoration of cuts and reversal of deferrals, partially if federal funds exceed $2 billion and are below $14 billion, and wholly if federal funds are $14 billion or above.
  • Provides flat local control funding formula funding for K-12 schools and apportionment funding to community colleges, but includes large deferrals for both K-12 and community colleges that could be reversed if federal COVID-19 funds are received

    It is important to note that flat funding for K-12 schools and community colleges is a cut because of education salary schedules and new collective bargaining agreements in K-12 districts after strikes in 2018 which assumed the then-rosy economic/state budget forecast and passage of the proposed November split roll property tax which is now considered a long-shot.

    I'll write more on this in the coming weeks. Combined with language prohibiting the layoff of K-12 teachers and classified staff in the 2020-21 fiscal year and a requirement that community colleges use per-student funding to hire more full-time faculty (rather than a categorical program), there are likely significant financial difficulties ahead for education districts despite what looks rosy of a budget without "cuts."
  • Assumes agreement of unpaid furloughs of 2 days per month and deferral of a scheduled July 1 2.5% salary increase for most state employees, which at least three bargaining units have agreed to (including SEIU, the largest). If agreement is not reached, the governor can impose salary reductions. 
  • Defers $5.8 billion in K-12 payments to K-12 schools and $791 in payments to community colleges to the 2021-22 fiscal year. These would be reversed if $14 billion in new federal COVID-19-related funds are received by October 15. If new federal funding is greater than $2 billion but less than $14 billion, the deferrals would be proportionately reversed.
  • Cuts the University of California by $472 million and the California State University $500 million, which could be restored if $14 billion new federal COVID-19-related funds are received by October 15. If new federal funding is greater than $2 billion but less than $14 billion, the cuts would be proportionately reversed.
  • Does not include proposed May Revision cuts to In Home Support Services for seniors and disabled Californians.
  • Funds Medi-Cal optional benefits (dental, optical, etc.). This was included in the Governor's January Budget, withdrawn in the austere May Revision, but included in the Legislature's June 15 budget.
  • Does not include proposal to allow undocumented seniors to enroll in Medi-Cal, although it may be triggered if the state meets specified positive budget conditions. That proposal was included in the Governor's January Budget, withdrawn in the austere May Revision, but included in the Legislature's June 15 budget.
  • Rejects the May Revise proposal to eliminate $1.2 billion in Proposition 56-funded supplemental payments to various Medi-Cal providers, but suspends these payments (with the exception of women’s health services) on July 1, 2021 unless specified state fiscal conditions exist.

Again, this is a quick read of documents that have come out beginning at 8:45 last night and I'll be writing much more on the deal in the next few days.

BALLOT BONANZA: With Thursday's flexible deadline for the Legislature to place measures on the November 3 ballot looming and for initiative measures to qualify (not flexible), several measures are on the move.

  • Stem cell bond: The initiative to place a $5.5 billion bond measure to provide a path forward for the state's stem cell agency which is out of cash to dole out to researchers has qualified for the November ballot. For Capitol Weekly, David Jenson reports "...[T]he campaign to win voter approval is facing an array of hurdles that its supporters never envisioned last summer when they were formulating the initiative."
  • SCA 6 (Dodd): Gambling: sports wagering. SCA 6 (Dodd) was pulled from the Senate Appropriations agenda for today and is dead for this legislative session. The measure, backed by online betting companies FanDuel and DraftKings and cardrooms, faced significant opposition in its current iteration by tribes with gaming. Proposed compromise amendments to ameliorate the tribes' concerns made things worse with tribes still largely opposed and small cardrooms feeling like they were being squeezed out with limits on growth.
  • ACA 4 (Mullin et al.): Elections: voting age. The proposed constitutional amendment for the November ballot to allow 17-year-olds to vote in special and regular primary elections if they will be 18 on or before the general election is moving and is scheduled for Senate Elections and Reapportionment upon call of the chair today (after Rules, which is at 2pm) and, if approved by E&R, Senate Appropriations tomorrow.
  • ACA 5 (Weber): Government preferences. The bill to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to repeal Proposition 209 (1996 - prohibition of affirmative action in state education, employment and contracting) passed Senate Appropriations this morning.
  • ACA 6 (McCarty): Elections: disqualification of electors. The proposed constitutional amendment for the November ballot to restore voting rights for otherwise eligible voters who are on who have completed their prison/jail sentence and are on parole is up in Senate Appropriations.  
  • ACA 11 (Mullin et al.): The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act. The bill to place a measure on the November ballot to allow seniors, severely disabled individuals, and victims of wildfire or natural disasters the ability to transfer of the property tax assessed valuation base of a current home to the purchase of a replacement home is also up in Senate Elections and Reapportionment this afternoon and Senate Appropriations tomorrow.

    The bill is supported by the California Association of Realtors, which has an initiative already eligible for November that becomes qualified on Thursday if not withdrawn. This would replace that one, which is similar to a failed effort in 2018, and incorporate eligibility for base valuation transfer to victims of wildfires and other natural disasters, among other provisions to address more contemporary concerns of voters in a tough political environment

COVID-19: Counties aren't just seeing a spike in cases because of more testing as you might hear on the teevee. The positivity rate has remained stable or increased in some counties and the statewide positivity rate increased from 4.5% to 4.8% over the last two weeks. It's way down from late March early April when testing was only done for symptomatic individuals, but in theory should be on the decline if testing is increased. That is not happening and in his NoonerAtNoon press conference yesterday, Governor Newsom acknowledged that we might need to pull back on reopening soon if the healthcare system appears nearing capacity.

I included this excerpt yesterday, but it bears repeating in context with Governor Newsom's comments yesterday. In the Chron, Matt Kawahara reported Sunday:

The number of people hospitalized in California with confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached its highest point Saturday since the onset of the pandemic, according to state data reviewed by The Chronicle.

There were 3,574 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in state hospitals on Saturday, the highest total since at least April 1, when California health officials first began releasing that data. The previous high was 3,497 confirmed hospitalizations on April 29.

That number declined gradually over the following month to 2,928 on May 29. It has steadily risen again as many areas of the state have begun to lift stay-at-home measures and economic and social restrictions.

Saturday’s total marked a 22% increase in hospitalizations statewide since May 29. Hospital rates are viewed as a more reliable indicator of the virus’ trajectory than new infections — which have recently been rising — as they are not subject to availability of testing.

Meanwhile, anti-vaxxers are rallying at the State Capitol today with a theme of "V is for Vaccine" to call "for an end to hate, discrimination and censorship and for the beginning of understanding and compassionate dialogue."

We'll see how many are wearing masks. Faces often seen in that crowd were also in the "Reopen California" raucus protests a couple of months ago.

Meanwhile, the Public Policy Institute of California yesterday had a blog post by Daniel Tan and Paulette Cha on Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Mortality and the impact of the recent Black Lives Matter protests on virus spread.

Police brutality and racial health disparities are complex problems, and both stem from long-standing structural disparities that will take significant time and effort to ameliorate. California has made recent efforts to address systemic issues—including “Stephon Clark’s Law,” which set a statewide use-of-force standard. These and other measures might help lay the groundwork for reducing disparities that the pandemic has made plain. 

SB 1410 (Caballero and Bradford): COVID-19 emergency: tenancies. The bill that I wrote about yesterday to address how tenants who defer payment of rent due during the COVID-19 emergency to repay it over time beginning in 2024 over ten years and allow landlords to receive tax credits beginning in the same year that could be kept or sold passed out of Senate Governance and Finance yesterday on a 5-0-2 vote, with the two Republicans abstaining. The bill was approved this morning by Senate Appropriations.

LA-LA LAND: Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar was arrested this morning by federal agents at his Boyle Heights home following a lengthy corruption probe. Huizar in his final term on the council. An LAT team reports:

Huizar faces charges arising from allegations he ran a sprawling pay-to-play scheme, in which real estate developers allegedly were shaken down for cash bribes and campaign donations in exchange for Huizar’s help getting high-rise development projects through the city’s arduous approval process.

Along the way, the councilman and his associates allegedly enjoyed free plane travel, lavish meals, poker chips and other perks offered up by developers.

Charges against Huizar had long been anticipated.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Lucas Frerichs, Elise Flynn Gyore, and Obai Rambo!

Classifieds

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Offices available for sublease: Meridian Plaza

Between 1-3 offices are available for sublease in the Meridian Plaza office building, 1415 L Street, two blocks from the Capitol. The offices are approximately 150 SF each. Internet, gym, partially furnished (desk, chair, bookcases) are included. 24/7/365 key card access; floor-ceiling windows facing Sierras; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Jane at admin@stoneadvocacy.com or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

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The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

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go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy or publicpolicy@pacific.edu.

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