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The Nooner for Sunday, August 9, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS
MONEY MATTERS (highlights from daily campaign finance reports):
I am only including main ballot measure committees. There are some, like agriculture against Prop 15, but I don't include it as it may be a feeder committee that ends up in the main committee, which would lead to duplication.
TOP 100: On Tuesday at 7pm, the annual Capitol Weekly Top 100 Party recognizing non-elected movers and shakers is being held virtually, but that also means it's free this year. Register and find out how to get copies of this year's book of those recognized at this link.
¡Feliz domingo! With the weekend series at Dodger Stadium tied at 1-1, the los Doyers y los Gigantes face off at 1:10pm. On the mound will be Gausman (0-1) for the Giants and Buehler (0-0) for the Dodgers.
On this date in 1974, Gerald Ford was sworn in to the office of President (speech). [h/t This Week]
Last week's lengthy hearings were a bear. Don't get me wrong, as there were some very interesting issues. The telephone testimony, while I believe necessary, was exhausting on many bills. There were moments of comedy, like yesterday's moment when a lead opponent witness was on a rant and thought his line was cut off. His response was "F***! They cut me off!" Of course, he hadn't been cut off and the chamber and everybody watching heard.
I believe it was Dr. Mark Ackerman, Director of Orthodontics at Boston Children's Hospital, in opposition to AB 1998, which would increase professional standards for tele-dentistry and which opponents believe will put the industry out of business. It starts at about 5:04:45 on the video. (Unfortunately, the video archive system currently used by the Legislature doesn't allow for a link to a timestamp like YouTube, but we've made huge progress!)
A general admonishment for decorum by chair Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) follows at the end of the opposition segment.
I probably watched nearly forty hours of committee hearings last week, but clearly I couldn't watch them all. But, surveying the crowd, it's not the first time an F-bomb has come across tele-testimony, but perhaps the first time by a lead witness rather than during the "me too" segments.
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: This week is the final official week for policy committees to meet. Home gamers, I say "official" because there will undoubtedly be "off the floor" ad hoc committee meetings with unanimous consent leading up to the final days as bills have last-minute amendments. Lobbyist and Nooner friend Chris Micheli has prepared a list of Senate and Assembly committee hearings, along with the number of bills anticipated to be heard, according to the Daily Files in print for tomorrow.
Senate Appropriations is scheduled to meet this Thursday and next Monday and Wednesday. Assembly Appropriations is scheduled to meet this Tuesday and next.
Tomorrow's schedule has on the docket:
Upon Adjournment of Session
Upon Adjournment of Senate Veterans Affairs
- The numbers: There were 99 new deaths reported yesterday for a total of 10,312. (Caveat: weekend death reporting can be low and thus early week high, ergo the importance of the 7-day average). The good news is that hospitalizations have dropped from 7,170 on July 21 to 5,746. Of those currently hospitalized, 1,868 are in intensive care units, reports the Chron. Alex Wigglesworth reports in the LAT about the latest Los Angeles County hospitalization data, writing "On Friday, there were 1,568 confirmed COVID-19 cases in county hospitals; the number topped 2,000 for much of July. "
- Survival rate: In the Times, Soumya Karlamangla looks at why the mortality rate for those hospitalized in Los Angeles County and elsewhere is on the decline.
- Bay Area biz impact: In the Chron, Anna Kramer reports that more than 2,000 businesses appear to have permanently closed in the Bay Area during COVID-19.
Also in the Chron, Phil Matier writes specifically on San Francisco businesses, which would be narrower geographically but broader than the Yelp analysis:
- San Diego food need: In the SDUT, Lori Weisberg reports that the regular food distribution events sponsored by Feeding San Diego and the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council at Mission Valley stadium and Palomar continue to draw hundreds.
Like many convention cities (including San Francisco, San José, Los Angeles, and Anaheim), San Diego's hotel and other hospitality industry has been brutal.
UNEMPLOYMENT EXECUTIVE MEMO: As the details came out about the "$400/week unemployment supplement" in the President's executive memo signed at Bedminster last night came out this morning, the devil is in the details. In looking at each of the executive orders, Heather Long writes for WaPo:
It's a 3:1 match program, meaning Californians don't benefit unless California kicks in. Here's the operative part from the executive memo:
(d) For purposes of this memorandum, the term “Eligible claimants” means claimants who:
(i) receive, for the week lost wages assistance is sought, at least $100 per week of any of the following benefits:
The memo then lists state unemployment insurance funds, the previous federal COVID assistance, and a couple of other not-new money.
About the state match, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this morning on Fox News Sunday: "That's coming from money we've already given to the states."
For the week ending July 25, California had (advance) 2,817,289 active insured beneficiaries according to the Department of Labor. That number is likely to go back up as the return of the shutdown of restaurants, bars, and other businesses sets in. It had been 3.14 million the prior week. But assuming the 2,817,289 number, California is expected to come up with $281.7 million per week.
I'm not sure about the balance of the federal CARES Act funds sent to California, but I'm pretty sure we're already set to borrow from the feds for the unemployment insurance account, which is not unusual in even normal recessions. I'll try to research these issues over the next few days although perhaps a deal comes together in Washington as there are bipartisan calls of the Presidents actions as unconstitutional.
After I wrote this item, CNN posted a story similar to that of WaPo's, which confirms what I thought first thing this morning, was suggested by WaPo, and confirmed by CNN:
NURSE PRACTITIONERS: The perennial fight over scope of practice for nurse practioners appeared to have a breakthrough yesterday, with Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development approving AB 890 (Wood) with 7 votes in favor, Pan voting no, and Galgiani not voting. COVID-19 appears to have been a catalyst, as well as some amendments that may have reduced the magniture of the physician group opposition.
FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES: While many of the viewers of Senate B&P yesterday tuned in for AB 890, there was a lengthy and interesting fight before that on AB 70 (Berman). The bill seeks to keep California-based for-profit colleges under state administrative procedure for such things as student consumer complaints. It's no secret that these colleges have been under great scrutiny by both the federal and state government, particularly after the implosion of Corinthian Colleges, which left thousands of students in limbo after paying hefty fees. You'll notice that all those commercials that used to be all over the the teevee have significantly declined.
To survive, many have wrapped themselves in a cloak of having the accredited part of the institution as a nonprofit, while having contracts with the former for-profit institution for administrative and other functions. AB 70 was trying to "pierce the corporate veil," a phrase familiar to those of you who've had some formal or informal legal education.
Ashford has entered into a contractual relationship with University of Arizona to operate a new University-affiliated nonprofit online "University of Arizona Global," transferring the Ashford accreditation to the new nonprofit. The new nonprofit subsequently contracted back with Zovio for the "education technology platform."
Ashford was the only opponent of AB 70 yesterday, but Zovio has an top-notch lobbying team.
This is the provision that Ashford wanted an exemption from, and they had language in the hands of members.
Obviously, author Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) wanted to stand by it as Ashford is the largest California-based online example. For-profits with physical locations within California are under ther purview of the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education of the Department of Consumer Affairs, while those operating exclusively online and sited outside of California are not.
We'll skip the testimony, as the only testimony was from influential lobbyist George Miller IV, son of former Congressman George Miller III, who is the son of the late George Miller Jr., a state senator from 1948-1969. He's a powerhouse and his testimony on behalf of Ashford/Zovio yesterday showed his composure and understanding of the legislative process.
His father was chair of House Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) when the reconciliation package went through in 2010 the included both the Affordable Care Act and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which eliminated the private student loan processing and expanded direct lending, expanded Pell Grants, and provided community colleges with grants from Trade Adjustment Allowance funds. In other words, I spent time in his father's office when that package was being crafted. An aside, George Miller III is also a graduate of UC Davis School of Law.
Back to AB 70. When the discussion moved to the committee, it was clear there weren't the votes for it to pass without the exemption sought by Ashford/Zovio, or some compromise, like a ten-year contract. Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) paraphrased possible amendments. Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) made a motion to approve the bill as written. That motion failed.
Then, Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) read prepared language for an amendment to exempt a nonprofit from contracting with a former for-profit parent if it was affiliated with a public institution, which was clearly crafted for the Ashford/Zovia/UofA arrangement.
I can't remember if Galgiani or someone else made the motion, but the bill with the proposed amendment for Ashford passed.
However, at the very end of the hearing around 6.5 hours later -- that vote was rescinded (likely upon request of Assembly Member Berman who had decided that he didn't want to play that game. That effectively killed the bill, which passed the Assembly 78-0, for the session. It also highlights the tension between the two houses, something that lobbyists know well about and use strategically. In playing the game, you've got to know when to make your move.
It's a fascinating item to watch and, as the first bill of the hearing warmed viewers up for what was going to be a very long Saturday. The video is available. The hour-long AB 70 item starts around 11:00. The unanimous consent to rescind the vote is at 6:39:40.
The AB 890 debate on nurse practitioners follows the AB 70 debate about 5 minutes later.
POLICING: For the PE, Beau Yarbrough looks at how police are trained in California amidst debates over use of force (as we saw in Friday's Senate Public Safety Committee, which I wrote about yesterday).
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: For Politico, Jeremy B. White reports on how "San Francisco Democrat" has turned from a slander into something that has propelled many of the nation's leaders.
Some people think that Herb Caen's famous moniker for the city reflects poorly upon it because most of us grew up with a Baghdad under Saddam Hussein, war, and tyrrany. But, the legendary late columnist loved by some, hated by some, but read by all coined the term in the late 1940s to reflect the city's multiculturalism and colorful nature perhaps referring to the times of Babylon.
UC (HOPEFULLY) NO FLU: The University of California is mandating all faculty, staff and students to get a flu vaccination before November 1, reports Lauren Hernández for the Chron.
cakeday, farewell, and classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Senator Brian Jones and Teresa Stark!
FAREWELL: Lobbyist and former Capitol chief of staff Ivan Altamura (1967-2020)