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 Tuesday, August 4, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • The Legislature
  • Taxing matters
  • COVID-19
    • The numbers
    • The slow recovery
    • School daze
    • Central Valley
    • Theme parks
    • Costigan's experience
  • Policing
  • Gas
  • Smokin'!
  • OC elections
  • Veepstakes
  • 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 Taco Tuesday!

THE LEGISLATURE: In the Bee, Hannah Wiley looks at the scramble to complete the abbreviated and very weird 2019-20 Legislative Session.

A common maxim in the California Legislature holds that lawmakers shouldn’t fall in love with their bills.

This year, there are a lot of broken hearts in the Capitol.

Hundreds of bills meant to alleviate the homeless crisis, decrease medical bills and bolster labor laws ran into the buzz saw of a legislative year twice abbreviated by the coronavirus outbreak.

Now, with just three weeks to go on the legislative calendar, Democrats in each house are showing hard feelings over which remaining proposals deserve a vote and which will have to wait until next year.

TAXING MATTERS: Yesterday's Senate and Governance long hearing on last week's gut-and-amend AB 1253 (Santiago), the high-earner personal income tax hike, pretty much went as expected. The hearing on the bill was only for testimony. Chair Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) sounded like a radio talk-show host as they fielded something like phone-in commenters. (video)


The numbers: California added 107 deaths yesterday, making the total 9,507. The seven-day number of daily deaths in California is at the highest of the pandemic. The SacBee charts it out.

7-day COVID average

The slow recovery: In the Times, Rong-Gong Lin II and Iris Lee report that while the spread of COVID appears to be slowing in California, a quick reopening of the state is unlikely.

There are growing glimmers of hope that California’s surge in coronavirus cases could be peaking — but don’t expect the pandemic-shattered economy to share much of this progress in the short term.

A Los Angeles Times analysis found that California has now experienced its first weekly reduction in new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time in 12 weeks. For the seven-day period that ended Sunday, California reported 59,697 new coronavirus cases, a drop of 9% from the previous week of 65,634 cases, which was a pandemic record.

If the trends continue, it would mark a turning point after weeks of record hospitalizations that began in mid-June, the result of California starting to rapidly reopen the economy in May.

Erin Allday and Dustin Gardiner write for the SFChron:

Three weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a retreat from the coronavirus and reinstated statewide shutdowns for much of the economy, it appears the plan is working: California’s outbreak is showing signs of slowing down.

Newsom rang cautiously optimistic at a news briefing in Sacramento County on Monday, noting that case counts and hospitalizations are dropping for the first time in several weeks. The percentage of people testing positive — a key indicator of the outbreak — is trending down too.

The state continues to see far more disease now than even a month ago, and the death toll is still climbing, public health experts noted. But it appears the decision to pause reopening in much of the state and implore the public to wear face coverings and avoid gatherings is paying off.

School daze: Michael McGough reports for the Bee that the California Department of Public Health yesterday released guidance of how elementary schools can get a waiver from their county health officer for permission to reopen.

As summer gives way to autumn, schools continue to emerge as a focal point in the ongoing health crisis. K-12 districts and campuses across the nation’s most populous state are working to establish or finalize distance learning plans, which the vast majority will be required to use at least to start the coming academic year.

The governor previously mentioned a waiver system, and CDPH on Monday evening unveiled the waiver application process that could let some elementary schools in hard-hit counties begin in-person instruction earlier, if they meet “stringent health requirements,” the state said in a news release.

“A district superintendent, private school principal or head of school, or executive director of a charter school may apply for a waiver from the local health officer to open an elementary school for in-person instruction in a county on the monitoring list,” the news release said.

School officials must consult with all applicable labor and parent organizations, and must also publish reopening plans on their website, prior to applying for a waiver. A local health officer needs to consult with CDPH before approving schools’ plans.

Katy White and Jeremy B. White also report on the guidance for Politico.

Meanwhile in the Register, Theresa Walker writes that youth organizations are working to fill the gap left by closed schools.

Joyful squeals and shouts drift out across Parking Lot J at Golden West College in Huntington Beach.

A small group of children climb and jump on a jungle gym outside the building that houses the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley on the otherwise empty college campus. And while those kids play outdoors, others are inside, doing different activities in various rooms.

These groups of kids — “cohorts” of no more than 12 children — all play and learn at health-appropriate distances under the supervision of a staff member assigned to them all day, every day.

It’s one of several youth programs around Southern California, where children are out of the house and socializing, but doing it all while following COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Central Valley: As the situation is getting better in some hard-hit areas of the state, KQED's Katie Orr reports on Governor Newsom's focus on the Central Valley.

"Disproportionately, this disease is impacting our diverse communities," Newsom said [yesterday]. "Disproportionately impacting the Latino community. Disproportionately impacting the community in the Central Valley."

Though California's COVID-19 positivity rate is 7%, several counties in the Central Valley — which has a large Latino population — are seeing much higher numbers, including Tulare at 13.9%, Merced at 14.9% and Kern at 24.4%.

"And that's why our targeted interventions disproportionately are focusing on essential workforce, on farmworkers, on critical workforce and hospitality, retail sector and the like, that is being impacted by this disease," Newsom said.

Theme parks: The Register's Robert Niles looks at the plight of SoCal theme parks:

It’s quarterly reporting time for corporate America, and the news from the companies that own the nation’s top theme parks is as bad as expected.

Most companies, including Universal, Six Flags and Knott’s Berry Farm owner Cedar Fair, started reopening parks in June, the final month of the second quarter. Disney did not reopen its Walt Disney World theme parks until July, so none of that revenue will show in its second quarter report.

Not that it mattered much for the other companies. They reported revenue declines of more than 90 percent over the same period last year. Yes, parks are limiting capacity as they work to promote safe social distancing. But most theme park fans are practicing the safest form of physical distancing by remaining at home.

Costigan's experience: For California Healthline, Samantha Young reports on veteran GOP consultant Richard Costigan and his family's experience with the virus:

His thoughts traveled back to the small family gathering they had attended in Georgia nearly two weeks before with their 23-year-old daughter, Emma, and 17-year-old son, Andrew. They had planned it so carefully. Nobody wanted to get Gloria’s 88-year-old mother sick.

But here they were, Costigan’s wife battling for breath in the ER, and Costigan sitting in his car coughing.

The family’s journey since then has been one of sleeplessness, pain and worry about the future. And it’s one that Costigan, who worked as deputy chief of staff for Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is taking to social media and his 4,400 Twitter followers.

POLICING: In the Bee, Theresa Clift reports that the ACLU and others are arguing that Sacramento's evolving police use-of-force policy doesn't comply with the state's new law.

A year after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the “Stephon Clark Law” in response to his killing by police, the city of Sacramento continues to struggle with rewriting its own rules over the use of force by its officers.

Civil liberties groups, the California Attorney General and police oversight officials all say the Sacramento Police Department hasn’t fully complied with the law signed by Newsom last year governing police use-of-force tactics.

Significantly, they said training procedures for the department contain outdated language about when deadly force should be considered “necessary” instead of “reasonable.” That wording change mandated by the new law plays a critical part of the decision-making process for police officers in the field.

GAS! The LAT's Sammy Roth writes up a new lawsuit by the Southern California Gas Company against California's climate change policy as they fear movement away from natural gas in favor of renewable energy.

Southern California Gas Co. is taking its battle with state officials over climate change policy to court, arguing in a new lawsuit that the California Energy Commission has failed to promote natural gas as required by state law.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Orange County Superior Court, is the latest attempt by SoCalGas to shield itself against efforts to phase out gas, a planet-warming fossil fuel used for heating, cooking and power generation. The company, which maintains its headquarters in Los Angeles and is owned by Sempra Energy of San Diego, took in $4.5 billion in operating revenue last year.

A separate lawsuit was filed last week against the state’s Air Resources Board by the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, whose two “charter members” are SoCalGas and Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which joined the gas company in its lawsuit against the Energy Commission. This lawsuit seeks to overturn the newly approved “advanced clean trucks” rule, which is aimed at putting 300,000 zero-emission trucks on the road by 2035.

SMOKIN'! At 2pm in the Assembly Chamber, the Assembly Health Committee meets and on the docket is SB 793 (Hill), the bill to ban all flavored tobacco, including menthol, except for hookah. The bill will easily pass.

OC ELECTIONS: The Register's Brooke Staggs writes that legislative Democratic candidates in Orange County are faring better than the GOP in fundraising.

Democrats are raising more money than Republicans in all but one of Orange County’s nine state Senate and Assembly races, according to the latest fundraising reports filed with the state.

Republicans still hold most of the county’s state legislative seats. But the California Democratic Party, labor organizations and individual donors are pouring money into several local races in hopes of flipping several seats to blue in the Nov. 3 election.

While that’s helped Democratic challengers, the incumbents still have more cash on hand, setting up tough battles in several closely watched races.

Referenced are SD29, SD37, AD55, AD65, AD68, AD69, AD72, AD73, and AD74.

VEEPSTAKES: Melanie Mason and Phil Willon look at the rise of Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and the falling chances for Sen. Kamala Harris to be tapped.

The guessing game over the vice-presidential pick — a quadrennial tradition — has centered its focus of late on Sen. Kamala Harris, long considered a front-runner for the job, and Rep. Karen Bass, a newly ascendant contender. The two women hail from opposite parts of the state and have substantially different resumes, but their fate on the presidential ticket has become inextricably linked, thanks to unusually public jockeying by allies on their behalf.

The maneuvers, both overt and private, underscore the high stakes that come with simply being mentioned as a vice-presidential prospect. 

cakedays and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: No birthdays today other than Barack Obama's 59th are on my radar!


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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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