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The Nooner for Thursday, June 25, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS
BUDGETPALOOZA 2020: The Assembly Desk was kept open and the Senate bills that had as custom been sent over in April were amended to reflect the budget deal and mirror the Senate's amendments to the Assembly bills it was holding. Here again is Chris Micheli's list of budget-related bills. We're likely looking at evening votes as while the "Budget Bill Jr.s" SB 121 in the Assembly and AB 89 in the Senate can be voted on anytime after this evening, key trailer bills such as the education omnibus (SB 98/AB 77) can't be voted on until tomorrow evening. The Budget Bill Jr.s amend SB 74, the budget bill the Legislature sent to the governor on June 15, rewriting the structure of the federal funds trigger and incorporating the compromise in cuts between the Legislature and Governor Newsom.
BALLOT BONANZA: Today is the deadline for initiatives to qualify for the November 3 ballot and for the Legislature to place measures on the ballot, sort of. Assuming SB 300 is approved by the Legislature, the pending legislative constitutional amendments would have until July 1 for full legislative approval to make the November 3 ballot. Under current law, the first measure in November will be Proposition 14.
Then will come the constitutional amendments awaiting final legislative approval. These will be ordered on the ballot based on when they receive final approval by the Legislature.
And then come the initiative statutes:
There is one more initiative statute pending, which is the one to rewrite medical malpractice limits (MICRA) backed by patients' rights groups and trial lawyers and strongly opposed by health care professionals.
The raw count total number of submitted signatures for the initiative is 910,282. As of yesterday, it had 237,888 valid signatures, a 78.14% validity rate. It needs 685,534 valid signatures to avoid a full count, meaning that threshold must be met today. Twenty-three counties had not reported as of yesterday's report. Proponents need reports at or above that current validity rate today from Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Joaquin, and Ventura to qualify for November. If not by today and the threshold is met either through the random sample or full count, it would be on the ballot in November 2022.
I previously wrote that ACA 25, which would allow remote voting by the Legislature in specified states of emergency was on the Senate Floor. That was inaccurate. It has been in Senate Rules since June 10 and does not appear to be moving.
SD POLICE: KPBS reports on new policies adopted by the San Diego Police Department to reduce the likelihood of police encounters that result in death or serious bodily injury.
The new regulations will require officers — not merely encourage them — to pursue de-escalation of potentially violent situations by all means possible and to intervene if police personnel are engaging in excessive force, [San Diego Mayor Kevin] Faulconer said during an afternoon briefing at SDPD headquarters.
The rules, developed along with three local oversight bodies that held emergency meetings on the topic this month, will allow police to "reduce the use of force, further embrace the highest standards of accountability, increase public trust and protect against the unnecessary loss of life," the mayor said.
MOOVE ON, NUNES: In the WaPo, Colby Itkowitz reports that a Virginia judge has dismissed the $250 million lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) against Twitter for statements made by GOP consultant Liz Mair and anonymous cow-themed accounts on the platform. In response, Mair tweets "Just a reminder that so far as I know, this does not change the fact that @DevinNunes is still suing ME for $400 MILLION. Yes, really. You can donate to my legal defense here: nunesvfreespeech.com."
STEELING THE ATTENTION: In the Register, Brooke Staggs reports that a new report raises questions of whether Shawn Steel may have helped donors with ties to the Chinese state gain access through contributions to President Trump's reelection campaign. Steel is an Orange County attorney who previously was the chair of the California Republican Party and now serves as the Republican National Committeeman from California.
The part of his bio that's more important in 2020 is that his wife is Michelle Park Steel, chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and candidate in November to retake CA48 by unseating first-term congressmember Harley Rouda (D-Huntington Beach). That district includes Fountain Valley, which an Asian population of 33.3% (2010 Census). Vietnamese-Americans make up 20% of the city's population and are very anti-Communist, anti-China. While Michelle Park Steel is Korean-American born in Seoul and can certainly talk against communism, 2020 is not a year where a Republican wants to be seeking to recapture one of the seven congressional seats lost in 2018 and have any associations with President Trump brought up.
Staggs's reporting is based on a Wall Street Journal article that she cites.
iCARLY: While former HP CEO Carly Fiorina has previously stated that she wouldn't vote for the reelection of President Trump, the 2010 GOP candidate against Sen. Dianne Feinstein and 2018 presidential candidate now says that she is voting for Biden. She made the statement on The Ticket podcast of The Atlantic.
Fiorina is not going to keep quiet, write in another candidate, or vote third-party. “I’ve been very clear that I can’t support Donald Trump,” she told me, in an interview that can be heard in full on the latest episode of The Ticket [a podcast of The Atlantic]. “And elections are binary choices.” She struggled with the decision, and whether to go public. But she said that this struggle is one Republicans need to have—including those who have rationalized supporting Trump despite their disagreements, because of some of his policies or judicial appointments.
“As citizens, our vote is more than a check on a box. You know, it’s a statement about where we want to go, and I think what we need now actually is real leadership that can unify the country,” she said. “I am encouraged that Joe Biden is a person of humility and empathy and character. I think he’s demonstrated that through his life. And I think we need humility and empathy everywhere in public life right now. And I think character counts.”
DISNEYLAND: Disney previously announced that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure would reopen July 17, with the Disneyland Resort hotels preceding on July 1. However, yesterday, the entertainment giant announced that a July 17 reopening for the parks and July 1 reopening of the hotels would not happen because the state has not issued guidance for theme park reopening and, even if it does, there will be necessary time to ensure staffing and training for a reopening. Unions representing Disney theme parks have written a letter to Governor Newsom to push back on Disney's plans, arguing it is too soon to ensure staff safety.
The announcement yesterday did not provide a new reopening date for either the theme parks or the hotels. However, the Downtown Disney shopping district is scheduled to reopen June 9, where temperature checks and masks will be required for entry.
While several had announced reopening plans, all of the major theme parks in California currently list no reopening date.
The economic impact, particularly on cities like Anaheim, of the loss of sales and hotel tax revenue will be huge as I've written several times before. When I wrote on March 14 about Anaheim and the fact that the city's transient occupancy tax ("hotel tax") of 15% per room, per night accounted for 40% of the anticipated tax revenue in the current year. Anaheim's hotel tax rate of 15% is the second-highest in the state after Palo Alto leapfrogged it to capture the highest rate in the state at 15.5%.
TOT's generally require a two-thirds vote as a general tax (rather than a special for a specified purpose, which is a simple majority). They are routinely approved by voters since they are taxes that local residents generally don't pay unless since they generally don't stay in hotels in their own city, unless...
cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to former Assembly member Sam Blakeslee, Jonathan Brown, Assembly member Mike Gipson, and Larry Kaplan!