Around The Capitol

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  • 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):

  • 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 Wednesday, June 24, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • SCOTUS with the mostus
  • Budget
  • ACA 4
  • ACA 5
  • ACA 11
  • SB 1410: COVID-19 emergency: tenancies.
  • COVID-19
  • Veepstakes
  • Cakeday and classifieds
  • Dept of Corrections


¡Buenos dias mis amigos! Last night I started on my new book that arrived after great anticipation. No, it's not the John Bolton book, but rather "The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency" by John Dickerson of 60 Minutes and the Slate Political Gabfest. I got mine directly from Penguin Books since Dickerson offered a signed bookplate to his newsletter list if you preordered it. You can order it through Capital Books to support our great local indie bookstore or get it tomorrow from the other store.

Since I'm finally sleeping again, I only made it through the introduction last night. After talking about some of the unusual stylistic traits of President Trump, Dickerson writes:

Reading these paragraphs, you might feel as if we are headed toward a predictable story, that this book will chart the stomach-drops of the roller-coaster ride of one president's administration. I would like to interrupt that assumption of a regularly scheduled program to say that this book tells a different, urgent story. The American presidency is in trouble. It is overburdened, misunderstood, an almost impossible job to do. President Trump is part of that story, but he also obscures it. One of the problems with the presidency is that it has become such a celebrity office that it is defined by the personality of the occupant. But the problems with the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors. 

The book is meticulously researched but reads in the storytelling manor familiar to fans of Dickerson. If you haven't read his book Whistlestop that followed his series of podcasts on presidential campaigns, it is fantastic. It can be ordered at Capital Books or the big store -- both have a one-week wait. I get the books, but he's one of the authors who are awesome to listen to in audio, much like David Sedaris. The archives of his Whistlestop podcast that ran from 2015-2019 are available here.

Speaking of reading, I'll be updating The Nooner Sofa Degree list of must read California political and policy books before the July 4 holiday. Take a look and send me your feedback on the current list that we (this is a Nooner crowdsourced list) haven't updated in awhile!

SCOTUS WITH THE MOSTUS: The Supreme Court of the United States is expected to release opinions tomorrow at 10am. There are 14 cases left, with the final decisions likely to be handed down on Monday. Tomorrow could include the abortion cases, as those are among the four remaining that were argued January-March before the nation's high court went virtual. The remaining ten were argued telephonically last month.


  • Senate Budget and Fiscal Review is scheduled to review the budget and trailer bills today upon call of the chair, sometime after the 11am floor session. The committee analyses for the budget bill and trailers are in the agenda packet. It is likely that the Senate will vote on the budget and associated trailers on Friday, when the Assembly is expected to return at 1pm. Assembly Budget Subcommittee 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation will hear the trailer bills at 10am on Friday in Room 4202.
  • I haven't checked the timestamps of all of the trailer bills, but the omnibus education trailer bill can't be taken up by either house until 5:22pm Friday evening. That's 72 hours from when AB 77 was posted. I haven't checked all of the timestamps (higher ed was amended Monday evening, so anytime Friday works. I also don't know which of the 18 trailer bills must be passed before the beginning of the new fiscal year next Thursday.

    I'm hearing that the Assembly, technically on recess until July 13 unless called back by the Speaker, wants to get everything necessary before their scheduled return done on Friday and then return to recess. The Senate returned later from the COVID-19 recess and thus plans to work until July 2 before returning along with the Assembly on July 13.

BALLOT MEASURES: With this week's "deadline" for the Legislature to place measures on the November ballot and proponents of initiative measures eligible for November to withdraw them, it's been a frenetic week of moving legislative constitutional amendments through the process.

Clearly, Democrats in the Legislature are moving forward two thoughts. The first is that the California electorate will have a strong progressive lean, enabling long-sought changes to voting rights and affirmative action. The second is that the "progressive" ballot measures will encourage voter registration and turnout, particularly of young and minority voters.

Also, yesterday, SB 300 (Umberg) was amended to provide for a special election to run concurrent, on the same ballot, for these measures. It provides the extension of tomorrow's deadline (Elections Code §9040) instead to July 1 for the Legislature to place constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Obviously, that was expected since the Assembly is returning tomorrow and ACA 11 needs to go to the Assembly for a concurrence vote.

Also by doing this, it ensures that the legislative constitutional amendments will precede the $5.5 billion stem cell bond, which just became eligible for the November ballot and would come first and the lone initiative constitutional amendment that would come second (assessing most commercial and industrial property at market valuation instead of Prop. 13 capped increases to benefit schools and local government). That is because of the order set forth in Elections Code §13115, which provides:

The order in which all state measures that are to be submitted to the voters shall appear on the ballot is as follows:
(a) Bond measures, including those proposed by initiative, in the order in which they qualify.
(b) Constitutional amendments, including those proposed by initiative, in the order in which they qualify.
(c) Legislative measures, other than those described in subdivision (a) or (b), in the order in which they are approved by the Legislature.
(d) Initiative measures, other than those described in subdivision (a) or (b), in the order in which they qualify.
(e) Referendum measures, in the order in which they qualify.

  • ACA 4 (Mullin and Low): Elections: voting age. The proposed November ballot measure to amend the California Constitution to allow otherwise eligible 17-year-olds to vote in primary special or regular elections if they will be 18 on or before the general election passed Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments 4-1 yesterday. After Senate Appropriations approved the measure this morning on a 5-1 vote, it can be voted on by the Senate Floor as early as today and need not return to the Assembly for concurrence.
  • ACA 5 (Weber et al.): Government preferences. The proposed November ballot measure to repeal Proposition 209's (1996) prohibition of the use of affirmative action in state employment, education, and contracting was approved by Senate Appropriations on a 5-2 vote. The bill is on the Senate Floor today and does not need to return to the Assembly for concurrence.

    For the Chron, Alexei Koseff looks at the divide among Asian-Americans over restoring affirmative action.

    After listening to the telephone testimony on ACA 5, I don't see the Legislature allowing the temporary remote access to committee hearings to continue when COVID-19 is over. Opponents calling during support time and vice versa. Callers not understanding their phone's mute function. Callers not hearing that there line number has been called and opened while they continue to have loud conversations audible for everyone to hear, and I think one may have been a doctor seeing a patient.
  • ACA 6 (McCarty et al.): Elections: disqualification of electors. The proposed November ballot measure to allow those on parole and who have completed their prison term to vote if otherwise eligible passed Senate Appropriations yesterday on a 4-1-1 vote. The bill is on the Senate Floor today and does not need to return to the Assembly for concurrence.
  • ACA 11 (Mullin et al.): The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act. The proposed November ballot measure to allow specified individuals to transfer the Prop. 13 property tax base valuation to a "replacement" house while protecting fire district and other local government funding was approved by Senate Elections and Redistricting on a 4-1 vote.

    ACA 11 is supported by the California Association of Realtors as a "compromise measure" replacement to the initiative they have submitted and is currently eligible for the November ballot but can be withdrawn. The measure was approved by Senate Appropriations today on a 5-1 vote and can be heard by the full Senate as early as today. After the Senate Floor, it must return to the Assembly for a concurrence vote.
  • ACA 25 (Mullin et al.): State of emergency: remote legislative proceedings. The constitutional amendment for the November ballot to allow the Legislature to conduct remote meetings under specified states of emergency is on the Senate floor and, barring amendments, will not need to return to the Assembly for concurrence.


  • SB 1410 (Caballero and Bradford): SB-1410 COVID-19 emergency: tenancies. The bill to provide a voluntary process for tenants to repay deferred rent during the COVID-19 crisis to the state over ten years beginning in 2023-24 and landlords to be able to be repaid by the state through marketable tax credits beginning in 2024 was approved by both Senate Governance and Finance (5-0-2) and Senate Appropriations (5-2) yesterday and is now on Senate Third Reading and could be voted on as early as today.

    The bill continues to have opposition from the California Association of Realtors, the California Rental Housing Association, regional apartment associations, and individual property owners who are concerned about whether the tax credits will be immediately marketable on the commercial markets with some owners needing cash to pay mortgages and property taxes now. The San Francisco Tenants Union is concerned that using the tax system for the arrangement will leave out non-filers. 

  • Increased cases, increased positivity: While an increase in the number of cases has been attributed by some to be a greater number of tests being conducted, the increase in positivity, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions have health officials thinking that it signifies greater community spread and are concerned. Erin Allday and Matt Kawahara report for the Chron:

California on Tuesday saw some of its highest numbers of new coronavirus cases — surpassing 6,000 new cases in a 24-hour reporting period for the second day straight as the state barreled forward with reopening plans.

Dramatic surges in new cases were seen in various parts of the state: Santa Clara County on Tuesday recorded its highest daily total in new coronavirus cases in more than two months, with 121 cases, a “worrisome” spike, health officials said.

Sacramento County saw its highest count of new cases in a day, at 131.

The jump in cases comes as the state reopens restaurants, bars, salons and gyms.

Statewide, more than 190,000 people have tested positive for the virus, with nearly 28% of the total cases reported in the last 14 days. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley, said part of that climb is due to increased testing but that “testing alone is insufficient to account for the increase in the number of cases.”
  • Testing: In Los Angeles County, the promises of universal, easily-accessed testing are often not reality, writes Soumya Karlamangla for the Times. 
    On Tuesday, L.A. County officials confirmed that there were no appointments available at the more than 40 sites run by the city, county and state. Some sites were temporarily closed and the number of open slots at available sites had been reduced, though in the late afternoon they added some to accommodate demand, they said.

    The announcement about the testing shortfalls was widely criticized, in part due to the timing. Over the weekend, President Trump declared at a rally that he ordered testing to be slowed down nationally so that fewer cases would be detected.

    The testing issues come as Los Angeles County and California is seeing a major jump in people sick with the virus on Monday. California shattered a daily record for new coronavirus cases with more than 6,000 infections reported Monday — the largest single-day count in the state since the pandemic hit the U.S.
  • Hospitalizations: A team at the Times reports that public health officials in four suburban Southern California counties (Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura) are concerned about a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
    The causes for the spikes are not fully known, but some health officials are blaming social gatherings. A barbecue at a mobile home park in Oxnard recently resulted in 19 people testing positive for the virus, and authorities are now monitoring an additional 40 people who are close contacts of those who are infected.

    Ventura County health officials have urged residents to enjoy reopened restaurants, which are governed by strict safety and social distancing rules, rather than having parties and other private events.

    “It’s like we’re cheating on our diet, and angry or baffled that we can’t lose weight,” said Dr. Robert Levin, the Ventura County health officer, on Tuesday. “There’s all those times that we’re not cheating. But [in] the few times we do, all that effort is for naught. So what is the price we pay? Where are we headed? More cases of COVID-19. More people hospitalized. More people in our ICUs. More people dead.”

    While L.A. County saw an average of 62 fewer hospitalized patients daily for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 between the week of Memorial Day and last week, Riverside County saw an average daily increase of 85 patients; San Bernardino, 70; Ventura, 33; and Orange, 32, according to The Times’ analysis.

    In Ventura County, there was a daily average of 85 people hospitalized with illnesses related to COVID-19 last week; four weeks ago, it was 52.
  • Masks: In the Bee, Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak write that in Sacramento County most residents are complying with the statewide mandatory mask order in most public places. They report:

    A series of spot checks by The Sacramento Bee this week found broad compliance with Newsom’s order despite the discomfort of 90-degree heat — and the widespread recognition that Californians wouldn’t face any legal consequences for ignoring the governor.
    Newsom’s order comes as public health authorities wrestle with a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Sacramento County reported 131 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday, the most ever in a single day. The state recorded 5,019 new cases, also a record. Perhaps more ominously, the state said hospitalizations for COVID-19 have jumped 25 percent in 10 days.

    County health officials said they believe the increase is a result of more widespread testing and a distressing number of large private gatherings — everything from birthday parties to funerals — with no regard for social distancing or facial coverings.

    They added that the rising number of infections has less to do with the reopening of bars, restaurants, nail salons and many other businesses in recent weeks — although there have been examples of the disease sprouting in places that have resumed business.

    The Zebra Club in midtown Sacramento —where a Bee reporter found the rules on masks and social distancing being largely ignored last week — closed Tuesday after a customer tested positive for the coronavirus. The Parkwest Casino Lotus, a card room in Sacramento’s Little Saigon neighborhood, closed last week after an employee tested positive. The casino had been open just three days, after shutting down for three months.

    There were several creditable reports of the Zebra Club using the fact that it served breakfast and lunch to stay open well into the evening long before bars without full food service were allowed to open. 

    Clearly, they didn't spot check the anti-vaxx rally on the west side of the Capitol yesterday, where it seemed to be as much an anti-mask rally as against the bill passed last year. I walked by running an errand and, while masked, took a look at the couple of hundred people gathered who were neither social distancing nor wearing masks. 

  • Economy: A new forecast from the UCLA Anderson School of Management predicts it be a slow return to pre-pandemic economy, reports Margot Roosevelt in the LAT.
    The Golden State’s gradual recovery will probably mirror the nation’s trajectory, according to a new UCLA forecast.

    “The public health crisis of the pandemic morphed into a depression-like crisis in the [U.S.] economy,” wrote David Shulman, a senior economist at UCLA Anderson Forecast.

    The trajectory of the nation’s economy will be like a “Nike swoosh,” Shulman wrote: Real gross domestic product will plunge this quarter — at a 42% annual rate — and then gradually rise, not returning to its late-2019 peak until early 2023.

VEEPSTAKES: In the LAT, Jennifer Haberkorn and Janet Hook write that Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has moved onto the list being vetted under consideration for Joe Biden's pick of running mate.

cakeday, corrections, and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: No birthdays today that I know about!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: In the budget bullet points under the K-12 item on the prohibition of teacher and classified layoffs in 2020-21, I mentioned the $50 million to require new full-time faculty hires in community colleges out of the general per-student funding instead of the historical categorical. The item was in last year's budget and is not new. I try to stay away from community college issues as much as possible and should have researched it more. It was that kind of morning yesterday, and I apologize.

Additionally, the prohibition of layoffs of classified staff that I included yesterday also applies to community colleges and is contained in the Omnibus Education Trailer Bill, AB 77.


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