Around The Capitol

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  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Joe Trippi on the Veepstakes, Pioneering Netroots and the Real Story of Doug Jones' Victory (2020-07-30)
  • Cap•Impact Podcast (Chris Micheli): How Proxy Voting Could Work in the California Assembly (2020-07-30)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Asian Americans join Latinos as targets of Tump (2020-07-30)
  • California Nation (SacBee): Governor Gavin Newsom and COVID-19 with Elizabeth Ashford, former advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Jerry Brown, Steven Maviglio, former press secretary to Gov. Gray Davis and Joe Rodota, former cabinet secretary to Gov. Pete Wilson (2020-07-25)
  • Cap•Impact Podcast (McGeorge School of Law): From the business perspective, Chris Micheli talks about how California's Admistrative Procedure Act can be used to challenge regulations. (2020-07-24)

The Nooner for Friday, July 31, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • It's campaign finance deadline day! 
  • Bills, bills, bills
  • COVID-19
    • The numbers
    • Local government
    • Testing
  • Taxing matters
  • cakeday and classifieds


ATCpro SUBSCRIBER UPDATES: [if you have forgotten or haven't set a password, use the forgot password tool]

  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): updated analysis (Leans Dem)
  • CA53 (SD Balboa Park-La Mesa-El Cajon): updated analysis (Safe Dem - Dem-Dem general)

Happy Friday and July 31! It's like Christmas for political geeks! Tonight we'll see the California semi-annual campaign finance reports. With that, now I can start tackling the state race election analysis for ATCpro! I will prioritize the top races listed in the subscribers section but welcome other suggested districts to look at.

Top 2020 State Senate Districts to Watch

  1. SD29 (Diamond Bar) - Toss-up
  2. SD21 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale) - Toss-up
  3. SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-Coastal OC) - Leans Democratic
  4. SD15 (San Jose) - Safe Democratic (Dem-Dem general)
  5. SD11 (San Francisco) - Safe Democratic (Dem-Dem general)
  6. SD23 (Hemet-Redlands) - Leans Republican

Top 2020 State Assembly Districts to Watch

  1. AD72 (Fountain Valley-Garden Grove-Westminster) - Toss-up
  2. AD55 (Diamond Bar-Yorba Linda) - Toss-up
  3. AD42 (Yucaipa) - Toss-up (between GOP/NPP)
  4. AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine) - Leans Democratic
  5. AD60 (Corona) - Likely Democratic
  6. AD77 (N. San Diego) - Likely Democratic

Here are the recent analyses I have tackled:

  • CD39 (Fullerton) - 07/21/20
  • CD53 (SD Balboa Park-La Mesa-El Cajon) - 07/20/20
  • CA10 (San Joaquin-Stanislaus) - 07/02/20
  • SD11 (San Francisco) - 06/25/20
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities-Costa Mesa-Fountain Valley) - 06/22/20
  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield) - 06/19/20
  • CA22 (Clovis-Visalia-Tulare) - 06/18/20
  • AD74 (OC Beach cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine) - 06/17/20
  • SD11 (San Francisco) - 06/16/20
  • AD16 (Walnut Creek-Pleasanton-Livermore) - 06/15/20
  • AD65 (Buena Park-Fullerton) - 06/15/20
  • CA50 (East San Diego County) - 06/13/20
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley) - 06/12/20
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita) - 06/11/20
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale) - 06/11/20
  • AD76 (N. San Diego County) - 06/10/20
  • CA49 (S. Orange County-N. San Diego County) - 06/10/20
  • CA45 (Irvine) - 06/09/20

The Legislature has one month to complete its work, assuming there is no special session. Of course, this is 2020, so I won't make any assumptions.

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: Lobbyist Chris Micheli updates us on the bill hearings in the two houses:

163 SBs have been set for hearings in Assembly policy committees. 196 ABs have been set for hearings in Senate policy committees so far, but about 11 more committee hearings have to be noticed.

Here are the hearing schedules. While the bills up for consideration have been significantly curtailed, it's still going to be a wild stretch. Policy committees can meet until August 14 and the Approps committees will wrap the following week before the marathon floor sessions.

Senate | Assembly

This is an exhautsing time of examining every gut-and-amend watching for last-minute gotchas. I don't work for anyone beside you, but these are 14-hour days.

I'll be looking at some of the big pending bills up next week this weekend. The hotly contested prohibition for flavored tobacco, SB 793 (Hill) is up in Assembly Health is on the docket for Tuesday at 2pm in the Assembly Chamber.


The numbers: The Chron reports "The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in California dropped to 6,753 on Wednesday, state health officials reported Thursday. The number had been above 6,800 for the past 13 days. However, lower numbers are in part caused by a change in reporting requirements that went into effect last week, officials said."

The gist of the case reporting issue is that hospitals are reporting COVID-19 positive folks who arrive with other ailments. It's a legitimate concern and that's why I place a greater of COVID-19 deaths than cases. That said, positive cases are important for understanding community spread and the totally inaccurate contact tracing. Then again, do we answer any strange-number phone calls these days? That's a big reason contact tracing isn't working. Hell, we can't even get a census done in 2020 even though it was easier than ever.

There were 117 new deaths and 8,890 new cases yesterday according to the Times tracker. Not good and the trends of deaths really suck. The lines are the 7-day averages.

COVID 20200730

Local government: Two Central Valley cities that have refused to adopt state guidance on limiting which businesses can operate have been cut off from the pass-through of federal funds, reports Alexei Koseff in the Bee.

At their city council meetings on Monday, leaders in Atwater, a city of 29,000 off Highway 99 in Merced County, and Coalinga, a city of 17,000 in the southwest corner of Fresno County, stood by resolutions they passed this spring allowing all businesses in their communities to reopen.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services warned the cities last week that they could collectively lose about $600,000 of federal coronavirus relief unless they come into compliance with state health requirements.

In other words, don't plan to go to Harris Ranch for that big steak for the time being. Something stinks other than the huge cattle feed lot off I-5.

Testing: In the Times, Emily Baumgaertner looks at the fading state COVID-19 testing task force.

In the early days of coronavirus testing, California public health officials teamed up with private industry executives for an immediate impact. The group, established by Gov. Gavin Newsom, added over 100 new test sites in three weeks, launched partnerships with new innovative labs, and managed the flow of swabs, chemicals and gear through the state’s sprawling new testing infrastructure.

But as the state now grapples with surging infection rates and looming test supply shortages, the task force has shrunk in size and influence. Dozens of task force members have departed and not been replaced, and the senior health official who oversaw the team has resigned.

The diminished state of the task force alarms some experts and former members who say a fully staffed team is needed more than ever to help a public health department that is chronically understaffed and ill-equipped to respond to emergencies on their own. California has long fallen short on providing adequate testing across the state, a reality that makes it impossible for public health officials to quickly track infectious cases and slow the spread.

TAXING MATTERS: For the San Francisco Business Times, Mark Calvey reports on the retroactive personal income tax (PIT) hike pending in the Legislature. (subscribers only)

A proposal now being considered by California lawmakers to raise the state’s top income tax rate from 13.3% to 16.8% — retroactive to the start of 2020 — is expected to spur heightened interest by wealthy residents in leaving California.

“This new proposal may be the final straw for many,” Paul Bleeg, a partner with accounting firm EisnerAmper in San Francisco, told me Thursday. “I hear the phrase, ‘Will the last person to leave California turn the lights out?’ more and more.”

The proposed tax hike, which must be approved by a supermajority of the California Legislature and signed by the governor, would impose a new 1% surcharge on adjusted gross income starting at $1 million, rising to 3% for incomes above $2 million and hitting 3.5% for incomes above $5 million. 

The bill, AB 1253 by Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) was a gut and amend on Monday. Under Governor Jerry Brown, personal income tax increases were only done through ballot measures. The bill has 14 co-authors and is scheduled for Monday's Senate Governance and Finance Committee hearing. It is unclear where Newsom stands on the issue and there is no committee analysis yet.

Unlike PIT increases of the last 20 years, the purpose is not specified and would therefore be added to the struggling General Fund. (Actually, we have no idea how much the GF is struggling.)

The latest Department of Finance monthly update provides:

California real GDP decreased by 4.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in the first quarter of 2020—the largest decrease since the second quarter of 2009. In comparison, U.S. real GDP declined by 5.0 percent in the first quarter of 2020—the largest decline since the fourth quarter of 2008. Personal income in California increased by 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in the first quarter of 2020, following a 7.4-percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2019. U.S. personal income also increased by 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020, a deceleration from the 3.6-percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2019. Transfer receipts—which include payments from unemployment insurance and welfare assistance--were the largest driver of personal income growth in California and the U.S. in the first quarter.

While I don't discount the need for tax reform in California, these are worthy data to consider In a further PIT increase.

And trust me, I am worlds away from paying an upper-level bracket.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jonathan Bash, Melody Gutierrez, Mai Harvill, Dan Hutchings, Senator Jim Nielsen, Amy Supinger!


Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]

Between 1-3 unfurnished offices are available for sublease in the Wells Fargo office building, 400 Capital Mall Sacramento, CA 95814. The offices are approximately 12’X10’ each. Internet, gym. 24/7/365 key card access; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Tricia Horan at or 415-919-7990 with questions.
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 or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

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